I’ve had pretty much nothing but good things to say about WEST COAST AVENGERS up until this point. This first arc following Kate Bishop’s new west coast team has been charming, witty, funny, and downright genuine. Does WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 break the cycle? Hell no!

Since Kelly Thompson signed on exclusively at Marvel, she’s been on an unstoppable streak of awesomeness! I haven’t been so enthusiastically pleased with a Marvel book in quite some time. Of course, I’m having tons of fun reading Nick Spencer’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and Jason Aaron’s AVENGERS, but those series have a bit more grandeur to them, given the characters they focus on. WEST COAST AVENGERS is just honest-to-god fun!

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 features more shenanigans from the team as they try to save the city from the giant, rampaging monster women created by BRODOK. Speaking of which, Kate is now a giant, anthropomorphic hawk. So, now there’s that to deal with.

And, of course, WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 would hardly be as gorgeous as it is if not for Stefano Caselli and Tríona Farrell‘s fantastic artwork! Caselli’s been killing it so far, seamlessly interpreting Thompson’s story. And, frankly, WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 just might be his best issue of the series so far.

The West Coast Avengers Vs. Kate-Hawk

That subheading might be a little deceiving, actually, but we’re sticking with it!

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 picks right up with some super intense Kate-Hawk action. Kate-Hawk comes equipped with a giant bow and arrow and everything. While America and Clint attempt to deal with her, Quentin and BRODOK have themselves a battle of minds, which Quentin easily wins.

Clint quickly figures out how to reverse-fire the machine that turned Kate into a giant hawk. Using this, he turns BRODOK back into MODOK; it’s hilarious. Although, this is where the aforementioned deceiving tagline comes in. At this point, the team doesn’t really fight Kate-Hawk anymore. Rather, she fights with them to take down the rest of the giant monster ladies. Which is still tons of fun, mind you.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4
WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 page 10. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

With Kate-Hawk on their side, the West Coast Avengers make quick work of the rest of the giants. At this point, we’re also introduced to Fuse’s sister, Ramone Watts. If you’ve read Kelly Thompson’s own HAWKEYE series from 2017, then you might recognize Ramone from that series. She shows up briefly to help shepherd people to safety, and to do typical older sibling stuff.

Eventually, with all the giants defeated and returned to being normal women (minus one girl who decides to remain a giant dragon), the team accepts their first victory. We get some interviews with the characters (which includes another make-out session between Kid Omega and Gwenpool), and an official proclamation that the West Coast Avengers are back!

And not everyone is happy about that. Especially the bad guys.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 Could Use More Kate-Hawk

Following WEST COAST AVENGERS #3, I was really looking forward to tons of dumb action featuring Kate-Hawk in WEST COAST AVENGERS #4. And we got a great deal of that, no doubt. I just would’ve liked some more.

The threat of Kate-Hawk against her teammates wore off almost immediately, which makes very little sense. She was shown off as an imminent (and somewhat hilarious) threat. And yet, the team figures out how to fix her and beat BRODOK within the first few pages. Talk about anticlimactic.

It’s not all bad, though. Like I said, we do still get to see Kate-Hawk in action on the side of the heroes. Which, really, is more appropriate than seeing her be evil, but I still would’ve liked to see more of that.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4
WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 page 20. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Something else WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 (and the series in general) could use more of is America Chavez. Is it just me, or has she been seriously underused thus far? I mean, America has a solid moment or two in WEST COAST AVENGERS #4, but she needs more. I trust Thompson to fix this problem sooner rather than later, though, so I’m not too worried.

With all that being said, WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 might be the strongest issue of the series so far. It progresses smoothly, all the characters are featured in at least one prominent moment, and the humor is spot on like always. Kelly Thompson’s really outdone herself with this first arc of the series. I’m thrilled to see what she comes up with next.

Caselli And Farrell Can’t Be Stopped

Artist Stefano Caselli and colorist Tríona Farrell bring their A game to WEST COAST AVENGERS #4. This issue looks phenomenal, especially when considering how much is going on and all the crazy stuff they bring to life. Caselli’s line work and character designs have never been better, and Farrell’s colors make everything pop.

If you ever wanted to know what a giant Kate Bishop/hawk hybrid would look like, it would be exactly what Caselli created for us. Kate-Hawk looks appropriately silly (and surprisingly intimidating). That he managed to strike a balance there comes as a shock to me. I was just expecting silliness from this entire scenario. We got that for the most part, but that Caselli’s drawings manage to add a level of aggression to the story speaks volumes to his talent.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4
WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 page 23. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

And WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 is a clear testament to the chemistry between Thompson and Caselli. There are so many minute interactions between characters that, through storytelling alone, probably wouldn’t succeed as well were it not for how Caselli captures everything. Calling back to the fluidity of the story, it’s extremely apparent in WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 just how graceful Caselli’s artwork is in terms of moving the story along.

I only hope that Caselli and Farrell have a long-lasting relationship with the WEST COAST AVENGERS book. Their art belongs in this series. Here’s hoping.

The West Coast Avengers Are Back!

With the conclusion of WEST COAST AVENGERS #4, the team officially goes public as the west coast’s defenders. Since the team gets a big interview with Jimmy Kimmel, just about everyone who’s anyone takes note of the news. This includes many of the villains camping out in Cali and such. As I said, they’re not too happy about that. We’ll have to wait and see who strikes first.

In any case, Kelly Thompson has reinvigorated this long silent series. I wouldn’t say the lack of a West Coast Avengers book left a hole in the Marvel Universe (especially when there’ve been, like, seven other alternate Avengers teams in the past three years), but I’m certainly glad to have the name back in the spotlight. And this team is outstanding. They’re unorthodox, to be certain, but fun and valiant, nevertheless.

Stefano Caselli and Tríona Farrell have outdone themselves with WEST COAST AVENGERS #4. It’s likely their best issue so far in the series, and I can only hope that they have many more down the line.

Now, to sit back and see what the West Coast Avengers get up to next!

WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, and Triona Farrell
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
WEST COAST AVENGERS #4 cements this series as one of Marvel's top books right now. There's very little to hate here. If you're not reading this series already, you really need to start.
95 %
A Giant-Sized Success

2 Comments

  1. […] said it before, and I’ll gladly say it again: this is easily one of Marvel’s most entertaining books on the shelves right now. Writer Kelly Thompson continues to fill this story with vigorous energy […]

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  2. […] Slott for this perfectly numbered issue. Caselli has been killing it recently with his work on WEST COAST AVENGERS, and Leon’s style is a great companion to Caselli’s. Their artistic styles combined make […]

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