Your Super Team
is really popular! So popular, in fact, that The Powers That Be
have decided it deserves a Spin-Off
. What to do?
Make a West Coast Team
, of course! Take all the offbeat, second-string, and popular guest characters and have them start their own
team, in a separate setting.
A West Coast Team
is typically composed of characters with totally different worldviews from their East Coast counterparts, but with a similar team dynamic. They are so named because most American comic books take place in the Northeast, specifically New York
or a No Communities Were Harmed
version thereof (Metropolis
, Gotham City
). Thus, the West Coast Team tends to relocate to the second-biggest US population area — California
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Anime and Manga
- The secondary trio in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are scattered across the world, but when together, make a backup (and, for some reason, much less effective) team.
- Subverted in Digimon Adventure; while we're introduced to kids around the world, there are no spinoffs for these children.
- In Samurai Pizza Cats, there are the New York Pizza Cats (Himitsu Ninja Tai Yankee in the Japanese version), the American equivalent of the original Japanese Pizza Cats.
- The original Teen Titans had the Teen Titans West (pictured) and later the Titans L.A. Later volumes had the main team set in California, with the spin-off group now being the Titans East. There were even plans for a solo Titans East series drawn by Rob Liefeld, but it never saw the light of day.
- In the decade of the 2000's, the main Teen Titans team (comprised mostly of former members of Young Justice) had relocated to the West Coast (San Francisco), so when a group of former Titans (mostly members from the 1980's) briefly reassembled in 2008 as another Titans team (headquartered in New York), they were humorously referred to (by fans) as "Titans East".
- There was another group named "Titans East", just one year before that, but they were a villian team composed of enemies/counterparts to the actual Teen Titans.
- West Coast Avengers is the other modern originator of this; this time, as the counterpart of The Avengers.
- The Great Lakes Avengers are a joke team based in Wisconsin, made of all Fun Personified characters with powers of apparently dubious value (although they tend to use teamwork to make the best of their abilities,) seemingly playing off the stereotype that "Flyover Country" is a boring place in which nothing good and interesting happens. They've also been known as the Lightning Rods, the Great Lakes X-Men, the Great Lakes Champions, and the Great Lakes Initiative.
- Justice League Europe was a West Coast Team that, rather than the West Coast, relocated to another continent.
- Taking the "Great Lakes Avengers" gag up a level, there was a one-shot Justice League Antarctica title. The team was mostly supervillains briefly attempting to reform.
- Many a West Coast Team exists in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic.
- Runaways is sort of a West Coast Team to the entire Marvel Universe; they're very specifically placed in Los Angeles, where there isn't any other super-anything activity.
- Justified in that, until recently, the Pride kept everyone else out (except for the aforementioned West Coast Avengers, who apparently don't count) and kept their own actions low-profile (sensible, in a world of superheroes. You kinda wonder why more criminals in comicbook universes don't do this). After they died, other supervillains have been slowly moving in to take advantage.
- Naturally, these supervillains have been getting their asses kicked by the Runaways. The fact that everyone still considers Los Angeles a place where nothing super happens only adds to the series's Adults Are Useless theme.
- Until the current Moon Knight series, where it's revealed that a villain has successfully filled the void that the Pride has left, taking the title of "Kingpin of L.A." . This seems to have caused a rise in super villain activity in the area.
- Super-things do happen in LA ...now. The Order, the Californian Initiative team, made up of washed up TV personalities and crippled professional athletes augmented with StarkTech has even had their own series (that was cancelled after 10 issues...)
- There was the short-lived Champions Of Los Angeles team in the '70s, which was a hodgepodge of solo heroes and castoffs from the Avengers and X-Men, and is treated as a joke team nowadays. Originally, the above-mentioned Order was going to be called the Champions in tribute to this team, but Marvel found they no longer held the trademark.
- For the record, the original line-up was Angel, Iceman, Hercules, Ghost Rider and Black Widow. No, really. The creators of the book literally used whoever wasn't doing anything, even though they made absolutely no sense together.
- In the recent Secret Invasion arc, the Skrull empire actually lampshades this, thinking that conquering the West Coast will be a cake-walk compared to the hero dense East Coast. Unfortunately for them the X-Men had recently relocated to San Francisco.
- The X-Men themselves have become the main Marvel Universe's West Coast Team, making the move to San Francisco after their mansion got destroyed one time too many. This is actually the second time the X-Men have relocated to San Francisco, though they didn't stay very long the first time.
- A more straight X-Men example would be the now-defunct X-Corporations, which handled the X-Men's functions in several locations abroad.
- Excalibur and its Spiritual Successor MI-13 were for all intents and purposes European versions of the X-Men. Also, the 'side-characters get their own team' idea is found in X-Factor, first consisting of the original five X-Men after they hadn't been with the team for a while, and later (and ever since) consisting of second-stringers.
- Not so much MI-13, only one member was a mutant and for a change they were all British citizens.
- And now that Wolverine has taken half the X-Men back east with him, Cyclops and his team (most of whom are former foes of the X-Men) are now a West Coast Team by default.
- Rob Liefeld's Youngblood had a "Home" team and an "Away" team. Their premiere issue infamously featured stories concerning both teams, but... how to put this... One story is upside-down relative to the other? The "Away" team's story is read by flipping the book over and reading from what would normally be the back cover.
- There were so many Titans characters in DC Nation at one point that there are three Titans teams - Titans East (led by Nightwing and Troia), Titans West (led by Cyborg and Starfire), and Titans South (nominally led by Jamie Reyes and Raven, but functioning more democratically).
Live Action TV
- Subverted in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. The original Global Guardians campaign was located in New York City, as expected. When a second campaign began, it was naturally based out of... London, England. However, it was later played straight in that not only was there a Global Guardians team in Los Angeles, there was also one in Alcapulco, San Francisco, and Vancouver. They were, after all, the Global Guardians.
- There's even a West Coast League in the Whateley Universe. They're apparently based near Sacramento. The heroes on the team include the California-esque names Hollywood, Beach Bunny, and Valley Girl.
- Titans West was a West Coast wing of the Teen Titans, and one of the main originators of this trope. In the Teen Titans animated series, with the main team on the West Coast, the B-team is Titans East.
- That would be in baseball, when in 1958 the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants became the first teams to relocate to the West Coast (to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively). Brooklynites were understandably miffed, as the Dodgers had been one of their main sources of identity and pride. Prior to 1958, no teams played west of Kansas City, Missouri (and before 1953, none had played west of St. Louis).
- Football did it more than a decade earlier. Cleveland Rams owner Dan Reeves convinced the National Football League to allow him to move his team to Los Angeles in 1946. Meanwhile, the upstart All-American Football Conference also placed teams out west - the Los Angeles Dons and San Francisco 49ers. When the NFL absorbed the AAFC in 1950, the 49ers came over (along with the Rams' replacement in Cleveland, the Browns), while the Dons merged operations with the Rams.
- In 1926, the NFL did field a Los Angeles team, the Buccanneers, though they were a traveling team operating out of Chicago. They did play exhibition games in California after the end of the 1926 season. Their final game, in San Francisco, was against the Los Angeles Wildcats, another traveling team from the short-lived American Football Leaguenote .
- Before the National Hockey League, there was the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, and later the Western Canada Hockey League; the two merged in 1924 before folding in 1926, dispersing their players eastward to the NHL. The PCHA produced the first American teams to compete for the Stanley Cup, the Portland Rosebuds and the Seattle Metropolitans (the latter won the Cup in 1917). The NHL would not expand west of Chicago (save for a one-season experiment in St. Louis) until 1967. By then, the Western Hockey Leaguenote was considered a threat to become a rival major league, but it never happened (instead the World Hockey Association sprung up a few years later).
- For decades, the acknowledged premier competition in Australian Rules Football was the Victorian Football League, which consisted a dozen Victorian teams. After three decades of aggressive expansions and relocations to other states, there are now 10 Victorian teams, and 2 teams each from South Australia, Queensland, West Australia and (as of the 2012 season) New South Wales. In terms of this trope, they can all be considered West Coast Teams, although only the West Australian ones are actually located on Australia's West Coast.