Friday, July 2, 2010

1985 - West Coast Avengers

West Coast Avengers

Writer: Steve Englehart
Artists: Al Milgrom/Joe Sinnott

The idea for the West Coast Avengers arose from Roger Stern’s story line in Avengers called “Ultimate Vision” (Avengers #251-254), where the Vision made an attempt to seize control of the world’s computer systems and run them more “efficiently”.

Avengers writer Roger Stern couldn’t handle the load of two team books and former Avengers writer Steve Englehart made his return to Marvel Comics. He would be joined by the Avengers’ former regular art team of Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott since Bob Hall, who had drawn the limited series had moved over to do Squadron Supreme which didn’t work out for him in the end.

This series also featured the return of Tony Stark as Iron Man having recovered from his bout of alcoholism and retaken the mantle from James Rhodes.

The first two-issues of the West Coast Avengers were crossovers with the Vision and the Scarlet Witch limited series as both series were launching the same month. Englehart wrote both series and managed to pull off one of the most underrated Avengers stories.

The early issues were filled by a membership search since the team only had 5 active members (Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonderman, and Iron Man). Issue #3 featured a great character piece on Tigra as she has to take on Kraven the Hunter on her own. The Thing actually became a member for a few issues (#4-10) until deciding it wasn’t a good fit for him.

Interestingly, the title was such a success that it was actually outsold the core Avengers book.


  1. Having never read the West Coast Avengers growing up, (I was more of an X-Men guy), I picked up the recent HAWKEYE and WEST COAST ASSEMBLED MPC's and really enjoyed them. I'm hoping they follow them up with a collection of the '85 series. But I can't say I'm too thrilled with the Milgrom art.

  2. I LOVED the limited series with the Bob Hall art, but after the first ish of the regular series, I.. just.. couldn't.. stand.. Milgrom anymore. I held out for the first dozen issues, then gave up.

    I came back for a spell during the Byrne issues when Shooter disassembled ol' Vish but lost interest again. Typically I always loved Englehart's CA&F writing, but I just couldn't handle the dismal writing, and worse art.

  3. Hey david_b, I felt pretty much the same way. Their time-travelling adventures tired me out around issue #24. And I certainly jumped back on when Byrne took over, but was mortified when he destroy the Vision and the Scarlet Witch...

  4. I quite like Milgrom's art but found the writing pretty bad. Wish Stern had handled both Avengers comics.

    Yeah, the time travel and cat people stuff dragged out far too long and wasn't very well done. Lost interest.

    Shame what Byrne did to the Vision. He hasn't been viable since.



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