It’s been 24 years since the West Coast Avengers, the Avengers oft-forgotten B-Team, had their own title. A longtime home for benched Avengers and C-listers alike, the title was relatively successful in the 1980’s but eventually fizzled out in 1994. But now, Marvel has announced a revival of the series to be helmed by Kelly Thompson (A-Force, Jem and the Holograms) and Stefano Caselli (Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man).
The new series will be anchored by Clint Barton a.k.a Hawkeye, who founded the original team and has been at its core in all iterations. But rather than C-list Avengers cast offs like Wonder Man, Tigra, or Living Lightning, Clint will instead be leading a much younger team of heroes. Most prominently featured is Clint’s on-and-off protege and ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop, also Hawkeye, who, in Thompson’s words, “misses being on a team.” She comes to LA during a bit of a superhero power-vacuum, when villains run rampant thanks to the relative absence of heroes in the city. She brings the team together when she can’t clean the town up on her own.
The twin archers will be joined by sometime hero and all-time little snot Quentin Quire a.k.a Kid Omega, an Omega level psychic and former X-Man, Johnny a.k.a Fuse, whose relationship with Kate will be a focus of the series, and Gwen Poole a.k.a Gwenpool, who is…well, she’s Gwenpool. Rounding out the team is Kate’s platonic life partner and former teammate America Chavez, whom Thompson describes as a “wild card” after coming off of a long run as a loner. The team will live together like most Avengers team, but they won’t have the usual billionaire backing of a regular super-team. Instead, the West Coast Avengers will earn their keep by taking part in that hot new concept from 2003- a reality show!
West Coast Avengers was originally created as the first spin-off of Marvel’s Avengers, both in and out of universe. The classic lineup of Hawkeye, his eventual wife Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man, and War Machine held down the fort on the left coast. They fought old villains, like Ultron, and new ones, like Master Pandemonium. The title frequently focused on relationship drama, with the three married couples on the team (Hawkeye/Mockingbird, Wasp/Goliath, and Vision/Scarlet Witch) under the constant strain of superheroics. Initially created in 1984 by Roger Stern and Bob Hall, it reached its creative peak a few years later under John Byrne. Byrne also gave the team its own spin-off in the Great Lakes Avengers, the absolute weirdest team in Marvel Comics. The original West Coast Avengers team disbanded after ten years thanks to constant infighting, the death of Mockingbird, and declining sales overall.
The new run of West Coast Avengers will launch on August 22nd, 2018 and is available for pre-order at all of your favorite comic shops.