TITLE: West Coast Avengers Limited Series Issue #1
YEAR: September 1984
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Roger Stern
Penciler: Bob Hall
Inker: Brett Breeding
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Julianna Ferriter
Editor: Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
1984 and the question many of comics have asked was, “if the Avengers were in the East Coast, who is going to save those in the West Coast?”.
OK, Marvel Comics is in the East Coast, so I figured, they could care less. Their cities featured in the comics are totally East Coast and I just grown use to not seeing anything west coast or comic books featuring the beach but those old school ads with the nerdy guy being picked on the muscular bully and the nerdy guy works out and becomes the stud among the women on the beach.
Seriously, West Coast had no representation and as much as Central California would hope to think Riverdale was somewhere near Fresno, California, it wasn’t. It was actually based on Hiawatha, Kansas.
So, imagine being a kid and finding out the West Coast is getting a superhero team, the West Coast Avengers and to find and lead this team would be Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye.
Hawkeye and his wife Mockingbird (former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Barbara “Bobbi” Morse) are given the go-ahead from Vision to create new team on the West Coast and with the Vision’s help, they contact Tigra, stunt man Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man, Iron Man (James Rhodes was filling in as Iron Man as Tony Stark was an alcoholic and not doing so well during this time in Marvel Comics) to visit the mansion (not telling them that they want them to join the West Coast Avengers).
And just when Hawkeye springs to them the news that the reason they are all there is that he wants them to join the new West Coast Avengers, suffice to say, not everyone is quite thrilled.
Tigra feels that she was out of her league when compared to the other Avengers, while Rhodes was going to explain to everyone that he is the person inside the Iron Man suit. But before the group can have an appropriate discussion, someone has sneaked into the West Coast Avengers mansion and now all of them try to find who may have infiltrated the compound.
As a kid, I absolutely loved West Coast Avengers. There were a few things going on with the regular Avengers comic book that I needed something upbeat, different and absolutely new energy and the West Coast Avengers brought that vibe.
And I absolutely enjoyed that Hawkeye was appointed the new leader and it was probably the coolest thing Marvel can do to have a superhero couple in their comics and to wait and see how they would tear it all apart (because Marvel Comics couples rarely stay together because it’s an easy story plot to drag out for several issues). But I was pulling for Hank Barton and Bobbi Morse, as I pulled for Reed and Sue Storm-Richards of the Fantastic Four but of course, writers really had a field day with Hawkeye and Mockingbird throughout the series.
Nevertheless, this team of five (utilizing Avengers rules of having only five in the team) was rather interesting and to see Hank and the team being given so much expensive technology and this expensive headquarters was rather interesting.
But this was just issue #1 of a four issue mini-series and it would eventually lead to a series which lasted one four-issue limited series and a series that would last for 102 issues from 1984-1994. It had a solid run and will always remember this moment of time in comic history of Marvel giving the West Coast a new Avengers team!