Special Edition Podcast

Booksplode #29 – Avengers West Coast Epic Collection, Vol. 1: How The West Was Won

Show Notes

Thanks to our awesome Patrons, we’re proud to present another Booksplode!

This month, Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick take a look at…

Avengers West Coast Epic Collection, Vol. 1: How The West Was Won by Roger Stern, Bob Harras, Steve Englehart, David Michelinie, Bob Hall, Luke McDonnell, Al Milgrom, Richard Howell, Kerry Gammill, Brett Breeding, Ian Akin, Brian Garvey, Joe Sinnott, Andy Mushynsky, Kim DeMulder, Kyler Baker, Vince Colletta, Peter Berardi, Roy Richardson, Julianna Ferriter, Bob Sharen, Ken Feduniewicz, Christie Scheele, Petra Scotese, Janet Jackson, Adam Phillips, Joe Rosen, Rick Parker, Diana Albers, Jim Novak, Tom Orzechowski, Lois Buhalis, Janice Chiang, & Ken Lopez!

What’s a Booksplode? It’s a bi-monthly special edition show in which we take a look at a single graphic novel or collected edition, something we really just don’t have time to do on the regular show.

Running Time: 00:48:00

“The Golden State”
John Doe (with Kathleen Edwards)


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  1. I think I’m about the same age as you guys, and when I think about comics this is the era I associate with a normal comic reading experience. Soap Opera plot points, thought balloons editor’s notes… all of it.

    Say what you will about Marvel editorial at the time, but their heavy handed control over the books allowed for that interconnected feeling world. It was crazy just how consistent they managed to keep all the books. I really do miss those editor’s notes. It’s sounds crazy, but that was one of my favorite things about reading those old comics. Reading an editor’s notes and then tracking down some back issue to hear more about a plot point was tons of fun.

    I was 8-10 at the time of these books and I certainly noticed the writer and when the artist changed. The inker, letterer, colorist, editor etc all were basically invisible to me. I’m not sure if I even knew what those jobs entailed at the time. I still sometimes undervalue what the editor does for a book. That all said the big difference between then and now is now I more frequently will make a purchase based on the creative team. That was certainly not true back then. Back then I followed titles and characters regardless of the creative team. For example, if John Byrne left X-Men to go do a different book I didn’t follow him to that book. I kept reading the X-Men even if I didn’t care for the new creative team. Nowadays I would never do that.

  2. Pym built Ultron. Ultron built Vision. In that order.

  3. Hawkeye & Mockingbird broke up over his disapproval of her not saving her rapist, Night Rider, who died in a slip and fall accident, which he considered it murder. Something he would never do.
    I believe the costume change you reference involves Hawkeye returning to short sleeves, a change made in his 1983 limited series.

  4. I had been reading comics for less than a year when WCA #1 came out. With the regular Avengers title already numbering in the mid-200s, this seemed like a way to get in on the ground floor of an Avengers team, and the WCA were going to be *my* Avengers. I could follow a team from the beginning and know the whole story and never be lost in continuity that I’d never find back issues for. I loved the West Coast book. It’s probably why pre-MCU Hawkeye has always been my favorite Avenger.

    My friends and I were playing TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes RPG (the FASERIP system) with me GMing. The “Avengers Coast-to-Coast” (pub. 1986) had rules for setting up your own campaign with an Avengers Experimental Franchise set in your own hometown. I ran this campaign for a while with an Avengers team set in a renovated train station in Richmond, Virginia.



    Love the nostalgia Booksplodes, guys, I hope you keep in that vein. For suggestions, I thought about requesting Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985) but that’s just mean. I hope you do the Byrne FF run at some point, but I have a different suggestion:

    G.I. Joe: Classics Vol. 3

    “The classic Marvel Comics G.I. Joe gets new life in this third collection of must-have stories! The original Marvel Comics adventures of America’s elite special-mission force continues with a special silent issue featuring Snakes Eyes and Scarlett, mysterious twin tattoo’s, a funeral for a friend, and plastic surgery for a wounded enemy. Plus the origins of Snake Eyes revealed! This action-packed volume collects G.I. Joe issues #21-30.”

  5. Great episode! Really enjoyed reading this collection and it was fun to hear you guys discuss it. I too hope there’s a Byrne FF Booksplode one day. Superhero comics rarely get better than that run!

  6. Great talk, guys. I read pieces of this here and there as a kid. It was almost impossible to get every issue back in the day (as you can probably remember). Think I’ll go back and read the whole thing now. Great song choice too!

  7. The Hawkeye/Mockingbird mini series that preceded WCA was a pretty cool run, and in that series Clint has to fight Mockingbird who is under mental control by the villian. The only way Clint could avoid similar mind control was to put the head of his sonic arrow in his mouth to dwarf the mind control signal. He beats his wife, saves the day, but with the aforementioned side-effect of becoming mostly deaf.

  8. Can I put in a request for a review of Avengers Forever? It’s one of my favorite Marvel collections of all time, and since you both have Pym/Vision/Ultron/Human Torch on the brain, why don’t we have Mr. Busiek sort it all out for us?

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