West Coast Avengers #1


Written by: Kelly Thompson

Art by: Stefano Caselli


The Story So Far:  Well…nothing.  This is the first issue.  However the recap page does tell us that Kate Bishop has moved to California to become a private investigator.  And she needs some back-up.

The oversized first issue opens with Clint Barton, in the first of many “talking head” style interviews, discussing Kate Bishop’s leadership abilities.  He tells the camera that they need only look to the Santa Monica Land Shark incident for proof.

In a flashback, we see Kate, Clint, America Chavez, and Kate’s boyfriend Fuse tackling a horde of quadrupedal great white sharks.  Nothing they throw at the problem works, until Kate figures out that if she can steer the leader back into the ocean, the others will follow.  She creates reins with an arrow and line and does just that.  More video interviews are intercut into the action, and really, the rest of the book.

Later, Clint convinces Kate that she needs a team, and she puts up an advertisement, which results in hilarious applicants, like Bread Man and The Dutch Oven.  Gwenpool shows up to invite Kate out for tacos and gets conscripted, and Quentin Quire buys his way onto the team with the caveat that his funding comes from selling out to a film crew, making a documentary about a super team that lives together.

Soon the new team is put to its first test in the form of Tigra—somehow now fifty feet tall and feral—attacking Santa Monica.  Kid Omega offers to shut Tigra’s brain down, but Kate declines; she is worried about ill effects on Tigra.  All the team’s efforts fail.  Just as Kate is about to give Quire the go-ahead to flip Tigra’s switch to “off”, a golden-haired surfer dude with a head about a size and a half too big shows up, plant’s a kiss on Kate (much to Fuse’s chagrin) and announces himself as BRODOK—Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing—and that he is here to save the day, as Gwenpool curses in confusion and we leave off until next issue.

What works:

The interviews.  I loved the Office and Parks and Recreation.  I love people talking to the camera.  It works here as well, for comedic effect as well as it’s traditionally expositional intent.

The Leads:  Hawkeye and Hawkeye.  I love them.  They are great characters, and I’ve been a fan since Fraction’s Hawkeye series.  Honestly, this is one of only two reasons I decided to pick up the book.  The other is Kelly Thompson.  I don’t know her work, and want to familiarize myself with it before the big Uncanny X-Men relaunch later this fall.

The comedy:  This is the kind of book that needs the jokes.  And they come fast and furiously.  I rarely laugh audibly at a comic, but Quentin Quire’s getting punched out by Tigra followed by his furious interview had me doing just that.  It’s well timed.  Except Gwenpool.  More on that in a moment.


What doesn’t Work: 

Gwenpool.  Told you we’d get back to her.  I dislike her.  Really, I do.  Of course, I’m not much of a Deadpool fan either, and she’s basically just a clone (not a literal one, mind you) of Wade Wilson, who is a clone of DC’s Slade Wilson.  A copy of a copy of a copy.  And just as boring as the first copy.  Sorry, Gwenpool.  You gotta go.

Other than that, this was a fun first issue.  Thompson’s comedic writing is refreshing, and Caselli’s art fits the bill.  I’ll be back for at least a few issues to see how this turns out.

Rating 3.5/5

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