With the release of WEST COAST AVENGERS #3, the series continues to grow more and more into a complete joke. And that is 100% a good thing. WEST COAST AVENGERS is arguably the most entertaining book Marvel is putting out right now.

Writer Kelly Thompson continues to excel in writing smart, charming humor into scenarios that would otherwise be considered drastically dire. I mean, rampaging giant women-animal hybrids bent on destroying Santa Monica is definitely a bad thing, but you can’t help but laugh at how outrageous a scenario that is. Thompson is fully aware of that, and does everything she can to have some fun with the story.

Not only is WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 fun, but it looks fan-freaking-tastic, too. Artist Stefano Caselli is on a tremendous roll with this series. His energetic pages perfectly capture the ludicrous story Thompson is telling. Tríona Farrell adds a vibrant blend of color to the world that Caselli’s monster women are so keen on destroying. It’s beautiful destruction at its finest.

BRODOK is Pissed in WEST COAST AVENGERS #3

(Like I said last time, I’m not doing the dots between each letter. Far too pesky.)

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 picks up essentially where WEST COAST AVENGERS #2 left off. As the team is trying to sleep in the early hours of the day, BRODOK sends his giant monster women to attack the city of Santa Monica. Giant Tigra grabs hold of Kate, and the rest of the team jumps into action. Fuse actually shows off his powers in a particularly cool way; his earrings are made of vibranium, so he can easily turn into that on the fly.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3
WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 page 14. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

 

Joining Tigra in her mad rampage are a handful of other crazy monster ladies. All of these women have been fused with one creature or another. There’s a giant bug, dragon, sea monster, etc. The gang’s really all here. As the West Coast team battles against the rampaging ladies, we get plenty of small but amusing character moments. Kate and Fuse join up briefly and have a chat that adds a bit to their relationship, and Quentin has a bit of a stroke when mulling over Gwenpool.

Gwenpool herself is handled in an intriguing manner in WEST COAST AVENGERS #3. I’m not sure what went on in her solo series, but for whatever reason, she can no longer do the weird things she normally does. She supposes it’s because she’s maybe been rebooted, but who knows. But, as I mentioned, this perplexes Quentin for some reason (probably because he likes her).

In the end, Kate makes her way to BRODOK’s lab, who captures her and, rather hilariously, turns her into a giant hawk. It’s absolutely glorious.

Tons of Character

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 is probably the best issue of the series thus far. On every level, this issue succeeds. It moves the story along, features tons of entertaining, well-paced action, develops each of the characters in some way, and is just downright hysterical.

The humor isn’t blatantly on the surface, though. Thompson is smarter than that. She makes you work for your laughs. Which I appreciate. Every aspect of her writing in WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 is smart, especially in terms of how she handles the humor. I particularly enjoyed the bit between Gwenpool and Kid Omega. Gwenpool is such an oddball, and Quentin has absolutely no logical counter to her randomness, which is really fun to watch.

There’s a bit of relationship building between Kate and Fuse, as well. Since Fuse is a new guy, and this relationship was just sort of thrown at us, Thompson has now only had three issues to build it up. It’s going well so far, for the most part. A bit more could be done to make it feel more natural, but honestly, what can we really expect when the team has to deal with giant monsters rampaging through the city? We’ll likely have to hold out a bit longer for some concrete development, but I’m okay with waiting.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3
WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 page 20. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

BRODOK is the funniest character in WEST COAST AVENGERS #3, hands down. Every other character in this issue acts like a normal human being. Then you’ve got BRODOK who, on the surface, looks normal, but is an absolute clown when he opens his mouth. The shit he says is so campy, and his motive is insanely stupid. And yet, I found myself buying into all of it like a complete sucker.

Everything Looks as Insane as It Sounds

The team of Stefano Caselli and Tríona Farrell have been seemingly unstoppable since they began creating this book with Thompson. WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 is further testament to how superb their bombastic style is, and why their art is so insanely perfect for this series.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a great blend of peaceful, calm pages and explosive, combative pieces. The time of day is used to great effect here; the early morning sunrise shines brilliantly on the characters and their surroundings. There’s also a great progression of that sunrise over the course of WEST COAST AVENGERS #3. It works well to give you a genuine west coast feel.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3
WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 page 24. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

A few of the final pages are particularly flashy. The team manages to get Tigra back on their side (still giant, though), which offers a few brief monster battle scenes. And when Kate and BRODOK confront each other in the AIM lab, there’s a pleasant contrast of shading when compared with the earlier pages.

And, seriously, the final image of Kate as a giant hawk monster is so hilariously stupid. She’s still dressed up in her Hawkeye outfit, and she’s got a giant bow. It’s equal parts outrageous and incredible. I can’t wait to see her tear up Santa Monica, blasting giant arrows at people and smacking around her teammates. It promises to be a good time, and I’m sure it’ll look fabulous thanks to Caselli and Farrell.

What Hilarious Insanity Lies Ahead?

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 ends, again, with the promise of a giant hawk fight. I’m chuckling with the anticipation of such a convoluted battle taking place. I really just want to see the hawk shooting the bow and arrow all over the place. Please, Thompson, make it happen.

Anywho, WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 has proven just how successful a goofy book like this can be. I love how Kelly Thompson always has fun with her books; she’s seemingly going to great lengths to make sure WEST COAST AVENGERS succeeds. It shouldn’t be that hard for it to do so. It’s too damn good.

To back up Thompson’s fantastic writing, artist and colorist Stefano Caselli and Tríona Farrell have brilliantly captured all the crazy action of WEST COAST AVENGERS #3. Their teamwork has been nothing short of perfect, and I can’t wait to see what these two bring to the table when we get to see giant “Kate-Hawk” in action.

I can’t harp on this enough: Kate-Hawk had better be awesome. I’ll be displeased if it isn’t. But, with a team like this (and I’m referring to both the in-series team and the creative team behind them), how could it possibly fail to be awesome? The answer: it can’t.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, and Tríona Farrell
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
WEST COAST AVENGERS #3 continues to prove why this series is arguably Marvel's most entertaining at the moment. It's full of heart, nonstop fun, great characters, and superb artwork.
93 %
Hilarious Fun

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