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West Coast Avengers #46: Review

Jul 1989
John Byrne, John Byrne

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Review & Comments

4 stars

West Coast Avengers #46 Review by (April 15, 2023)
In the weeks since last issue Hawkeye has fought Orb and Plantman in Solo Avengers #19-20 and then in the renamed Avengers Spotlight #21, with Dr Pym and Wonder Man guesting in the 3rd issue.

In the middle of this issue Vision (in the backup tale in Av Spotlight #23) interrupts a Johnny Carson TV show to assure America that he's the same Vision they've seen before. The rest of the WCA see the show and fall about laughing.

We saw a board meeting at Absolom College in #44 looking through a list of mutants and choosing Scarlet Witch, so their offer to help Vision may not be what it seems. But more on that next issue.

Wanda and Vision will take some time before visiting Absolom and the WCA will have many apps before that. Note that Dr Pym, Vision, Wasp and Wonder Man aren't in this issue, but I'll include their intermediate apps anyway.

Enchantress will cast her spell on Wonder Man in a tale in Marvel Comics Presents #38-45 with Dr Pym, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wasp in various issues.
In Av#305 Captain America calls all the available past Avengers together and proposes they form a pool to be called on if needed. Hawkeye and Mockingbird are there but don't take part in the subsequent #306-308 although the WCA do. (US Agent isn't involved.)
Hawkeye faces an array of minor villains led by Crossfire in Av Spotlight #22-25 but he's helped by Trickshot, the villain who trained him in archery. He and Mockingbird have a heated marriage counselling session in the 1st issue but she comes to his aid in the last 1.
H&MB put the Great Lakes Avengers through a training session in the middle of Av#309.
In the backup tale in Av Spotlight #22 Hawkeye shows Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonder Man a tape of Swordsman recounting his origin.
Scarlet Witch, Tigra and Wasp attend She-Hulk's bridal shower in Ceremony #1
Then the WCA (including US Agent who hasn't been in any of theses issues) continue to next issue. And H&MB and the GLA appear next in #48.

The apps of Hawkeye alongside Vision in white in MCP#38,45 and AvSpot#22 backup tale, where he appears to be still a member of the WCA, are hard for the Chronology Project to reconcile. Clint Barton doesn't return to the team until #60 after Vision has already moved over to the main Avengers. We have to assume he just keeps visiting them.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

West Coast Avengers #46 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A bank is being robbed in Milwaukee and hostages have been taken. A red & blue-clad hero descends from the ceiling on lines and attacks the 2 thieves with jokes and acrobatic moves but it's not Spider-Man. He has a white vertical rectangle on his chest with 'Mr' written in the top. And then 1 of the bad guys shoots him with his sawn-off shotgun full in the chest so they're sure he's dead.

But then a long flexible 'limb' in a black & blue uniform wraps around the hostages to take them out of harms way. And an extremely fat woman smashes through a wall from outside. Meanwhile a white human shape outlined in black dots forms on another wall and a flying female 'dinosaur' soars through it. The dinosaur flies rings round 1 thief while the other guy fires at the big woman, whose body absorbs the bullets and then expels them back to the shooter. The flexible body captures that thug while the 'dead' hero rises up and starts stomping the other.

He (apparently the leader) has to be restrained by the flexible man, who despite the 'F' on his chest isn't Mr Fantastic - instead he's called Flatman. The superlarge woman is Big Bertha and the other female is Dinah Soar who emits a hypersonic sound which calms their boss down. Then a man in a black suit with white eyes (who's also not Spider-Man) enters through the front door and says the cops are holding back reporters who want to see them. The bossman walks out and tells the world they are the Great Lakes Avengers,

In a motel room in Malibu Clint Barton (Hawkeye) rushes out of his shower when he hears this on the TV and immediately thinks of calling the West Coast Avengers about it. But then he immediately doesn't because he quit that group (last issue) when the Government replaced him as leader with U.S. Agent. And further then he answers the doorbell in his bathtowel to see his estranged wife Bobbi (Mockingbird) at the door.

She says it's taken her 3 weeks to find him since he stormed out of the WCA Compound (but it must be said that she stormed out too). She says she's here to talk about their marriage but Clint thought they'd agreed to divorce (#35). Bobbi admits that their previous attempts at reconciliation didn't work (I can only recall Solo Av #16) but she willing to try again.

Clint thinks she's just taking pity on him because he got fired, and now they're back to arguing. Bobbi hits back by rehashing her complaint that he wasn't supportive after he learned how she was kidnapped, drugged and raped by Phantom Rider (missing out the bit about her letting PR die). Instead of bonding them together it split them apart ... but she still loves him.

In the WCA Compound US Agent is enjoying a hearty breakfast, which the cook likes because most of the team just grab toast and OJ. Then slightly-feral Tigra bounds in chasing a mouse to eat. He tries to stop her but she goes more feral and attacks him. He slaps her and she runs off. The cook explains that she's done it several times but she didn't say anything about it because she thought it was part of Tigra's job ... and it kept the mice out of the larder. USA thinks something should be done about this.

We now see Clint and Bobbi flying in a passenger plane to Milwaukee. Clint's still grumpy about it even though it was his idea. They arrange with the police to put out a fake APB to lure the GLA to the Germania building where there are strange lights on the roof.  The leader sends Dinah Soar up to investigate, and he gets the black-suited man, named Doorman, to turn into a human-shaped doorway which Flatman can use to get inside at ground level. FM muses that it always seems like he passes through a strange other dimension when he does that.

On the roof a shadowed figure fires an arrow which tangles Dinah in netting. She pulls out a whistle and sounds a note which tells her teammates she's in trouble. Big Bertha takes the boss, who she calls Mr I, on her back and bounces so high she can grab the roof edge to let him leap to confront the archer. Then she lets go and hits the ground laughing.

The archer is of course Hawkeye but the GLA leader thinks he's a fake, especially when he manages to nail him with a flying double-foot kick. But he doesn't do so well against Mockingbird who's more used to physical combat. However he still thinks she's a fake too because everybody knows Hawk and MB have split up and she's quit the Avengers (in #37). (Presumably Hawkeye's later exit isn't common knowledge yet.)

But his next move astonishes them as he back flips off the building to fall many stories to his death. Bobbi ricochets down between 2 walls to try to save him and the pliable guy is astonished that the 'villain' cares. He introduces himself as Flatman, deputy leader of the GLA. When Hawkeye joins them via an arrow line he tells them that the 'victim' isn't dead - he's Mr Immortal and he always recovers.

The gang take the duo to their HQ in Big Bertha's palatial apartment. Dinah Soar, Doorman, Flatman and Mr I hang out with our pair, and  Hawkeye asks how Bertha can afford this place. The answer arrives in the shape of a tall slender blonde who Bobbi recognises as top model Ashley Crawford, who claims to *be* Big Bertha. FM explain that they based the group in Milwaukee because they wanted to be a 'North Coast' Avengers. Mocky objects that they can't just call themselves Avengers. But Hawk suggests that they might have the makings of a good team here, under his management of course.

In our final scene Wanda Maximoff gets a letter from Jeremiah Random at the Absolom College Of Robotics offering to help with Vision's situation.

John Byrne
Mike Machlan
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.


(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Greer Nelson)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

Plus: Big Bertha, Dinah Soar, Doorman, Flatman, Great Lakes Avengers, Mr Immortal.

> West Coast Avengers: Book info and issue index

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