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Avengers West Coast #94: Review

May 1993
Roy Thomas, David Ross

Story Name:

Personal demons

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #94 Review by (September 8, 2018)
Again as well as Dann Thomas sharing the scripting Dave Ross helped with the plotting.

This is Pax Demonica part 2.

The demon's name Raksasa is presumably inspired by the Hindu Rakshasa demons.

Tony Stark returns to his own series for #292-293 (versus Controller) and #294-295 (during Infinity Crusade along with other apps in that event). His #296-297 will see him up against MODAM, Omega Red and Super-Adaptoid, and then in his Annual #14 he'll team-up with the Masters of Silence (again). In all these tales he'll operate the Iron Man armour remotely, and he'll still be doing that when he helps our team in our An#8.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #94 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Goliath, Mockingbird and U.S. Agent have gone to Stark Enterprises HQ in Los Angeles to borrow a quinjet (Ultron wrecked both of theirs). But the place is under attack by Battledroids and Cybertanks (see Iron Man #290-291) and they got drawn into the fight.

They are joined by a figure in the black&silver armour Iron Man has been wearing for his last few issues. But this guy says he and the real Iron Man have finished off the rest of the attackers. He's angry because like everyone else he was fooled into thinking Tony Stark died in IM#284. So now he's quit SE and wants to take them up on their offer of membership in the West Coast Avengers (AWC#89). The problem then was that he didn't want to tell them who he was, but now he unmasks as James Rhodes (which they'd guessed anyway). They unofficially accept him and he flies off to get them a quinjet. On the way out he says he's now called War Machine.

He levitates a craft out of its hanger electromagnetically, and as he does so he announces that he's requisitioning it for the WCA. From his wheelchair (he's paralysed and operates the Iron Man armour remotely) Stark tells his security staff to let it go, and has a 2nd quinjet sent to the Avengers West Compound with a note saying he's sorry (for letting them think he was dead).

The team need a quinjet to get to the new Pacific island nation of Demonica, raised from the ocean floor by Dr Demonicus in #70-74. Demonica started out with friendly relations with the rest of the world, but now it's turned nasty. Last issue his Pacific Overlords hijacked an airliner which has now been flown to the island where the passengers will be forced to remain as 'tourists'.

War Machine and co have arrived at the Compound where he greets Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman and guest Darkhawk. The WCA's bosses the United Nations have just asked the team to go to Demonica to negotiate. They deputise DH as a reserve member to give him the official status to accompany them. (Strangely nobody cares that he hasn't revealed *his* name.) While the others pack into the quinjet War Machine flies alongside and Darkhawk (who can only glide) is towed by his grappling line.

Demonica has declared a no-fly zone around itself. When the jet breaches it they detect a large mass approaching them out of the Sun. Kuroko, 1 of the Overlords who is unhappy with recent events, came to the Avengers for help and last issue described being menaced by a sort of large flying piranha reptile - before more of the Overlords abducted her from the Compound. Now we find that the team is under attack by a horde of them. The outside guys' armour is immune to their teeth and claws and they start to shred the beasts. (Darkhawk's free glide seems enough to keep in the middle of the battle.) Pilot Spider-Woman is more worried about the quinjet's hull so she takes the plane into a steep climb. And the reptiles drop off when they get short of oxygen.

Meanwhile the rest of the horde have backed off, presumably under command from Demonicus. Everyone lands on the island where the Doctor claims to have been defending his nation against uninvited guests. The Avengers ask after Kuroko who comes forward to say that she returned to Demonica willingly, but noticeably she now has a metal device on her brow like the other Overlords. Demonicus repudiates the terms on which Demonica joined the UN, saying it is now a theocracy and he is the High Priest of the demon Raksasa.

He orders the Avengers off the island. Scarlet Witch says they'll go once they see that the airliner hostages are safe. The villain sets his Overlords on them, plus troops he liberated from the world's jail cells. Goliath splats Jawbreaker. Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman are menaced by Cybertooth and Morgan Kain. Kain goes giant-sized. Darkhawk and War Machine attack him, but the metal studs in Kain's head allow him to disrupt technology. WM is down but DH is unaffected (his alien armour is 'non-technological') and blasts Kain in the face. WM recovers and Goliath goes extra-large to start a giant fist fight.

Meanwhile US Agent and Morning Star pick up the USA/Soviet grudge match they began last issue. Zvezda Dennista says she left the Bogatyri group (#87-88) because they weren't hard-line enough for her. The Witch has hexed Cybertooth but then her power just cancels out Irezumi's tattoos so they 2 have to resort to a physical clash - which she wins with with a judo throw. But Irezumi grabs her long cape until Spider-Woman jumps on his back and hits him with a karate chop - but then invisible Kuroko hits *her* with her staff.

US Agent goads the Russian into an impetuous move and then hits her with his shield. When he pauses to check if she's alright Jawbreaker KO's him with a wrench. Wanda Maximoff is about to throw a hex at Dr Demonicus when his troops stop hostilities by threatening the airline passengers. He demands the Avengers go but leave Mockingbird and US Agent behind. Goliath (Clint Barton) refuses to leave his wife Bobbi behind, but War Machine pacifies him with a 'Vulcan death grip' and they obey.

Mockingbird is handcuffed and Klaw uses sonic bonds on USA. (New recruits Klaw and Morning Star don't have  control devices on their brows like the Pacific Overlords do.) Demonicus leads them to the cave and altar Kuroko described last issue where he invokes Raksasa. The giant insectile demon starts to emerge through a portal to his dimension, and he sends forth more of his 'piranha' demonswarm to attack the Hawaiian Islands.

Kuroko has taken Mockingbird's collapsible battlestaves. Now Bobbi Barton manages to knock into the activation button of 1 of them and it telescopes out to hit the back of Klaw's head. He loses concentration and US Agent is free of the sonic bonds. USA breaks Bobbi's bonds and KO's Kuroko. Mockingbird grabs her staves and the Agent retrieves his shield when Cybertooth attacks him with it. Mocky pummels Demonicus while John Walker starts smashing the altar/portal.

Meanwhile the rest of the WCA have landed on Hawaii to refuel, just as the demonswarm shows up.

David Ross
Tim Dzon
Bob Sharen
David Ross (Cover Penciler)
Tim Dzon (Cover Inker)
Plot: . 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)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Cybertooth, Darkhawk, Demonicus, Goliath (Clint Barton), Irezumi, Jawbreaker, Kuroko, Mockingbird (Skrull), Morgan Kain, Pacific Overlords, Raksasa, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Zvezda Dennista (Morning Star).

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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