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Avengers West Coast #73: Review

Aug 1991
Roy Thomas, David Ross

Story Name:

Demonica rising

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers West Coast #73 Review by (January 9, 2018)
This is part 4 of The Pacific Overlords.

George Freeman helps out with the pencilling. Nel Yomtov takes over from Howard Mackie as editor.

Dr Demonicus' undersea base here is presumably not the same as the 1 in Iron Man #193 because the West Coast Avengers located that in that issue (as Dr D mentioned in #70).




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #73 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tigra is trying to fly a quinjet from Kyoto to Sydney. Iron Man and Wasp are still back in Japan prisoners of Dr. Demonicus's men. She's patched up the knife wound she got last issue but the quinjet was hit by presumably hi-tech bullets during her escape and it sustained various damage. The computer's out and all she's sure of is that she's somewhere over Australia. The radio's out too so she can't warn the Avengers West Coast team that went to Sydney that they're heading into a trap. And now the jet itself is having difficulty maintaining any altitude.

She's over forest and looking for a clearing big enough to land in. She almost blacks out and nearly crashes. But now she recognises that she's in the escarpment area of the Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land in the north of the Northern Territory - a very long way from Sydney. She tries a VTOL landing but this time *does* black out and crash in a river. She falls out of the plane into the rushing water and is swept away. But a hand pulls her out half-drowned.

And that's the last we'll see of Tigra this issue.

In his undersea base Dr Demonicus shows Miguel Santos some of his masterplan. Since Miguel agreed to work for him last issue DrD has outfitted him with a suit which enables him to control when he becomes Living Lightning. Demonicus reminds Santos how his father was part of the Lords of the Living Lightning which planned (in Tales to Astonish (Hulk) #97-99) to take over the USA (for its own good). Demonicus has set his sights higher on the whole Pacific Rim, and through that the world. However he won't explain more (really to keep us readers in suspense), but instead confers with his right-hand man Kain about the imminent implementation of that plan.

Left alone Miguel mutters that the man is crazy. But he's *not* alone as Kuroko turns visible beside him, and assures him that Douglas Birely isn't crazy, he's a great man. But she too won't tell him more. Except that Birely doesn't trust him as much as Miguel thinks. The active components in the suit can be switched off at any time, and Santos would dissolve into electrical energy.

The AWC team visiting Sydney is Dr. Pym, Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man. They've landed at Everard Electronics and are greeted by armed security guards who say the plant is closed for the day and they haven't received any message from Tony Stark to expect them. When told to put his hands up Simon Williams does so by throwing their jeep in the air. Wanda Maximoff then has to cast a hex to make the guards' guns fall apart before they can use them.

Suddenly ScW and WM vanish. Henry Pym tells the guards they've turned invisible, and they start feeling around for their foes. But actually he shrank the duo and they run between the big feet. (Dr Pym daren't shrink himself because of adverse effects due to too much previous use of Pym particles.) Simon pauses to throw a metal washer like a discus at the main security guard's head. (Wanda expresses the opinion that his angry juvenile behaviour this issue is because she 'dumped' him in #69.)

The Witch has Hank Pym's (shrunken) energy tracer which leads them through a grill into the building and thence to the office of the Chief Executive Officer. The Pym particles were on a timer and the duo return to normal size in time to discover that the CEO has been replaced by 1 of Demonicus' Pacific Overlords. This 1 is named Cybertooth, with pointy cybernetic teeth with which he demonstrates that he can chew anything up and spit it out.

Wonder Man grabs the villain by the throat and threatens to break that jaw. But the PO actually *named* Jawbreaker stops him. Simon is then distracted by the sight of Wanda lying unconscious, which allows JB to punch him across the room and into a wall. But Wondy is playing possum and grabs JB's prosthetic jaw brace as he stands over him. He janks it off and punches JB *through* the wall - to land on the security chief outside.

Now it's Cybertooth's turn to attack. He tries to sink his cyberteeth into Wonder Man's arm, but discovers that ionic matter is *much* stronger than steel. Simon slams his head into a wall and then hurls him away. But unfortunately the flying body strikes Hank Pym who has just entered. And CT recovers and opens his flexible jaw to threaten to eat Scarlet Witch's head. WM surrenders, and JB re-enters and KOs him from behind with a metal girder.

The 2 bad guys take the 3 Avengers away in their own quinjet to the middle of the Pacific Ocean where Cybertooth dives the plane down into an artificial whirlpool and so to Demonicus' base.

The 3 AWCers awake with Iron Man and Wasp (and Taifu) all in stasis tubes that negate their powers. Facing them are Dr Demonicus, Cybertooth, Jawbreaker, Kain, Kuroko and Living Lightning along with Irezumi from last issue and Pele from #71 (who it seems is still under Demonicus' hypnosis). Dr D tells everyone how the accident that irradiated him (mentioned last issue) gave him a unique form of cancer. That is now in remission but it left severe effects. He removes his hoodmask to reveal a face that is very similar to that horned skull. None of his underlings seem to have seen it before.

And now his plan comes to fruition. They have been electrically stimulating magma below the ocean bed on which the undersea base rests. That magma is about to thrust the surrounding crust up to the surface creating a new island. An island upon which he will found a new nation, Demonica.

At this point Pele shakes off his hypnosis and rails against him for mutating herself, her husband and their child. Scarlet Witch says she knows (I can only see that she deduces) that the child is the Big One from #70-71. Someone else confirms that Taifu in a stasis tube with them is the father, who rebelled earlier (#69) (though only Spider-Woman, who isn't here, actually witnessed that last bit and none of them knew anything about this little family before).

Jawbreaker KOs Pele from behind, which offends Living Lightning's sense of honour. But everything else is driven from their minds as the base suddenly shoots upwards - Demonica is being born.

But the sudden surge has 1 other effect, it breaks Wanda's tube open. The freed Witch pauses to consider her next action when she notices seawater pouring in through cracks in the walls. Her 1st priority becomes to try to use her hex to plug the leaks. But invisible Kuroko assumes she is trying to sabotage the ascent, and knocks her out with her battlestaff.

But the water stops coming in anyway because the island and base are now above sea-level. Demonica is born to the north of Hawaii, and will soon be the most powerful state in the Pacific Rim.


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> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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David Ross
Tim Dzon
Bob Sharen
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Avengers West Coast, Cybertooth, Doctor Pym (Henry Pym), Dr Demonicus, Irezumi, Jawbreaker, Kuroko, Living Lightning (Miguel Santos), Morgan Kain, Pacific Overlords, Pele, Taifu.