West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #12

West Coast Avengers #12West Coast Avengers, Vol. 2, Issue 12 (September 1986)


Writer: Steve Englehart

Pencils: Al Milgrom

Inks: Joe Sinnott


Wonder Man introduces his new look to the team, and Hawkeye and Mockingbird use this opportunity to show off their new costumes too. Tigra still has some issues to deal with. And the team goes up against Quantum, Halflife and Zzzax…but are they a front for someone more sinister?


Wonder Man’s new outfit is awful. Like I said from the very first West Coast Wednesday, he goes from one bad fashion choice to another. I’m not sure what they were thinking with green, yellow and red. It’s just painful. If I were to ever write a comic book with Wonder Man, I’d do a retcon where I explained that Wonder Man’s costumes were the result of a series of lost bets.

Luckily the changes for Hawkeye and Mockingbird aren’t as dramatic, though I never cared for Mockingbird without pants. With Tigra wearing a bikini and now Mockingbird wearing what amounts to a one piece bathing suit, things aren’t looking so good for the females on this team.

Tigra is still wrestling with her two souls and it’s clearly a problem, but Englehart writes her in a way that makes her look more ridiculous than torn. For instance, within three pages, Tigra goes from seducing Wonder Man to Iron Man to finally making out with Hank Pym.

The issue’s big fight is really nothing new, though Quantum, Halflife and Zzzax are different enough to keep things interesting. But the last page reveal makes it all worth it as Graviton – the original mini-series’ big bad – returns. Hopefully things will really pick up in the next issue.


Boast.  Yeah, I like it. Not crazy about the Tigra stuff, but the villains here were a change of pace for the book.


West Coast Translator:

The Business = “Substitute teaching”

Look my age = “Dumber than ever before”

Real Avenger = “What were you thinking?”

Expert Opinion = “the opinion of a drunk”

Uh = “Butt, not penis”

She means ass

Written by

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.


  • PuffChrissy

    [New Post] West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #12 - via #twitoaster http://puffchrissy.com/headline/west...

  • PuffChrissy

    [New Post] West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #12 - via #twitoaster http://puffchrissy.com/headline/west...

  • Derek Handley

    Wonder Man's costume choices being a series of lost bets is a great idea. Who was he betting against? The Beast (who lost a few bets himself in the 90s)? The Wasp ("If your next movie doesn't make any money, you have to wear one of my cast-offs!")? Iron Man (it was a drinking contest)? Were Quantum and Halflife new, or had they appeared before? Mark Guenwald would've known.

  • Christian A. Dumais

    As far as I can tell, all three baddies were new, and I've never seen them again. They didn't feel like Avengers' villains though. Marvel Presents: LOST BETS by Christian A. Dumais and Al Milgrom.

  • Derek Handley

    Zzaxz was a Hulk villain, and I think he'd been around for a while. I thought that's who they were using in the Ang Lee Hulk movie, but instead they used... who the heck did they use? A cross between his Dad, the Absorbing Man and that DC villain that explodes randomly.

  • Dan Spector

    Not only had Zzzax had zzzzzeveral previouzzzz appearanzzzezzzz (okay, I'll stop), but in his first ever fight with the Hulk (Incredible Hulk v. 1, #166), it was Hawkeye who beat him, as referenced next issue (or was it this one?). That was when Englehart sent Hawkeye on a mini-tour of the Marvel line—Clint quit the Avengers in a huff (v.1 #109), went to San Francisco to demand that the Black Widow take him back (Daredevil v.1 #99; Gerber wrote that book, with Sam Kweskin [aka Irv Wesley] doing the pencils on that issue, one of his very few latter-day Marvel gigs; this crosses back into Avengers v.1 #112, where Clint has a cameo). After that, Clint came back to New York for the Hulk/Zzzax fight (Englehart was writing The Hulk, as well) and, trying to get information out of Greenskin (yeah, lots of luck, pal), runs into the Valkyrie and discovers the existence of the Defenders (v.1 #7; Englehart was writing this as well) just in time to be part of the Avengers-Defenders war. So although Zzzax wazzz (oops!) a relatively minor villain, his first appearance does tie into a major storyline. Quantum and Halflife were new, though. Gruenwald later used Quantum in one of the early issues of Quasar, but I don't think Halflife ever shows up again.

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