After Avengers: Endgame, it may be a long time before we see a similar team up on the big screen - but Disney+ is assembling members of a different Avengers lineup. Based on the direction Marvel is headed with its Disney+ shows, Marvel could be building toward a West Coast Avengers TV series, which would be a positive step forward for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Studios is all-in on Disney's upcoming streaming service. At least eight shows are already in development, with the first of the batch, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, launching in late 2020. Through 2021 and 2022, the series will be followed by WandaVision, Loki, What If...?, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. Unlike other Marvel TV shows, these will be heavily connected to the MCU, and many will center on characters taken straight from the film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel's intention to pack so much content into one streaming service may remind fans of another attempt to build a certain corner of the MCU using TV. For a while, Netflix was an important part of Marvel's TV plans. Six shows were produced for distribution on Netflix, with one series, The Defenders, bringing together heroes from Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones for a major team-up. Unfortunately, The Defenders was such a disappointment that it may have been what killed Marvel's Netflix shows. Now that the Netflix era of the MCU is over, and Marvel is now looking to Disney+ for the foreseeable future.
West Coast Avengers Explained
By 1984, Marvel's Avengers comic had been running for 20 years and was one of the publisher's biggest team books. It was at this time that Marvel decided to try something different by giving them a second comic. The leader of the Avengers, Vision, announced the formation of a second branch of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the West Coast Avengers, with Hawkeye selected to lead the team. Hawkeye and his wife, Mockingbird, gathered up Tigra, Wonder Man, and Iron Man (who was secretly War Machine) to fill out the rest of the roster.
The West Coast Avengers battled quite a few familiar threats who had been brought over from the main Avengers book. The team's adventures on the West Coast also saw them create their own rogues' gallery of villains. Under Hawkeye's leadership, the Avengers picked up a few brand-new members, including Moon Knight and U.S. Agent, while also recruiting more traditional members of the Avengers, such as Hank Pym, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and the real Iron Man. In some ways, West Coast Avengers felt like an extension of the main title, but due to some of its original members and plots, it still managed to come off as its own story.
The characters of West Coast Avengers made it one of the most interesting Marvel teams. Hank Pym's struggle for redemption, Hawkeye's deteriorating relationship with his wife, and the bitter feud between Hawkeye and their government-appointed watchdog, U.S. Agent, were some of the highlights of the series. The W.C.A. (or "The Wackos", as they called themselves) had a good, long run that lasted until 1994 when the comic was canceled and the team shut down by the same person who formed them in the first place, Vision. The West Coast Avengers succeeded in laying the groundwork for more Avengers offshoots that were created in the 2000s. While the main group never reunited, Marvel did relaunch the comic for a brief time in 2018, with Kate Bishop and Hawkeye co-leading a team of young superheroes.
Disney+'s West Coast Avengers
Of the core members of the West Coast Avengers, all of them exist -- or will soon exist -- in the MCU, except for Wonder Man and Tigra. That's a surprising fact, considering that so many aren't even A-list heroes. What makes this even more interesting is that a sizable chunk of the West Coast Avengers roster is already headed to Disney+. Hawkeye and Moon Knight are starring in their own shows, Scarlet Witch and Vision are co-headlining a series, and U.S. Agent will be featured in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, played by Wyatt Russell.
The foundations for the West Coast Avengers in the MCU have now been set. With everyone they need already on one streaming service, the next step is to unite them in a single show. Based on the characters that Marvel has assembled for Disney+, West Coast Avengers does feel like the most logical step. If Marvel does indeed head in this direction, they can put together a mostly comic book accurate team. Marvel can expand on the West Coast Avengers by adding their own touch with new members, like Ms. Marvel or classic Avengers She-Hulk and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who will appear as an adult for the first time on WandaVision.
How West Coast Avengers Helps The Wider MCU
Marvel has six confirmed movies on the way, and so far, the closest one to a big Marvel crossover is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where the Sorcerer Supreme will be joined by Scarlet Witch. This could be similar to what Marvel did with Thor and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, but still a far cry from the massive team-ups of The Avengers movies. If The Avengers 5 isn't in the cards for the next few years, it would be a good idea for Marvel to look for another way to form a team of MCU heroes.
After back-to-back Marvel ensembles with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, taking a break from that kind of formula in the movies does seem like the best course of action, and it appears to be what Marvel is doing. Too many team-ups would risk burnout with audiences, who would eventually lose interest. However, crossovers are extremely beneficial for Marvel and Disney because of how much they manage to excite and engage the fanbase. With this in mind, finding a new avenue for large-scale team-ups could be in order, and a West Coast Avengers TV series on Disney+ could be the way to go.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022