Characters Appearing: Hawkeye, Living Lightning, Mockingbird Skrull, Quantum, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), USAgent, Vision, War Machine, Wundarr (Aquarian)
Avengers West Coast #96-97
Issue(s): Avengers West Coast #96, Avengers West Coast #97
We start with a training fight between Spider-Woman and Hawkgoliath which is interrupted when War Machine spots the West Coast Avengers' gardener laying in the rubble. It turns out that he got accidentally zapped by the Living Lightning in the aftermath of the Lighting seeing the giant floating cross in Infinity Crusade #1. Mockingbird joins them and they decide to search for Living Lightning. They first go to Scarlet Witch, who acts weirdly and then disappears.
Similar situation with USAgent...
...and basically again with Living Lightning.
The left behind heroes hear from the Vision that other heroes are going missing as well. But before they can figure out what to do about that, Goliath and Mockingbird are attacked by multiple Quantums.
As usual, the difference between what we see in the tie-in and the core Infinity book is pretty jarring. That's not to say that it's contradictory, but the violence feels out of place. And aside from the ending, that's mostly what issue #96 covers, so there's not a lot of value to it. Issue #97 is where we get into the totally unrelated Quantum story. The plot delves into the weird convoluted continuity of Quantum, which i guess was catnip to Roy Thomas. It is interesting though because it seems like a rare case where Thomas is delving into continuity that is relatively new.
The "Power Platoon" each have a different power. I would not be shocked if they were based on some other super hero team, but i don't want to try to figure it out (for what it's worth, at one point it's said that it's like fighting X-Factor, X-Force, and the X-Men all at the same time).
Ladies and gentlemen, i give you the dumbest cop in the Marvel universe:
Mockingbird remembers that Hawkeye previously used a smoke arrow to block out the sun to defeat the original Quantum, and luckily Goliath still carries his bow and arrows with him, so he tries the same trick, and it works. War Machine then wraps them up in some metal. WTF this sunblock comment!
Interestingly, War Machine recognizes the Power Platoon as Quantum clones. Tony Stark was with the team when they originally fought Quantum.
At this point it's said that the Goddess' suppression of crime has been in effect for several hours. Also, with the success of the smoke arrow, Clint wonders if it's time to go back to being Hawkeye. Skrull alert!
To try to figure out what to do with their captives, Mockingbird reviews files from Quasar and learns about Wundarr/Aquarian, who is also a Dakkamite like Quantum and the Power Platoon.
It is quite a lot of backstory for some minor villains.
Then Quantum, still in triplicate arrives, and he's brought Aquarian with him. Actually Aquarian has been reverted to Wundarr and is under Quantum's control.
This begins another round of fighting, and since these guys are like Superman level powerful, it's tough going. Quantum himself is intangible and is unable to join the fight, but Wundar gets the other Dakkamites free. But you might remember that the Goddess' violence suppression is supposed to be in effect. The way that translates is while Wundarr was trying to free his fellows, he could fight the Avengers. But once Quantum orders the Dakkamites to kill the Avengers, they all stop. And then leave, with Quantum himself being unaffected but unable to do anything in his intangible state. So the Avengers are saved by the Goddess. Spider-Woman - who at this point is with the gathering of heroes - calls on a monitor to say it's because they were "switching from a more defensive mode -- to an aggressive one". I don't think that's exactly how it is presented anywhere else, but ok.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue begins with the heroes being recruited by the Goddess and the West Coast Avengers that have been left behind searching for them. But it ends while the Goddess' crime/war suppression effect is in place. So i'm placing this after Infinity Crusade #2. Spider-Woman is sent to Four Freedoms Plaza as a "representative" at the end of issue #96 while the others continue to search for their missing teammates (hopefully there's a note on the door telling her to go to Avengers Mansion, which is where everyone really is).
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"WTF this sunblock comment!" There's a spelling mistake in that panel - "Metallic Awnining" - which might explain the sunblock comment.
Posted by: clyde | December 1, 2016 3:29 PM
Rhodey does NOT make "Cracker ass cracker" jokes.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | December 2, 2016 7:18 AM
Oh for the love of God... Roy Thomas is basing the Power Platoon off the Legion of Superheroes. So you've got Mon-El, Colossal Boy, Chameleon Boy, Gates, Triplicate Girl, and who knows who else...
Posted by: Andrew | December 2, 2016 11:17 AM
One note regarding Wundarr- he appears as Aquarian in Quasar 50 at about the time of this story and in Spider-Man Team-Up 6 in 1996. In neither story is it explained how he became Aquarian again, so Quasar 50 can take place either before or after this story.
Posted by: Michael | December 2, 2016 11:21 PM
@Michael: According to Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update #1, it was the Goddess' influence that allowed Quantum to revert Aquarian back to his Wundarr identity and power-set. After the Goddess was defeated, the reversion wore off and Aquarian returned to normal.
Posted by: D09 | December 3, 2016 2:25 PM
Ouch, I didn't remember the art being total garbage like this.
Posted by: Urban Commando | February 16, 2017 4:36 AM
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