West Coast Avengers #1 Review

by Charles Martin on August 22, 2018

West Coast Avengers #1 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Tríona Farrell
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I fell in love with West Coast Avengers #1 like it bought me doughnuts, and the insane final-page surprise really sealed in the deal. 

If the book's creative or heroic line-up makes you think, "that sounds like it might be fun," let me assure you, it is. Go buy it; it absolutely will not disappoint.

To condense my crowing into a reasonable length, I had to chop out transitional language and paragraphing and get listacular.  And still I cut 17 more Reasons Of Awesomeness out of respect for your time. You've got comics to read and one of them should be WCA #1!

30 Non-Spoilery Reasons Why West Coast Avengers #1 Is Awesome:

1. It's the beautiful love child of Nextwave and U.S. Avengers.
2. It doesn't need three issues of faffing about to Assemble its team.
3. It's already got absolutely insane Beyond Corporation-type opposition.
4. Quentin Quire and Gwenpool start an instant feud that is as amusing as it is Looney Tunes violent.
5. The last-page surprise, good Lord, the last-page surprise. I cannot spoil it; you have to read it.
6. Johnny "Fuse" "Kate's Boyfriend" Watts has a tantalizingly familiar power-set. Also, his self-conscious inexperience is perfect for a team-up book.
7. The reality TV conceit forces the team to live together. It's a special trial for Kate and Johnny, who have definitely not reached the shacking-up stage organically.
8. Johnny pointing that out has instantly won my love in a way that none of his prior appearances managed. 
9. Quentin Quire is a slob in a shared bathroom situation I knew it.
10. Clint Barton is wearing his hearing aids in at least a few panels. (That Matters to some of our brethren out there.)
11. We get a second surprise OG member from the Roger Stern days. You may guess who but you'll never guess how.
12. America Chavez is back to kicking ass and being laconically sassy. Star portal is indeed the best way to travel.
13. The fight scenes start with saving Santa Monica from a horde of Land Sharks and just get more audaciously brilliant from there.
14. Kate holds open auditions to round out the roster and they are insanely great. The Silver Snowboarder, Wolver-Mean, the Broken Watch, and more!
15. Kate will brazenly declare Clint is gay if that's what it takes to save him from a skanky stalker.
16. This is exactly the high-octane big-budget surround-sound sequel Ms. Thompson's Hawkeye deserves.
17. Kelly Thompson brings back all the razor wit and lovable sass that made the last volume of Hawkeye a treasure. She blasts past "are these worthy portrayals of these characters" straight to "yes, this is exactly how these characters would behave."
18. Stefano Caselli has do-anything art superpowers. Great action, great costumes, great settings, great expressions. The faces Kate pulls in those auditions are purest comedy gold.
19. Tríona Farrell picks up the lush LA palette right where Jordie Bellaire left it. She takes this issue through an impressively complete round of Pacific Coast lighting from bright morning to ruddy dusk and every step looks great.
20. Gwenpool's favourite gun has two modes: "Very Extremely Lethal" or "Creampuff."
21. Does that ticker under the TV news say "Oh God everything is awful somebody do something?" You bet it does!
22. Lookit Gwen and Quentin there at the end ohmigod the fighting was a front they are in lurrrve Team Pink forever. (Maybe.)
23. Kate's Scoobies make a single-panel cameo; it's nice flag-waving but it respects the fact they never quite broke out in the Hawkeye solo.
24. Quentin Quire is a magnificent tool for hanging lampshades and pointing out plot holes without getting too smug and self-aware about it.
25. Quentin Quire is a magnificent tool full stop.
26. America Chavez punches a yacht to splinters in midair with some clever portalling and there's so much awesome action that I nearly forgot about that.
27. This title is a worthy successor to about four of Marvel's recent comedy books.
28. Combining and compressing so many outstanding characters triggers humour fusion and unleashes powerful new isotopes of fun that these folks could not tap in solo adventures.
29. West Coast Avengers #1 proves that you absolutely do not have to be serious to be absolutely great.
30. Just read it already so I can say the thing from the last page and then you can say the thing and then we can high-five, OK?

No matter how high your expectations are for an irreverent Thompson/Caselli funnybook, West Coast Avengers #1 exceeds them. It combines a bundle of awesome flavours - peanut butter and chocolate and pink and Nextwave and more - in a way that's positively delicious. If you like your comics with rich servings of humour and absurdity and heart, this will be a feast to remember.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Waitaminute. Was there no Pizza Dog? There was no Pizza Dog! And there was a PIZZA-EATING SCENE RIGHT THERE what the hell!