Avengers West Coast #65-68 (1990-1991): Deaths of Mandrill and Nekra

Grim Reaper is back from the grave and ready to party.  Nekra’s the one who brings him back from the dead, with a twist:

He has to kill someone with his enchanted scythe every day or else he’ll die again. 

Nekra herself is his first victim.  Now that’s a badass betrayal.

Then we jump to what appear to be side stories.  Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne take on Ultron 13.  Iron Man and USAgent take on pesticides that are turning people’s skin into metal.  Of course, Ultron is behind that—trying to turn humans into robots—and the West Coast Avengers take on that problem, except for Wonder Man who wants to deal with the family matter of Grim Reaper.

Sadly, Tigra is still slutty.
So Wonder Man has essentially a solo adventure while the WCA team fights Ultron.  In Wonder Man’s tale, Mandrill ties in (remember, he was associated with Nekra back in the weird Steve Englehart days), and gets killed by Grim Reaper.

Of course, the two stories eventually tie together.  The annoying part is that it’s totally by coincidence: Grim Reaper is hiding in the sewers.  So is Ultron.  And they literally bump into each other.  Hrmf.
Anyhow, they fight and then they team up.  Ultron fuses Reaper’s scythe to his arm.  The WCA cure the human-robot virus.  Then there’s the big finale fight, where Reaper betrays Ultron, but then they both get captured by the heroes.
Left unanswered: How can Grim Reaper be imprisoned if he has to kill a human every day to stay alive?
Creators: Roy and Dann Thomas, Paul Ryan
Grade: C-.  These are very familiar story beats and character actions.  There’s nothing really “bad” here, but there’s nothing essential either.

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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