A marvelous look at California's mightiest heroes
From Christian A. Dumais – the sensational writer behind Smashed: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk – comes a funny and nostalgic look at The West Coast Avengers – the greatest and worst Marvel comic book series of all time.
Who are the West Coast Avengers?
West Coast Avengers was a Marvel comic book that ran from September 1984 to January 1994.
The team was originally comprised of Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Iron Man, Tigra, and Wonder Man. Future members would include Doctor Pym, War Machine, Thing, Moon Knight, Firebird, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, U.S. Agent, Spider-Woman, Living Lightning and more.
The hook for the series was simple: what if the Avengers were headquartered in Los Angeles instead of the long-established tradition of New York City?
Basically, West Coast Avengers was Joey to the Avengers’ Friends.
reviews of every issue
✓ West Coast Avengers Vol. 1, #1-4
✓ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #1-102
✓ Annuals #1-8
Why would anyone WRITE a book like this?
West Coast Avengers was one of the first comic book series that I started collecting from the very beginning and persevered through until the very end – from the innocent age of 9 to the should-have-known-better-age of 19. This series was – for better or for worse – the right book at the right time for me.
Rereading the series and writing Go West was an opportunity to revisit the book and understand how the things I loved as a child shaped me into the person I am today.
Perhaps more importantly, West Coast Avengers is a decade snapshot of the comic book industry. The industry the first issue was published in had all but burned to the ground when the last issue hit the stands in 1994.
As the series moves on, it feels like the book’s creators were purposely trying to push back against where the industry was heading. And at first, there’s a certain charm to it, but then it starts to burst at the seams from its own limitations.
The times had not only changed, but they changed too fast for our west coast heroes.
✓ Avengers Vol. 1, #250, #312-313; Annuals #15-16
✓ Avengers Spotlight #38
✓ The Vision and Scarlet Witch #1-2
✓ Iron Man Annual #7
✓ Silver Surfer #3
Why would anyone READ a book like this?
West Coast Avengers is an underdog story about a group of underdogs written for readers who felt like underdogs themselves.
When you’re a kid and it feels like everyone’s got life figured out but you, there’s something compelling about reading a story about grown adults overflowing with self-doubt and insecurity.
And when you’re an adult and you’ve learned that no one’s figured it out, there’s something reassuring about reading a story about grown adults trying to make it work despite themselves.
It makes you feel like you’re a part of the world no matter what coast you live on.
Want something more concrete? There’s a good chance we’ll be seeing the MCU version of the team sooner or later, and this book will allow you to be a part of the conversation. Impress your friends and family with obscure West Coast Avengers trivia. Calm animals with soothing plot details from random issues of the series. Talk your way out of a parking ticket by overwhelming the police officer with your favorite quotes.
You’ll also discover the basis for Disney Plus’ WandaVision, along with plenty of thoughts about U.S. Agent from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.