Avengers West Coast #92

Issue Date: 
March 1993
Story Title: 
When Goliaths Clash!!!

Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Dave Ross (penciler), Tim Dzon (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist), John Lewandowski (assistant editor), Nel Yomtov (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Avengers West return to their Compound following Carlos's funeral and begin to clear up some of the rubble, until other matters become of more interest - Hawkeye and Mockingbird are more interested in making out, Spider-Woman is taking some time out to set up her apartment for her daughter and Consuela to live in out in Newport, and the Scarlet Witch goes with them. USAgent is feeling left out, as usual, and storms off, while reserve member Living Lightning is annoyed he cannot help out as much as he would like to, though the Scarlet Witch gives him some advice. After a few glasses of wine and some serious "catching up" Hawkeye and Mockingbird are startled by an intruder - Kuroko of the Pacific Overlords, seriously injured, she passes out before they learn why she is at their Compound. En route to Newport, Rachel gets upset about the recent deaths of her father and Carlos, while the Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman discuss various things. Meanwhile, a reporter interviews Erik Josten - a.k.a. Goliath - about how he feels now that there is another Goliath (Hawkeye) active. The imprisoned Josten however is not particularly concerned - until the reporter mentions his foe Wonder Man. This causes Josten to break out of the prison and make way to the Palos Verdes Compound, seeking Wonder Man, he attacks Hawkeye, who pushes himself hard to keep up with the stronger Goliath. When Hawkeye falls on the Compound, damaging yet another part, he is worried he has crushed Mockingbird, so takes the battle elsewhere. It isn't long before Mockingbird, alive and well, arrives to help her husband, and together, they defeat the criminal Goliath. Elsewhere, the USAgent ponders his past and why women do not seem to like him - before vowing to get a woman and prove the others wrong. Arriving back at the Compound, Hawkeye and Mockingbird discover their teammates have returned, and go to check on their visitor, Kuroko, who reveals that Doctor Demonicus did this to her, and that he has gone mad and means to destroy the world!

Full Summary: 

‘Be it ever so humble…!’ Clint “Hawkeye” Barton remarks. ‘And boy, has it been humbled!’ Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch adds, both long-time friends and senior members of the Avengers West Coast, commenting on their home and headquarters the Avengers West Compound in Palos Verdes, California, of which a part has been destroyed following a battle with Ultron. ‘While some people talk, others do the work!’ the handsome Johnny Walker a.k.a. USAgent snaps while goes about moving some of the rubble. Johnny then asks what the word is on the replacements for their trashed Quinjets.

Hawkeye – actually Goliath as he is now calling himself after taking the serum to once more transform himself into Goliath – replies that he has been talking to a Stark International agent, but that with Tony dead, the interim’s management is throwing a lot of red tape in his way. ‘Boy, since you switched from being Hawkeye to playing Goliath, even your excuses have gotten bigger!’ Walker replies. ‘THAT’S IT!’ shouts Clint as he, in an increased mass, strides over to USAgent, exclaiming that he has had all the sniping he can stand. He remarks that they may have just returned from Carlos’ funeral, ‘But that doesn’t mean I can start arranging yours!’ he warns USAgent, who replies ‘In you dreams, Barton!’.

Suddenly, ‘Clint!’ cries Barbara “Bobbi” Morse-Barton, a.k.a. Mockingbird, and Clint’s estranged wife, until recently that is. ‘Is that really how you want to spend the rest of the afternoon?’ Bobbi asks. Clint returns to his regular size and they embrace, ‘Well, when you put it that way, Bobbi…what do you think?’ he replies, grinning. ‘Then what say we go inside – while USAgent stays here and plays with his rocks’ Mockingbird replies, while USAgent just frowns, not amused.

Julia “Spider-Woman” Carpenter grins when she sees her daughter, Rachel, running towards her, and asks Rachel if she helped Consuela pack her backs for Newport Beach. The comely Consuela, following Rachel, replies that Carlos is bringing it. Rachel asks her mother if they have to move, exclaiming that she likes it here. ‘I didn’t hear you say that while Ultron was trashing the Compound’ Julia replies. While everyone gathers around a car that Carlos has ready, USAgent strides away, angry at that fact that even when he is right, the team still makes him feel like the odd man out. ‘Better go from a nice long run before I cream somebody!’ he decides.

Consuela declares that she will miss working for the Avengers .’But after Carlos was killed…’ her voice trails off. Spider-Woman assures Consuela that, in a way, she will still be working for them. Julia gets into the car, followed by Rachel, while Spider-Woman reminds Consuela that she will be looking after Rachel whenever she has to go off for Avengers business. Julia turns to her friend Wanda and asks her if she wants to come and help them get settled in. ‘Yes’ replies Wanda as she climbs into the car also, while turning to reserve member Miguel Santos a.k.a. the Living Lightning and asks him if he is going back to USC. ‘I guess’ Miguel replies.

‘You don’t sound too positive’ Wanda remarks, to which Miguel replies that Carlos’ funeral made him wonder if that is what he should really be doing right now. ‘That – and Wonder Man going wild on us and quitting the Avengers’ Miguel adds, remarking that with Simon gone and the real Iron Man dead, perhaps he should put off going to college and help the team out as the Living Lightning for a while. Wanda replies that a group like the Avengers will always be in a state of crisis and tells Miguel that he should get his education, then, if he still wants to rejoin full time, they can talk about it then.

‘Hey! Has the kid forgotten I can make like King Kong now!?’ Clint whispers as he and Bobbi stand nearby. Bobbi shushes her husband, while Living Lightning remarks ‘You know the trouble with you, Wanda? You’re right way too often!’ With that, the car containing the Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, Rachel, Consuela and Carlos drives off, while Wanda thinks to herself ‘Am I, Miguel? Well, at least I’ve faced up to the fact that what the Vision and I once had is gone forever – so I can start building a new life!’. Mockingbird bids Miguel farewell, and Clint tells him that he will see him around sometime. ‘Yeah. See you – sometime!’ Living Lightning replies as he bursts into his lightning form and takes to the sky.

Elsewhere, ‘So, I figured while my fellow newshounds clamor around outside the gates, trying to get to check out the rumors that the Avengers West might re-locate after some robot-destroyed half the buildings in their Compound, little Meggan McCambridge would hotfoot it here and get a totally different angle, capish?’ remarks the sassy reporter as she stands outside a cell – ‘Only I didn’t count on Erik Josten clamming up on me!’ she adds. A security guard tells Meggan to not be so loud, reminding her that she is not even supposed to be here. ‘And if they found out I dressed him up in his Goliath costume for you…’ the guards’ voice trails off as he anxiously looks around the corridor.

‘Hey, this is TV, not radio! At these prices, can’t you make him talk to me?’ Meggan snaps back, while a somewhat dazed Erik Josten a.k.a. the third Goliath, sits on the bed in his cell. The security guard replies that it is the drugs, that he has been doped up ever since ‘that Giant-Man guy’ brought him in here. ‘He barely knows we’re here’ the guard adds. ‘But this was going to be such a good angle!’ Meggan remarks, pointing out that the Avengers have a new Goliath – be it Hawkeye, Dr. Pym or whoever, so she wanted to interview the previous title holder.

‘It seemed like a natural, since it wasn’t too long ago he went on a rampage in Hollywood against Wonder Man’ Meggan adds. Suddenly, ‘Wonder Man?’ asks Goliath, looking up wide-eyed. ‘Where’s Wonder Man!?’ Josten begins to shout, as he increases hi size. Meggan McCambridge looks at the security guard and remarks that she thought he said that this guy couldn’t grow big while he was doped up. ‘That’s what they told me!’ the guard replies as Josten keeps growing, eventually smacking his head against the ceiling.

‘Are you getting this, Larry?’ Meggan snaps at her cameraman. ‘You know it!’ Larry replies, while the security guard tells Meggan and Larry to get out of here. Josten is now so large that he smashes his hand through the cell bars, causing the trio to scatter, while he grows so large that he breaks through the roof of the building, bellowing ‘I WANT WONDER MAN!’. Goliath then begins to stride away, boasting that he knows exactly where to find him.

Back at the Compound, in Hawkeye’s darkened quarters, an open bottle of wine and two near-empty glasses rest on a table, and Mockingbird moans, before asking Clint if he wants to know the real reason she didn’t go through with the divorce. ‘I give up, Mrs. Barton. Why?’ the near-naked Hawkeye replies as he kneels over the very naked Mockingbird. ‘Because you give the best back-rub this side of a Tokyo bath house’ Bobbi replies, remarking that she can feel all her tensions just melting away. ‘We aim to please’ Clint replies, before exclaiming that they must have been crazy to ever even think about splitting up.

While Clint continues to rub Bobbi’s back, Bobbi exclaims that it was her fault. ‘If I’d levelled with you about that business with the Phantom Rider…’ her voice trails off, while Clint tells her to shush, as it is over. ‘We both acted like jerks’ Clint admits. ‘Maybe, but I was the biggest jerk – what was that?’ Bobbi exclaims suddenly, after hearing a noise. ‘What was it? Where are you going?’ Clint asks as Bobbi gets out of bed and wraps a sheet around her, replying that she heard something and pointing out that they are supposed to be the only two people left in the Compound. Clint replies that he didn’t hear a thing and asks Bobbi to come back to bed, but Mockingbird asserts that she heard something, and declares that she is going to find out who.

‘You coming with me?’ Bobbi asks a moment later, ‘Soon as I get my boots on!’ Clint replies, dressed in his revealing Goliath costume and struggling to put his boots on. Mockingbird gets dressed too, and grabs her staffs, ‘There it is again – the sound of breathing!’ Bobbi exclaims, to which Clint confirms that he hears it now, but remarks that there is nobody there, when suddenly – a woman appears before them, well, parts of her body appear anyway, and Hawkeye exclaims that it is Kuroko of the Pacific Overlords. Kuroko looks rather pained, and Hawkeye points out that she is only halfway visible and Bobbi suggests that he grab her before she fades out again.

‘Too late!’ Clint exclaims, but figuring where he right arm was, he reaches for it, and grabs her. ‘Please – let me go!’ Kuroko pleads. ‘Not on your life, lady!’ Hawkeye retorts as he pins Kuroko to the wall, but in the process, she smacks her head against the wall. ‘Blast! I didn’t mean for her to hit her head!’ Clint exclaims, before Kuroko reappears. Hawkeye looks puzzled, as Kuroko’s face is badly bruised and bleeding from her head. ‘Huh? Don’t tell me I did that to you!’ Clint exclaims, concerned. ‘Not…it…was…Doctor Demonicus!’ Kuroko reveals, naming the man she loves.

‘But you worshipped the ground he walked on!’ Mockingbird points out. ‘Yeah, after he raised it from the bottom of the Pacific!’ Clint remarks, while Kuroko tries to utter something, but falls over. Clint grabs her in time, but Kuroko is unconscious. Bobbi points out that it looks like it might be from loss of blood.

Meanwhile, Consuela and Carlos, both somber after losing their co-worker and friend sit up front, while in the back of the car heading towards Newport Beach, Wanda tells her friend Julia that she thinks she is doing the right thing. Wanda points out that the Compound is way too public and therefore Rachel would never be totally safe there. Julia replies that at least with her Avengers salary she can afford Newport Beach now, adding that Rachel really got to love it while she lived there with her Dad.

Suddenly, Rachel begins to cry, ‘Mommy – why, Mommy?’ she asks as she leans into Julia. ‘Why what, Rachel?’ Julia replies. ‘Carlos – why did he have to die, Mommy?’ Rachel asks. ‘Why did he and Daddy both have to die?’ Julia hugs her beloved daughter and replies that she doesn’t know, but for both sakes, wishes she did. A teary-eyed Wanda glances out the window.

Back at the Compound, Kuroko is lying on a bed, still unconscious, and Mockingbird suggests to Hawkeye that they contact the Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman, to which Hawkeye agrees, muttering that this isn’t quite the way he had hoped to spend the afternoon, when suddenly, an enormous hand bursts through the side of the building and snatches Hawkeye, ‘Where is WONDER MAN!?’ a voice booms while Clint is lifted high into the air. Bobbi calls out to him before rushing out to the balcony, where she sees Goliath – the other Goliath that is – holding her husband.

‘Oh, no – not you again!’ Clint remarks as he struggles to break free of Josten’s grasp, ‘We put you on ice after you tangled with Simon – and I heard Giant-Man did the same after Dr. Nemesis sprung you!’ Clint remarks. Josten ignores the comments, and shouts ‘I asked you a question little man – where is Simon Williams?’. Clint replies ‘Don’t you read the papers? He quit us!’, before telling Josten not to call him “Little Man”, ‘The name used to be Hawkeye – but now, it’s GOLIATH!’ Clint boasts as he increases his form even further, causing the other Goliath to drop him.

But as Clint steadies himself on the ground, Josten rushes towards him, ‘NO! That’s my name!’ he shouts, muttering that, years ago, the fool Luke Cage beat him by trickery and stole his “Power Man” name. ‘And I won’t go through that again!’ he adds. ‘I’ll KILL you first!’ the deranged Josten shouts. ‘You’re kidding!’ Clint replies – but as Josten smashes his fist into the Compound, Clint realizes that he is not kidding. ‘Neither am I’ Clint exclaims as he tackles Josten to the ground, while thinking to himself that he doesn’t believe this – even though Josten is after Wonder Man, who isn’t around, he’s ready to waste the next best thing. ‘Which just happens to be me!’

Clint realizes that Josten has the advantage, recalling how Hank Pym told him there might be complications should he try growing any taller than thirty feet – of which Josten is twice that. ‘Why is it that even when I trade in my bow and arrows for seven-league boots – I still end up second best?’ Clint wonders. ‘”Second best”? No! That’s not true!’ Clint tells himself, admitting that while there are two Goliath’s now, in a minute there is only going to be one. ‘And it’ll be me!’ With that, Clint smashes the downed Erik Josten in the head.

The criminal Goliath lies against part of the damaged Palos Verdes Compound and Clint decides that he is down, but only for the moment, before calling out to Bobbi, asking where she is.

‘Down here, lover!’ Mockingbird calls out from the balcony. Clint turns to her, ‘Great! I was afraid that…’ his voice trails off as Bobbi tells him not to worry about her, and to look behind himself. Too late though, ‘Got you – little man!’ Goliath exclaims as he grabs Clint, wrapping his arms around him. Clint looks annoyed, ‘Resilient cuss, aren’t you? And I told you before – don’t call me “Little Man”!’ Clint shouts as he increases his body to match that of Josten’s, and in the process, frees himself from Erik’s grasp.

Erik is surprised at Clint increasing him size, while Clint calls out to Bobbi, telling her to get out of here. Clint admits to himself that he didn’t have much choice but to will himself up to Josten’s size. However, Clint can tell that the sudden spurt didn’t do his innards any good, as he hurts inside, as if he is getting the bends. Suddenly, Clint falls forward onto the part of the Compound where Mockingbird ran into. ‘What a loser! You can’t even stand up straight!’ Josten shouts out. Clint steadies himself, concerned with where he landed, he starts searching the rubble for his wife, only to be smacked in the head by the other Goliath who tells him that he is way out of his league.

‘You’re just a normal joe who swigged a few growth hormones!’ Josten tells Clint, who stands up. Josten boasts that he has ionic super strength even when he was just Power Man. So what kind of clout do you think I’ve got now?’ he asks. Clint rubs his head and knows that Josten is right, so there is only one thing left to do. The reporters and camera crew who were hanging around outside the Compound suddenly get a fright as Clint and Erik begin to leave the Compound. ‘Hey! Where are you going!?’ ‘Watch out!’ they cry. ‘Got to get out of here’ Clint thinks to himself as he accidentally stands on a vehicle.

Meanwhile, somewhere on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, USAgent leans against a tree. ‘Those jerks never give me a chance!’ he thinks of his teammates, while deciding that it was the same as when he was a kid – his brother died in Vietnam and then the politicos threw in the towel before he could enlist. Now, Johnny believes that his brother is the war hero – the honored dead, ‘And me?’ he wonders. ‘The power of a tank and I still get treated like the Captain America stand-in I used to be’.

‘And women – Mockingbird, Spider-Woman and the Witch all act like I’m some kind of social disease – and none of them is interested in being the cure. Well, who needs them?’ Johnny thinks to himself, deciding that he will find a woman who feels like he does about things. ‘And then the Avengers West can all kiss my anthem!’.

Elsewhere, ‘Just look at this water spot on the trunk, Geraldo!’ a woman complains as she motions to her car. ‘Yes, Mrs. Willis’ Geraldo replies. ‘I’ve told you and I’ve told you, make them wipe the car off twice!’ Mrs. Willis exclaims, when suddenly, Geraldo motions overheard and exclaims that they have more important things to worry about. Clint and Erik can be seen, and Clint exclaims that he feels so dizzy, before falling down on Mrs. Willis’ car.

Josten tells Clint that running off to this upper-crust shopping mall has only postponed his defeat. ‘Says you!’ Clint replies as he whacks Erik in the face, realizing that was the best shot he had left, but all it did was make Josten damage the parking structure. Wide-eyed, Clint thinks that he didn’t mean to head for a populated area, and knows he has to get out of here before he gets somebody killed – somebody besides him that is.

‘That blow was your last hurrah, Little Man!’ Josten boasts as he smacks a pained Clint hard in the face. ‘And “Little Man” is definitely the right term again – because you’re shrinking ten feet every time I hit you!’ Josten adds as he continues to pummel Clint. The exhausted Clint knows that he has to stand up to Josten, while Josten shouts that nothing will save Hawkeye, ‘I’m going to pound you all the way through to China!’ he boasts, when suddenly, Mockingbird, on an air-cycle flies past. ‘The Chinese have enough problems, Man-Mountain!’ she exclaims, aiming Clint’s bow and arrow at him.

Goliath just laughs – ‘He can’t make a dent in me at sixty feet – and his girlfriend threatens me with his bow and arrow?’ Mockingbird corrects Goliath, snapping back that she is Hawkeye’s wife, ‘With a background in science!’ she adds as she fires the arrow at Josten’s head, where it lands right in the middle of his forehead. ‘So what? An arrow’s still an – what’s happening to me!?’ he shouts as he flounders about as electricity flows all around him.

Barbara tells Josten that it is his turn to feel light-headed now, adding that she will help him along, and rams the air-cycle into his head. While Clint gets up, Josten falls to his knees, as Bobbi declares that the “book” on him is that he got his powers from Baron Zemo’s ionic ray machine, the same as Wonder Man. Bobbi explains that Wonder Man’s powers come from ions made by adding electrons to atoms, so she rigged an electro-arrow to absorb electrons, which cancelled out Erik’s power. ‘For about ten seconds, anyway – which is about how long it’ll take your super-charged bod to generate new electrons and thus new ionic power!’ Bobbi thinks to herself, as she calls out to Clint, exclaiming that she has done all she can from this end.

‘Slug him! Before he can bring his greater size and strength to bear again!’ Mockingbird calls out urgently. ‘Slug him? I can’t even see him. Everything’s spinning…’ Clint replies, to which Bobbi exclaims ‘He’s turning toward you – chin at eye level one-o’clock! NOW!’ Mockingbird shouts, giving her husband the directions he needs to whack Erik Josten hard in the face, the criminal then falls flat on the ground. ‘Is he down?’ the exhausted Clint asks as he returns to his normal size. ‘Yeah – before he could get ionized again! But another second…’ Bobbi begins, until she embraces Clint, telling him it was nice of him to shrink down to a huggable size. ‘Like I really had a choice!’ Clint replies.

Shortly, a reporter interviews Clint and Bobby and exclaims that Goliath got him, referring to Clint getting Erik. Clint smiles and replies that it wasn’t Goliath – it was beauty who killed the beast. ‘I’ve been waiting years for an opening like that!’ Clint whispers to Bobbi.

Soon, Clint and Bobbi fly down towards the Palos Verdes Compound on the air-cycle, and Clint tells Bobbi how proud he is of her for remembering all those archery lessons, not to mention improvising the improvement on that electro-arrow. ‘What’s a brain like you see in me, anyway?’ Clint asks, to which Barbara tells him not to get started on that. Landing, Bobbi points out that it looks like Wanda and Julia hitched back to what is left of the Compound, ‘Which evidently doesn’t include the gate’ she adds, motioning to the reporters that Wanda is dealing to.

USAgent declares that he told everyone the ex-bow-slinger is too stubborn to die, before Wanda informs the reporters that she has nothing more to say, despite their protests. Wanda asks her battered friend where the other Goliath they heard about is, to which Mockingbird replies ‘Out!’, explaining that she helped a doctor whip up a sedative to keep him that way until they can contain him. Wanda asks why they didn’t stick around to guard him, to which Clint replies they have a visitor upstairs, one which they don’t want the press to see yet. Wanda and Julia follow Clint and Bobbi, while Johnny keeps the press busy with his credits.

As the quartet enter the ruined building, Wanda asks who is up here. ‘See for yourself!’ Bobbi replies as they enter Clint’s quarters – only to discover that their guest has disappeared. Suddenly, the table moves, and the wine bottle and glasses fall to the ground as a weary Kuroko, now awake, materializes, leaning against the table. Clint asks her what she was trying to tell them about Doctor Demonicus, to which Kuroko replies ‘He’s gone mad – and means to destroy the world!’

Characters Involved: 

Hawkeye / Goliath II, Mockingbird, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman II, USAgent (all Avengers West Coast)
Living Lightning (reserve member of the Avengers West Coast)

Rachel Carpenter

Goliath III / Erik Josten

Kuroko (member of the Pacific Overlords)

Meggan McCambridge
Larry, cameraman
Prison Guard
Mrs Willis
Additional reporters at the AWC Compound

In Illustrative flashback images:
Spider-Woman II, Wonder Man, USAgent (all Avengers West Coast)

Story Notes: 

Ultron decimated part of the Palos Verdes Compound in Avengers West Coast #89-90.

Two Quinjets were destroyed in Avengers West Coast #90-91.

Hawkeye became Goliath once more in Avengers West Coast #90. He first became Goliath way back in Avengers (1st series) #63.

Clint’s Goliath costume in the last two issues was a yellow and brown color. This issue, it appears red and blue.

Carlos, the Avengers West Coast’s groundsman, was killed by Ultron in Avengers West Coast #89.

While the remaining Avengers West Coast support staff are all cut from the series as of this issue, Consuela continues to work for them, serving as Rachel's nanny in Spider-Woman's mini series, and in Force Works.

Wonder Man quit the team in Wonder Man (1st series) #18.

The real Iron Man – Tony Stark – was believed dead as of Iron Man (1st series) #284-286.

Living Lightning became a reserve member of the team so that he could attend university in Avengers West Coast #89.

The Scarlet Witch realized finally that what she and the Vision had was over in Avengers West Coast #90-91, when the Vision aided his former teammates against Ultron.

Erik Josten’s name is misspelled “Eric” this issue. He was originally known as Power Man, later as the Smuggler, then Goliath III and later took the name Atlas when he joined the Thunderbolts.

The “Giant-Man guy” that the security guard refers to as brining Goliath into the facility [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #118] is of course Dr. Bill Foster, the second Giant-Man, formerly Black Goliath and later Goliath IV.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird split up in West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #37 after Clint learned that Mockingbird let the Phantom Rider, a man who drugged and rapped her during the “Lost in Space Time” saga fall to his death. They have had a strained relationship since they took over leadership of the Great Lakes Avengers [West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #46] and recently made up, deciding not to divorce in Avengers West Coast #91.

The Avengers West Coast met Kuroko and the other Pacific Overlords in Avengers West Coast #70-74. During that story arc, Demonicus created his own country, Demonica, by raising ground from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Spider-Woman’s ex-husband and the father of Rachel, Larry Carpenter was murdered in Avengers West Coast #86.

Luke Cage claimed the rights to the Power Man name, defeating Erik Josten for it, in Power Man #21.

USAgent (then Super-Patriot) filled in for Captain America for a period of time as seen in the classic Captain America (1st series) #333-350, before he faked his own death, then joined the West Coast Avengers in West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #44.

Curiously, USAgent has never had a substantial on-panel relationship.

Spider-Woman is incorrectly called “Julie” on page 29.

Written By: