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Avengers West Coast #49: Review

Oct 1989
John Byrne, John Byrne

Story Name:

Baptism of fire

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers West Coast #49 Review by (April 30, 2023)
It should be another 100,000 years before That Which Endures returns.

But the WCA will be here next issue when Iron Man and US Agent return, and so does the android original Human Torch, which continues through #51-52. Meanwhile She-Hulk has adventures with US Archer, Santa Claus and Madcap in her Sensational #6-9.

Then all our chars apart from the Great Lakes Avengers will start getting involved in 1989's Annuals crossover Atlantis Attacks. But the Marvel Chronology Project has the parts of this event scattered over time so Hawkeye and Mockingbird (and the West Coast Avengers and some Olympian Gods) share the 1st story in Marvel Super-Heroes #9 in the middle of it. The duo will actually enter Atlantis Attacks proper with lots of other Avengers in Avengers An#18 and Fantastic Four An#22.

After that Hawkeye will be in Av Spotlight #26-29 as part of Acts Of Vengeance. Mockingbird will share #27-28 with him, and Big Bertha of the GLA will be behind the scenes in #27.

All the GLA will be together bts in Av#313, and then for real in Av An#19.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers West Coast #49 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #42-44 worried world governments authorised the dismantling of the Vision and the wiping of his backup memories. The West Coast Avengers were allowed to rebuild him but he has no emotions, even concerning his wife Scarlet Witch and their 2 little boys.

Last issue Wanda Maximoff took Vision to Absolom College who claimed to be able to do something about the problem. But they really wanted the mutant Witch to convert her to 1 of them, parts of a gestalt entity existing from the dawn of life called That Which Endures. The entity predicted baseline humans being supplanted by mutants and wanted to move into these new hosts. But they also destroyed the quinjet that she and Vision flew here, and that destruction was detected in the (East Coast) Avengers Mansion by Captain America and She-Hulk who came to investigate. They met with the new Wanda who hexed them unconscious by dropping a wall on them.

As College 'staff' take the 2 limp bodies away, we look in on the Great Lakes Avengers led by Hawkeye and Mockingbird who are also coming to investigate. Rich Ashley Crawford (Big Bertha) is flying them in her private aircraft, but it's much slower than a quinjet which frustrates Clint Barton. Bobbi Barton says they don't know *exactly* where the quinjet went down. Previous GLA leader Mr Immortal can't restrain his sarcasm.

Meanwhile some of the other WCA members return to the WCA Compound from what *they* were doing. They were also trying to track where Wanda went but instead wound up talking to Prof Horton in his Seattle hospital bed who told them that Vision was *not* made from his creation the original WWII Human Torch as they thought. Now Henry Pym wants to relook at the 'evidence' they had that he *was*. So he leaves his ex-wife but now seemingly very reconciled Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) to chat with Simon Williams (Wonder Man).

Vision's human personality derived from Simon's recorded brain patterns (who at that time was supposedly dead), but when Vizh was recreated he refused to let his brain patterns be used again, which has made Wanda hate him. When he 'woke up' Wanda and Vision were already married but he too fell in love with her. Now that the android no longer loves Wanda, Jan suggests that Simon has at least a chance to win her affections because it was the *him* inside the synthezoid that Wanda loved.

Dr Pym's having no luck examining evidence because when Vision was taken the government cabal also used a computer virus to wipe all information on him from all databanks, including those of the Avengers. So he goes out for some air and sees Tigra racing by in a much more feline form than usual. He's informed that she's been chasing mice lately, and now he's worried that her cat side is becoming dominant again. So he follows her into the wooded grounds of the Compound. But she attacks him savagely and he fears for his safety, so he uses his shrinking power to turn her into something he can pick up by the scruff of the neck.

Cap and Shulk have been left alone in a cell. But they were apparently only pretending to be knocked out - Cap's shield and their super-bodies had protected them. Now Cap thinks they can sneak out and find out what's going on. But Jennifer Walters attacks him because she's also been assimilated by That Which Endures and she doesn't understand why *he* hasn't. Cap keeps dodging her super-blows but knows it's only a matter of time before 1 connects. But then Absolom head Jeremiah Random enters and shoots him with a mysterious gun.

So what's Vision been doing while all this was going on. He's been patiently waiting for many hours to be operated on. But now he thinks that it is inconsistent for Wanda to have left him alone this long so he reasons that something is wrong. He ghosts out of the room and up out of the building to start looking for her. And the passing GLA plane spots him and hails him. He enters it and finds Hawkeye & co. They exchange notes.

Back at the College Random's people have discovered that something in Cap's body is blocking the assimilation process. She-Hulk guesses it's the Super-Soldier Serum that gave him his powers. But she still doesn't fully understand what's happened to *her*. Scarlet Witch pops in to explain. As we learnt last issue 4 billion years ago something happened to 1 early cell, and its descendants lived on in all forms of life since. It has been subtly guiding life since then and has moved on from fishes to amphibians to dinosaurs and to mammals. Random adds new details. That the special cells developed a gestalt consciousness that usually stayed behind the scenes. But every 100,000 years it chose some random creatures like them to fully manifest in and survey life on Earth and choose which lifeforms to concentrate in, and the special cells wither in discarded lifeforms. Recently humans have been the choice, but now they feel mutants are the better bet.

At this point Vision and the GLA attack outside, mainly trying not to hurt the seeming college students who fight them. Hawkeye fires arrows, Mockingbird high-kicks, Flatman wraps people up, Dinah Soar swoops and Vision does his immaterial fist through the chest thing. Then She-Hulk attacks Ashley who's now in Big Bertha mode. Bertha absorbs the blows then bounces into the air and squashes Shulkie flat. Mr Immortal spots a building that the crowd seems to be defending. Doorman makes himself a doorway into it and MrI dives through him.

Random is worried that the assimilator that gives them their telepathic link might be damaged. He arrives to find MrI about to enter its chamber and warns him that the radiation inside is instantly fatal to humans. The hero laughs it off because "Dyin' is what I do best". And he steps inside.

She-Hulk finally manages to lift Bertha off her back. But then she suddenly comes to her senses. As do all the students. And Random tells Vision his name is really Charles Edison. Wanda is free also and she tells Hawkeye how Mr Immortal sacrificed himself, and they can see him lying dead inside the chamber on a viewscreen. 'Random' switches the radiation off and Flatman brings MrI's body out. Bertha confirms he's dead but gives it 10 minutes before he's alive again. The Avengers wonder if it's true that the parasitic cells are responsible for all life's advances, and what will happen to humanity when they *do* leave.

John Byrne
John Byrne
Bob Sharen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
John Byrne (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Howard Mackie. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Greer Nelson)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Big Bertha, Dinah Soar, Doctor Pym (Henry Pym), Doorman, Flatman, Great Lakes Avengers, Mr Immortal.

> Avengers West Coast: Book info and issue index

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