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Avengers West Coast #67: Review

Feb 1991
Roy Thomas, Paul Ryan

Story Name:

Converging trajectories

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #67 Review by (December 13, 2017)
This is The Reaper And The Robot part 3 of 4.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #67 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Grim Reaper stalks through the Los Angeles sewers remembering the taste of the lives he's taken since Nekra resurrected him as a zombie in #65. Her's was the 1st, and the mutant was sweet. The satanic cult members in the same issue were bitter and the homeless man last issue was weak. But then Nekra's mutant 'brother' Mandrill was powerful. He needs to take at least 1 life a day to stay 'alive'. But a diet of Mandrill's could keep him going for centuries.

Eventually he reaches a grill overlooking the underground base of Ultron-13 (off a section of the under-construction LA Metro which the robot caused to be closed by fire some months ago). Ultron has captured Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Tigra and shackled them in transparent tubes. Now he rants to them about the uselessness of human life. They respond that he doesn 't know what he's talking about because he's a soulless robot. Ultron responds by flooding their cells with a 2nd dose of his 'robotising' spray. They will soon join the other humans who he has turned into robots - a fate they'll soon share with all humans on the planet.

Reaper understandably doesn't approve of this - he needs fleshy humans to live off. He opens the grill doorway and stealthily creeps down some stairs towards Ultron as the robot explains how the substance which he's injected into local wheat and sprayed in the air turns the insides of people into gallium oxide which self-organises into computer circuits which he can remote-control (at the same time as it turns their skin into metal). And we see patches of metal on the 3 Avengers West Coast heroes as their limbs begin to stiffen.

Grim Reaper pauses as Ultron-13's brain broadcasts a summons to 3 of his silent robotised humans that he calls andrones. At the moment he has a few hundred of them in the LA area, and he 'mentally' observes how some of them are faring against other members of the AWC.

Iron Man has been flying around searching for signs of humanoid robots or secret nighttime spraying. Instead he interrupts 2 men beating up a 3rd. But all 3 turn on him because it's a trap - they're all andrones. He defeats them and takes them to a hospital.

Ultron turns his attention from that and turns to Grim Reaper behind him (reminding GR that they were partners once (back in #1-2 and the crossover to Vision & Scarlet Witch v2 #1-2)). Eric Williams strikes with his scythe, and both are astonished to see it slice through part of an adamantium wrist. But the robot swiftly self-repairs.

GR claims he only struck in self-defence, and he deliberately held back earlier - he wants to talk. Ultron notes Eric's new zombie look and muses that he'd *heard* he was dead. He decides on a scientific experiment. Reaper's scythe is only a device fitted over his right hand. But now Ultron uses his laser eyes to fuse hand and scythe, noting that the lack of pain proves his dead/zombie state. And Grim Reaper finds he likes the result.

The robot offers the Reaper a job, and Eric Williams agrees to work for him. he explains that he needs to drain a human life a day. Ultron says he can't offer him an Avenger to kill because they're too far along the roboticism path to feed his need. We see Hawkeye is fully metal and the other 2 are nearly so.

Dr. Pym and the de-powered Scarlet Witch visit UCLA university to use their superior computer. Dr Falk isn't keen but let's them. Henry Pym wants to examine some bits from the robot farmers he and Wasp met in #65 and some flakes U.S. Agent got off the metal skin patches of some protesters he met last issue. He works out that the metallic rash might be reversed by some frequency of light. But before he can get any further they are interrupted by the robotic Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Tigra crashing though a skylight.

Pietro Maximoff swiftly KO's Pym, and under Ultron's control throws his sister Wanda at Dr Falk knocking them both out. The trio start to trash the lab when Iron Man, U.S. Agent and Wasp burst in. It's Shellhead vs the speedster, Wasp vs Tigra, and it gives USA great pleasure to tackle the archer - until he nearly breaks his fist on an armoured jaw. Tigra seems to have dealt with Jan Van Dyne because she gangs up on IM until Wonder Man joins them and drags her off by her (metallised) hair. Iron Man magnetically levitates metallic Quicksilver. Wondy drops Tigra on Clint Barton.

Hank Pym and Wanda have recovered and Pym uses the lull in the fighting to tell IM the robots are susceptible to some kind of light. The Armoured Avenger uses his uni-beam to run through the visible spectrum and ultraviolet. He eventually finds that infrared affects them. The 3 collapse but remain metal.

Wasp rejoins the team at last as the others restrain their captives. Dr Falk surveys her wrecked computer and says this is exactly why she didn't want to let superheroes near it. Simon Williams tells them that his brother Eric has gone looking for whoever is turning people into robots - because he needs flesh and blood people to feed on.

Pym suggests Iron Man try other IR frequencies which may reverse the metallisation process. He gives the robots a stronger dose and varies the frequency but to no more effect. He complains that there's too many frequencies - he'd have to be fantastically luck to stumble on the right 1. Wanda Maximoff thinks this would be a cue for 1 of her probability-affecting hexes - if only she still had the power. And IM's uni-beam starts to lose power too.

Wanda strains to no avail. But just as the uni-beam is about to give out *her* luck changes - and the trio start to lose their metallic gleam. The Scarlet Witch is back! Soon Greer Nelson and Pietro are back to normal. But Hawkeye is left with a metal right arm. And none of the 3 can remember who did this to them, or where.

Over Dr Falk's objections Iron Man uses Avengers Priority to commandeer what still works in the UCLA lab so that he and Henry Pym can figure out exactly which frequency saved their allies. Then they may be able to complete Clint's restoration, and save whatever other people get transformed.

We finish with a quick peek at the 2 villains. Ultron-13 is a bit suspicious about why Grim Reaper has joined him. Eric says he figures it'll be a very long time if ever before Ultron gets near changing *everybody* to robots. But Ultron says he's ready to try his 1st mass-transformation. The preceding events took place on New Year's Eve, and tomorrow he'll spray his chemical on Pasadena's New Year's Day Rose Parade.

Paul Ryan
Danny Bulanadi
Bob Sharen
Paul Ryan (Cover Penciler)
Keith Williams (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Greer Nelson)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Doctor Pym (Henry Pym), Grim Reaper (Eric Williams).

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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