West Coast Avengers #2 // Review
The second issue of The West Coast Avengers brings back the team of writer Kelly Thompson, artist Stefano Caselli, and colorist Triona Farrell to continue creating the chaos that is the West Coast Avengers. While some comics can be likened to a train that can sometimes go off the rails, The West Coast Avengers is quickly proving to be one of those roller coasters made in a sim game, where crashing into spectacularly awesome explosions is part of the fun.
Picking up where last issue left off, the newly-assembled Avengers are on the Santa Monica Pier fighting off an attack of a 200-foot Tigra. Luckily, the Avengers aren’t alone. Introduced on the last page of the previous issue, BRODOK has joined the team without permission. BRODOK, whose name stands for Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing, is totally not MODOK in disguise and despite his bigger than normal head and bizarre inability to sound normal, is totally just here to hang and make out. He simply runs Advanced Image Mechanics, and wants to make the world a better place! Could that be so wrong?
Thompson has chosen to put the 200-foot former Avenger plot on the back burner for an issue, to better focus on characters and it works incredibly well. While several Avengers books could suffer from this, the cast that Thompson has assembled thrives on interaction and personal chaos. Quentin Quire and Gwenpool bounce off one another excellently, and BRODOK is a completely bizarre new creation for the Marvel toy box. His fish out of water routine could easily have been bland, but Thompson plays it well with a refreshing “pampered rich person” angle. It’s no mystery that BRODOK is probably MODOK in a new body, but the execution of the absurd premise is tone perfect for the book. It’s going to be interesting to see if BRODOK is going to become a regular fixture of the title, but Thompson looks to have a lot of ideas ready for interpersonal drama if she leaves.
Caselli and Farrell work some real wonders with this issue once more. The design of BRODOK is incomprehensibly awesome, looking like a big-headed Brad Pitt and Fabio lovechild with black slacks and rocket boot feet. However, the subtle things from Caselli like body language and facial expressions really help make this comic hit home. An argument later on in the book between Gwenpool and Quire actually looks comically accurate to what two young adults screaming at one another would likely be. Farrell continues to excel as well, with some real praise deserved over the opening sunset battle with the 200 foot Tigra. There’s some real attention to detail on the colors, and gives a serious sense of passing time throughout the early pages. As a final note, the two-page spread of BRODOK’s “history” is a real gem of sepia tones and romantic art that both artists should be putting into their portfolios.
The first issue showed a lot of promise, and was a pretty strong showing. This issue keeps up that steam, and, if Kelly Thompson doesn’t have a great plot already thought out, she’s fantastic at winging it. If you’re into lighthearted fare and want some more Hawkeyes in your life, or want some escape from the Infinity Wars going on, this is easily the best comic on the market for you.