WEST COAST AVENGERS #37 (1988)

It’s about time for a major line-up shift!

(Frankly, this book could use a creative team shift as well, but let’s not dwell on that.)

As a result of her having hidden from her fiancé, Hawkeye, that she was raped and killed her assailant, Mockingbird is forced off the team.

Steve Englehart has been terrible at writing about this topic, and this is as bad as it gets.  There’s no compassion here from Hawkeye—I can’t believe he’s this much of an ass—and the take on Mockingbird is fairly unsympathetic, and has been from the start.

Although, a few of her teammates decide to quit with her, so that’s something.
WCA 37
Hawkeye is a complete asshole in this story—I understand there’s a “no kill” rule in The Avengers, but come on.

Tigra and Moon Knight quit in solidarity.  This is great, because it means the damage Englehart can do to the Moon Knight character is finally over.  Incidentally, how cool would it have been if Marvel had done a true “street” book with the trio of Bobbi, Moon Knight and Tigra?  I think that would have been awesome.

But awesome is not a word that can be used to discuss anything WCA related.

The three do form a team, but they go to look for Master Pandemonium.  Ugh.  At least Tigra gets in the best joke of the book so far, abbreviating the West Coast Avengers to “WCA” and calling themselves “The Ex-Wackos.”

Ha!

Last issue, Hank Pym recovered his first wife, who needs a lot of treatment, so he quits too.

From Hawkeye’s perspective, these four leaving should be a good thing: But for his ability to summon the Moon God Koshnu, these are the three weakest members of the team.

Other than Hawkeye himself.

And then Mantis shows up and initially it looks like she wants to join, but then she fights the team.

Turns out, she’s captivated by The Voice (the poor man’s Purple Man), who Hawkeye captures and holds under threat of death (the irony that he just let his woman walk out on him because she killed someone—someone who was actually a ghost and couldn’t die—is not lost on Hawkeye and is reflected in thought bubbles).

Mantis, when her head is clear, tells the team she needs their help—but we don’t know for what.

And she doesn’t really join.  In fact, when Hawkeye shouts the rallying cry, she looks kind of startled.

WCA37So this is less a “reassembling” than addition-by-subtraction of Tigra, Mockingbird and Moon Knight.  (Although Vision and Scarlet Witch, who were part of the last adventure, are still hanging around—so maybe they’ve joined?)

Creators: Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom
Grade: C-

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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