Monday, January 09, 2012

The Terminus Factor: Avengers West Coast Annual #5!

Catching a bit of lens flare off Iron Man's head there...
From Avengers West Coast Annual #5, "When Titans Trash!" (They really should've gone with the cover's title, "War of the Gargantuas!") Written by Roy and Dann Thomas, pencils by James Fry, inks by Keith Williams. The issue starts without a lot of urgency, as Dr. Pym revives the android Human Torch. Recently, the Vision had been revealed as not a refurbished Torch, but a separate android. The Torch does have to ask how long he's been down, since his previous record was 35 years. Meanwhile, Hercules watches Terminus and the now-giant Termini battle in downtown San Francisco: the fight has moved since the prior issue, which could be justified by their giant size; but Herc's outfit has also changed. It's a better outfit, so we'll allow it.
As the "Terminus Twins" talk smack and hammer each other, the Avengers West Coast, including Iron Man and Machine Man, arrive. Pym has a plan involving a pair of huge lenses, momentarily blinding them, then sending them chasing after-images. Hercules tries to smash the Termini as he did the Deviant-piloted impostor, but it doesn't work; neither does the Wasp's attempt to do damage from within. Both giants mostly ignore the Avengers, as they return to their battle. The Termini, seemingly defeated, shrinks and is eaten by Terminus, who then levels up to a four-armed, even bigger be seen in the conclusion in Avengers Annual #19!

Even without a lot of page-time, Thomas gives as many characters as he can a moment of characterization: Pym quietly leads the team, USAgent is a "brave blowhard," Hawkeye writes a check his butt can't cash, and Quicksilver is smug as hell but rather deservedly so. I like Fry's art--he had a run on DC's Star Trek book that I quite enjoyed. This is another fun chapter, even if our heroes don't get to accomplish a lot. And the backups this issue are possibly the best of the lot, including "Don't You Daaare Miss it!" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Hyperatomic Anti-Proton Cannon!" (The latter having James Fry art as well!)

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