Avengers West Coast #53
Issue(s): Avengers West Coast #53
That's it for Magneto in this issue, but John Byrne will be coming back to him even after Acts of Vengeance is over.
From there we go to the poor Scarlet Witch, who has been sitting catatonic since the end of Atlantis Attacks. She's apparently been comatose since then, which as Wonder Man notes, isn't too surprising considering all she's been through.
Based on all of this, Wonder Man is now willing to let his brainwaves be duplicated to restore the Vision's personality (i admit i'm including this panel to show off the Wasp's GIANT gloves).
But the Vision has decided that it really wouldn't work, which i agree with.
In fact, the Vision has decided to leave the West Coast team and join up with the East Coasters, because it would balance the team's power levels better (which, i mean, the East Coast team has Thor and Quasar at this time, right? They're not exactly chumps. This is before the Whackos find out about the attack on Avengers Island, by the way.).
Meanwhile, John Byrne continues to have fun with the narration capsule "Meanwhile".
Immortus is wiping out divergent realities.
And back in the real world, while the others are reacting to the Vision's decision, the Avengers are attacked by three of the U-Foes.
Actually, for the first couple pages, it's more like Iron Man vs. the U-Foes.
But eventually the others get involved.
Iron Clad gets knocked so far from the battle that he's forced to mindlessly rampage just to get the fight to come to him.
And Henry Pym uses the opportunity to try some shock therapy on Wanda.
Eventually the fourth member of the U-Foes, Vector, turns up. It turns out that the other three were manipulated by some monitor footage at one of their hidden bases, which showed the West Coast Avengers killing Vector. It's interesting how some of the Acts of Vengeance villains are just magicked onto the battlefields or directly manipulated by Loki, some are hired by the villain cabal, and these guys are remotely duped with no contact from any of the arch villains.
When Vector arrives he arrogantly says that of course the U-Foes couldn't defeat the Avengers without his leadership, and then they leave. The West Coasters then try to raise the East Coast team but find them incommunicado. So (after Pym initially suggests a different team configuration but gets shot down by Scarlet Witch), Pym and Janet go to the East Coast to see what happened while the rest of the group go to look for the U-Foes (although based on Cloak & Dagger #9 it looks like Iron Man might have wound up going East as well).
My current read-through of Byrne's west coast team has me constantly second guessing myself. Like, i read this and i go, well this was good. Good fight and a nice and unusual team of villains, and i like seeing the acknowledgement that Scarlet Witch sure has gone through the wringer, and i like Wonder Man agreeing to let them use his brain patterns. But i'm always thinking, "yeah, but where is this going?". I mean i've read it all before a bunch of times but never so carefully. Anyway, right now it's fun and a note in the lettercol assures us that Byrne has a way to put everything back together when he's all done.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the Considerations for Iron Man #251-252. I'm saying those issues must occur directly before these in order to honor the montage in Avengers Spotlight #27. Additionally, Scarlet Witch has been catatonic since Fantastic Four annual #22. At a minimum that means she shouldn't appear elsewhere in between. It also means that either this can't take place too far after that story, or that the Avengers have figured out some way to feed her. Maybe she'll reflexively swallow broth, for example. With Marvel's compressed timeframe you can choose to believe the former despite the number of books that i've placed between FF Annual #4 and this issue, but i think the latter makes more sense. There are so many things that need to happen in the run-up to Acts of Vengeance that it seems like some time should have passed since Atlantis Attacks. It's said that Avengers #312 occurs next for "the Acts of Vengeance scenario" but we will have to check in with other books first.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
As a kid, STUPID me thought Immortus was the Acts of Vengeance power broker dude.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | March 26, 2015 2:42 PM
I always liked the U-Foes and enjoyed their use here. Because of both the art and the writing, the AWC was much better than the main title, and it stays so during Acts of Vengeance.
Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2015 10:44 PM
Simon really is a hero, agreeing to give the Vision back his brain patterns now that Wanda is in a coma and can't have sex with him.
Posted by: Michael | March 26, 2015 11:30 PM
Magneto: Fool! Think you Magneto cares one whit for such paltry scheming?
I think you mean 'You think.' Fnord, you're not the only one to make typos. :P
Posted by: JSfan | March 27, 2015 9:04 AM
Unlike me, Magneto gets a little poetic license to do some Shakespearean villainspeak.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 27, 2015 9:21 AM
Bryne made IM really strong in his AWC issues. Here he pounds Ironclad a country mile away and next issue he's lifting monsters the size of a city block.
Posted by: kveto | March 28, 2015 3:23 PM
Yes, but kveto, Byrne also provides some explanations in both cases, which I thought was pretty cool.
Not having read the Spider-Man issues at the time, I thought most of the other villains were being tricked by the cabal into attacking heroes like the U-Foes were.
I really liked Magneto saying that he didn't about conquering the heroes. It allowed me at the time to continue to believe in his redemption - that this was all about protecting mutants, not going back to hardcore villainy.
Overall, I think this issue served AoV well. It allowed someone like me, who never read the Hulk, to see a foe I really didn't know outside of their Marvel Universe entry.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 18, 2015 11:48 AM
John Byrne’s depiction of Magneto is unparalleled. He’s clearly given a lot of thought to the different elements of the costume—the cloth versus the bolted metallic parts, the way the cape attaches to the shoulder harness, the “3rd dimensional” edge of the helmet revealed around the eye cutouts. It’s a costume that can look comical when drawn by other hands, but Byrne makes it all convincing and ominous.
My introduction to Magneto was Byrne’s great cliffhanger splash page in X-Men #111, and nothing since then has supplanted that impression; but the panels reproduced here are worthy successors. His attention to costume detail is something that’s always distinguished Byrne as an artist, but with Magneto—and I’d add with Doom and Galactus—his depiction reaches “definitive” status.
Posted by: Chris Z | April 21, 2018 12:17 PM
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