Avengers West Coast #65-68 (1990-1991): Mandrill and Nekra die

Remember when Clint Barton used to constantly mess with Captain America, back when Cap was the head of The Avengers and Hawkeye was just starting out as a hero?

Well now the inferior Cap stand-in USAgent is doing the same thing to Hawkeye as the inferior head of The Avengers West Coast. Poetic justice.

As for the main story…

Grim Reaper is back from the grave and ready to party.  Nekra’s the one who brings him back from the dead, with a twist:

He has to kill someone with his enchanted scythe every day or else he’ll die again. 

Nekra herself is his first victim.  

Now that’s a badass betrayal.

Then we jump to what appear to be side stories.  Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne take on Ultron 13.  Iron Man and USAgent take on pesticides that are turning people’s skin into metal.  

Of course, Ultron is behind that—trying to turn humans into robots—and the West Coast Avengers take on that problem, except for Wonder Man who wants to deal with the family matter of Grim Reaper.

Sadly, Tigra is still slutty.
So Wonder Man has essentially a solo adventure while the WCA team fights Ultron.  In Wonder Man’s tale, Mandrill ties in (remember, he was associated with Nekra back in the weird Steve Englehart days), and gets killed by Grim Reaper.

Of course, the two stories eventually tie together.  The annoying part is that it’s totally by coincidence: Grim Reaper is hiding in the sewers.  So is Ultron.  And they literally bump into each other.  Hrmf.
Anyhow, they fight and then they team up.  Ultron fuses Reaper’s scythe to his arm.  The WCA cure the human-robot virus.  
Before the team up, Wonder Man and Reaper get to have a heart to heart, brother to brother…

…I like that Grim Reaper pays attention to leap year.

Then there’s the big finale fight, where Reaper betrays Ultron, but then they both get captured by the heroes. Left unanswered: How can Grim Reaper be imprisoned if he has to kill a human every day to stay alive?
These are very familiar story beats and character actions.  There’s nothing really “bad” here, but there’s nothing essential either.

Also: Torch backup story with art by Rik Levins, where he takes on Mad Thinker and Giganto. Only it isn’t Mad Thinker. It’s Namor in a mask, who was trying to help Torch work out some grief about Toro that really isn’t worth explaining. Silly.

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