Avengers: West Coast Avengers—Family Ties

avengers west coast avengers family ties cover marvel comics
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 7/10

Nice solid classic comics

Not always the best storytelling and more melodrama than some may like

Comic Info

Comic Name:  West Coast Avengers/Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Limited Series 2)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Steve Englehart

Artist:  Al Milgrom/Richard Howell/Kyle Baker

# of Issues:  11

Release Date:  2011

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West Coast Avengers #1

Reprints West Coast Avengers #1-9 and Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Limited Series 2) #1-2 (October 1985-June 1986).  The West Coast Avengers are trying to find their footing and fill out their ranks.  As Wonder Man and Vision find a greater link between each other, Tigra struggles with trying to keep her humanity.  The return of Ultron could bring about a change for the robot but a hunt for the demonic Master Pandemonium could be the new team of Avengers’ undoing!

Written by Steve Englehart, Avengers: West Coast Avengers—Family Ties features art by Al Milgrom, Richard Howell, and Kyle Baker.  The collection follows Avengers:  West Coast Avengers—Assemble and collects the beginning of the continuing West Coast Avengers series (following the mini-series) and the first two issues of the twelve issue Vision and the Scarlet Witch limited series.

I started reading comic around the time that West Coast Avengers kicked off.  It was a great time in comics that correctly found the balance between fun, art, and story.  The West Coast Avengers was the more angst-y version of the Avengers and always my favorite of the two.

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West Coast Avengers #5

Despite most ’80s comics not having big continuing storylines, West Coast Avengers did seem to do a better job of getting multiple stories going within the comic. This series has a lot of stories going on, and in true ’80s fashion, not all of them are solved in the collection (unlike the current popularity of more standalone story arcs).  It is kind of refreshing to read a comic that feels like there is a reason to read past six issues.

The other thing that I always liked about the West Coast Avengers is the cast of characters. Hawkeye never was a favorite, but he was tolerable in this series.  I liked Wonder Man and Tigra and enjoyed some of the stuff Englehart did with Hank Pym and Firebird.  This volume is all about trying to find a new member and having the slighted Firebird (who kind of reminds me of how the Avengers treated Jocasta).

Likewise, the art for the volume is rather standard. This was before the real stylized art of the ’90s and the goal of most artists seemed to be coherent art that matches the story.  If one artist left and another took over, you were less likely to realize it.  It might not have been dynamic, but it was good.

Rereading these issues makes me miss what has been lost in current comics. There was much more fluidity between teams (like Thing joining the WCA) and at the same time there was a much more structured timeline within the comics.  If Thing was in LA, he wasn’t hanging with the Fantastic Four.  This continuity has been thrown out the window over the years with Spider-Man and Wolverine being wherever they need to be.  I wish we could go back.  Avengers:  West Coast Avengers—Family Ties was followed by Avengers:  West Coast Avengers—Sins of the Past.

Related Links:

Avengers:  West Coast Avengers—Assemble

Avengers:  West Coast Avengers—Lost in Space-Time

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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