West Coast Avengers #2-4 (1984)

This issue starts with a short but fun training fight where it’s everyone against Iron Man because, really, IM is the only powerhouse on the team.  But he’s busy appearing on Johnny Carson.

johnny carson avengers wonder man simon

Also, the team has a barbecue and Rhodey can’t eat because not everyone knows he’s not Tony Stark under the helmet…

Talk about a black man trying to pass as white!

Later, he does come out and Hawkeye is kind of a dick about it, until he realizes he’s just a guy who can shoot sticks and Iron Man can, like, blow up tons of shit.

IMG_9010Actionwise, the team fights a guy who is completely blank.  He’s a grey shape who can’t be held, blown up, shot, burned, etc.  It’s basically a force field, so he’s a lot like Unus the Untouchable only he’s doing it via technology.  Or is he?

At the end of issue #3, we learn that it’s Gravitron, who found his way back into our dimension via Blank’s force field, and then the two of them team up against the WCA team.  The team recruits the help of The Shroud, who proved his mettle in issue #1 but still doesn’t want to join as a permanent member because he’s dedicated to his street-level war on crime.

Along the way, there are several nice character moments because this is a Roger Stern joint and that’s what he excels at—and he can do it even in a miniseries.  Rhodey reveals to Tigra that he’s not Tony Stark, and they share some bonding by telling their origin stories.  Yeah, it’s kind of filler but it’s also not because this is a team book and readers might not know what’s going on in the pages of Iron Man and there are probably many readers who didn’t know that Tigra was from a race of Cat People.

Stern even gives the team a Stan-like big cheer in the last panel….

IMG_9011

Gravitron is the first “big” villain the team has faced, and they do pretty good.  Well written battles, good characterization…This is a solid comic!  Too bad it’s just a miniseries.  The eventual “regular” book won’t be quite as good.

Creators: Roger Stern and Bob Hall
Grade: B
West cost av, 1984,

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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