Avengers West Coast #87-88
Issue(s): Avengers West Coast #87, Avengers West Coast #88
Second of all, the plot of this story has a group of never-before-seen Russian super-characters who want to re-start the Cold War by literally freezing America. I mean that is 1950s stuff. It was bad when Roy Thomas did practically the same thing by giving us the Cold Warrior in 1977's Marvel Premiere #37, and at least that time it was meant to take place in the 1950s. It's unacceptable for a story written and taking place in 1992.
Things start off in the best way possible, with a butt-naked USAgent.
USAgent is actually sent on the assignment that turns into this story's plot by "Lou" from the Superhero Commission. It's technically illegal for him to work for the Commission because the Avengers are a UN affiliated organization. So USAgent is getting paid under the table. That's why he's taking a personal day.
Before he leaves, though, he is called back to the Avengers' compound, where they all watch a report of Iron Man's death.
This scene is repeated in Iron Man #284, except that Tigra and the Wasp are shown to be among the Avengers present in the Iron Man issue.
Hawkeye immediately apologizes for what he says to Mockingbird, and she seems to accept the apology.
USAgent then takes his leave. Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man decide to tail him. Some of the other Avengers go to Iron Man's funeral.
This series has finally gotten around to acknowledging the changes that Wonder Man has been going through.
UAgent encounters and is captured by the Russian Superagents, called the Bogatyri ("the valiant champions of elder days" from Russian folklore).
USAgent is tossed in a nearby lake to drown. Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man rescue him after the Bogatyri leave.
Wolverine was already caught investigating the area and has been captured. But he's been biding his time and he escapes as the Avengers arrive.
The only member of the Bogatyri that will appear again is Zvezoa Dennista, which is Russian for Morning Star. She was a geologist that found an asteroid that allowed her to generate flame from her body.
All four of the Bogatyri seem to be loosely based on the Fantastic Four. One guy has stretchy powers and smokes a pipe. One is super-strong while needing to wear a full body suit due to deformity in his lungs and limbs. And one has psychic powers that give him telekinesis.
The Avengers and Wolverine get captured again. It turns out Morning Star is a fan of Wonder Man's acting.
The Bogatyri start their Cold War.
The heroes escape and stop them.
Back at the West Coast Compound, Hawkeye bristles a bit about Captain America checking in on them.
And Hawkeye and Mockingbird are surprised to learn that Spider-Woman intends to keep her daughter Rachel at the compound.
And Living Lightning decides to go to college, and Hawkeye and Mockingbird's divorce is about to become final.
"The second Cold War". Good god.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Hawkeye and USAgent seem to still be recovering from Deathweb's poison at the beginning of this issue, but since the Deathweb story was referenced in the Assault on Armor City annual event, and Iron Man was alive for that story, they must have recovered for the annuals and then had a relapse. Iron Man #284-286 take place during this story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCaptain America, Hawkeye, Living Lightning, Lou (Superhero Commission), Mockingbird, Morning Star, Rachel Carpenter, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, USAgent, Wolverine, Wonder Man
I like these issues more than you do. While Hawkeye is supposedly in charge now, it will be Scarlet Witch who will be making command decisions from now until the end of the series. I like it that Wanda is taking charge.
Posted by: Steven | April 26, 2016 12:08 PM
"Hawkeye and USAgent are still recovering from Deathweb's poison at the beginning of this issue and shouldn't appear elsewhere between this and last arc"
Posted by: Michael | April 26, 2016 11:52 PM
Eh, I don't mind this at all. Using U.S.Agent for something besides an antagonist for Hawkeye and I don't even mind the Russian FF wannabes. They're not great and it's no surprise they never appeared again though.
Posted by: AF | April 27, 2016 6:47 AM
@Michael, thanks for reminding me of the reference to Deathweb in the annuals. That's annoying, but i guess Hawkeye and USAgent had a relapse.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 27, 2016 7:37 AM
Ross was really phoning the art in. He's capable of so much better.
Posted by: Bob | April 27, 2016 11:04 AM
There are some 9 year olds who can paint better than this trash and they charge money? Surely the artist is capable of better than this. Where is the pride in the work? Must have been demoralising working for Marvel during this time. Sorry for the bitterness but I quit around this time after regularly collecting having 30+ titles per month steadily for years
Posted by: Grom | September 15, 2016 8:23 AM
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