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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 283

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott’s Lost in Space-Time (West Coast Avengers #17-23, with #24 as a sort of epilogue/conclusion)…

Enjoy!

Lost in Space-Time is one of the most complex time travel story you’ll see (at least in a superhero comic book).

One of the guttiest aspects of the story is that Englehart decides to do this complex time travel storyline while also doing a “Hank Pym hits rock bottom and then finds himself” storyline!!!

In the first part of the story, Hank decides to kill himself while the Avengers are on a mission. He writes letters to all the people in his life, but his ex-wife, the Wasp, deserves special treatment…

Meanwhile, just as Hank is about to kill himself, the Avengers find themselves thrown through time!

Quite a way to kick off a multi-part crossover, huh? In addition, in a clever twist, they never tell you in the comic that this is part one of a storyline – it just pops up out of nowhere at the end! Classic.

So the Avengers end up in the Wild West, where Englehart ties in with one of his old Avengers stories, as Hawkeye is pals with a few of these fellows…

So the Avengers get caught up in a caper in the past. Check out Englehart showing us the rich history of Marvel’s Western heroes by making a Masters of Evil (of sorts) of Western villains!

Gotta love that checklist of titles at the end.

Wonder Man comes up with an idea – if they can only go backwards in time, why not go back in time to a point where they know someone ELSE was using a time machine!

Of course, Phantom Rider by this point had become obsessed with Mockingbird, so he doesn’t like this idea…

In part 4 of the tale, we see how Phantom Rider has brainwashed her into thinking they’re an item (creeeepy)…

Meanwhile, Hank Pym has a new lease on life and decides to take on a NEW identity…his OWN!

Very clever idea by Englehart.

In one of the craziest parts of the comic, check out this part where the Avengers meet up with a time-traveling Doctor Strange, who had previously ALSO traveled back in time to the same point that the Fantastic Four had gone into Egypt! So THREE different groups of heroes were all time-traveling to the same spot!!!

Awesome.

Meanwhile, Joe Sinnott does a marvelous job finishing Milgrom’s layouts – the book looks quite good.

I won’t spoil the ending (or how Mockingbird gets out of her predicament, and what she does to him when she does) but there’s a lot more complex adventures ahead! Go pick these issues up – they’re a blast!

12 Comments

When I was a kid, someone gave me a huge box of Avengers comics. It had the first 70 issues of West Coast Avengers straight. This storyline is definitely a highlight, and I read it many times.

Looking back, it’s pretty hit-and-miss. The character stuff is great, particularly with Pym and Mockingbird. Stuff happens here that still informs their characterization. And the time travel stuff was very clever. Some things though, like Lucifer and his stupid henchmen and all of their hideous costumes, are pretty silly. Still, very much worth the read!

Oh this is a great story. If you’ve not read it, then track it down.

I love the first pages with the same number of time strands on them as the number of the chapter.

A WCA highlight for me. Needs trading !

Not only were the FF, the Whackos, and Dr. Strange all there, but Apocalypse was also around during that Egyptian scene.

This came out shortly after I started collecting comics and I was blown away by it at the time. Re-reading it years later it still held up in my opinion. I still like the Dr Pym identity the best for Hank.

So what’s the story with the Phantom Rider’s publication history? I always thought he had always been a Marvel character, but I was reading the new Four Color Fear book this weekend (which is awesome, by the way) and one of the covers they reprint from a different company shows the Phantom Rider on it, and calls him by that name as well. I had no idea he originated somewhere else.

Sinnott makes Milgrom’s pencils look pretty good, which is some kind of minor miracle. Hawkeye’s questionable reactions in the aftermath aside, this was a fun storyline. Nobody does time travel like Englehart. It’s funny that this overlapped with Stern’s “Under Siege” arc in the other Avengers book- both writers’ highpoints on the respective books happened at the same time.

My all-time favourite storyline of any comic. I was so shocked to see this on the list, because ‘Lost In Space-Time’ is one of the most over-looked story arcs ever. I think it’s criminal that this still has not been collected into a trade paperback.

One of the greatest Avengers stories ever!

Yeah, this and Under Siege both going on at the same time, less than a year after I started collecting comics, made me a lifelong fan of The Avengers. Those were some good times.

West Coast Avengers was an awesome title – and this is probably my fave arc from it. I love what Mockingbird does to Phantom Rider – it always rang true to me given what he had done to her.

Crazy storyline juggling + uncanny insight to character building = a great arc that I constantly find myself stopping to read all over again anytime I go through my comic boxes. Thx for bringing the spotlight to these issues Brian…

Kim DeMulder, Romeo Tanghal and Mike Machlan also inked and/or embellished Al’s pencils – Mike eventually became the new regular inker.

And remember, Moon Knight was the guy who eventually defeated Lucifer, due to his multiple personalities.

Brian…love the Phantom Rider/Mockingbird fight in #23.

The story is good, and still holds up well, but the artwork…not so much. Firebird’s outfit is nothing short of hideous. But some really good stuff is done with Hank Pym and Mockingbird.

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