How many times have I said at this point that WEST COAST AVENGERS is probably the most fun book Marvel is putting out right now? Probably more than 15, right? Well, after WEST COAST AVENGERS #6, that definitely still stands, even if this issue was a bit shaky.

Writer Kelly Thompson doesn’t lose any steam with WEST COAST AVENGERS #6. The story keeps plowing forward, but it hits a few bumps this time around. This issue has some problems finding a sensible focal point, but it’s nonetheless funny and entertaining.

Daniele Di Nicuolo and Tríona Farrell return to handle the artistic duties for WEST COAST AVENGERS, and they don’t fail to deliver. They’re work is very much on par with that from WEST COAST AVENGERS #5.

Feed Them to the Sharks!

Following WEST COAST AVENGERS #5, Madame Masque, along with an obscure band of villains, have captured the West Coast Avengers (minus Kate). This team of villains consists of MODOK (who I guess didn’t get thrown into space), the Eel (who somehow manages to stay relevant), Satana Hellstrom (check my last parenthetical), and Lady Bullseye (who I completely forgot existed).

The West Coast Avengers are caged above a pool of sharks, while Kate is off with her apparently-not-dead mother trying to find a way out of the carnival. The latter have a small run-in with Lady Bullseye, but she’s hardly a problem for Kate. Meanwhile, the team nearly winds up as shark bait, but some quick thinking from Gwenpool, Kid Omega, and Clint keeps them all alive a bit longer.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6
WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Speaking of Gwenpool and Kid Omega, their relationship is just as quirky as ever. It’s been one of the highlights of WEST COAST AVENGERS, and Thompson makes it a point in this issue to draw a bit more focus on this plot point.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 concludes with a fairly impressive reveal, bringing back a character who I’d thought long gone from the Marvel Universe. I mean, if you’ve been following the Marvel solicits, you know who it is, but if not, I’ll keep this review spoiler free for you.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 Can’t Find Its Focus

Now, as with any superhero team book, the writer needs to ably make screen time for all of the characters involved. It’s a team book for a reason. So, appropriately, WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 jumps between all of the main characters. The only problem here is that nothing too substantial happens, to the point where everything feels unfocused.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6’s greatest bits come from the interactions between Gwenpool and Kid Omega. These two have been on fire since their relationship was first teased a few issues back. Now, Thompson is going full blast with the ridiculousness between these two. I’m so eagerly awaiting a date issue featuring only Gwen and Quentin.

Other than that, though, WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 is sort of lacking. The material featuring Kate and her mother feels half-assed. Kate’s been reunited with her mom, for crying out loud! This should be more emotional! I understand the whole thing is shaky, as we’re not sure if it’s really her mom, but don’t you think Kate would be willing to hold out hope that it is her mother? Shouldn’t she be freaking out a bit more?

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6
WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 page 15. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

And none of the other characters really have anything to do. Seriously, when does America get a moment to shine? And why the hell isn’t Thompson better utilizing Clint Barton? And Fuse gets a bit of a moment, but it hardly lasts.

I don’t expect a perfect story with every issue. But, with how well this series has been doing thus far, and how creative a writer Thompson is, I expected WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 to be better.

At Least It Looks Good

Unfocused as the plot is, WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 still features some incredible pages. Daniele Di Nicuolo and Tríona Farrell continue to impress, keeping the bar high, artistically speaking.

Right off the bat, I must say, I love this whole “land shark” gag. It makes a comeback in WEST COAST AVENGERS #6, and I’m so happy it did. Di Nicuolo makes the land sharks look so damn stupid, and I love it!

That being said, just about everything else looks pointedly not stupid. And that’s a good thing. Given how jumpy the story is, it’s a good thing the art is as smooth as it is. It helps the story flow a bit better, with clean images that keep the specific scenes moving at a steady pace.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6
WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 page 20. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Farrell gets to particularly show off in WEST COAST AVENGERS #6. There’s a lot of flashy colors going around throughout the issue. There’s a scene with Kid Omega going full mind blast on all the sharks, and the different shades of blue that flash in that moment are beautiful. Farrell gets major props for this issue, for sure.

A Saving Grace Looms Ahead, Perhaps?

Again, I’m barring myself from giving away the big reveal at the end of WEST COAST AVENGERS #6. This one’s worth keeping silent in the review, I think. It has some fairly exciting implications moving forward, I’ll say that much.

But, despite the choppy story, WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 is still a fun read. It’s not Thompson’s best, but it’s far, far from her worst. We still get some decent character moments, even if they are scarce and brief.

And, not to mention, the whole thing looks beautiful. Di Nicuolo and Farrell have earned themselves another victory on the artistic side of things. There are some fairly inventive pages in WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 that make the whole thing worth it. And, you know, silly four-legged land sharks are a plus.

I’m actually pretty excited to see where Thompson takes things next. She’s set herself up for some interesting storytelling possibilities. Let’s hope she capitalizes on them properly.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 by Kelly Thompson, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and Tríona Farrell
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though it's lacking in focus, WEST COAST AVENGERS #6 is nonetheless a fun, worthwhile read, with tons of flashy artwork to keep your eyes glued to the pages.
84 %
Unfocused Fun

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