Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Classics - West Coast Avengers #46

   Writer / artist John Byrne left his mark on virtually every title published by Marvel at one point or another - but one of his most offbeat additions to the Marvel Universe can be found in this issue of The West Coast Avengers.

   Byrne turned in a strong (and somewhat controversial) series of stories during his year-and-a-half on the series in the late '80s, but it wasn't all serious and grim.

   This issue introduced the Great Lakes Avengers, an odd group of heroes who had no real affiliation with the original Avengers - they were just some wannabe heroes who fought crime in - of all places - Milwaukee.

   The team included: Mr. I, their carefree leader (with a truly odd power); Big Bertha, a massive powerhouse; Flat-Man, an elastic hero; Dyna Soar, a flying female dinosaur; and Doorman, who becomes a living door - somehow.

   Add estranged couple Hawkeye and Mockingbird into the mix (both having just left the West Coast team), and you have an entertaining sidebar into the usual Marvel antics.

   The art is terrific, with Byrne and inker Mike Machlan loading up on (mostly) lighthearted action, including a classic "heroes meet and fight each other" sequence.

    One of the things that made Byrne such a strong storyteller was his combination of action, great characters and humor - and this issue had all that in spades.

Grade: A


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