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West Coast Avengers #30: Review

Mar 1988
Al Milgrom, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

None so blind

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #30 Review by (April 24, 2017)
This is a fill-in issue in which Al Milgrom is the scripter as well as artist.

The Unofficial Appendix to the Handbook mof the Marvel Universe thinks the insectibots are Sligs in space armour. However the pictures of actual Sligs don't indicate that they have multiple arms like the insectibots.
But I agree with the Appendix that these Sligs aren't seen anywhere else. They are different from the alien Sligs previously found in Fantastic Four #209.

This is Vision & Scarlet Witch's 1st app since our Annual #1. They will both appear next in Solo Avengers #5/2 where Death will end John Kowalski's role from the War Is Hell series. Then SW will make some solo apps:- a cameo in Marvel Fanfare #42/2 where she gives Captain Marvel some info about Marie Laveau, and a solo strip in Marvel Comics Presents #60-63 where the Past Master tries to trap her in the lives of her ancestors. Then they'll join this team from #33 onwards.

Before next issue Iron Man makes a shield for the Captain (Steve Rogers) in the end of IM#227 and Cap#339. But then they clash in IM#228 and Cap#340 over IM trying to confiscate the armour of the government-employed Guardsmen as part of Armour Wars I.
Afterwards the whole WCA team are behind the scenes in Av#288 & #290 where they search for Ultron and lend Black Knight a quinjet.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #30 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Simon Williams is visiting his 'brother' Vision and wife Scarlet Witch and their very young children Billy and Tommy in Leonia, New Jersey. (The android Vision's mind was based on Simon's brain patterns.) He reads the kids the story of the 5 blind sages who studied by feel various parts of an elephant's body and came to very different conclusions what the animal was.

Then Wonder Man flies a quinjet back to Los Angeles, his movie career and the West Coast Avengers. But on the way he is attacked by a horde of insectile robots. He manages to get a call off to the WCA before being overwhelmed. Dr Pym, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Moon Knight and Tigra scramble another quinjet.

A tractor beam pulls WM's quinjet aboard an alien spaceship and Simon is held captive by stasis beams. His captor is a Slig, who wants the WCA to come to the rescue. The Sligs are a race of conquerors. They have heard that Earth's Avengers have beaten off attacks by Kree and Skrulls. Conquering Earth would be a propaganda coup for the Sligs. This Slig is a scouting party here to take the measure of the opposition.

An insectibot warns his master that the other Avengers are approaching, and a dimension inter-phaser sends them elswhere. And Wonder Man is sent to join them, along with a large robot called the Examiner who will test them in combat. It will fight each of the team singly. And if any of them beat it, it will adapt and improve for the next 1.

The Examiner puts the other Avengers in stasis and commences to attack WM. Simon thinks of himself as the most powerful of the WCA, so he'd better smash the robot completely or the others won't stand a chance. He suits actions to words, but the Slig and his insectibot just recreate the Examiner even stronger.

They freeze Wonder Man and free Tigra next. She uses her agility to make the robot hit itself, breaking open its own casing. Then she uses her claws to shred vital bits and it collapses.

Next time the Examiner faces Mockingbird who uses her battlestaves, separately or joined as a battlepole, to harass it until it lunges after her. Then the pole trips the robot so it falls off the floating 'asteroid' they are fighting on and slams into 1 of the many small moons in this strange space.

Next up is Hawkeye who deliberately drops a high voltage arrow before launching into battle. Explosive arrows don't dent the robot, a net doesn't stop it, but putty arrows gum up its joints. And then nitric acid arrows eat away at it.

The insectibot warns the Slig that the power drain is starting to affect the ship's engine. But the Slig insists that the Examiner deals with Iron Man next. Repulsors don't hurt the robot, and it can now match IM's flying. His uni-beam has no effect either. But then Shellhead grabs Hawkeye's discarded arrow and applies the high voltage to his foe to magnetise it to itself.

Dr Pym enlarges some of his miniaturised weapons. But a chainsaw doesn't cut it and a flame thrower doesn't melt the robot. But then Hank Pym allows the enemy to touch him, which in turn allows him to miniaturise the robot. Then a quickly-produced sledgehammer finishes the job.

The insectibot is really worried about the engines now but can't disobey his master. Moon Knight has to face the most powerful version of the Examiner yet, without the power of the Moon to enhance his abilities. He starts to hear the voices in his head of his alternate personalities, and suppresses them like he did last issue. Then he hears the voice of Khonshu again like last issue, who points out that he is surrounded by moons here to give him power. He feels it flowing in to him and he tears the robot to pieces.

The strain now causes the Slig's engine to fail. The WCA are returned in their quinjets from the alien dimension. The Slig sends a data transmission home as his ship explodes.

The Slig homeworld gets the data from the Examiner's battles. Correlating it they get an image of what a typical Earth warrior looks like - a composite of all the WCA members. They immediately call off their invasion plans.

Al Milgrom
Mike Machlan
Bob Sharen
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Mike Machlan (Cover Inker)


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