It's never a good sign when one of the characters on the cover is colored incorrectly... The guy on the left is supposed to be green.
Hello all, and welcome to another exciting installment of Let’s Look at Comics!
Today we’ll be looking at Marvel’s, “Avengers West Coast #99 – Time to Kill.”
For those who are unaware, The Avengers are essentially Marvel’s answer to DC’s Justice League; a team of heroes comprised of their respective universes most powerful and highest profile characters.
If you don’t know what the Justice League is, then you can consider yourself a waste of flesh, and a waste of my motherfucking time.
Seriously, get the fuck out.
Anyway, The Avengers have always been a fucking deal over at Marvel due to the fact that it’s roster has often included “The Big Three,” AKA Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man.
The basic concept behind the formation of The Avengers was, and always will be: to give the writers an excuse to play Ocean’s 11 with the Marvel universe.
Don't be surprised if you see this in the theaters 2 years from now.
Nah, just kidding, The Avengers exist to combat threats that no single hero could combat on their own.
Truth be told, I’ve never really been an Avengers fan, largely due to the fact that the opposition they are required to face in order for the battle to seem at all competitive, are the kind of villains that are outrageously overpowered to the point in which deus ex machina is often required to defeat them.
In all, I’m not really a “team” fan.
The Justice League is dull for the same reasons The Avengers are.
The X-Men are cool, but have the most impenetrable continuity in all of continuities.
The Fantastic 4, well… unless Sue Storm’s wearing her 90′s uniform, I really don’t care.
Oh, 90's character designs, how I miss thee.
Seriously though, I get more satisfaction out of taking a shit than I do reading their stuff.
Getting back on track, at some point during the 80′s Marvel had the bright idea to try their hand at expanding their readership by creating a spin-off series based on The Avengers called The Avengers West Coast.
As is always the case, breaking up the band proved to be a bad idea.
Despite this, DC was kind enough to follow-suit and rip them off a few years later with the launch of their own Justice League spin-off, Justice League International.
Besides Batman, Blue Beetle, and Fate, everybody pictured here can suck a dick. Yeah that's right, fuck you Captain Marvel.
Oh yeah, did I mention that it sucked too?
The problem with Avengers West Coast, and most spin-offs in general, was the fact that the entire premise was based around constructing stories and conflicts using the spare parts of a stronger, pre-established property.
In example, let’s take a look at some members of the West Coast roster:
Hawkeye is alright, seeing as he was a former Avenger and he founded the West Coast team.
Basically, he has no super powers, but he’s a good archer, and oh yeah, he’s a dick, so he gets Ice Man points.
Mockingbird is Hawkeyes’ equally powerless woman.
They fucked, she died, end of story.
War Machine = Iron Man if he shopped at Ross. Nuff’ said.
U.S. Agent = Captain America if he was in the UFC.
And Spider-Woman, well she’s definitely no Spider-Man, and more importantly, she’s not the sexy Spider-Woman.
Azn Badger likes him some Sexy Spider-Woman…
No caption needed.
With all of that out of the way, I think you can understand when I say that Avengers West Coast was a mediocre team that was involved in mediocre storylines, fighting mediocre villains I.E. The Grim Reaper.
And guess what?
Today we’re gonna’ be taking a look at an issue from one of those crappy stories, so fasten your seat belts boys and girls, it’s gonna’ be a hot time in the old town tonight!
The issue opens with a full page spread of U.S. Agent walking in on a Renaissance fair as he looks for the nearest Honey Bucket.
"Excuse me folks, I was just lookin' fer' the crapper HOLY SHIT!"
Turns out, these Ren fair patrons are in fact the real deal, and as it so happens one of them is choking on some poisoned wine, like you do; served to him by the deadly and beautiful…
… Okay, thanks comic, now I feel kind of dumb for not knowing who that is.
According to my 30 seconds of Google research,
was the daughter of a Valencian noble, who would often marry her off to men, only to have those men meet grisly ends.
That’s the historical version, in this comic she’s just a bitch with a funny hat.
Anyway, after witnessing the wine poisoning, U.S. Agent storms in, bein’ all like, “The white woman done it! I seen it!”
This of course, leads to Agent having to put the hurt on some Carnies.
Punching people and getting stabbed, that's U.S. Agent in a nutshell.
Or at least trying to.
After a few more panels of Agent beat-down,
saunters up and force feeds him some of her patented poison wine.
NOOOOOOO!!!! DON'T FALL OFF THE WAGON!!!
Cue full-page acid trip:
America: On the dope since.... well, forever.
After that artistically confusing unpleasantness, U.S. Agent awakens in a hospital, delusional and in a state of shock.
I’m sure waking up to this had nothing to do with that:
GOOD GOD RHODEY! Way to give somebody a heart attack!
As is typical of her, un-sexy Spider-Woman has some incredibly deep and thoughtful insights to provide
Yeah, yah' think? Jesus Christ you are un-sexy...
As U.S. Agent gets his bearings, the rest of the Avengers West Coast proceed to spew exposition back and forth amongst one another.
From these exchanges we learn that U.S. Agent got his ass pwned in the previous issue by a nefarious team of villains called the “Lethal Legion.”
Of course, U.S. Agent, being the meathead that he is, decides to throw a hissy fit and begins to argue with Hawkeye.
It's terrible when they fight. Really, they should think of the children.
The Hangman that Agent mentioned above is the ringleader of the Lethal Legion, a third-rate villain that serves as a virtually unbeatable antagonist to our team of super goobers.
After a solid 2 pages of bitching and moaning, and a Cap’n Crunch ad, our story finally picks up again.
But not before serving us with another ad:
I always thought this looked like shit. Anybody seen it?
Following this, our heroes decide to split-up in their search for the Hangman.
Un-sexy Spider-Woman and War Machine set out to investigate a Stella Houston’s beach house, presumably so un-sexy Spider-Woman can find a way to sexify herself.
Upon entering the residence of the Hangman’s former flame, our heroes are greeted by this crazy bitch:
Lose the axe and we'll talk.
Axe of Violence.
Seriously, that’s her name.
Anyway, uh, Ms. Violence tears into our heroes like they were, well, like they were a bunch of mediocre superheroes.
"It'll be okay kids! Just let me stick my finger in there and ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!"
As it turns out, Axe of Violence’s axe is laced with magic which, based on War Machine’s cry of “ARRRRRRRRRR”, seems to be bad news for the Avengers West Coast.
With War Machine proving to be less than helpful, and Axe of Violence proving to be an expert in pun crafting and axe fighting, un-sexy Spider-Woman decides join in the fight by literally hurling herself into the fray.
Un-sexy Spider-Woman used Un-sexy pounce!...
...It's not very effective...
During the confusion that follows, Ms. Violence makes mention of someone named Satannish, a demon who is apparently the true force behind the Hangman and the Lethal Legion.
As War Machine and un-sexy Spider-Woman back Axe of Violence into a corner, she suddenly turns tail and runs off, leaving them a parting gift in the process:
...and shooting NEXT TO HER is supposed to stop her how?
Thankfully, our exceedingly powerful and skillful Avengers West Coast manage to…
Oh, come on!
Jesus fuck, The Avengers West Coast suck-ass…
You see, that’s the fuckin’ problem with these guys!
Someone throws A FUCKING AXE and you don’t even so much as TRY to get out of the way!?
ARRRRRRGH!!! They should call these pansies the fuckin’ Avengers Triple-A…
Why thank you Patrick Stewart, for so perfectly articulating my feelings.
ANYWAY, mental giant that she is, un-sexy Spider-Woman proceeds to diagnose her MAGICAL AXE WOUND as being “not deep” and therefore, not a cause for concern.
With Axe of Violence gone, War Machine and un-sexy Spider-Woman proceed to discuss the Lizzie Borden nursery rhyme and it’s connection to their recently departed opponent.
You know, superhero stuff.
With that, we head on over to the Hangman’s former residence, where Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch are poking around for clues.
Unfortunately, that crazy bitch,
decides to show up and make things difficult for our heroes.
Although I must say, she must’ve spent the past couple of days gettin’ Smurf STDs, ’cause she’s lookin’ a little, well, blue.
Goddamn Smurfette, why you gotta' be all violent n'shit?
Fortunately, she made the mistake of trying to ambush the Scarlet Witch AKA THE MOST BROKEN-ASS CHARACTER IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE.
You see, the Scarlet Witch’s powers involve probability manipulation, which in comic book terms, translates to BEING ABLE TO DO ANY FUCKING THING SHE WANTS.
In this case however, the writer was kind enough to tone down her powers so as to make her opponent seem to be a credible threat.
Smurfs fear but two things in this world: Doors, and Capitalism.
Trust me, you don’t wanna’ see what kind of stupid shit happens when the writers go nuts with the Scarlet Witch’s powers *cough!* House of M *cough!*
With Hawkeye’s help, (Haha! Yeah, sure…) the Scarlet Witch manages to subdue the Smurfette, however, before they can question her, the Hangman decides to crash the party by snagging Hawkeye with his noose.
Thank God somebody shut him up.
Not only that, but he takes the time to show the Scarlet Witch who wears the motherfuckin’ daddy pants.
Replace that "witch" with something a little more colorful, and we'll be in business.
With that, Hangman makes his way out the nearby window, an action that Hawkeye’s neck definitely would not appreciate.
*Ahem!* Cue Scarlet Witch and her broken-ass powers, as well as an insane amount of thought bubble text:
Come on lady, you can restructure reality itself, I think you can snap a fucking rope.
Scarlet Witch does indeed manage to literally save Hawkeye’s neck just before it’s snapped in half, whereupon our heroes proceed to ponder over
and her connection to the crazy Smurfette.
I wonder, do these guys ever get tired of being boring and inept?
We then find ourselves back at the hospital, where Hawkeye’s wife, Mockingbird, is checking in on U.S. Agent.
She tries to tell Agent that she’s going to quit the Avengers West Coast in favor of starting a family.
Unfortunately he’s busy downing a protein shake, getting an outlandish tattoo, and hating his father, so her words fail to reach his ‘roided out ears.
Oh yeah, that and some robot fucker named Coldsteel decides to show up.
List Prime Directives: 1. Kick Ass. 2. Chew Bubblegum. 3. Run Out Of Bubblegum.
Well, U.S. Agent and Coldsteel proceed to throw down while Mockingbird hangs back and pretends to be useful.
Yeah, she’s just as worthless as her husband.
During the battle, U.S. Agent comes to the conclusion that Coldsteel and the Lethal Legion are hunting the Avengers West Coast as some sort of competition.
As if to put an exclamation point on his theory, another member of the the Lethal Legion, Zyklon, shows up and proceeds to interfere with Coldsteel’s assault.
Alright, who would you rather fight? The giant-fucking robot, or the flatulent wonder?
During the ensuing chaos, Mockingbird has hallucinations similar to the ones U.S. Agent had earlier, more specifically the ones dealing with Nazi gas victims.
Likewise, Agent appears to have drunk the bong water, again, ’cause he’s seeing things again as well:
Okay........ Josef Stalin everyone!
So, if we are to believe U.S. Agent’s cracked out visions, Coldsteel is Josef Stalin.
Right, then naturally, that would mean that Zyklon is:
Gasp! Heinrich Himmler!
That’s right folks, Mockingbird has a vision of Zyklon actually being Heinrich Himmler.
Before things can get awkward though, Zyklon/Himmler takes Mockingbird hostage, apparently just to piss off Coldsteel/Stalin.
Fortunately, Coldsteel still has U.S. Agent to beat on, so he does just that.
Before things can get out of hand though, War Machine decides to show up and… well, you’ll see.
Damn, and here I thought War Machine was starting to seem kind of worthless...
...Oh wait, he is.
After the dust has settled, the rest of the Avengers West Coast meet up at the hospital.
A shit ton of bitching and arguing follows soon after, with Hawkeye being all pissy on account of his wife getting snatched, and U.S. Agent being all down on himself ’cause he’s finally coming down from his caffeine high.
Eventually, the team get their shit together, and the Scarlet Witch offers to use a tome of deus ex machina to open up a portal to Satannish’s realm.
The fact that the double-size, issue #100 was just on the horizon as this comic was being written, seems to serve as the only explanation as to why the deus ex machina book didn’t come into play earlier in the story.
Anyway, the Scarlet With reads from the book, and un-sexy Spider-Woman once again has some brilliant commentary to offer:
She deserves an award for how dumb and un-sexy she is.
Despite un-sexy Spider-Woman’s doubts as to the deus ex machina book’s capabilities, Satannish is kind enough to promptly show himself, thusly rendering her objections pointless, and yes, un-sexy.
Satannish: As ugly as he is uninspired.
Satannish proceeds to gloat from his twin mouths, calling the Avengers West Coast mean things like “weak”, “dumb”, and “un-sexy.”
When confronted on his motives for kidnapping Mockingbird, Satannish responds with something the lines of :
“‘Cause I’m all ’bout dah’ bitches!”
Anyway, the issue draws to an end as our heroes stand around with their thumbs up their butts, only to have the great lord of the underworld himself, Mephisto, show up and offer his aid in battling Satannish.
Mephisto: Lord of Darkness, and stealer of marriages.
Well, that was Avengers West Coast #99.
Now you finally understand why I don’t read team books. (well, outside of Secret Six and The Thunderbolts, they’re fuckin’ awesome)
They’re muddled, confusing, and more often than not their plots center around watching the heroes get their asses kicked until God himself descends from the heavens and grants them a sudden, and often, unwarranted, victory.
Goodnight ladies and gentleman, I am officially off writing until…. sometime tomorrow morning.
Let’s have one more picture of Sexy Spider-Woman before we say goodnight, shall we?
Filed under: Comics, Uncategorized, Avengers, Avengers West Coast, Axe of Violence, Captain America, Coldsteel, Comics, DC, Fantastic Four, Hangman, Heinrich Himmler, House of M, Hulk, Ice Man, International, Iron Man, Jessica Drew, Josef Stalin, Justice League, Lethal Legion, Lizzie Borden, Lucrezia Borgia, Marvel, Mephisto, Mockingbird, Satannish, Scarlet Witch, Secret Six, Spider-Woman, Thor, Thunderbolts, Top Gun, U.S. Agent, War Machine, Wasp, x-men, Zyklon