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West Coast Avengers #32: Review

May 1988
Steve Englehart, Tony De Zuniga

Story Name:

Buried monsters

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #32 Review by (December 10, 2022)
Wasp resigned as (East Coast) Avengers chairwoman in Av#278 and went on reserve status. But she got caught up in their battle with the Olympian Gods in Av#283-285 and and attended the East/West ballgame which turned into a Grandmaster contest in WCA Annual #2 and Av Annual #16. She's been on vacation since then.

The Whackos may still be upset over having to fire Iron Man in his #229 but that didn't stop Hawkeye starring in Solo Avengers #1-9 with Mockingbird and Wonder Man sharing some of them with him. And then having his own tale in Marvel Fanfare #39.

Budiansky Point isn't real, and is probably named after Marvel staffer Bob Budiansky.

The dual Phantom Rider will be back in #34.

Yetrigar will show up next incarcerated in the Vault in Av Spotlight #26.

Wasp will cameo in the female Yellowjacket's story in Solo Av #12 before next issue.

Dr Pym cameos in Av#292-293 as they battle the monster that was Sub-Mariner's wife Marrina, and faces old foe Dr Nemesis in his own tale in Solo Av #8 before next issue.

The other WCA will go straight there.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #32 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Wasp flies into the West Coast Avengers Compound insect-sized and finds Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Tigra and Wonder Man dejected after having to sack Iron Man (in IM#229 due to his actions in Armour Wars). She's here to offer condolences and help. Tigra asks Janet Van Dyne if she's also here to see her ex-husband Henry Pym. As if on cue Hank walks in and they exchange banter, seeming to have put their divorce behind them. Clint Barton's a bit prickly about an East-Coaster thinking his team needs help. He points out they've still got 5 active members and probationer Moon Knight, and they can call on Esperita, Hellcat and Hellstorm. Jan soothes his ruffled feathers and says she'll leave if she's not wanted. Hawkeye immediately apologises.

Meanwhile Mockingbird has been in another room contacting the Mormon Genealogical Library about descendants of Lincoln or Carter Slade. There is only 1 living relative, Lincoln's great-great-grandson Hamilton Slade, Professor Of Archaeology at the University Of Nevada. She contacts them and learns that he's away on a dig. Now she joins the others and says they all need a vacation, and she suggests the Grand Canyon.

Even Jan agrees (even though she's just had 1) and next day all 7 of them land a quinjet at Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Tigra continues to enjoy Simon Williams and Marc Spector fighting over her, but currently she favours Moon Knight. From there Park Rangers give them a lift to South Rim Ranger Station where tourists mob Simon, not as Wonder Man but as the villain actor in the Arkon IV movie. Then Bobbi Barton leads them off along the Bright Angel Trail alongside her husband.

Hank and Jan lag a bit behind. She has to admit that she's been worried about him since his strange vidcall (#17 when he was feeling suicidal). Everyone else is talking or thinking about them except Bobbi who seems distracted. Suddenly she announces that they've reached Budiansky Point, famous for a battle between the giant robot Red Ronin and the equally-giant man-ape Yetrigar (in Godzilla #10-11). She surreptitiously drops an explosive device which uncovers and awakens the monster from where he'd been buried.

Hank and Tigra have fallen down onto a slightly lower ledge. Clint can't see Bobbi but Marc calls out that she's back round a corner with him. However he knows that she's entered a steep-sided trail into the cliffside and surreptitiously follows her. While the other 3, especially Wonder Man, fight Yetrigar we concentrate on Bobbi and Marc.

Bobbi's thoughts tell us that she's hunting down Hamilton Slade at his nearby excavation site. Meanwhile Marc Spector is communing with his inner voices. The Egyptian Moon God Khonshu comments that she wasn't with the others when they time-travelled to ancient Egypt (#21-23). Marc's other selves Steven Grant and Jake Lockley complain that they aren't being let out these days.

Bobbi reaches Slade's campsite and changes into her Mockingbird duds to attack him, pinning him to the ground with her quarterstaff across his throat. She says she knows he's the Phantom Rider and she wants him to stop harassing her (last issue). Hamilton claims not to know what she's talking about but she doesn't believe him. He finally admits that his great-great-grandfather was PR and Mocky starts beating him up.

Meanwhile Henry Pym hatches a plan. He asks Wasp to distract Yetrigar with her stings while he gets Hawkeye to tangle him up with cable-arrows which then anchor him to the floor. Then he and Tigra jump down from their ledge onto the monster's back. Tigra stops Hank from falling off while he inserts a metal brace into Yeti's ear and then enlarges it. The foe blacks out from the pain.

Elsewhere Khonshu approves of MB's vengeance but Moon Knight stops her. He tells the victim that this was a misunderstanding and he should send all medical bills to himself at WCA HQ. He should report this to no-one and make no insurance claim. Then Marc persuades angry Bobbi to leave with him. He says he believes in vengeance but she must be more sure of her target. After they go Hamilton Slade muses that he found his ancestor's burial cave (in Ghost Rider #56) and since then he's been having blackouts. And we see that the ghost of Lincoln Slade has been possessing him during these episodes.

The 2 WCAers rejoin the others. Bobbi claims to have had her leg trapped by a fallen boulder but Moon Knight got her free. Grateful Clint says he's definitely going to make MK a full Avenger now. Tigra comments that they need the extra manpower since Mockingbird keeps missing their battles (this issue and last issue when she was facing Phantom Rider while the others were fighting Arkon (or at least watching Wonder Man fight him)). Wasp muses that Yetrigar's awakening was suspicious, and she detects that Clint loves Bobbi but Bobbi is holding something back.

Tony De Zuniga
Tony De Zuniga
Paul Becton
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Mike Machlan (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Al Milgrom. Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

(Greer Nelson)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Doctor Pym (Henry Pym), Phantom Rider (Hamilton Slade), Yetrigar.

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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