West Coast Avengers #1 (1984) (miniseries)

The West Coast Avengers were Vision’s idea, from Avengers #243.

I’ve read every issue of The Avengers ever written, up through Brian Michael Bendis’ run. I can’t stomach Rick Remender’s stuff and the latest slew of Avengers spin-off titles. It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s another book about a bunch of dudes who feel the need to call themselves Avengers. Remember when people had their own franchises? Like The Defenders? The Champions? Why is every group of two or more Marvel heroes called The Avengers? The answer, of course, is movie dollars. But let’s pretend it isn’t. Let’s pretend it’s all Roger Stern’s fault.

In 1984, Roger Stern and artist Bob Hall launched a miniseries—just four issues—with a terrific cover: Hawkeye,a bunch of heads, and a silhouetted corner box. It combined some of the best “team formation” covers of Avengers past…

So: Who’s on the team? Hawkeye (leader), his wife Mockingbird, Tigra (who quit the original team after Molecule Man made her his sex slave), Iron Man (James Rhodes), and Wonder Man (because he’s already in California trying to be an actor).  That’s the original lineup.

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Issue #1 is the Avengers Assemble issue.  They all meet at the Avengers’ “West Coast Compound.”  Tigra receives an invite from Vision, and Tigra’s friend Jessica Drew (who was de-powered in a recent Avengers story) sends The Shroud to the complex to make sure Tigra isn’t getting herself into trouble.  The WCAs fight Shroud for several pages, which is kind of bizarre—how can they not be able to defeat a single, D-list hero?

Still, good stuff—a Roger Stern script from the 1980s is always worth reading.

Creators: Roger Stern and Bob Hall
Grade: B-:

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

 

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