The West Coast Avengers was formed when Vision, who was the current leader of the Avengers and was being influenced by Titan's immense computer system known as ISAAC. The Vision told the government that a new Avenger team was needed it at the west coast. The government agreed with Vision’s terms and so Vision appointed Hawkeye as the team leader.
Hawkeye and his newly-wed wife Mockingbird was sent to Los Angeles to start a base of operation. The second headquarters of the Avengers was set and the team members were Avengers veterans as well as new recruits. Hawkeye was not only the first Chairman, but he also lasted longest.
The West Coast branch made their first appearance in the West Coast Avengers Mini-series #1, 1984. They were created by Roger Stern and Bob Hall.
The first line-up chosen by Hawkeye featured: himself, Mockingbird, the current Iron Man (James Rhodes), Tigra, Wonder Man as well as The Shroud, Bill Foster and Moira Brandon been made honorary members. The next recruit was Hank Pym (although, it wasn't until much later that he accepted himself as an actual part of the group) as well as the original Iron Man followed by a brief tenure with The Thing and Firebird.
The team went through several line-up changes but the team mostly always included some form of the original line-up. The most prominent latter day members were Scarlet Witch, US Agent, Spider-Woman, and Moon Knight.
As new members and leaders joined the expansion team it gradually deteriorated and later shut down by majority vote. Most of the core members of the time of disbandment went on to form Forceworks.
During her time in LA, Kate Bishop determined that the west coast was especially vulnerable to attack. There were very few heroes to protect it, and the villains knew this. Kate confided this in Clint, who encouraged her to start her own super team, based on his former team, Avengers West Coast. Kate recruited Fuse, Ms. America, and Gwenpool, while Clint agreed to part-time membership. The group was struggling to come up with ways to fund this endeavor, when the former X-Academy student, Quentin Quire, walked in with a documentary crew willing to bank roll the team in exchange for documenting their missions. Quentin ended up joining and struck up a romance with Gwenpool and later on Fuse's sister, Alloy, joined and began dating America.
This version of the team had a brief encounter with one of the team's founding members, Tigra.
Major Story Arcs
Lost in Space And Time
While searching for Firebird in Arizona to extend her membership, the West Coasters were attacked by Dominus and his minions. They trapped the West Coasters in Dr. Doom’s time machine and sent them into the Old West. Unfortunately, the time machine was broken and only moved into the past. After a brief encounter with the superheroes of that time, the team decides to go back further to Ancient Egypt knowing Rama-Tut was really a version of the time traveling Kang. Unfortunately, right before they leave, the Night Rider snatches Mockingbird, having become obsessed with her.
The team originally just went back 100 years, just to make sure they can actually control the device, and then they needed to fly east to Egypt before they jump any further back, since they stay geographically the same. However, they were attacked by Spanish soldiers, resulting in Hawkeye becoming badly injured, and came across a woman who was in one of Firebird’s visions. They gave her a note asking for help to hold onto until it came into possession of Firebird.
Now, in 2940 BC Egypt, the team is attacked by Rama Tut. He locks them up in a temple to Khonshu. The moon god reached out to the unconscious Hawkeye and offered him help. He would send Moon Knight in the future to show Firebird the note hidden in her family Bible. Meanwhile, Clint awoke healed, and his team was freed by priests of Khonshu. They snuck into Rama’s pyramid hiding a lab full of advanced tech, but he had already made his escape.
Thankfully, Moon Knight, Firebird, and Hank Pym (who had stayed behind) were on the case. They flew to the Baxter Building where Pym and Mr. Fantastic put their big brains together to fix the broken time machine in the Fantastic Four’s possession. They were able to go into the past to retrieve their teammates, including a detour to the Old West to rescue Mockingbird, who was able to protect herself from Night Rider. However, in the present, their mission wasn’t over. Dominus and his goons still needed taking care of. This time, they were no match for the Avengers. Firebird was able to counter Sunstroke, and Moon Knight was unaffected by Dominus’ mind control machine.
Attack of the Zodiac
The West Coasters get a weird house guest when Taurus of the Zodiac shows up looking for their help. An LMD of Jake Fury, possessed by his soul thanks to the Zodiac Key, led a gang of LMD Zodiac against the real Zodiac. Taurus swore if they helped him take out the cold and calculating robot doubles, he would go on the straight and narrow. He pointed them to a cattle auction where the Avengers chased the Zodiac off after Hawkeye accidentally “killed” the Sagittarius LMD.
Fury had a way of making new LMDs and replaced Sagittarius with a robot double of Hawkeye. The Zodiac ambushed the real Hawkeye and replaced him with their LMD mole to be sent back to the Avengers. When Hawkeye was figured out by Mockingbird, Fury simply kidnapped and replaced Tigra as the new Leo. Between the moles and the cosmic power of the Zodiac Key, Fury was able to stay one step ahead of the Avengers, until the Avengers tracked them to Death Valley. With the Zodiac seemingly losing, The Zodiac Key decided to teleport both teams to its dimension of origin.
Once there, the Zodiac malfunctioned and were no longer a threat. Meanwhile, the Avengers saw their Hawkeye and Tigra fighting Zodiac priests. Both the key and the priests live on conflict and ultimately decide to send the Avengers back to their home dimension where they can continue to cultivate conflict until the key and priests need it.
After the Avengers were attacked by an Ultron drone, they found Vision missing and his files deleted from their computers, as well as the computers of the East Coast Avengers and Fantastic Four. Mockingbird revealed that she had been recruited by joint international spies posing as SHIELD for a contingency against Vision, after he had recently connected to all computer systems on the planet.
The Avengers track them to a shut down factory scheduled for demolition. There, they had disassembled the Vision and erased his memory. They recovered his pieces, in hopes Hank Pym would be able to fix him, and Wanda destroyed the factory hideout. Pym continued working on rebuilding Vision’s body and memories. He did what he could with Avengers mission briefings, which would allow Vision to recognize who was who and what they have accomplished. However, he is not able to reconfigure how he felt about his teammates, including his wife, Scarlet Witch.
Meanwhile, the others tried to lodge a complaint with Sikorsky, their government liaison. Since the US government was working with the joint task force, the Avengers complaints fell on deaf ears. Instead, Sikorsky assigned them a new leader, U.S.Agent, someone the government can trust to keep an eye on the West Coasters. Hawkeye did not take it well and quit. He sought out the Great Lakes Avengers to see if they needed a leader.
Darker than Scarlet
Ever since the death and resurrection of the Vision, Wanda has been exposed to emotional trauma after emotional trauma. Disappointed with the efforts of her teammates to fix Vision, Wanda answers an offer of help from Jeremiah Random, Dean of Robotics at a research university in Texas. Unfortunately, it was a ruse. Random was much more interested in Wanda and using her to push the superiority of mutants over humans. To do so, they briefly assimilated her with That Which Endures, the first sentience on Earth, until Hawkeye and his new Great Lakes Avengers answered the auto distress call from Wanda’s Quinjet. Mr. Immortal’s unique ability gave him the opportunity to temporarily sacrifice himself to cut anyone off from That Which Endures. Unfortunately, it was too late. Wanda’s attitude towards humans was soured.
The appearance of Agatha Harkness did not help her mood. Agatha gave her the harsh truth that her children with Vision, Tommy and Billy, are simply a product of her magical abilities, each created from 1/5th of Mephisto’s soul, lost after his run-in with Franklin Richards. As such, he tricked Master Pandemonium into retrieving them for him. The West Coasters tried fighting through Pandemonium’s demon horde, but before they had a chance, Mephisto had already collected his soul fragments from the warlock. Much to the team’s chagrin, Agatha decided to erase Wanda’s memory of the boys to lessen her emotional distress.
These coupled with the usual danger Avengers continued to weigh on Wanda until she was brainwashed into being a Bride of Set. The West Coast team rescued her, but she was left in a catatonic state. This gave her father, Magneto, the opportunity to take advantage of her. He unleashed the full potential of her powers, which caused her unstable mind to finally break. Together, with her sibling Quicksilver, they warn off the West Coast team and withdraw to Asteroid M. Quicksilver was only faking his betrayal though, and, when he was found out, he used Lockjaw to return his family to the West Coast Avengers compound. While the team tries to fight Magneto, the true mastermind reveals himself: Immortus.
Immortus has been spying on the West Coast Avengers, specifically, Wanda, for a while. He was manipulating events that drove Scarlet Witch crazy. Since she was a nexus being, she belonged to all timelines and divergences, and Immortus believed if he could break her down, she could become his powerful puppet in securing all timelines, making him The Master of Time. He whisked her away in yet another catatonic state to Limbo, a place outside of time and space. However, the Time-Keepers, Immortus’ mentors, stepped in. Immortus’ plan made Scarlet Witch too powerful and put the future of time in danger. So, while they imprison Immortus, the West Coast Avengers, with help from Agatha, help Wanda put the pieces of psyche back together.
Operation: Galactic Storm
When Quasar determines that the use of a nearby stargate by warring factions of the Kree and the Shi’ar was destabilizing the Earth’s Sun, The Avengers call all hands on deck, including the West Coasters.
West Coaster Wasp was put in charge of a team ordered to protect Earth, including her West Coast teammates: Hank Pym, Mockingbird, and US Agent, while two other teams go to each empire’s homeworld to negotiate a ceasefire.
The Shi’ar team was led by Captain Marvel (Rambeau) and included West Coast teammates: Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Wonder Man
The Kree team was led by Captain America and included West Coast teammates: Iron Man and Hawkeye (who had returned to his Goliath persona for this mission).
The Shi’ar revealed a new weapon, called the Nega-Bomb, made from Kree artifacts Although, the Shi’ar had been convinced by the Avengrs to not use the bomb, it was stolen due to the secret machinations of the Kree Supreme Intelligence. West Coasters Wonder Man and Vision attempted to foil its use but were unsuccessful.
Afterward, the Avengers voted on whether or not to kill the Supreme Intelligence. It was shot down by majority vote, but West Coaster Iron Man didn’t care. He led the dissenting Avengers to kill the Supreme Intelligence. They believed themselves successful even though the Supreme Intelligence’s consciousness was able to escape, and The Avengers returned home disillusioned by the events of the war.
Mockingbird in Cages
Mockingbird would become a constant target for the enemies of West Coast Avengers. First she was kidnapped by a recently escaped Ultron. He hypnotized Hank Pym into making him a new robot ally, Alkhema, which he based on the brainwaves of Mockingbird. Fortunately, for the Avenger, Alkhema and Ultron disagreed on how to eradicate humanity, giving them the opportunity to take them out and save Mockingbird.
Next she was kidnapped by the Lethal Legion, who was working for Satannish. Mephisto offered the West Coasters help. He was going to give them passage to Satannish’s realm because the Lethal Legion was created from souls escaped from his realm, but Wanda, now leading the team, refused his help. Instead, they let Mephisto attack Satannish on his own and use it as a diversion to retrieve Mockingbird.
Unfortunately, Mockingbird sacrificed herself tackling Hawkeye out of the way of Mephisto’s fireball, taking the full brunt of the blast.
The East Coast Avengers had a meeting to determine the future of the West Coast team. Vision considered them a failed experiment and led the team in a vote to disband the team and give all the members reservist status on the East Coast team. Iron Man, current West Coaster, was the surprising deciding vote, however, he had a bigger plan. He was going to fund a new independent team, called Force Works.
Year's later, Kate Bishop, the new Hawkeye, tried to revive the West Coast team. After spending some time as a P.I. in L.A., she thought the West Coast was especially vulnerable to supervillains and had full support of the original Hawkeye. However, Kate needed funding and reluctantly agreed to be the subject of a documentary to get money.
Kate's West Coast Avengers get a decent popularity bump after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's show getting the attention of Kate's most consistent rival, Madame Masque. She attempts to assemble a West Coast Masters of Evil. They lure these Avengers into a trap that they easily foil with the help of Eleanor Bishop, Kate's long thought dead mother who appears to be Masque's Gal Friday, and Noh-Varr, Kate's alien ex-boyfriend who was independently investigating Madame Masque.
Noh-Varr was originally looking into a vampire cult called The Temple of the Shifting Sun, when he noticed a connection to Masque. With Masque's trap shutdown, the team turns their attention to helping Noh-Varr against the cult. It is there that Kate finds out her mother became a vampire and was working with Masque to not only find a cure but take down her criminal husband, Kate's father, Derek Bishop.
Sadly, a would-be superhero called The Dutch Oven, who Kate rejected during her recruitment drive, got the documentary cancelled.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
The West Coast Avengers are available as a team bonus in the expanded Xbox 360 version of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. It can be achieved using any combination of the following members:
- Iron Man
- Human Torch
- Moon Knight
- Spider-Woman (in Secret Wars costume only)
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
A new incarnation of the team appeared in Hawkeye's ending in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. In addition to Avengers mainstays like Hawkeye, War Machine, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man and Moon Knight, the Capcom video game characters June Lin Milliam, Jin Satome, Rikuo, Leo and Rei were shown as part of the team as well.