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Avengers West Coast #91: Review

Feb 1993
?, David Ross

Story Name:

War Toy

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #91 Review by (July 8, 2023)
This series continues to be written by the Roy & Dann Thomas.

Rover looks much different from it's last app (#65) and can accommodate many more people.

Alkhema and Ultron *will* be back in our Annual #8 to resume his plan to wipe out all biological life but War Toy will betray him there.

This is the last non-flashback/retro app for Myron MacLain. (It was getting increasingly difficult to reconcile his 1940's apps without longevity treatment.)

Dr Pym will exit this series until he pops in as Giant-Man for the finale in #102 where the Avengers close down the West Coast branch. His next (and last) app as Dr Pym is in Av#363, and in #366 he will resume his GM superid.

Vision returns to the East Coast Avengers for #358, the start of a 2-parter vs Arkon.

The Mockingbird who appears here will be revealed over a decade later in Secret Invasion to be a Skrull imposter. So the whole of the saving of her and Clint Barton's marriage is faked. But when written this and her following apps were meant to be the real deal up to and including her death in #100 (and strangely some apps in the afterlife). However the real Bobbi Barton genuinely wasn't turned into Alkhema (or killed in the process), she's been whisked off to the the Skrull Empire to return at the end of the Secret Invasion event. (Ie Marvel regretted killing her off.)

This will be Wonder Man's last app in this series (apart from the finale in #102) His next app will be his own #16-18 where he ends up doing an Amazing Spider-Man #50 and temporarily quitting as a superhero, but really quits the West Coast Avengers.

Mockingbird was currently only a Reserve Avenger but the imposter will stay with the team from next issue on.

But the rest of the team will have other apps in between.
They (along with reservist Living Lightning) will all be in Wonder Man #16-18 where they confront him over his current anger/doubt issues.
Then Scarlet Witch will be in Darkhold: Pages From The Book Of Sins #3-7 (with LL in #3) where she helps the Darkhold Redeemers track down pages from the book and solves the problem of her unreliable hex power.
And Spider-Woman joins Dr Strange's ad hoc superteam in Secret Defenders #1-3 where she, Darkhawk, Nomad and the ubiquitous Wolverine have to face a (forgettable) group called the Zusommin.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #91 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The West Coast Avengers (plus Vision) have come to Dr Pym's house in Death Valley to rescue him, Mockingbird and Myron MacLain from the clutches of Ultron. Hawkeye had some of Henry Pym's size-change serum left over from when he used it in Operation Galactic Storm. Knowing that his arrows would be useless against the adamantium foe and desperate to save his wife, Clint Barton swallowed it and became Goliath again. But then the robot introduced is new 'wife' Alkhema or War Toy who he claims to have made from Bobbi Barton.

And she sure sounds like Bobbi as she hits him with a blast from her forehead which puts Clint out of action. In the 'absence' of their leader Scarlet Witch takes command. She sends Spider-Woman and Wonder Man against Ultron, and U.S. Agent and Vision against War Toy. With her hex power currently unreliable Wanda Maximoff will go help Clint ... but she finds he's vanished.

Vizh has analysed Alkema's headbeam and believes it won't seriously hurt him. As she fires her shoulder guns at USA he floats to the attack but she changes the frequency of her output to 1 that disrupts the synthezoid's workings. Jack Daniels just chooses to punch her in the face but hurts his fist on the adamantium plus the electrical charge it carries. But the pain goes away when she hits him back. Meanwhile Julia Carpenter and Simon Williams have tag-teamed Ultron. SpW uses her psi-web to trip the robot up and WM hits him when he's down.

Now we discover what happened to Goliath. His sturdy giant body shrugged off the blast but he realised he *still* wasn't going to be much use in the battle so he shrank to Ant-Man size to search the wrecked building. He hoped to find Hank Pym and/or Dr MacLain to get them to turn Akhema back into human Bobbi. He hears someone moaning under some rubble and grows back to Goliath to dig them out, even though Hank had warned him against changing size too often in a short period. Under the rubble he finds a body-size plate of adamantium which he figures will have protected whoever's beneath it. But then he gets dizzy and falls over.

Back at the fight Ultron's gained the upper hand ... or hands. He grabs Spi and Wondy separately and slams their heads together. Which KO's Julia and leaves Simon as a punching bag. War Toy's foes are equally defeated. We learn that Alkhema may have got Bobbi Barton's mannerisms (which she demonstrates by calling her creator "Ulty" much to his annoyance) but she doesn't have her memories. As they look around for the Scarlet Witch she arrives in the quinjet the team came in and rams it straight into the adamantium duo. But even that can't damage the super-metal although the crash KOs the driver.

Then Goliath takes the stage wielding the large chunk of adamantium he found which he uses to bat the robots around. The others (except Wanda) revive and even USA has to admit that Barton's doing half-well. But as Goliath keeps hitting the foes with his adamantium bat he runs out of steam and automatically shrinks to human size. Ultron  says it's time to leave the ineffectual Avengers and go to obliterate all life. Alkhema would rather stay and enjoy killing the ones before them but she obeys for now and they jet off.

Vision tries unsuccessfully to catch up with them while Simon Williams pulls limp Wanda from the wreck of the quinjet. Vizh returns and angry Wonder Man berates him for not caring about his own ex-wife. He accuses him of being no more human than the robots (which current Vision would probably agree with). But inside he feels that *he* isn't human either (which he's trying to come to terms with in his own series).

Spi and USA have been trying to revive Goliath but when they succeed he's surprised to see someone else too - Bobbi alive and well (with Pym and MacLain in the background). She explains that Ultron lied about her and Alkhema, he just copied her brain patterns for his new mate. Flooded with relief Clint asks her if she really *wants* them to get divorced, and it turns out neither of the them do so they kiss and make up. Wanda too wakes up and Vision offers a hand to help her stand up, but she turns down the offer because she finally comes to terms with the fact that their relationship is offer and she can no longer rely on his support. We learn that it was the 2 Drs that Goliath found under the adamantium slab, and that Ultron needed them to synthesize a copy of Bobbi's mind and body using a new adamantium process MacLain has developed.

Clarifications over they turn to stopping Ultron's ultimate plan. Vision says the robots flew south and Henry Pym suggests he's heading for the Sun Lake Weapons Centre where they test secret weapons, some of them capable of initiating an apocalypse. The WCA's quinjet is destroyed but Hank deminiaturises his own transport Rover and they all pile in (except Vision who flies under his own power).

Ahead of them Alkhema is bristling at Ultron referring to her as "my war toy" and claims that she's her own 'woman'. But they put off their argument to deal with a couple of fighter planes and some anti-aircraft guns defending the base. Alkhema in particular relishes the hands on approach. But then they resume their dispute. She doesn't want Ulty (as she insists on continuing to call him) to destroy humanity in 1 big blow. Instead she'd rather kill them slowly and painfully, However her creator insists she obey his orders so she fires her headbeam at him saying they're having their 1st quarrel.

The WCA arrive while the robots are fighting in midair. Dr Pym, Mockingbird and Vision have a plan which the base commander Col Fletcher agrees to even though he figures it will get him courtmartialed. Those 4 and Dr MacLain head down to a missile silo while the other Avengers keep busy Alkhema and Ultron who have spotted them. While Scarlet Witch vainly tries to loose a hex the other heroes pair up as before but against the opposite robots. USA uses his shield to protect himself from Ultron's blast until Goliath grows big enough to pick the robot up in 1 hand and smash him through a wall. Jack Daniels dives through the hole after him while Clint shrinks to follow him. Spi and WM have used judo to throw Alkhema but the fallen robot blasts Simon in the face with her boot jets and then uses her fists against both. Meanwhile Ultron hypnotises USA into attacking the now human-size Goliath.

The adamantium duo are now free to follow Ultron's plan (War Toy reluctantly). Then they notice a missile silo open its top, and inside they see Vision manacled (obviously not to stop him 'ghosting' free) to the top of a missile with electrodes and stuff attached. They suspect a trap but dismiss it because they're invulnerable. Down below Mockingbird puts finishing touches to the wiring and the Drs switch things on. Up above the robots find that Vision has been turned into an electromagnet that attracts adamantium. The humans rush out of the silo and Col Fletcher ignites the missile which takes the 3 non-humans out towards space.

With Ultron out of range Jack Daniels' hypnotism wears off and he even sort-of apologises to Clint. The missile explodes a long way up but it wasn't an atomic warhead. Wanda finds she's still worried for her ex-husband until the synthezoid returns after using his intangibility to escape. The adamantium foes won't have been destroyed but hopefully they'll be lost in space for a while and the WCA vow to be ready for them when they come back. Simon looks at Wanda grieving for her lost marriage and muses that he can't comfort her as he wants to because he's no longer under the illusion that he himself is still human.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

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

(John Walker)

Plus: Alkhema, Goliath (Clint Barton), Henry Pym, Myron MacLain, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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