West Coast Avengers #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Cover Artists: Stefano Caselli, Nolan Woodard
Color Artist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Review by Anelise Farris
I am not familiar with the original West Coast Avengers, but that didn’t stop me from immediately jumping on West Coast Avengers #1 (because Kelly Thompson!). This new era of West Coast Avengers involves Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), Clint Barton (also Hawkeye), and several non-Hawkeye members: Fuse (Kate’s boyfriend; only been a superhero for a hot minute), America Chavez, Gwenpool, and Kid Omega. So, how did this amazing crew come together? Well, I’m so glad you asked…
If you read the Kate Bishop run (the only correct answer to this is YES), then you know that she moved out to California to work as a private investigator. She thought she could handle everything on her own, but lately things (aka the arrival of giant land sharks) have caused her to rethink that. Kate (after much convincing from Clint) finally admits that she needs a team to protect the West Coast, so she holds auditions. And that is how the West Coast Avengers is born. Just in time too, as we get a surprise guest from the old run that is way too big (quite literally) for Kate to handle on her own.
No surprise here, but the writing in West Coast Avengers #1 is so so fantastic. Thompson writes her characters with such ease, and the dialogue flows beautifully. When you can basically hear the characters talking, the writer has done their job. The art is similarly animated, as the soft linework and shading detail give it a great energy. The coloring is California-bright (as it should be), and I love the combination of purple and yellow that was also a prominent feature of the Kate Bishop run. And both the writing and the art give such humorous life to the story; I was smiling from the credit page (the “Hawkeye can’t aim!” detail) to flat out laughing by the last sequence of panels. Speaking of which, the layering of panels, use of gutter space, and thick black-lined borders give the comic a sense of West Coast-style: chic yet fun.
Verdict: BUY IT.
West Coast Avengers #1 has Kate riding a herd of land sharks into the ocean. Enough said.