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Avengers West Coast #97: Review

Aug 1993
?, Andrew Currie

Story Name:

Fight the power

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #97 Review by (October 3, 2018)
This issue has loose connections to Infinity Crusade #2. There the gathering of heroes left behind discover the worldwide cessation of crimes, and Spider-Woman is among that gathering.

Wundarr was sent to Earth as a baby for safety from Dakkam, the planet of a red sun, and gained superpowers under our yellow sun. If this reminds you of Superman then it's deliberate. But the similarity of Dakkam to Daxam suggests the parallel is more to his pal Mon-El.
In Marvel Two-In-One #58 Wundarr took the name Aquarian from his native star-system (though for Marvel it was probably more to do with the zodiacal Age Of Aquarius). The Official Marvel Handbook later stated that Dakkam was a planet of R Aquarii, a genuine star within the area of the Aquarius constellation (but not actually 1 of the stars *of* the zodiac constellation). It *is* a red star. Unfortunately it's a red giant with a white dwarf companion that causes(?) it to be highly variable and pulls streams of plasma from it. So I figure it's unlikely to have habitable planets.
But the Handbook goes even further to cast doubt by saying that R Aquarii is part of the Beta Rigel system. *That* doesn't astronomically exist. But Rigel *is* Beta Orionis, an actual part of the Orion constellation.

The appearances of the WCA members after IC will be covered in my comments on #98.

But I can say here what's next for Quantum, the Power Platoon and Wundarr.
Power Platoon will be among the aliens imprisoned in the Maximum Security mini-series. Quantum will reappear briefly on an alien world in Annihilation: Ronan #3. Both will have no further apps after that.
Wundarr will return to being Aquarian for several more apps starting with Spider-Man Team-Up #6.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #97 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Goliath and Mockingbird have been attacked by 8 men in costumes that are variations on that of Quantum (who they fought in #12-13). From Quasar's description in the Avengers' files they figure these must be the Power Platoon. And these aliens still can't speak English. Our duo are on their own because Living Lightning, Scarlet Witch and US Agent have vanished (see last issue and Infinity Crusade), Spider-Woman has gone to New York (ditto), and War Machine has gone to Stark Industries to collect his stuff (not what it said last issue).

The action is taking place in a coffee shop but it is soon taken outside as 1 of the Platoon punches Goliath through the window. Quasar said they each had a different power, and Mockingbird discovers that 1 has an elastic body when he evades her battlestave - which she then breaks on the body of the 1 who hit her husband. Bobbi Barton sends out an SOS which is picked up by War Machine who is brooding about Tony Stark's betrayal of their friendship (pretending to be dead).

A local cop tries to intervene and shoots at an alien who's body reflects the bullet back at him. Mocky faces 1 with martial arts moves while Clint Barton grabs 1 who turns out to have his matching power of growth. Another's force eye-beams send Bobbi into Clint knocking him over. They have managed to down 2 of their opponents but they're still outnumbered when War Machine gets there with his repulsor rays.

A super-leaper grabs the armoured Avenger in midair but is knocked out by a punch and the subsequent fall. The super-strong 1 then clobbers WM. Bobbi B remembers that Clint (as Hawkeye) used smoke arrows to defeat Quantum by cutting off the sunlight that powered him. So Goliath shrinks down and fetches his bow and arrows from the car they drove to the coffee shop. And the plan works as War Machine helps by spreading the smoke around. He completes the victory by wrapping the unconscious aliens in a metal awning (with air holes punched).

As paramedics arrive and attend to the injured cop, the team hear that there has been no other serious crime anywhere for several hours (a side-effect of Infinity Crusade). Goliath decides to give up the growth serum and go back to his Hawkeye super-id. They head back to West Coast Avengers Compound to bone up on their foes and see if they have any connection to the other events of last issue.

Quasar's video-file tells them about the planet Dakkam from whence came Wundarr (Adventure into Fear #17) who discovered he had superpowers on Earth due to its yellow sun. When the Dakkamites learned of this they sent 9 soldiers dubbed the Elect to orbit the Sun in capsules for years soaking up the radiation. 8 of them emerged early with 1 power each and are now the Power Platoon. Quantum surfaced later and had a wider range of powers. After fighting the WCA in #12-13 he left to look for his buddies.
In Marvel Two-In-One #58 Wundarr became the pacifist Aquarian who could nullify other superpowers. In Quasar #4 he met Quantum. 1 of Quantum's powers was to (at least appear to) be in many places at once, but Quasar disrupted that leaving Quantum stuck in 3 intangible bodies. He refused Aquarian's offer to cancel his superpowers which would leave him as 1 solid powerless being. Instead all 3 bodies went off to continue their search for the Elect.
*We* saw the Elect, now the PP, prisoners of the Stranger in Q#14-15. When freed they headed to Earth looking for Quantum. And now it seems they've come after the WCA because of their earlier encounter with him.

When the file is finished a Platoon fist smashes through part of the metal covering (even with limited indirect sunlight). But before War Machine can go for some extra sheeting another voice is heard from as the triple-Quantum turns up. He has learned English and offers to take the Platoon off their hands (with the 3 bodies taking turns to utter part of the sentence). Quantum confirms that in his intangible state he and the Avengers can't hurt each other. But he's brought Wundarr along to do the job for him.

Wundarr smashes through the roof and sunlight bathes the metal 'container' with a big hole in it. He swats War Machine aside and then Clint Barton (back in his Hawkeye costume) after proving unfazed by his electro-arrow. Quantum says he now mentally controls the Aquarian and has reverted him to using his earlier costume and superpowers. Wundy rips open the metal and release the Power Platoon to bask in the sunlight. Hawkeye pulls out his last smoke arrow but a karate kick breaks it and an eye-blast knocks him back.

The 3 Avengers regroup and face their empowered foes for a last stand as Quantum orders the Platoon to kill them (in Dakkamite). But then Wundarr and the soldiers stop. Wundarr says that he felt good while he was rescuing his fellow Dakkamites but he froze when told to kill, as did the Platoon. They don't want to fight unnecessarily. Now that they are free and have found their missing member Quantum the Platoon can depart. Which they do despite Quantum shouting at them.

The explanation is forthcoming when the WCA get a video call from Spider-Woman at the big meeting hosted by the Fantastic Four. When they describe what happened she confirms that it's been happening elsewhere when people switch from defensive to aggressive mode. It seems to be related to whatever has stopped crimes from occurring. They theorise that the Platoon's actions weren't initially affected because they were soldiers not crooks and were on a justifiable mission. Wundarr is a pacifist at heart. But Quantum's anomalous state presumably shielded him from the effect.

Angry Quantum leaves swearing vengeance. (We don't actually see where Wundarr goes, but he'll be seen again on Earth.) That leaves our trio wondering what exactly has happened to their fellow WCAers. (Only Infinity Crusade could tell them.)

Andrew Currie
Don Hudson
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.

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton), Power Platoon, Quantum, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Wundarr.

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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