West Coast Avengers #1 Review: An Absolute Joyride of Superhero Comedy with Heart

Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) finds herself in need of a hand when a swarm of land-sharks begin tearing through Santa Monica. America was in the neighborhood, and Kate's boyfriend, a new superhero called Fuse, is already on the scene. Kate gets America to pull in Hawkeye (Clint Barton) to lend a hand. This crisis makes it clear to Kate that the West Coast is in dire need of its own superhero team. Recruits are light, but she manages to get a hold of Gwenpool and Quentin Quire, aka Kid Omega. Unfortunately, no one has money to throw at this venture, so they are currently starring in their own reality show to compensate.

West Coast Avengers #1 cover by Stefano Caselli
West Coast Avengers #1 cover by Stefano Caselli and Triona Farrell

Two Hawkeyes, America Chavez, Kid Omega, Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli; please, yes, more of this comic fired directly into my face.

West Coast Avengers #1 is an absolute damn delight of a comic book. Kelly Thompson uses her expertise and skill in writing Kate Bishop and Clint Barton and expands on the idea by surrounding them with a team well suited for their car-crash personalities.

The opening land-shark catastrophe is wonderful in its absurdity. Kate and Clint are far from the best heroes to handle the situation, and there are too many for America and Fuse to just punch into the sea in a timely fashion.

The framing of the reality show does oddly harken back to the pre-Civil War New Warriors comic. Here, it's more used for general comedy than pop culture satire.

The talking head segments as well as the interviews for teammates also reminds one of the Brian Michael Bendis era of Avengers. A lot of this comic has a Bendisian vibe to it, and I, as any sane human being would, find it absolutely delightful.

I'll admit, I may have prejudged Gwenpool too harshly in the past. Here, she is a vast improvement on the big DP himself, actually having a personality beyond the self-referential-mixed-with-randomness-and-Mexican-cuisine nonsense that is Wade Wilson.

West Coast Avengers #1 art by Stefano Caselli and Triona Farrell
West Coast Avengers #1 art by Stefano Caselli and Triona Farrell

Caselli's artwork is near-perfect for the task of this comic. It's energetic, lends itself to overt displays of emotion, and just looks plain good. The detailing is good, the action scenes feel chaotic and kinetic, and the costumes are well represented. Triona Farrell backs it up with some vibrant color work that pulls the aesthetic together excellently.

West Coast Avengers #1 is a joyride through superhero chaos and good intentions in California. The team is fantastic and has a good personality balance, Thompson, Caselli, and Farrell are firing on all cylinders, and the resulting comic earns a strong recommendation as a result. Give this one a read.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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