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West Coast Avengers #14: Review

Nov 1986
Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

Tigra, Tigra, burning bright

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #14 Review by (January 3, 2017)
The cover is part of giant-head month at Marvel, itself part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations.

The title is of course a version of William Blake's "Tiger, tiger, burning bright".

Allatou's history consists only of the 3 issues mention here:- Spotlight #18-19 and last issue. And she'll never be seen again, so you can guess that she *isn't* 1 of the 5.

Daimon Hellstrom was the son of Satan and a human woman and as such contained the Darksoul. He had his own series in Spotlight #12-24 and Son Of Satan #1-8 before joining the Defenders and meeting Hellcat.
Patsy Walker always wanted to be a superheroine. She met Beast in Amazing Adventures #13-15 and blackmailed him into taking her on an Avengers mission in Av#139-151 where she found the Cat suit and became Hellcat. She left the Avengers and soon joined the Defenders where she met Daimon.
They fell in love. Daimon freed himself from his father's influence and got rid of his Darksoul. The pair married and left for San Francisco in Def#125.
Since then they have appeared as Occult Investigators in (New) Defenders #148.

Hellcat never met Hawkeye in the Avengers or Defenders. They weren't in the Defenders at the same time, and although they shared Av#142-144 & #147 they were in different times and on different Earths.

Daimon names various Devils, though I don't think all of them are considered the same type of being never mind aspects of the same 1:-
Satannish was 1st mentioned in Strange Tales #144 (May 1966) and 1st seen in ST#174 (Nov 1968), and he has continued as a Dr Strange foe but also elsewhere.
Mephisto is the most common Marvel 'Devil'. He was introduced in Silver Surfer #3 (Dec 1968).
Thog is a Man-Thing foe who 1st appeared in Adventures Into Fear #11 (Dec 1972).
Marvel's Satan is a bit of an anomaly as various beings have claimed that name because that's what humans expect the Devil to be called. The 'Satan' that turned Johnny Blaze into Ghost Rider in Spotlight #5 (Aug 1972) will eventually be revealed as Mephisto. Daimon Hellstrom's father 'Satan', as per Spotlight #12 (Oct 1973) will turn out to be called Marduk Kurios. At this point in time they are considered to be the same Satan. And when Satan, Satannish, Mephisto and Thog teamed up in Def#99-100 that Satan was presumably the Marduk version.
Baphomet was a Son Of Satan foe in Spotlight #15 (May 1974) and SOS#2-3.
I don't think Lucifer has actually made an appearance at this point.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #14 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tigra is sparring with Hawkeye to prove that Greer Nelson can resist her cat persona and still use her cat abilities. After dodging many arrows she disproves the 2nd part by landing heavily. And then the 1st bit by attacking Clint Barton with unrestrained anger. Mockingbird tells her to stop and gets batted aside for her pains. It takes Iron Man and Wonder Man to drag her off. And Henry Pym to talk her down.

Greer is dismayed at how easily her Tigra side resurfaced. Tony Stark hopes she's not going the same way as Quicksilver in the Annual they've just been through. Greer determines to prevent that. She activates her amulet to revert to her human form (or at least to look like that). She intends never to turn into Tigra again, and so she'll resign as an Avenger.

Pym runs after her to tell Greer that this is a positive thing, not a disaster. She had a life before Tigra that she can return to, and that included being superheroine Cat without Tigra's powers. He gave up being Yellowjacket (or any of his other super-identities) because he realised superheroing wasn't for him. But Greer can still choose to be an Avenger if she wants. The overjoyed woman hugs Hank and declares her love for him.

And it's just then that a horde of demons materialises, led by the demoness we saw last issue. She's after Henry but his allies will have to share his fate.

Meanwhile Master Pandemonium broods in his hideaway about his failure to find the 'five' he seeks. His bird familiar Azmodeus emerges from the amulet of the same name MP wears on a necklace. and informs him of the demon invasion. Hoping 1 of the 5 might be among them he orders the bird to transport them there.

Pandemonium recognises the leader as messenger demon Allatou but is confused as to why they are fighting his enemies the West Coast Avengers. Hank Pym can only assume the demons are after him because he was inquiring for MP last issue. The WCA assume they are working for MP and so aren't surprised when they see the villain in the air. But Allatou sees this as confirmation that HP is working for MP (who we learnt last issue she is hiding from).

Hawkeye organises his forces. Wonder Man takes to the sky to face Master Panda-Bear, and Mockingbird connects her battlestaves to form a telescoping pole with which she vaults to join him. Hank takes Greer to safety. Iron Man tackles the demons while Clint duels with Allatou. But the demoness has another idea - she grabs Henry (and Greer) and vanishes with them. Her demons go with her. Pandy is angry that the WCA have stopped him from capturing her and he and Azmodeus do their own vanishing trick.

Tony thinks they should call in Dr Strange. But Clint says he knows some specialists in demon-fighting much closer. (I'd guess this is also a continuing part of his desire not to involve East Coast heroes.) The team take a quinjet from Los Angeles to San Francisco ....

.... where we find Daimon (former Son Of Satan and Defender) and Patsy Hellstrom (former Avenger and Defender) out for a stroll. We learn that they are now an Occult Investigation team. They get home to their brownstone to find the WCA on their steps. Patsy greets old friend Iron Man and idol Hawkeye, who introduces her to his wife Mockingbird. Barton explains about his new team and completes the intros with Wonder Man.

Daimon detects that the Avengers are here for their expertise, and they get straight down to business inside. He has heard of Master Pandemonium but didn't know he got his powers from Mephisto (which Mocky learned in #9). (There is then a digression about how Satan, Satannish, Mephisto, Thog, Baphomet, Lucifer, etc are all manifestations of the same being but are at the same time independent entities. And they all rule different 'Hells'.)

Daimon Hellstrom has met Allatou before (Marvel Spotlight #18-19). She was a servant of Satan who possessed people to try to kill Daimon to curry favour with her master. So he knows how to take them to her base in the relevant Hell.

The couple excuse themselves for a short while and return in costumes. Patsy is still Hellcat but Daimon has a new costume and super-name - Hellstorm. They use these id's to keep their action-activities separate from their public Occult Investigation roles.

Iron Man remembers being there (Av#144) when Patsy Walker found and donned the Cat super-suit that was originally worn by Greer Nelson (in the short Cat series) before she became Tigra. Patsy says that even though she 'retired' from the Avengers and Defenders and married Daimon she still wanted to be a superheroine as much as ever.

Hellstorm cuts all the chat short and mystically transports them all to Allatou's realm. But Master P and Azmodeus smash through a window and follow them.

Meanwhile Allatou has Greer and Hank in a magic cage. She's finally accepted that Pym doesn't work for MP, and wasn't seeking her when (last issue) he 'invaded' the occult bookshop that was her Earthly abode. But she's still going to torture and kill them anyway. Henry tries to bargain for Greer's freedom by offering to help Allatou find MP. But she actually wants to keep out of his way because he's so dangerous, and she's been desperately increasing her own power in hell in case he does find her.

Allatou sends her demons to torment the pair in their cage. (In fact all they do is reach for them but never touch them.) The duo profess their love for each other, and then Greer tries to use the amulet to turn back to Tigra in order to save Henry. But it doesn't work. And she panics with the idea that Hell torments you with your worst fear - and so her worst fear must be being stuck as Greer!

Then the WCA and occult helpers arrive closely followed by MP&A. While the WCA fight the demons, Daimon Hellstrom and Azmodeus recognise each other (by reputation) and take each other on. Meanwhile flying Pandy demands to know if Allatou is 1 of the 5. But he's not prepared for Hellcat's physical attack as she shoots out her claw line and swings on it to kick him in the gut. Patsy is aware that the original Cat Greer Nelson is watching her every move.

Allatou rates Wonder Man as the most dangerous opponent of her demons and tries to possess him to turn him against the others. But his ionic body is unpossessable and she is repelled in agony. Master P cheers this even as Hellcat has a hold on him. But she's surprised when he sheds his arms and legs as 4 demons, and she loses her hold on his diminished body. Hawkeye saves her from a fall with an arrow line.

Meanwhile it's demons vs demons as MP's crew protect Mockingbird before returning to their master. Hellstorm recognises an uneasy alliance and switches his target to Allatou. But she controls her realm and causes the ground with all the humans on to split off and plummet down a steep slope.

Strangely they land on a boat on a dark river. Azmodeus follows them because MP is with them. Greer and Henry's cage fades away. But all is still not well. 1 of Allatou's demons is on the boat with them. Hellstorm sends him flying off the boat into the air, where he bursts into flame.

Daimon explains that this is the River of Death that winds through the Hells. No-one can leave the boat alive and it can't be controlled. Allatou laughs as they drift away.

Al Milgrom
Joe Sinnott
Paul Becton
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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