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West Coast Avengers #45: Review

Jun 1989
John Byrne, John Byrne

Story Name:

New faces

Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #45 Review by (March 25, 2023)
The cover of this issue is an obvious homage to Avengers #57, Vision's 1st app. It is also the end of the Vision Quest arc.

The new team leader is only referred to as US Agent in John Byrne's introductory caption. He's never named (even as John Walker or Jack Daniels) in the rest of the issue. But I'll use his name in my synopsis for simplicity.

US Agent talks to the pictures of his parents who we know died in Captain America #345 as a result of John being the replacement Cap. It will transpire that USA thinks they're still alive, but in CA#378 he will discover that the Government brainwashed him to forget the trauma of their death.

Vision Quest may be over but that's not the end of troubles for the previously-happy couple. The question of Vision's identity and their disappearing children will continue in the unravelling of their lives. Disconnecting Vision from the WWII Human Torch will allow Byrne to resurrect that older android hero.

And Tigra's feral problem will continue to grow too.

But for light relief next issue Hawkeye and Mockingbird will found a new team the Great Lakes Avengers.

Dr Pym, Vision, Wasp and Wonder Man won't be in next issue but they'll have many apps before #47.

Hawkeye will fight Orb and Plantman in Solo Av #19-20 and then in the renamed Av Spotlight #21 before next issue, with Dr Pym and Wonder Man coming to his aid in the 3rd issue despite him no longer being on the team.

Then the WCA will cameo in the backup tale in Av Spotlight #23 as Vision goes on TV to explain that he's the same android as before. The Marvel Chronology Project places this in the middle of next issue.

I'll mention all post-#46 apps next time.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #45 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
At the end of last issue a Captain America knock-off was imposed by the Government on the West Coast Avengers as their new leader. We know him as previously the Government's replacement in the role of CA who now has a new uniform and name U.S. Agent. But the WCA are in the dark as to who he is and he doesn't seem in a hurry to enlighten them.

The Vision's still not completely rebuilt and Scarlet Witch is concerned about her android husband. But the rest of the team are with the mystery man in the large living room. Hawkeye is particularly incensed that his leadership role is being taken away (especially as he was already feeling like nobody listened to him anyway). Dr Pym and Wonder Man try to reason with him because they have to do what the Government wants. But when his estranged wife Mockingbird agrees with them his rage escalates. Clint Barton reminds Bobbi that she *quit* the team (#37) and she's just helped the Government kidnap and disassemble Vision. Wasp intervenes between them to remind him that Bobbi Barton was tricked into that and came to warn them when she found out (#42).

The new guy rubs it in by saying that none of them, including Hawkeye, has any say in the matter. Clint tries to punch him in the face but US Agent blocks the blow and his enhanced strength threatens to break the archer's fingers. And then he hurls him away. The other try to help him up but Clint won't accept aid from Bobbi. However the ionically-powered Wonder Man dares the guy to tangle with *him*, but Wasp plays peace-maker again and Henry Pym suggests they have to accept their new leader until he proves incapable or unworthy of the job.

But Hawkeye can't accept it and he quits and storms out. Bobbi points out to the 'leader' that Clint *founded* this team, but USA counters that Vision created the team and appointed Hawkeye as leader. But then the synthezoid tried to take over the world, and it was his return to active service that prompted the Government to dismantle him. And now that the WCA are rebuilding him the Gov have sent *him* to oversee things. Mocky's had enough and she too storms out.

The others leave the Agent alone. Janet Van Dyne goes to see how Wanda Maximoff is doing while Hank Pym and Simon Williams go to continue reviving Vision after the disastrous 1st attempt last issue. This time Pym has reprogrammed him with memories of the Avengers as friends so he shouldn't attack them now. They haven't reattached his bio-synthetic skin yet and Hank points out that its circulatory system was compromised so now it's white instead of red.

Later we see Wanda interviewing a new nanny for her twins. She hires her but then gets called to Hank's lab. He advises her to come in costume. I won't bother naming the nanny because like the previous 1 she finds the boys have vanished and so she too presumably gets fired. We also look in on Tigra and find her even more feral than earlier issues and unable to stop herself hunting birds.

Dr Pym and Wasp are in the lab when Scarlet Witch gets there. Henry asked for her in costume so she'd be more recognisable when Vision meets her because his memories are only data from Avengers files. Vizh now walks in with his white synthezoid body costumeless. He calls her Wanda but his voice is without inflection. And when she hugs him he doesn't respond. Hank explains that his memories have no emotional component, which is partly because he doesn't have Simon Williams' brain pattern.

Wanda finds Simon alone on the beach and asks him why he has refused to give Vision his brain pattern. He reminds her how when his life as a businessman/inventor had collapsed Baron Zemo offered use ionic rays to give him superpowers. But the twist was that he needed a regular antidote to keep from dying so he had to do Zemo's bidding. He joined the Avengers as a hero but then kidnapped Wasp to lure the team into the clutches of Zemo's Masters Of Evil. However inspired by the Avengers he betrayed his master and died saving them. (All this happened in Av#9.)

The Avengers couldn't save his body but they recorded his brain pattern, and later Ultron-5 used it when he created Vision. Simon was buried but his brother Eric (Grim Reaper) got Black Talon to resurrect him as a zombie and sent him to the Avengers (Av#151). But soon Wonder Man fully revived and it turned out he never died but instead had mutated into his current ionic body.

This of course isn't news to Wanda and she reminds Simon how he and Vision called each other brothers, and Mrs Williams accepted the synthezoid into her family. But he points out that he had no choice in the original copying of his brainwaves. Now he does and he can't go through with it. Wanda of course can't understand why he won't give her husband his soul back. He asks for her forgiveness but she slaps his face and tells him she hates him. As she runs off she hexes the cliff face behind them and many tons of rock fall down on him.

WM of course survives. Then he flies into space and screams where no-one can hear him. (We'll learn later that the real reason for his unwillingness is that *he* loves Wanda.)

The next scene has US Agent confronting Vision and Scarlet Witch. He insists the android stop parading around naked but Vision claims that he has no need to wear clothes. Not for protection or vanity and not for modesty because his android body has nothing to hide. Hank and Jan enter with the shreds of his old costume. He manipulates the molecules to remove any colour and create a cloak out of them. And changes his own colourless body give it lines that make it appear that he is wearing a uniform. USA is reluctantly satisfied. He retains the colourless look because it makes him seem spectral, appropriate for a Vision.

Dr Pym gives them some news. Last issue Prof Horton claimed that Vision's body isn't that of his creation the WWII android Human Torch, as Immortus previously claimed. Wanda didn't want to believe it but now Hank says that the stuff that he reassembled Vision's body from last issue couldn't possibly date back that far. (Which is ironic because what he saw inside Vision's body in Av#93 is usually taken as the 1st indication that it *was* HT's.)

Afterwards Jan chides Hank for being insensitive to Wanda's feelings, And we get more indications that they are a couple again. As they pass the Agent's bedroom they hear him talking to someone, but that room has no telephone. We see that he's talking to pictures of his parents. He says he figures he can whip this bunch into shape, but he doesn't understand Scarlet Witch's reaction to what happened to Vision.

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)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Doctor Pym (Henry Pym).

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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