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Avengers West Coast #102: Review

Jan 1994
Dan Abnett, David Ross

Story Name:

The Avengers West Coast are finished

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers West Coast #102 Review by (November 20, 2018)
This issue is really an exercise in closing down this series to make way for its replacement Force Works, and moving War Machine out into his own new series. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have taken over scripting from Roy Thomas, and they will be the scribes of Force Works. The illogical arguments that Vision spouts here may be a sign of the writers (a fine British scripting partnership) desperately trying to justify the (editorial) decision to disband the West Coast Avengers.

Since the Bloodties crossover including our #101:-
Hawkeye has left the team and will be next seen in his 2nd mini-series vs the Secret Empire.
In IM#299/2 and #300 War Machine rounded up a group to chars to don Iron Man armour to fight Ultimo while Tony Stark was in a temporary coma.
Spider-Woman (with a cameo by US Agent) had her own mini-series wrapping up the Commission/Mike Clemson/Deathweb/Manipulator plot from #84-86.
Scarlet Witch got the new costume seen here, and was involved with the Lilin in an anthology tale in Marvel Comics Presents #143-144.
Then the other WCA'ers, including Living Lightning and strangely Wonder Man, joined her for her 1st (mini-)series vs new villainess Lore and a rematch with Master Pandemonium.

Wonder Man has finished his own series and got rid of the power/attitude fluctuation problems that got him thrown off the team in his #18 (after our #91). He's too late to rejoin the WCA but in time to be part of Force Works (and get killed in the 1st issue).

Most of the Avengers come here straight from Av#369, the end of Bloodties, but Black Knight and Black Widow made a cameo app in Hulk #411 when Rick Jones called about his wedding.

This is Iron Man's 1st app since his #300 mentioned above.

Faithful Edwin Jarvis' last Av app was #364, but since then he's cameoed in Sensational She-Hulk #55, and in Darkhawk #30 during Infinity Crusade.

Tony Stark may meet up with the ex-WCAers in 2 days time in Force Works #1, but some of the chars will will fit in other apps before then, including War Machine starting his own series and Rick Jones marrying Marlo Chandler in the Hulk series. And there is an argument for putting the last 3 pages (USA dumping his gear and Wonder Man meeting Iron Man) of this issue after all of these apps.
Before the Hulk issues Iron Man will fit in IM#301-305 and the 1st half of #306, including a crossover with Night Thrasher #10. These will have him fighting various heroes who think his company has been doing bad stuff. Meanwhile War Machine will have the sequel to his tale in our #100 in Marvel Comics Presents #152-155, guest star in Hawkeye #3 and be headhunted for a future job in the 1st half of his own #1. Also meanwhile Spider-Woman and US Agent will be part of a Secret Defenders team led by Dr Druid in that series' #20-21. USA still has his costume so his last bit of the current issue should be later than this.
Iron Man and War Machine will then both be at Rick Jones bachelor party in Hulk #417 while Scarlet Witch attends Marlo's bachelorette do. Iron Man and War Machine also make the wedding, and this time Spider-Woman shows up.
Then Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, US Agent and Wonder Man convene for Force Works #1. The current issue ends with IM telling Wondy in the WCA Compound that the WCA are finished. FW#1 starts with IM explaining that to WM in more detail, then the others joining them at the Compound. So the very end of this issue should be tagged onto FW#1.

The mystery Kree observers will be in FW#1 too.

Some of the (EC) Avengers will have stuff to do before their next issue. Captain America will guest in Darkhawk #37 while Giant-Man will be in War Machine's tale in MCP#152. Then those 2 plus Black Widow, Hercules and Vision are compelled by the Man-Beast to attack Warlock And The Infinity Watch in their #26-28 on Monster Island. Then the whole team including Black Knight, Crystal and Sersi are all in at least part of Av#370.

Jarvis doesn't show up until Av#372.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #102 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The West Coast Avengers (Scarlet Witch leading Spider-Woman, U.S. Agent and War Machine) have been called to a meeting to discuss their future by the (East Coast) Avengers (Black Widow leading Black Knight, Captain America, Crystal, Giant-Man, Hercules, Sersi and Vision). Widow allows Vision to head the meeting because he was the instigator of the WCA (back in Av#243).

Over protests from Wanda Maximoff and USA, Vizh describes the team as a failed experiment which hasn't lived up to the standards of the parent organisation. He criticises the constantly-changing membership (definitely the pot calling the kettle black here) and the small current roster. He understands Hawkeye leaving after the death of his wife Mockingbird, but he doesn't understand Wonder Man's long absence from the team (allegedly last seen in his #26-27 fighting Hulk in Kanem). He also mentions that their Compound is in ruins after many attacks, and Spider-Woman's young daughter Rachel has been endangered there.

The Agent makes a loud riposte, but chairperson Scarlet Witch restrains him because it's *her* job to shout at the other team, which she does - accusing them of ignoring all their achievements. Natasha Romanoff tries to calm the waters but Vision continues his attack by saying the cost of rebuilding the Compound will be beyond the WCA's means and they'll have to be bailed out by the Maria Stark Foundation. (Excuse me but I thought that the Stark Foundation funded *both* teams, and they had *no* other income. I didn't think the United Nations actually paid them anything, or the US Government before that.) It's not worth the money for such a weak 4-person team. Wanda snipes that the East Coasters always get the gods (ie Thor and Hercules, not to mention Eternals Sersi and Gilgamesh and Titan Eros/Starfox).

Captain America asks the Witch to be reasonable. He reminds her of when the Avengers was just the 2 of them plus Hawkeye and Quicksilver (from Av#16). (He could also have mentioned when it was just Hawkeye, Goliath and Wasp in #51.) (However surely this point counts against *Vision*'s argument, not Wanda's.) He then shows excerpts from the just-concluded Bloodties Avengers/X-Men crossover:- War Machine allowed Exodus to beat him using racial taunts. US Agent was sent to guard Prof X, and Cap gets in a dig that it was for his strength not for his lack of restraint. (Seems to me they got what they asked for.)

Vision sums up that the West Coast branch has been a failure and should be closed down. (USA earlier referred to this as a kangaroo court, and IMHO he was right.) The members will become reservists for the East Coast team until they are individually evaluated for full membership. Scarlet Witch understandably bridles at this. Giant-Man (Henry Pym), who like her has been a member of both teams tries to mediate by suggesting keeping both teams but appointing a committee to oversee both and co-ordinate them. The committee would be long-serving members like Cap and Vision ... He was probably being diplomatic in not proposing himself, but Wanda interrupts his list, interjecting that *she*'s been here longer than Vision.

Then another voice chimes in claiming to have been an Avenger even before Captain America (which Pym could also have claimed). It's Iron Man (newly-arrived and newly-mobile in his new modular armour since IM#300). He suggests that they need to reconsider the whole Avengers operation, not just take it out on the WCA. War Machine (James Rhodes) has fallen out with his ex-boss Tony Stark and so isn't happy to see him even though IM seems to be on their side. Stark reminds them that the Avengers were split over whether to kill the Kree Supreme Intelligence at the end of the Galactic Storm event. Cap led a faction that opposed the idea, and Iron Man led a faction that went ahead and did it (Av#347). (Both factions still exist within the East Coast team.)

Various hotheads have to be restrained from starting a fight, when Jarvis defuses the situation by announcing lunch is ready. Tony Stark privately thanks his family's ex-butler, who's loyalties are torn between the various people he's served over the years. Rhodey has no stomach for food or Stark, but the other 3 WCAers ask if he's returning to the team. Tony doesn't want to answer that yet, and also dismisses questions from the other side. When he tries to call a truce with Jim, the angry War Machine quits the whole franchise.

Steve Rogers' anger over Galactic Storm makes him accuse Stark of driving War Machine away. US Agent cuts in because of his long-standing resentment of Cap. (And I suspect part of the Vision/Witch clash was because they used to be married.) But again cool heads calm things down and suggest they restart the meeting.

Vision has more to say but Iron Man calls for an immediate vote and Black Widow supports him. Cap, Widow, Knight (hesitantly) and Herc vote yes. Witch, Agent and Spider vote no. So far the lines are plainly drawn. Crystal abstains. Sersi surprises everyone by saying no, but because she doesn't want the WCA to be part of her team. Hank Pym votes no because he thinks there must be another solution. Then Vision says yes, making it a 5-5 tie. Iron Man has the deciding vote. And he shocks both side by voting to disband his old WCA team.

He gives as his reason that the WCA obviously can't continue as it is with such bad feeling from the East Coasters. Cap moves straight to discussing the take-on of the WCA as reserve members. Fuming Wanda Maximoff quits. As does Iron Man even though this was his idea. US Agent walks out too, and Spider-Woman makes it unanimous.

Impulsive John Walker/Jack Daniels has already left the Avengers Mansion grounds. But Iron Man meets up with Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman and tells them to meet him at the LA Compound in 2 days where he'll explain his plans for their future. He flies off, and the duo ignore calls from the other team to reconsider or at least think about it.

This is all being watched by a shadowy group whose use of the word 'Hala' indicates they are Kree. They seem mainly interested in Vision and the absent Wonder Man.

We pick up John/Jack on a ferry passing the Statue Of Liberty. He admits to himself that his time with the WCA had been almost good. But his time as US Agent is over now, and he throws his shield and costume into the water.

Later Wonder Man turns up at the WCA Compound ready to rejoin the team to find it in ruins and almost deserted. The only occupant is someone he *didn't* expect, Iron Man, who tells him the WCA has disbanded.

David Ross
Tim Dzon
Bob Sharen
David Ross (Cover Penciler)
Tim Dzon (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Steve Dutro.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Hank Pym)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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