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Avengers West Coast #60

July 1990
Roy Thomas, Paul Ryan

Story Name:

Personal magnetism

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

By Rob on December 5, 2017

Roy Thomas and his wife Dann(ette) take over as regular scripters with Paul Ryan as penciller. Their 1st 3 issues will tie-up the Magneto/Scarlet Witch/Immortus plot, presumably not quite how John Byrne intended.

Magneto leaves this title for good and goes back to X-things starting with Wolverine #23. He has been a good guy for a while in that part of the Marvel Universe but in this storyline and the preceding Acts of Vengeance he appeared like he'd backslid a bit. The official take on this seems to be that he joined Loki's cabal to safeguard mutant interests (and along the way captured fellow member Nazi war criminal Red Skull), and he 'kidnapped' Scarlet Witch really for her own sake because her recent life had driven her into a coma - and to try to reverse the evil persona she then woke up with. Presumably he notices that she's soon cured (spoiler).

Hawkeye is back to stay (I guess Roy Thomas likes him). Mockingbird won't join him until #76.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

It's that day in Dallas with President Kennedy driving past the Texas School Book Depository. But Lee Harvey Oswald is killed before he can fire the fatal shot by cops who had a tip off. However Kennedy is still assassinated. Immortus muses that in this reality the Lone Gunman theory can't arise. Except that the point is academic because he eliminates this alternate timeline in his plan to regain the title of Master of Time. It appears that (amongst others?) he's been deleting realities where Kennedy survived, and had almost missed this variation. (Does this mean that the successful assassination *plus* Lone Gunman theory is important in his plan? I'm afraid we'll never know.)

Whatever, he now returns to observing the timeline that is most important - Marvel's Earth-616. Where Los Angeles is still suffering from the aftereffects of #58's earthquake (caused by Vibro). The Point Vicente Lighthouse is crumbling and the Avengers West Coast (Dr. Pym, Iron Man, Wasp and Wonder Man) are on hand to save it.

IM's repulsors and WM's strength stop it from falling. Then Henry Pym in Rover uses magnetic grapples to hold it steady while the other 2 go to find things to prop it up with. Meanwhile Wasp amplifies her voice to warn people away from falling fragments, and keep those inside from trying to leave. Unfortunately she's caught in a hail of chunks and her bio-stings aren't working. But the largest piece is knocked aside by an arrow.

Hawkeye has arrived on his sky-cycle with U.S. Agent riding pillion. Apparently the Great Lakes Avengers are shaping up so he's left his wife Mockingbird to continue their training while *he* returns here to the team he founded. He stopped at the AWC Compound on the way and picked up USA (who's recovered from the injuries he sustained in #57).

Just then Shellhead returns too with a delivery of iron girders. Wondy sets them up in place and IM welds them together. Watching them Clint Barton voices their suspicion that the 'new' Iron Man is really still Tony Stark. But Wasp reminds him not to say such things where USA might hear. The Agent isn't in on the secret that Stark *was* his 'bodyguard' - he was foisted on them by the Government and they still don't trust him completely.

The crowd cheers as the Lighthouse is saved. Simon Williams wishes the officials in Palos Verdes liked them as much, because (he tells Hawkeye) they're trying to evict them from the Compound for being a danger. US Agent warns tourists to still keep clear (while telling them he's *not* Captain America). Hawkeye notes that USA is still acting like he's the leader, and Wasp says it's time the team elected a chairman. (But I believe the Government *made* USA the boss, which was why previous-leader Clint quit the AWC in #45.)

All 6 head back to base to prepare to go after Magneto again to pry Scarlet Witch from his influence. But Wanda Maximoff, changed by all the bad things that have happened to her recently, seems to have turned bad and *wants* to rejoin her villain father. Hank Pym says he has a plan. Wasp is with him in his flying bug Rover, and DrP thinks he's safe here from possible bugs planted by Magneto so he can tell her what's really going on with Wanda's brother Quicksilver. Pietro Maximoff came to him in #56 and they agreed a plan that Quicky would only *pretend* to join his father and sister.

The 3 subjects of their discussion are in the rebuilt Asteroid M. As well as now supporting mutant superiority over humans, Scarlet Witch also came out of her coma in #55 with radically enhanced hex power. We now learn that Magneto doesn't know how and why that happened. But he's happy to channel that power through his machinery to cause improbable weather to ravage the world and bring humanity to its knees. As he prepares to press the button Pietro leaps to stop him. And Maggy reveals this was just a trick to get his son to expose his true allegiance - which he was suspicious about.

The speedster evades metal that the Master of Magnetism throws at him, and binds his father in plastic tubing. Wanda comments that Pietro should have used the 'rope' to *strangle* Magneto, and brother asks sister why she is now so cold and cruel. She wasn't like that even when daddy had them in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (in very early X-Men issues). SW looks forward to rebuilding the Brotherhood. And then she hexes the floor so Quicksilver falls through it - and sprains his knee on the deck below.

Magneto then frees himself from the plastic coils. Like everything on the satellite they are at least part-metal. He only pretended to be trapped to check that *Wanda* was really on his side. He levitates a platform of broken floor and they descend to confront the traitor.

But there was more to the plan Pietro concocted with Dr Pym. He whips out the shrunken form of the Inhumans' teleporting dog Lockjaw - shrunk by Pym Particles. Vibrating his hand at high speed negates the particles and Lockjaw expands to full size. And on command the dog teleports them all away.

Quicksilver expects them all to materialise in the AWC Compound, but he's surprised to see what Magneto deduces is Pietro and Lockjaw's home - the Inhumans' city Attilan on the Moon. Scarlet Witch isn't at all sure *where* they are. But that doesn't stop her confronting the Avengers - who *are* there. Magneto calls her back - he doesn't want to risk losing *any* of his family.

The Avengers attack. Magneto sends US Agent's shield back to KO him, and Hawkeye's net arrow to trap *him*, and magnetically disrupts Wonder Man's jets. Dr Pym enlarges a gun specially designed to negate Maggy's power, but Magneto is *too* powerful and destroys it. Wasp sneaks inside his helmet and zaps his eardrum (she obviously recharged her stings). But he knocks her free and she lies stunned on the floor where Scarlet Witch is about to crush her underfoot ...

... but then someone speaks in Wanda's mind and she freezes like a statue.

Iron Man is left to continue the fight. He throws a large machine at Magneto. Maggy knows his magnetism won't work on IM's armour (see #57) so he tries to stop the huge chunk of metal. But it hits him and propels him through the wall of a building - and it turns out the machine was wood and the 'building' was wooden scenery. Iron Man tells him that they're in the Atlantis section of what used to be called Ocean World - which the AWC somehow managed to strip of all metal.

Magneto decides to cut and run, and calls his daughter to his side. But Wanda just stands there. He sends magnetic waves to grab her, but they vanish before they touch her. He senses that this is the work of some unknown superior power, and levitates away to consider how to defeat it. However the Avengers (except unconscious US Agent and Wasp) follow him, leaving Quicksilver with his sister and Lockjaw.

Pietro rationalises his father's decision to flee. He could have stayed to study the problem here, but he'd have to kill the Avengers to do that. And the shock of that might have shattered Wanda's new anti-human personality - although Pietro doubts that. And he has come to accept that Magneto really *wasn't* behind Wanda's conversion.

Meanwhile Magneto gets fed up of being chased and turns to repel Rover and its grapples. But that was what Dr Pym was hoping as it gives Iron Man a chance to catch him. They clash in midair and plunge into the smokestack of an oil refinery. Wonder Man catches Rover, and he and Hawkeye watch as the stack explodes. Iron Man emerges and says he saw Magneto consumed by flames. But none of them believe he's really dead.

After repairing the stack everyone gathers back at the Compound. Scarlet Witch is still immobile, surrounded by the 'aura' that makes things disappear before they reach her. Quicksilver demonstrates with his hand, and then pulls it back unharmed. It's as though his hand went somewhere else. Lockjaw has been unable to teleport her out of the 'field'.

Suddenly a voice interrupts their discussion to say that the field around Wanda is not only in space but also in time. Many there recognise the newcomer as Immortus, who now boasts that the Avengers have always been pawns in his grand game. But now the Scarlet Witch has been promoted from pawn to queen.

Elektra


Roy Thomas
Paul Ryan
Danny Bulanadi
Bob Sharen
Paul Ryan (Cover Penciler)
Paul Ryan (Cover Inker)
Howard Mackie

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye
Iron Man
Iron Man
Magneto
Magneto
Quicksilver
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch
Wasp
Wasp

Plus: Avengers West Coast, Dr. Pym (Henry Pym), Immortus, Lockjaw, U.S. Agent, Wonder Man.