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Avengers West Coast Annual #5: Review

Sep 1990
Roy Thomas, James Fry

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Story Name:

When Titans Trash (Part 4 of The Terminus Factor)

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers West Coast Annual #5 Review by (April 27, 2014)
Review: Another annual from the era of Marvel history when both writing and art were uninspired and downright mediocre at times, not to mention the muddy printing. 1) Interesting idea for an epic, featuring a monster that constantly grows throughout the series. The execution is entertaining but undistinguished. The chief flaw is that as the story progresses nearly all the heroes prove superfluous, to the point that only Thor and Quasar really contribute anything to the monster’s defeat. Some stories are just a bit too ambitious to work properly. 2) Pointless parody of late night news programs at least tries to be funny, even though it isn’t particularly well done. 3) Overly solemn adventure turns out to be a “save the whales” tract; this must have been important to the writer but surely he could have found a better venue than this lame little tale. And the next tale does him no favors…. 4) Amusing if weak humorous adventure, due to its placement and theme (standing up for the rights of the oppressed) looks like a mockery of the previous more serious story. Don’t editors look at these things? 5) The highlight of the issue is this comic tale, which could have used a lighter touch on the art but by 80s standards this was a classic.

Comments: 1) The Terminus Factor Part 4; story continued from THOR ANNUAL #15 and continues in AVENGERS ANNUAL #19. Avengers seen on the final page are Captain America, Quasar, Vision, and She-Hulk. 2) The interviewer is based on Ted Koppel, host of Nightline. 3) The villainous SURF (Sharkskin, Eel Undertow) were introduced in NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL #5; this is their only other appearance. The story is dedicated to the memory of Corky and Orky, two orcas that died in captivity in the 70s, though their namesake replacements thrived. 4) Sole appearance of Dr Goodwrench, whose name was stolen from the General Motors auto repair mascot (though he was Mr Goodwrench). 5) This story takes place between WEST COAST AVENGERS #53 and 54.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast Annual #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Story continued from THOR ANNUAL #15.

At the compound of the West Coast Avengers, Hank Pym revives the original Human Torch (deactivated by the Scarlet Witch in AVENGERS WEST COAST #57). As they bring him up to date on what he’s missed, Quicksilver rushes in with a summons from Hercules who needs their help battling the Termini in San Francisco. The team arrives to discover Termini battling his "father" the original Terminus, threatening to devastate the city. Hank produces two miniature lenses and enlarges them with Pym Particles; Avengers carry them near the faces of the monster and when activated distort their vision so that the two giants each see an illusion of their opponent and wander off in opposite directions out of the city. Termini catches on to the deception first and attacks the heroes. A major offensive ensues but the Avengers are unable to find a way to harm their foe. When the illusion wears off Terminus, the two continue their battle, creating massive Earth tremors. Terminus seizes its "son" and shrinks it—then swallows it. The two explode—and reform into a 300-foot four-armed giant (Stage 5) which begins to move across the country….

Epilogue: Captain America in New York is contacted by Iron Man and assembles the Avengers to head west to meet the monster in the middle of the United States….

Story continues in AVENGERS ANNUAL #19.

Story #2

Media Watch

Writer: Rob Tokar. Penciler: Richard Howell. Inker: David Day. Colorist: David Day.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A late-night news program interviews three guests about the Terminus battle in San Francisco earlier that day. They are scientist Peter Corbeau, minor government official William Contana, and crackpot Dirk Keefmeyer, who runs a hotel for aliens. Corbeau theorizes wildly in the absence of any real evidence, the politician Contana tries to say nothing and succeeds, and the UFO nut Keefmeyer tries to find a conspiracy in the statements of the other two. Nothing is illuminated.

Story #3

Tanks for Nothing

Writer: Gary Barnum. Penciler: Jim Sanders III. Penciler: Brad Vancata. Colorist: Brad Vancata.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The killer whale show at Marine World is invaded by the Atlantean group SURF (Sharkskin, Eel, Undertow), there to liberate the oppressed sea creatures. In the crowd is Bonita (Firebird) Juarez who slips out and contacts her fellow Avengers; Hawkeye, Wasp, and Hank Pym soon arrive at the stadium. While the three costumed heroes engage the villains, Hank miniaturizes the whales and pops them into a plastic beaker for safety. When the Atlanteans realize that the humans are as concerned for the safety of the whales as they are, the fight stops. When their mutual concerns are sorted out, the SURFers, with some disapproval of marine shows, agree to allow the humans to protect the captive whales while they will watch out for the welfare of those in the wild.

Story #4

Don't You Daaare Miss It!

Writer: Dwayne McDuffie. Penciler: Grant Miehm. Inker: Grant Miehm. Colorist: Ed Lazarelli.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Vision are hanging around the compound watching USAgent try to break his own weight-lifting record. Wonder Man arrives to ask a favor: he was scheduled to make a personal appearance today but he’s been called back to a movie set for retakes and he asks the guys if they could fill in for them. Iron Man is reluctant but Hawkeye talks him into it in the name of team spirit. Turns out the appearance is at a monster truck rally, and the four mortified heroes gamely put on a show for the customers. At the rally however, is the villainous Dr Goodwrench whose mutant ability is to converse with machines. He steps forward and announces he is the world’s first mechanical rights activist and the machines are about to get even for their mistreatment by man. He turns various vehicles against the crowd with the Avengers racing to wreck the marauding machinery. The villain seizes control of Iron Man’s armor and uses him to fight his teammates. Vision informs Dr Goodwrench that machines are incapable of communication—and the villain realizes he is deluded and breaks down in tears. They promise to get him the psychiatric help he needs—after they protect him from a seriously annoyed Iron Man.

Story #5

Honey, I Shrunk the Hyperatomic Anti-Proton Cannon

Writer: Carrie Barre. Penciler: James Fry. Inker: Chris Ivy. Colorist: Renee Witterstaetter.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Compound is in an uproar: Hank Pym has miniaturized his Hyperatomic Anti-Proton Cannon and now he has lost it and is searching frantically for it lest the sensitive device detonate and cause a disaster. Hank won’t let Wonder Man move so that his density doesn’t trigger the device, so Simon is standing still in the center of the room munching chips out of a large bowl. Hank orders the Scarlet Witch out of the room to prevent her hex power from detonating the weapon. He enlists Hawkeye, Wasp, and USAgent in the search but all it turns up is his Non-Euclidean Geometric Protractor, similarly miniaturized and lost. As they bicker over their next step, Simon dumps the crumbs from the bowl into his mouth—along with the Anti-Proton Cannon. It discharges in his stomach, ending the search but leaving him with a monstrous case of indigestion.

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Hideth #1 comic

James Fry
Keith Williams
Renee Witterstaetter
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Wendell Vaughn)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Firebird, SURF (Sharkskin, Eel, Undertow), Terminus, U.S. Agent (John Walker).

> Avengers West Coast Annual: Book info and issue index

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