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Avengers West Coast #79: Review

Feb 1992
Roy Thomas, David Ross

Story Name:

Fade out

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers West Coast #79 Review by (June 6, 2018)
This is the last part of 'Infamous Monsters of Hollywood'.

After this the whole team including Mockingbird will get dragged into Operation: Galactic Storm in our next issue. But before then some chars will have separate adventures. Iron Man will meet a 1-off Blizzard knock-off in Marvel Holiday Special 1992 and join a mini-gathering of heroes in Slapstick #4. Wonder Man will meet Splice and the Recession Raiders in his #4-6 with Scarlet Witch guesting in #5. And then *he*'ll guest in Quasar #28-29 as Her searches for a suitable mate, with US Agent cameoing in #28. Iron Man and Scarlet Witch will be part of another mini-gathering in Marvel UK's Death's Head II #4 and US Agent will help Alpha Flight against Diablo in their #102-103.

Dr Strange will cameo in the Her stuff in Q#28 and then he and Wong (from last issue) will pop up in Thor #443 to help Eric Masterson against Mephisto. Satannish will return to bother them in DrS: Sorceror Supreme #49. And then he'll bring Hangman back for out #98-100. Stella Houston will also appear in #99.

The Night Shift will partially split up. Gypsy Moth will leave completely, reappearing much later in Thunderbolts #64-65 and then continuing in that series as Skein. Brothers Grimm, Digger, Misfit and Needle are still together in Captain America #240, and Tatterdemalion appears in Daredevil #317-318, but then things go quiet for the gang.

Brothers Grimm will also now leave the team. He'll make many apps as part of Hood's gang before Marvel Zombies 4 #1. Tatterdemalion will also be in TB#104,107-108 (never with Skein) before reuniting with Digger, Needle and Dansen Macabre in MZ4#2,4 (not the same issue as Brothers Grimm). Then they'll add Misfit and Ticktock for as complete a reunion as they'll ever have in Moon Knight (2011) #3-6.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #79 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Tower of Shadows atop its tall hill materialises near the Griffith Park Observatory courtesy of Dansen Macabre. The Night Shift exit ready to film the upcoming fight with the Avengers West Coast for their movie 'The Night Shift Takes Hollywood'. Others carry U.S. Agent and Wonder Man wrapped in solidified candlewax. And Gypsy Moth levitates a carpet supporting kidnapped film crew who are hostages to ensure the Avengers' compliance.

Last issue Stella Houston asked Spider-Woman to come see her because she had important information. Now she tells her that she recognises Hangman as her ex-lover Jason Roland, the star of the 1st attempt to make 'The Demon That Devoured Hollywood' who disappeared before it could be finished. (We've known this since #77 but apart from the captive Wonder Man the AWC haven't.) Now they see Hangman on TV taunting the AWC to come to the fight, and the 2 women take Spi's quinjet to the scene. En route Iron Man informs them that his trip to Doctor Strange last issue wasn't fruitful and Scarlet Witch says the rest of the team are on their way.

Back at the Park Misfit starts throwing his weight around again, so Mona starts a revolt with a fire extinguisher - but it doesn't last long. Needle is about to execute ringleader Mona when Living Lightning arrives and electrifies his 'needle'. Miguel Santos also zaps some others before helping Mona up and getting a kiss in return. Iron Man joins him with Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Scarlet Witch on 2 sky-cyles (but this time it's Hawkeye sharing Mockingbird's ride).

The Brothers Grimm magically release US Agent and Wonder Man from their candles, and Hangman sends them to join their friends. (Spider-Woman's here too now, but Lightning seems to be forgotten about by the writer and artist until the very end of the issue.) (Film director Waite can't understand why Hangman is filming this for his movie but at the same time letting TV crews send it out live. But Jason Roland has a secret reason.)

The battle commences. Hawkeye looses a smoke arrow. Mockingbird takes down Gypsy Moth but is thrown by Digger. Iron Man's repulsor rays zap him and Misfit. USA and WM go after Hangman but Ticktock slows their time rate. Needle slashes Spi. Tatterdemalion blinds Iron Man with his scarf strengthened by Moth's psychokinesis, but Scarlet Witch's hex makes it tear anyway. Brothers Grimm drop ScW off the Observatory hill.

Now we begin to see the plan. Satannish (last seen in #77) begins to materialise in this dimension as millions of people watching it on TV find that they can't turn it off.

Wanda Maximoff climbs back up to the Observatory. In the absence of Dr Strange it's up to her to counter this mystic menace. But while she's doing that she tries to contact him. And he pops in from the dimension of unknown souls he was investigating last issue. Something Satannish said had made the Witch suspect DrS had been deliberately lured away, and Stephen thinks she's right.

Meanwhile Satannish increases the power of the Night Shift even more so that the Brothers Grimm can even bring Iron Man down. And Hangman's noose expands to corral 5 other Avengers, leaving only Scarlet Witch free. (Lightning is still unexplainably missing.)

Now it's time for Stella Houston to play a part. She rushes in and unmasks Jason Roland to be sure it *is* him and then tries to appeal to his better nature. But unfortunately if he ever had any it's gone now with his soul, so he slaps her aside apparently killing her.

Back to Dr Strange who threatens Satannish with his own power, that which he has given to Night Shift. He and the Witch cast a spell which releases the wraiths we saw last issue from their impossible dimension. Strange claims that they are Night Shift's half-souls, and each of them moves to a Shift member. As they connect the Shifters feel like they did before Hangman increased their powers in #76, and suddenly realise they've sold their (half-)souls for that. It also turns out that Roland's deal with Satannish meant that he *didn't* lose his soul (which contradicts what he said to Stella).

Night Shift now turn against Hangman and allow Stephen Strange to take their demonic energy which he siphons into the 5 roped Avengers. They break free of the noose and attack Satannish. Iron Man joins them as does Living Lightning (who the artist has at last remembered). And the Shift join in too. Satannish blames Roland who retorts by saying it was Satannish's plan. And helpfully explains it to us:-

Satannish created a new pocket dimension to hide Night Shift's half-souls in, and didn't expect the Shift to notice anything missing. (This was the unexpected dimension Strange had found the wraiths in last issue.) And the plan was to harvest the souls of all the people watching the live TV broadcast of the fight.

Hearing this Iron Man and Lightning mess the plan up. IM disables the TV cameras and LL zaps the transmission van. And Satannish fades back to his own realm. But before he goes he takes Jason Roland's soul (and the Avengers' extra power). Stella Houston who isn't actually dead cradles Jason's body. DrS offers to make ScW his disciple, but not right now. Miguel cuddles Mona. Julia Carpenter (SpW) makes plans to see her daughter. And everyone hopes for some nice ordinary villains to fight.


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> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Brothers Grimm, Dansen Macabre, Digger, Gypsy Moth, Hangman, Living Lightning (Miguel Santos), Misfit, Needle, Night Shift, Satannish, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Tatterdemalion, Ticktock, U.S. Agent.