I won’t lie, I really can’t remember the last time I saw Marvel Boy in a Marvel comic. I’m sure he’s been somewhere recently, I’m just not privy to said appearance(s). That said, WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 takes full advantage of the character’s return. And that’s only one of the reasons this issue is a significant improvement over the last.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is loads more fun than WEST COAST AVENGERS #6. It has more heart and personality, as it’s driven by its exciting initial action sequences and comedic second half. It feels like writer Kelly Thompson probably had a blast writing this issue.

Artist Daniele Di Nicuolo and colorist Tríona Farrell also have more time to shine in WEST COAST AVENGERS #7. The beginning fight is full of flair and color, while the latter half is calmer and focuses more on sharp character drawings. This is the series at its best, to be certain.

Marvel Boy is Back!

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 picks up right where #6 left off. Kate comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend, Noh-Varr. The Kree warrior has been working undercover to infiltrate the Masters of Evil and hopefully take them down with the help of the West Coast Avengers. Despite how awkward things will likely get now, Kate reluctantly accepts Marvel Boy’s aid.

Meanwhile, the rest of Kate’s captured teammates are still busy fending off the Masters’ crazy death traps and illusions. Luckily, just as things are looking dire, Kate arrives to save her teammates. She helps to stop the power-dampening effect in the area, which gives the team a major boost. So much so that the Masters figure their situation is hopeless, and they flee.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 page 4. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

In the aftermath of the fight, the Avengers recuperate, and Gwenpool finds a baby landshark and names it Jeff. The WCA now have a pet landshark, everyone. This is very much a good thing. Back at the base, the team all decides to call it a night, despite Marvel Boy having some urgent news about a big new threat to the west coast. Whatever it is, it’ll have to wait until morning. The team is understandably tired.

Wherever the Masters are at the end, we see them licking their wounds and coming up with the next length of their plan to take down the WCA. I’m sure nothing good will come of that.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is Full of Heart and Style

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is a big win for Kelly Thompson. The last issue felt lacking to me, but she came back in style with this one. WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 has much more heart, and a stronger focus on character-driven moments. Not to mention, the beginning action sequence is completely awesome.

Kate has a ton of great chemistry with the rest of the cast in this issue. She clues Clint in on her plan by signing to him from afar, thus remaining stealthy. Her interactions with Marvel Boy are all pointedly humorous. And there’s just enough of her being a badass to bring her full circle this issue.

America finally gets a little more time to show off. She chops a bunch of fire dogs in half using her teleportation powers, and she gets to enjoy some one-on-one time with Ramone. I’m also a fan of this ongoing gag that Gwenpool can’t access her fourth wall-breaking powers. I hope she eventually gets those back, and just shatters everyone’s minds.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 page 10. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

But the absolute best part of this WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is when Gwenpool finds Jeff! You cannot argue with me on this one. Jeff is the best! He’s so unbelievably cute! And this is coming from a guy who is deathly afraid of sharks. Jeff had better be a staple of the series from here on out, or I’m going to be pissed.

Also, one of the best running jokes of this series is that the team consists of a bunch of kids — and Clint Barton. I hope that joke never goes away.

Looking Good, Team!

I said it before, and I’ll certainly say it again for WEST COAST AVENGERS #7: Daniele Di Nicuolo and Tríona Farrell are an outstanding artistic team! This issue, in particular, stands out a lot. There are more than a handful of flashy panels and full pages, and the colors consistently pop off the page to grab your attention.

The first half is far flashier than the second, but that’s definitely done on purpose. In the first half, we’ve got a giant fire golem, Marvel Boy clocking Madame Masque on the jaw, and the Hawkeyes and America doing their thing. It’s that kind of gripping action that I like in my WEST COAST AVENGERS issues.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The second half has more focused character interactions, and thus, the art is a bit gentler on the eyes. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. This entire section is meant to get the point across that Marvel Boy being present is weird. That definitely shines through in the art, as most of the characters display reserved expression towards Noh-Varr.

So long as Di Nicuolo and Farrell keep pumping out issues like WEST COAST AVENGERS #7, I’ll be happy to see them keep on returning to the series.

Something Evil is Afoot

Marvel Boy arrives with news that something Skrull-related might be in the works. He’s not terribly specific, but he mentions it briefly to the bothersome interview crew that follows the team around. Between that and the Masters of Evil, the WCA will likely have their hands full in the coming issues.

With all that said, WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is definitely a success. Kelly Thompson’s writing is sharp and full of charm. It’s better than what I normally expect from her, actually. This is definitely one of the strongest issues of the series thus far.

The same goes for the artistic side of things. Daniele Di Nicuolo and Tríona Farrell deliver some of their best work yet in WEST COAST AVENGERS #7. Between the fun action sequences and clean character work, what’s not to like?

I get the feeling we’ve got some exciting and fun storytelling to look forward to. Between Marvel Boy’s return and Jeff the landshark, I have high hopes that things keep looking up for this series.

WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 by Kelly Thompson, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and Tríona Farrell
WEST COAST AVENGERS #7 is a significant improvement over #6. Not only that, but it's also probably one of the best issues in the series thus far. Between the sharp storytelling and the gorgeous artwork, there's nothing not to like.
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