Friday, December 23, 2016

Crabs, Assemble!, Part Eighteen: Marvel Premiere Classic, Vol. 86: Avengers: West Coast Avengers- Lost in Space/Time

Kang again!!! (Not really Kang, but Rama-Tut, who is just as bad as Kang...In fact, ISN'T he Kang in some way/shape/form...? Ugh. I hate time-travel stories........)

 Once again, The West Coast Avengers just happen to walk into trouble by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time, they're wandering around the desert, looking for Firebird, when they're attacked by a rock-woman, a sun-guy, a giant gila monster, and a walking cactus (!!!), who are acting on behalf of an alien. Yeah, you read that right. The alien sends the team back in time, and they spend eight torturous issues trying to find their way back home. Meanwhile, Hank Pym decides to kill himself, but is talked out of it by Firebird, who has now become some kind of super-nun. (If only she had shown up sooner, none of this would have needed to happen.) Moon Knight gets involved, the time-lost team encounters past versions of Doctor Strange and The Fantastic Four, and something really icky happens to Mockingbird.

 While the rest of the team is tossed back to ancient Egypt, Mockingbird is left behind in the old west, where she is given a "love potion" by The Night Rider. It isn't shown, but it IS heavily implied that things got physical, which means that Mockingbird was kidnapped and raped by this guy. This happening not too long after Ms. Marvel's abduction and rape is kind of....weird. I understand that this is playing out now in Mockingbird's 2016 solo book, which I'm not buying, so I'll have to read the synopsis on Wikipedia or something. Very, very odd, disturbing treatment of the female Avengers.

 I did not love this book. Steve Englehart is as wordy as ever, and Al Milgrom loses inker Joe Sinnott about halfway through the collection. The new inkers are serviceable, but the art loses that clean, polished look that Sinnott brought to the table.

 I also wasn't thrilled by Englehart's decision to make Wonder Man, formerly one of my favorite team members, into an insufferable prick. This is a hard book to love, and I'm beginning to remember why I bailed on it when I was a kid.

 This volume collects WEST COAST AVENGERS #'s 17-24, as well as FANTASTIC FOUR #19 and DOCTOR STRANGE #53, both of which are referenced during the team's time-travel debacle. Time-travel is never the makings of a good comic-book story......really. Just stop it. No extras in this book, but it really didn't need to go on for one more page, anyway.

 I enjoyed the art (mostly), I enjoyed seeing a cactus-person fight The Avengers, and I enjoyed seeing Doctor Pym dress up like Doctor Who, and beat people with a baseball bat, so this time-traveling dud earns six out of ten devil heads. 👿👿👿👿👿👿