Avengers West Coast #58-59 (1990): Vibro dies

Opening note: Lee Weeks’ cover can’t save this pair of bad issues.

Without John Byrne as creator, Vibro (who was beaten by the Jim Rhodes version of Iron Man when he was still new to wearing the armor) and Hydro-Man (who is made of water) are full-on Avengers-level threats. 

I love the splash to #58, which describes Fabian Nicieza as a “reticent” writer of this godawful mess.  Vibro seems to die in the end, as the result of an earthquake that he himself caused-indicating that the team could have just left him alone and he would have eventually imploded.

Hank and Jan have an interaction showing the senseless death caused by Vibro’s implosion of a downtown area, but why does Wasp have to be portrayed as so squeamish. Not only does this story overrate Vibro as a threat, but it is also sexist.

And in the end, Hank Pym uses his Pym particles to shrink(?) (I think, it’s not clear), Vibro and actually kill him.

Hank hasn’t been a killer in the past. This is out of character. Just another reason to dislike issue #58.

For Hydro Man’s story, he’s robbing banks.  Should bankrobberies really be the purview of an Avengers team?  Let’s have some sense of scope, mission and purpose here, people.

To be fair, he’s got a Loki power-up.  Which is also strange because Thor just beat the crap out of Loki for powering up a bunch of guys during Acts of Vengeance, and now he’s back just a month later?  Maybe this was an inventoried idea during the AoV event, and Marvel pushed it out as a fill-in to buy time for Roy and Dann Thomases upcoming run on this series.

But here’s where it gets really cool.  Ever wish that a fill-in could just be erased, because it was stupid?

Well, that’s exactly what happens at the end of this issue.  During the story, Hydro Man actually kills several Avengers.  Then, at the funeral, Immortus (who, remember, was erasing timelines during John Byrne’s run) does the ultimate retcon and erases the story.

Overall, these are D comics. But the deus ex machina end of #59 is a solid C+.

Leave a Comment