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West Coast Avengers #43: Review

Apr 1989
John Byrne, John Byrne

Story Name:

Vision quest

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #43 Review by (March 11, 2023)
This is part 2 of the 4-issue Vision Quest story.

The 2 events left hanging in the middle of the issue will lead to more elements of John Byrne's deconstruction of the Scarlet Witch & Vision marriage.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #43 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue a fake Ultron attacked the West Coast Avengers Compound while Vision disappeared and a virus wiped all references to him from the WCA mainframe (and from the East Coast Avengers, the Fantastic Four, SHIELD, the Pentagon and elsewhere). Then ex-member and Hawkeye's estranged wife Mockingbird popped in to say that she was responsible.

Clint Barton does not take this well and Wonder Man has to restrain him. He and Wasp think there must be more to this and they want to hear her out. Bobbi Barton admits that she let computer guys in to plant the virus, and she 'choreographed' the kidnapping of the Vision. Clint blows his top again but Vizh's wife Scarlet Witch is icy calm as asks why. Bobbi can only apologise and claim she was tricked into it. And then she tells the tale ...

After she and Clint split up (#37) and then her breakaway WCA group disbanded (#41) she sat around nursing her anger until a supposed SHIELD Agent recruited her into an alleged SHIELD project Vigilance led by someone called Cameron Brock. Brock reminded her that Vision took over the world's computers in order to rule the world for its own good (Avengers #251-254). After that he (and Starfox) insured that he couldn't do it again, and Vision retired with Scarlet Witch from the Avengers. But now that they are both active in the WCA the Government is worried so Project Vigilance was set up to monitor what the android does.

But there's another part of Vigilance that Brock wanted her help with based on her past as both an Avenger and a SHIELD Agent. They wanted a plan to take down the synthezoid if he ever became a menace again. She could show them how to penetrate the Compound and abduct the Vision - which she did. But later she was reviewing the plan on the Vigilance mainframe and noticed they'd added the attack by the fake Ultron plus administering a posthypnotic suggestion to sleeping Wanda so that her hexes wouldn't stop the robot. She complained to Brock that the fake Ultron might hurt some Avengers, and that if the real Ultron ever attacked them then Scarlet Witch would be ineffective. The result was she was subdued by a mob of 'SHIELD Agents' and thrown into a maximum security cell.

The Agents' poor fighting skills had by now convinced her that they weren't really SHIELD and she recognised the style of cell as KGB. She figures the Russians might want to make sure Vision doesn't hold any of *their* secrets after he took over their computers too. Or maybe they want to access secrets he has of other nations. Anyway she was trapped in the cell for nearly 3 weeks before she managed to escape 2 hours ago. But she got here too late. She ends the story with a lame explanation as to why she entered last issue saying she was an actual traitor.

Now they all get in a quinjet and Mocky directs them to the Vigilance site. En route she apologises to Wanda, who remains calm but considers their friendship over. They arrive above the 'abandoned' factory complex and ex-leader of the (East Coast) Avengers Janet Van Dyne slips easily into command mode and tells pilot Henry Pym to make a slow pass while she shrinks to Wasp-size to reconnoitre. (Her ex-husband lets slip a hint that their relationship is back on.) Hawkeye protests that *he*'s the leader of this team, but has to admit the plan's good.

Wasp infiltrates the base but it's too big to search alone. So she uses her antennae (which she recently (#33) reactivated) to contact all the local ants which tell her that there's been a lot of activity behind door 31. But she finds that it's sealed so tight she can't get through. She passes some agents who are all speaking English not Russian. And she finds a guarded cell block. A guard opens a hatch to check on the 'old geezer' inside and she takes the opportunity to enter that room. And she's surprised by who she finds there. (But we won't learn who it is until next issue.)

While waiting for Wasp to report back Wanda Maximoff continues remembering Vision's history from where she left off last issue. She 1st met the android when he and the other Avengers rescued her from Arkon's dimension (Av#75-76). After that she and her brother Pietro (Quicksilver) rejoined the team. Her love for the synthezoid grew gradually, much to the disgust of Pietro who eventually left the team (#104). Wanda then became 1 of the 3 candidates for Celestial Madonna alongside Mantis and Moondragon. During that saga Vision learned how he had been created from the body of the heroic WWII android Human Torch by Utron-5 and HT's creator Prof Horton (as described last issue). This knowledge spurred him to ask Wanda to marry him, and they were wed by Immortus along with Mantis and her Cotati mate (at the end of the Celestial Madonna saga in Giant-Size Av#4). Pietro refused to accept their union. But Wanda used her probability-altering 'magic' to allow she and her husband to create their twin sons (in the 2nd Vision & Scarlet Witch miniseries).

This prompts us to gave a peek at those baby boys being given a bath by their nanny Miss Bach, who makes a shocking discovery (which again will be left to next issue).

Meanwhile the 'deserted' factory fires at the quinjet so Wonder Man drops out of the emergency hatch and lands on 1 of the guns and rips the other out of the roof. It turns out that the plasma cannons were preprogrammed to fire at any aircraft that hung around above them, but Cameron Brock is still angry, even though that was his idea, because now they'll have the Avengers after them. Which proves true when Wondy strolls in.

The quinjet lands and Dr Pym tells Mockingbird to lead the way. They're faced with a gunman but Scarlet Witch hexes his gun to jam and Mocky high-kicks him unconscious. Hawkeye looses a special arrow which slices a metal door open, but Pym takes charge again telling everyone to split up. (Team leader Hawkeye wonders when *he*'s ever going to get to give the orders.)

Inside Wanda sticks to Bobbi and they grab a tech who Mockingbird persuades to tell them that Vision is in section 31 and that the day code for entry is Osiris. Bobbi is worried because she knows what supposed to happen behind door 31. And when she gains them entry the 2 heroines see that the synthezoid has been dismantled.

John Byrne
Mike Machlan
Paul Becton
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.


(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Greer Nelson)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Doctor Pym (Henry Pym).

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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