West Coast Avengers #6
Satana Hellstrom, M.O.D.O.K. (man, I hate typing that, I’m not doing it again in this review, I’m serious), The Eel and Madame Masque drink champagne (prosecco? Nah it’s probably champagne) as they observe the West Coast Avengers and Johnny’s sister, Ramone, hanging in cages above a shark tank (seriously so many shark tanks, villains have more money than sense.)
Meanwhile Kate and her apparently not dead mom are in a tunnel beneath the villainy themed park. After a run-in with Lady Bullseye, they escape the park, which… wasn’t really Kate’s objective. Despite her mother’s cryptic warnings she refuses to abandon her team and goes back into the tunnels.
Quirepool are in deep water, also sharks.
The villains add Ramone to the fray much to Johnny’s dismay. He responds by taking Bruce Lee’s advice literally.
Quentin resolves to resolve the shark issue, powering through the villain’s psychic block.
The villains respond with a shiver of land sharks, which Clint does his best to fend off with a makeshift catapult.
In the tunnels Kate isn’t faring much better.
She regains consciousness to find her ex-boyfriend Noh-Varr standing over her. TO BE CONTINUED…
Trust and loyalty are the clear through-lines in this issue with Kate ultimately choosing her team over her mother, not to mention placing a tracker on her. Meanwhile Johnny pushes his powers to their apparent limits to come to his sister’s aid and Quirepool engage in a post-psychic-explosion trust fall. Joe Caramagna’s lettering adds significantly to the impact of this panel and Gwenpool’s followup dialogue, which did make me laugh (unfortunately the only laugh of the issue for me.)
The whole shark tank set piece was well handled with a genuine sense of tension, though Gwenpool being able to stop a shark in its tracks is dubious to put it mildly.
So far this arc has done a good job of team building. In the last issue splitting the team up was used effectively as a plot device to allow for the main relationships and conflicts to be focused on. Divide and conquer is definitely working for the book even though its doubtful it will benefit the villains in the end.
Early on this series suffered from a lack of impact in the action scenes, that is not an issue here, unfortunately Kate is mostly on the receiving end. I was grimacing at a couple of the panels and again the lettering complements the art.
The speed of Lady Bullseye’s throwing stars was effectively emphasized through the angle of the stars themselves and the perspective of the panel. Another nice touch in Daniele Di Nicuolo’s art is the way the water rises above bottom of the panel, reminiscent of waterlogged cameras in countless shark films.
One thing that I’m not so sure about is the repeated use of closeup panels juxtaposed with more distant ones or vice versa. It’s effective in creating drama or impact but six times in one comic book might be overkill.
Last but not least Triona Farrell’s coloring brings some diversity to what could have been a drab subterranean issue.
Not the funniest issue, but Kelly Thompson is doing a good job of developing this team and the bonds between them.
West Coast Avengers #6: Sharkpool
- Writing - 7.75/107.8/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8.25/108.3/10
- Cover Art - 5/105/10
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