West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #16

West Coast Avengers, Vol. 2, Issue 16 (January 1987)


Writer: Steve Englehart

Layouts: Al Milgrom

Finishes: Joe Sinnott


While Tigra tests out the new-her in San Francisco by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge with the team watching, they have a brief run in with Tiger Shark. After catching him, Pym reflects on how he was one of the villains who got him to walk away from the superhero life back in the day. Before he can finish telling the story, Tigra decides to dump him with the finesse of an eighth grade cheerleader. With all this anger and frustration hanging over Pym, he helps the team to find and capture Whirlwind, Tiger Shark’s partner.


The issue starts with Tigra jumping off the Golden Gate bridge to prove that she has control over herself. But she doesn’t seem to care about the traffic accidents and mayhem she causes on top of the bridge as drivers assume she is another suicide jumper. Superheroes can be real jerks.

While Englehart does a good job balancing the large cast – and despite what the cover promises – this issue is really about Hank Pym. The appearance of Tiger Shark gives Pym the opportunity to flashback and readers why he is where he is today. Tigra then breaks up with him by convincing him to keep trying to score with her. This causes Pym to have a breakdown, but before he loses control, he reminds himself of how Quicksilver lost it during the recent annual.

And the last thing Pym needs is to be confronted by holographic babies.

With that in mind, he convinces the team to take on Whirlwind by giving them information on how to catch him. This, however, appears to be a cover so that Pym can confront Whirlwind. And why does he do this? Well, Pym confronts Whirlwind to…brag about the trap he’s set on him. Whirlwind just takes this opportunity to tell Pym what a jerk he is (true).

The issue ends on a somber note with Pym looking out the window at the Golden Gate bridge while Tigra talks about why people commit suicide there.

[Insert dramatic music here].


Boast. I like this one only because it’s all over the place. The soap opera aspect of the book has been turned up to eleven as it looks like Englehart is ready to do for Pym what he did for Tigra last issue; that is, take him to the next level.


It’s not you, Hank, it’s me. But don’t stop trying to be with me…

You’re all in for a real treat next week, folks. Because WCA #17 is Epic.

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.


  • NFPendleton

    The "lick myself down" comment is a blatant opening. Pym is a fool and deserves to miss the score.

  • Dan Spector

    Hank went into brag mode on Whirlwind because he needed to feel good, and not only is Dave Cannon pretty much his archenemy (as well as, essentially, Marvel's first mutant…doing Dave's origin [then as The Human Top] in Tales To Astonish v.1 #50 was the first time Stan talked about genetic variations and such), but the last time they had a major throwdown was in Avengers v. 1 #139, when Hank FINALLY figured out that Jan's ex-chauffeur, "Charles Mathew" was actually old Whirlwind in civvies (only took you eight years, genius!) and Dave taunted him mercilessly. (Hank, in full "Jan is in the hospital so I'm going to beat you senseless" rage mode, put him away, albeit nearly killing himself in the process.) So it's quite natural that Hank, depressed and broken by Tigra's brushoff (and his previous loss of his "son", Ultron 12) tries to get a little back by taunting Dave here; he might have done it to any villain, but there's specific payback at work. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong when Whirly kicks him in the ego, anyway, neatly setting the stage for next issue's awesomeness… (But that horrible Geoff Johns issue [Avengers v3. #71] where Whirlwind is obsessed with *Jan* is just wrong; clearly Hank and Dave's bouts of dick-measuring bespeak which Pym ol' Whirly *really* wants to "take for a spin", don't you think?)

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