Hawkeye has been introduced, courtesy of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. Don Cheadle has been talking about War Machine spinoffs, or possible new adventures away from Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character. Stark’s Malibu mansion, meanwhile, has been demolished, and is in need of a rebuild … perhaps with an upgrade.

Is it, just me, or are the pieces falling squarely into place for Marvel Studios to launch a West Coast Avengers franchise – and soon?

For those unaware, the West Coast Avengers was an offshoot of the main Avengers team that received its own comic book series starting in 1984. What began as a four-issue limited series expanded to become its own official title that lasted for 102 issues and concluded in 1994. The zenith of the West Coast Avengers run was attributed to the great John Byrne, who constructed multiple memorable storylines around Vision and Scarlet Witch.

And didn’t Joss Whedon just recently drop hints about a brother-sister duo who would be integral to The Avengers 2, which had several Marvel fans thinking about Scarlet Witch becoming a major player in the Marvel Comics Universe?

It goes without saying that all of this is speculation, and I have absolutely nothing to back it up save for a few deductions based on what we know about Iron Man 3, Marvel’s future phases, and the possibilities that loom as studio president Kevin Feige looks for ways to expand the Marvel brand.

The destruction of Stark’s California abode is not something to take lightly. Yes, Tony has a Manhattan residence, which was showcased (and badly damaged) in The Avengers. But his Malibu mansion has been integral to the Iron Man franchise, and its demise is noteworthy is Marvel wants to keep a base of operation in the Golden State.

Then there’s Hawkeye … a peripheral member of the core Avengers team. (Even Jeremy Renner complained that he had little to do in Whedon’s story.) West Coast Avengers lore has Hawkeye leading the new team, which is based on the Avengers Compound in Los Angeles.

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