WEST COAST AVENGERS #1 / Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artist: Stefano Caselli & Trìona Farrell / Letterer : Joe Caramagna / Publisher: Marvel Comics / August 24th, 2018
West Coast Avengers #1 is what I would qualify as pure comic book magic. It embraces the over the top nature of comics which is what made me fall in love with the medium in the first place. When the announcement was made for this book I was excited because Kelly Thompson is one of my favorite comic book writers, but the team that was announced wasn’t composed of characters whom I’m a huge fan of. I wasn’t expecting this book to end up my favorite issue of the week, but I was truly pleased by the quality of this book. This first issue delivers in craziness and laughs featuring land-sharks, Quentin Quire, Gwenpool, and a giant Tigra. This comic is a ton of fun and should be on your pull list, immediately.
Have I mentioned this book is tons of fun? The amount of silly over the top fun is so explosive it radiates off the cover. The vibrant tone Stefano Caselli brings on the cover is present throughout the book in a fashion that is so organic you can’t help, but be in awe before his incredible pencils. The mix of meticulous attention to details and exaggerated body language and character expressions brings forth a very modern comic book style to this book. Every facial expression and mannerism fits so well with each character highlighting their personalities to perfection. Add the groovy colors of Trìona Farrell and you get an overall look that vibes with younger up-beat audiences. Caselli’s pencils are incredible in this book, but I have to give a lot of credit to Farrell without her choice of warm and popping colors the book loses the tone that is needed to make it special. Overall, the art elevates this book to the mood Thompson was seeking for West Coast Avengers #1.
The art team isn’t the only one deserving of praise the writing was astounding. Kelly Thompson brings humor, top-notch characterization, and authentic team dynamics. The pacing, for this comic, is well-balanced and gives off the sense that things are moving along while keeping things slow enough for us to get a nice grip of every character’s personalities. The humor gives off this light-hearted feel, which meshes with this particular cast of character beautifully. Thompson exploits comedy to its fullest by utilizing it both in dialog and situations to craft an atmosphere that gives this book its unique voice. Kelly fills West Coast Avenger’s #1 with scenes that make this team feel truly complete within one issue. Whether it be heartfelt moments, like when Kate and Fuse have a heart to heart discussion or funnier scenes like Gwen and Quentin’s many altercations; the team dynamic is well handled because of the attention to these small details.
The plot bears such a silly premise which works so well for the book. The simple nature of how everything comes together feels refreshing when looking at most current Marvel titles where the world seems to be on the brink of extinction every other day. The masterful execution of the premise allows the over the top feel to shine through and make this comic be an enjoyable experience. Without spoiling the ending, a moment which would have felt completely random and out of place was a shining beacon of laughter because of the way things progressed up to that point. Through and through, the writing was superb.
This comic will make you laugh out loud, and it will find its way into your heart in a single issue. Bringing all these explosive personalities together was a stroke of genius and we’re lucky enough to notice it first hand. The pure interaction of this diverse cast is making me ask for more, and I can’t wait for the next issues. To say it was tons of fun seems like such a simple praise to give it, but I wouldn’t be able to find anything more appropriate. I urge everyone to buy it, and I can assure you will adore it.
5 out of 5 Land-sharks