Comic Browser:


West Coast Avengers #38: Review

Nov 1988
D.G. Chichester, Tom Morgan

Story Name:


Review & Comments

3 stars

West Coast Avengers #38 Review by (April 18, 2017)
D G Chicester and Margaret Clark were both editors for Marvel. They've been jointly writing some Shadowline books for the Epic imprint. And they threw off this obvious fill-in issue along the way.

Back in #31 the West Coast Avengers consisted of Dr Pym, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Tigra and Wonder Man. Then IM left because of Armour Wars I. Scarlet Witch & Vision got dragged into the storyline from #33. In #34 MB confessed that she killed Phantom Rider. Then last issue everything changed. Hawk threw MB off the team, but MK and Tigra went with her to form an alt-WCA. And DP left to look after his (1st) wife Maria they'd found alive in Hungary. So that left 2 - Hawk and WM. But SW&V agreed to join the team. And then Mantis showed up with amnesia.

The presence of Iron Man in the flashback puts it before #32. Wonder Man's outfit places it after #24. Moon Knight was also a team member in this period and I think his absence here has suggested to the Marvel Chronology Project where they should put this flashback - between #28 and #29. #28 ends with MK swearing vengeance on Taurus. #29 is basically a solo MK story (preceded by a related tale in Solo Avengers #3) as he gains that vengeance, and rest of the WCA appear at the end to tell him off for going solo. I figure this story is what the others were doing while MK was on the hunt. They manage to squeeze in a cameo in IM#226 too.
The only jarring factor is the IM/WM rivalry. That seemed to have dissipated after Simon Williams' 'epiphany' in #25.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #38 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue is mainly a flashback to an untold adventure, with a few surrounding panels connecting to the current situation.

The four remaining West Coast Avengers (Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonder Man) are flying in a quinjet with their guest Mantis to investigate why she has lost her memory. SW&V are going to stop of to see their children 1st. Hawkeye is bitter about the team splitting apart last issue, and Wonder Man remembers how teamwork was required for the larger team to defeat the Defiler.

Teenagers Michael and Susan are trying to escape from the huge villain but he catches up with them. However he is interrupted by Tigra and Wonder Man. They think he's an ordinary muscle-bound bully who'll be easy to take down. But he glows with energy and throws Tigra at Simon Williams.

The bad guy is now drained of energy but he can still drag the teens away to a billboard advertising his performance at a rock concert. The billboard turns into a portal to elsewhere and he hurls the kids through it. But 1 of Mike's chains snags on a light fixture.

When our duo recover they call in the rest of the WCA (Dr Pym, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Mockingbird). Henry Pym tracks an energy source to the billboard which has stopped being a portal. Shellhead finds the chain leading into the solid wood but can't pull it out until Wondy gives him a hand. (Tony Stark isn't happy about Simon's gloating.) Between them they pull Mike back to this world.

Michael explains how he got himself and Susan a job as roadies for the Defiler. But they discovered him tossing people through a portal and tried to run away. And that's where Tigra and WM found them. But now he wants to save Susan and the others.

Pym reckons that the villain sends people to an other-dimensional world in exchange for energy. He enlarges a miniaturised vehicle from his pocket (a cross between a skycycle and the Fantasticar) and they're off to find Defiler at his latest concert, leaving Mike safely behind.

But when they get there they run into an energy barrier. Inside they see 3 (billboard?) portals sucking in members of the audience. But IM and WM dig a tunnel under the barrier and the team emerge to tackle the problem.

Wondy and Tigra attack Defiler while Shellhead smashes a portal and stops some people falling into it. Hawkeye destroys another portal and catches people in a net. Dr Pym super-enlarges some plastic wrapping to block the 3rd portal and catches folks in an enlarged baseball catcher's mitt on his flying vehicle.

MB is getting people out of the stadium when she meets Mike making his way in. (The energy barrier is presumably now down.) IM takes both of them to Dr Pym who has a cunning plan. Tigra and WM are still fighting the villain, who boasts that he has successfully done all this in many dimensions before this 1. Hawkeye joins the fight to keep him from noticing what Pym is doing.

The portals are shut down but Michael is coated with energy from when he passed through. Pym can use this to open a portal, but only by sending the youth through it. Mike agrees to go to retrieve his friend. Dr Pym and Mockingbird go with him. Iron Man stays behind as an anchor with a piece of rope that Hank has super-enlarged.

The portal sucks them in and towards a glow on the horizon. They have to fight their way through a swarm of energy parasite amoebas to find the abducted people stuck in a mass of them. Michael rescues Susan while the 2 Avengers dig everyone else out. Pym super-enlarges a miniaturised skateboard and ties the rope to it. Everyone piles on and Henry radios IM to pull them out. Slowly they start moving and then pick up speed.

On Earth Defiler feels his energy draining away. He tries to stop Shellhead but Hawkeye, Simon and Tigra keep on him. Pym enlarges some mini-baseball bats so the rescued people can help Mocky fight off the flying parasites. The portal starts to close, but with a final heave IM pulls the skateboard through. Everyone hangs on as the dying portal increases its suction.

Defiler doesn't want to go into that other dimension because there's nothing there to feed on. He runs away to later find some other energy source. But Mike tackles him, and the villain gets sucked through his own portal, which finally collapses. And Mike and Susan walk off into the sunset.

Back in the present the quinjet suddenly goes out of control ....

Tom Morgan
Dave Hunt
Steve Buccelatto
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

Share This Page