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Avengers West Coast #88: Review

Nov 1992
Roy Thomas, David Ross

Story Name:

The 2nd Cold War

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #88 Review by (June 17, 2023)
The scripters are again the Roy & Dann Thomas couple.

Tony Stark's funeral was at the beginning of Iron Man #285. James Rhodes comments there that *none* of the Avengers attended. He could have been referring to the East Coast Avengers and maybe Hawkeye was present, but the attendees weren't in costumes and no-one particularly looked like him.

Hawkeye and Living Lightning *were* seen in costume at the end of IM#285 along with Dr Pym and Wasp to help deal with a supervillain attack on Stark HQ during the funeral (and an editorial note says the other West Coast Avengers are involved in AWC#87-88). That battle continues into IM#286 where the 4 say they were at the funeral. Noticeably Mockingbird and Spider-Woman weren't there, as mentioned in this issue.

So it seems that Tony Stark's funeral was a rushed affair which occurred immediately after the announcement of his death on the news at the start of last issue. And it and the battle all took place while Scarlet Witch, US Agent and Wonder Man were flying to Canada and having *their* fight there.

3 of the Bogtyri won't be seen again but Zvezda Dennista/Morning Star will return working for Dr Demonicus in #93-95.

Wolverine goes from here to Marvel UK's Hell's Angel mini-series along with some other X-Men. Then he has a tale in Marvel Comics presents #117-122 featuring Venom and Nightmare. Then it's apps in several more MUK series before he finally makes it back to X-Men vol 2 #12,

Captain America's cameo here occurs between Nick Fury Agent Of SHIELD (1989) #43-44 and a Falcon tale in CA#408 and then #409-410.

Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, Living Lightning, Mockingbird, Spider-Woman and her daughter Rachel will all be here next issue. But before joining them Hawkeye and US Agent will pop in to Marc Spector Moon Knight #50.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #88 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Commission sent U.S. Agent on a secret mission to Canada, and other West Coast Avengers Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man followed him to find out what he was up to. They all went to an Arctic Distant Early Warning Station where they found Wolverine facing 4 Russian superbeings and some Russian troops who had killed all the Canadian occupants.

Now Dr Volkh and his Bogatyri attack the 4 superheroes. Svyatogor fires his gunhand. Simon Williams shields Wanda Maximoff with his ionic body. USA shields them both with his, uh, shield. Logan just attacks the big armoured guy. Volkh sends his other 2 to prevent any of the heroes getting to Comrade Miasnikov who is implementing their plan to freeze North America. Mikula Golubev tries his psychic powers on the Agent. They worked well last issue but this time ScW's hex is protecting her ally so he gets to knock the baddie out. Meanwhile Zvezda Dennista is flying around looking for an opening.

Pliable Volkh takes Wanda out by KOing her with his hands formed into big balls. Simon's worried about her but it feeds his rage which increases his power (see current developments in his own series). So he pulls free a large metal support and uses it to smash Svyatogor and his gun hand. Zvezda responds by blasting him with a fireball. But angry WM survives it and leaps up to punch her out of the sky. USA hurls his shield at Volkh who bends out of the way, but the disc hits Svyatogor on the rebound as planned while Wolvie's adamantium claws slash the big guy's armour.

Zvezda lands with a thump and Simon is worried that he's killed her. But she was only playing possum and fires blasts through his head and gloats that she's killed *him*. Wolverine is still scrapping with Svyatogor but also takes the time to explain to US Agent that these Russians all want the USSR back. Meanwhile USA is using flexible Volkh as a weapon to hit flying Zvezda with. Then a load of Russian troops burst in and the 2 heroes standing decide to beat a strategic retreat. Volkh stops anyone pursuing them as he learns that Miasnikov is nearly ready. The 2 escapees know that they've got to go back to rescue Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man. But before they can act they are joined by US and Canadian troops complete with armoured vehicles.

Meanwhile back at the West Coast Avengers Compound Hawkeye is getting a call from Captain America for an update on Simon and Wanda's mission, and Clint discovers that both quinjets (theirs and US Agent's) aren't responding. Cap offers to send the (East Coast) Avengers to investigate but Hawkeye declines to accept. Mockingbird pops in and Clint Barton asks his wife Bobbi why she didn't attend the funeral (of Tony Stark in Iron Man #285). She reminds him about her Mom and Dad (but we don't know what that's about). Clint reminds her (and us) that he's not Chairman of the WCA these days, but then nobody is now Iron Man's dead.

Bobbi says she's here to talk to him about something, but she's interrupted by Julia Carpenter (Spider-Woman) telling her young daughter Rachel she shouldn't be in the main team building without permission. Julia wasn't at the funeral either - she was looking after Rachel since husband/father Larry died (#86). As she takes her daughter back to their bungalow she lets slip that Rachel's going to live here now. Clint thinks he'd better remind Julia that the WCA HQ isn't exactly a safe place for a kid. But Bobbi still wants to talk to him.

But before they do anything else they see Miguel Santos (Living Lightning) brooding at a window. They ask him what's wrong and he tells them he wants to go on reserve status so he can go to college. Tony Stark and Larry Carpenter dying has made him realise that he should get on with making more of his life than just electric powers. He heads off to pack, and Bobbi finally gets to tell Clint what she wanted to talk about. She reminds him that their divorce will be final in 2 weeks time.

Back in the DEW Station it transpires that Zvezda Dennista (whose real name appears to be Marya) is a big fan of Simon Williams the movie star. And Mikula keeps insulting and playing pranks on lumbering Svyatogor (real name Sascha) (another play on the Fantastic Four who the Bogatyri somewhat resemble). Then they notice that Wonder Man and Scarlet Witch are both awake (with their hands and feet trapped inside metal restraints as Wolverine was last issue).

The tech Miasnikov has completed the creation of a special quick-freeze ice crystal that Dr Volkh and the DEW scientists had been simultaneously working on. Volkh explains that when he releases it from the vacuum globe that encases it it will rapidly freeze everything in its vicinity. The resulting glacier will spread quickly over the whole of North America, with the salt-water oceans keeping it from his Eurasian homeland. The spreading crystals are soon menacing the captive Avengers.

They all hear an exchange of gunfire between the Russian and US/Canadian troops, and Volkh sends the other 3 Bogatyri to help. Mikula levitates a bulldozer and smashes it into a tank while Zvezda flash-fries some soldier and Svyatogor manhandles some others. Meanwhile US Agent and Wolverine sneak into the base where they find Dr Volkh and Miasnikov with the 2 Avengers encased in ice. Logan tangles with the Mr Fantastic-alike Volkh while USA uses his shield to break WM free, and then they both free Wanda.

The other Bogatyri return and Logan and Jack Daniels keep them busy. Agent slams shield-1st into Mikula and Svyatogor until Volkh's pliable body wraps him up. Meanwhile Wolvie is avoiding Zvezda's blasts until he gets close enough to use his claws. But Mikula's TK stops him in midair and then throws him at the ceiling. By now Scarlet Witch has noticed that the ice that was broken free from the main mass is melting, and she reasons that it is only indirect contact with the core crystal that kept them frozen, so she tells Simon to smash his way through to it.

Svyatogor is pummelling the Agent while Zvezda goes after Wolverine who's clinging to a gantry. However he lassos her with some cable and the swings down to kick Mikula in the back. But he's met by Svyatogor's fist. WM is still digging a tunnel through the ice. His ionic body doesn't feel the cold but ScW certainly does. And the soldiers outside (on both sides) are starting to freeze over. Volkh goes to stop the Avenger pair but USA has pushed Svyatogor in the way of Zvezda's blasts, freeing Logan to grab the pliable leader.

This gives the other 2 time to reach the core crystal. Simon raises Wanda's stiff arms so she can cast a hex which stops the crystal radiating cold and makes it put out heat. As the ice melts around him Volkh makes a grab for the crystal but its heat burns his hands. And the machine Miasnikov used to create the crystal short-circuits and starts a chain reaction. Everyone gets out before the base blows up. The Bogatyri escape in their high-speed hoverplane and the US/Canadian soldier arrest the Russian troops.

The end.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

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

(John Walker)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Dr Volkh, Living Lightning (Miguel Santos), Mikula Golubev, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Svyatogor, Zvezda Dennista (Morning Star).

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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