In this issue of West Coast Avengers, we learn that even giant flying heads yearn for snuggles. Picking up from the last issue, the team is still trying to subdue the giant Tigra without success until B.R.O.D.O.K. flies in and “drives” her away. The team knows he is MODOK in disguise, but unsure of what else to do, they invite him back to headquarters to try and get more information.
He tells them his story, that he came to work at Advanced Image Mechanics as a doctor, trying to help women find their most perfect selves, but also his soulmate. But since it wasn’t working, he decided to become a hero and join the team. Still not believing his story, the Hawkeyes go break in to AIM headquarters to try and find out what had been done to Tigra, while the rest of the team watch over BRODOK and try not to kill each other…or something else.
This week I think we got a better idea of what kind of book this is going to be and it’s going to be fun. Kelly Thompson is leaning into the truly “comics” elements of comic books — choosing MODOK, a literal giant head, as a villain but reimagined into a hunky shirtless weirdo with the same personality is brilliant. I also love the “talking head” camera segments as a way to get insights into the characters throughout the story.
But my favorite thing about this book is that the teens feel like real teens, with all of the drama and shifting relationships and big emotional swings. We got some great teen drama in this book, along with some nice subtle manipulations by BRODOK in the middle of it all. I’m especially glad we got some one-on-one time with Clint and Kate, with Clint playing his mentor role. The Clint/Kate relationship was one of my favorite parts of the Fraction Hawkeye series and I was hoping we’d get more of that in this series.
Stefano Caselli and Triona Farrell are also knocking it out of the park with the art. Caselli’s style fits the teen audience while still giving great details and cleverly structured action sequences (this includes kissing scenes). Farrell’s colors help those scenes pop, and she helps differentiate the flashbacks and talking heads. They both also lean into the fun (see above).
There are too many series that take themselves way too seriously, but I am really enjoying the embracing of teenage heroes and teenage fans and having some fun with comics again. This book should be on a shelf with Ms. Marvel and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, bringing some brightness into the LCS.
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