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West Coast Avengers #5: Review

Dec 2018
Kelly Thompson, Daniele Di Nicuolo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #5 Review by (December 14, 2018)
Daniele Di Nicuolo takes over as artist for the next 3 issues, including 2 issues this month.

It seems Madame Masque has gathered the team of villains we briefly saw individually last issue. Satana is obvious. It is also clear that it is Eel who electrocutes Gwenpool and Kid Omega. Possibly Graviton is responsible for the forcefield dome. I don't know who the ninja is but I don't think it's Dutch Oven.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue we unusually begin with 1 of the Reality TV interviews, but this 1 probably does happen before the action starts. Kate Bishop has reluctantly taken the call from Captain America she was putting off. He's not happy that she formed a new team using the name West Coast Avengers without consulting him. He's particularly not happy about the Reality TV angle because the last time someone (New Warriors) tried that it ended in a disaster (their deaths in Stamford sparking off the Superhuman Registration Act and Civil War (I)). Cap has to end the call because Namor is causing trouble (in current Avengers issues). Kate is relieved it's over but now she's back on tenterhooks because he's going to continue the discussion later.

The (minor) action starts when the team face new villain Gridlock who has assembled a giant 'robot' out of vehicles on the 405 Freeway, with the occupants still inside. After all the commuters have been saved, including vibranium-skinned Fuse (Johnny Watts) ripping doors open, Hawkeye (Kate) and Hawkeye (Clint Barton) fire blunt arrows to knock the villain's control helmet off and then fishnet arrows to tangle him up. America Chavez lowers some of the cars to the ground while Kid Omega (Quentin Quire) mentally handles the rest. But Gwenpool spots a kitten inside 1 of them and dives through a window to save it. Fearing for his girlfriend's safety Quentin uses his TK to dismantle the car around her.

(Quire's t-shirt this issue says "Bring Cyclops back".)

When the team return to their still-under-construction HQ Gwen Poole still has the cat which she names Jeff, and takes it to meet their dog Lucky. America nips off, refusing to tell Kate where she's going. And in an RTV interview she tells the camera team not to follow her off-duty. They protest that the contract says they can, but quickly back down. Johnny brings a bottle of water to *his* girlfriend Kate, but Clint says the Mayor (of Los Angeles ) just phoned to ask them to investigate suspicious activity at an old closed theme park.

With America Chavez and her portals (or just her ability to carry them all) gone they have to find another way of getting there. Kate calls up Brigitte, the woman who elected to remain a dragon last issue, to fly them there. Quentin chooses to fly under his own power rather than ride a filthy dragon, who responds that she's very clean and doesn't leave wet towels lying around. This refers to an incident in #1, which Gwen tells everyone about, and prompts another RTV interview where Quire claims he was leaving them for the maid. He's shocked when the TV crew tell him there *is* no maid. (I don't know when this interview is but it's outside this issue because he's wearing a different t-shirt saying "Dark Quire saga".)

The team arrive at the arcade (and presumably Brigitte flies away). Clint says the Mayor said she'd meet them here to show them around. But then they are confronted by a giant hologram of a golden mask. And Kate asks Clint if the Mayor maybe sounded like Madame Masque. They could just leave but Kate wants them to stay because Masque may be responsible for her mother's death and possible 'resurrection'. (I'm not sure that was a conclusion she reached during the 2017 Hawkeye series where *we* learned that Eleanor Bishop was alive and working with Masque.)

She sends an 822 text to America asking her to join them. Chavez is at another funfair on Santa Monica Pier with her girlfriend Ramone Watts (Johnny's sister). America has won her a large big-head She-Hulk doll when she gets the call. She zips there via star-portal with Ramone and doll in tow. Kate is unhappy that America would bring her date on a mission in response to a 911 message, not realising her typo. Chavez tries to send Ramone back but something blocks her exit portal. Kid Omega tries to fly out but bounces off an invisible dome. (An RTV interview has Gwenpool exulting in being trapped in the Thunderdome.)

Quire whispers to Chavez that they need to protect everyone else because they're the only ones with real superpowers, but America has more confidence in her teammates. Quentin says he has a headache. Clint and America agree they should all stick together, no splitting up like in horror movies. But then fiery whirlwinds whisk them away in 3 groups.

Kid Omega and Gwenpool are together. After typical banter where she insults him Gwen finds a lever and pulls it. Lights come on and they see they are in the Tunnel Of Love with a swan boat on the water. And again typically a moment where Gwen almost lets her guard down leads instead to more insults from her. Quentin admits he's got more than a headache - his powers are suppressed like America's teleportation.

Gwen tells him again that she doesn't have any powers, which he doesn't believe because he's seen her do stuff. So she tries to explain her situation. She used to have powers but she thinks she's been rebooted for this comic. She used to be able to do things like escaping out of the panel and re-entering the comic on another page. Quire doesn't know what to make of this.

They've been trying to get the swan boat to float but now someone electrocutes them via the water they are standing in. And they wind up unconscious cuddled together in the boat.

America Chavez and Clint-Hawkeye are in the Hall Of Mirrors. They agree to not take their situation as a metaphor and not delve into their psyches. Instead they review the overall situation. America says the confining dome felt like tech but Clint suggests the fiery teleportation was magic. They list the people who can control hellfire but agree that none of them also use tech. So this means they face more than 1 foe.

Then the succubus Satana projects out of 2 mirrors and kisses them both. They fall to the ground with their eyes rolled up and marks on their faces.

Kate, Johnny and Ramone are together for a bit of family drama. Johnny complains that Ramone didn't tell him she's dating America. Ramone counters that *he* didn't tell her when he started dating Kate. Johnny says it's different because Ramone might be put in danger, like now, and she doesn't have his vibranium skin.

Proof of his fears appears immediately as they suffer a barrage of throwing stars. Johnny shields his sister but then says that he feels his vibranium-ness slipping away. Kate-Hawkeye thinks she recognises the weapons and is worried. She spots their assailant in the shadows and fires off an arrow. But the response is more throwing stars, with glowing centres which signify to Kate that they are explosive. She warns the other 2 and they all dive away but are caught in the explosion.

And as Kate recovers she sees her mother Eleanor Bishop reaching out a helping hand.

Daniele Di Nicuolo
Daniele Di Nicuolo
Triona Farrell
Stefano Caselli (Cover Penciler)
Nolan Woodard (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Alanna Smith. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

(Kate Bishop)
Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)

Plus: Eel (Edward Lavell), Eleanor Bishop, Fuse (Johnny Watts), Gridlock, Gwenpool (Gwen Poole), Kid Omega (Quentin Quire), Ramone Watts, Satana.

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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