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U.S.Avengers #1

January 2017
Al Ewing, Paco Medina

Story Name:

$kullocracy

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

By Rob on January 11, 2017

This series continues from the latest New Avengers.

The Secret Empire, like the original AIM, was a branch of Hydra that split off. Their most famous exploit culminated, at the time of the Watergate scandal, in Captain America #175 where their leader was exposed as a very high-ranking politician - implied to be Richard Nixon. This caused a disillusioned Cap to become Nomad for a while. But they keep reappearing, the latest time being Astonishing Ant-Man #6 in the post-Secret Wars III universe.

The super-id Citizen V has a long history stretching back to WWII in the Timely Daring Mystery Comics. Modern Marvel Thunderbolts and Citizen V & The V-Battalion posited that he formed the V-Battalion back then, and then successive others inherited the name and leadership. In modern times V and the Battalion became inextricably entangled with the Thunderbolts when Helmut Zemo used the Citizen V name to lead them. The last incumbent John Watkins III was last seen in Cable & Deadpool #29 pre-SWIII.

Ho Yinsen was the guy who helped Tony Stark build the 1st Iron Man armour when they were captives, and died to buy him time to finish the job. That's in Tales Of Suspense #39 or whichever updated version you prefer.
When Toni Ho says Yinsen has a son as well by another wife she's getting her tense wrong. It should be 'had' because that unnamed son was killed in Iron Man (2005) #12. Unless there's another son Marvel is planning to bring into the limelight.

Toni Ho was sort-of invented in the SWIII mini-series Capt Britain & The Mighty Defenders. But this version has been a feature of Sunspot's AIM in the latest New Avengers series. There in #14 she donned her own version of Pepper Potts' Rescue armour. And now she's upgraded it to a version of James Rhodes' Iron Patriot (and *he* inherited the name from Norman Osborn). But her's are both non-lethal like Pepper's.

Pod was 1 of the creations of Ex Nihilo in the 2012 Avengers series. Eventually (#38) it was discovered that Aikku Jokinen was inside the living armour, and it couldn't survive without her. It sacrificed itself to save her in the recent NAv#15.

The original Red Hulk was of course Gen'l Ross but he was depowered by Doc Green in Hulk (2014) #15. I don't think Maverick's plug-in is related to how Ross became Rulk.

Danielle Cage is the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones - in current reality she's still a child.
She made her 1st appearance as Captain America 20XX in the Ultron Forever trilogy, and at the end of that we saw other members of Avengers 20XX. They came back in time temporarily in NAv#5-6 to avert a menace to their future. Now she's here again.

Golden Skull was also in the 20XX future in Ultron Forever. But now he's somehow also in the present (I assume).

The issue ends with a page of hints about stories in the coming year:-
First there's Thanos and the question "Where were you on Zero Day?". The solicit for #2 refers to Zero Day as the day Captain America died. I'm guessing this relates to Danielle Cage's future.
Monsters N' SHIELD with Red Hulk Deadpool and American Kaiju obviously refers to #4 the Monsters Unleashed tie-in.
The Ultimate Sacrifice shows Cannonball's grave.
The 4th bit just says Cap (Steve Rogers) will be involved. But will this still be Hydra-Cap?


 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This issue is designed to introduce the team. Each piece of the current action is preceded by a pre-recorded video character statement by a relevant member. Each such video is headed (for us) by name and 'role' in the group. Starting with ...

... Roberto Da Costa (the leader). The Brazilian-born mutant claims now to be a US citizen. He says he wanted to become an American after the New Mutants became his surrogate family.

Meanwhile in the present the Secret Empire apparently believe that the post-truth era is ripe for them to come out into the open - by attacking California with a helicarrier powered by an active volcano on top!

Sunspot is coordinating defence, reluctantly using his assigned new codename Citizen V. But nothing is stopping the advance so he calls General Maverick to ask if the 'big guy' is ready - but he's told that 'safety lock' won't release for 4 minutes. Da Costa reckons they've got less than 2 minutes.

Toni Ho (the brains)'s video says she's the daughter of Ho Yinsen. But her parents got divorced, she gained a half-brother and Yinsen died saving Tony Stark's life. She became a tech-whiz, joined Sunspot's AIM and built a armoured suit she calls Iron Patriot.

Now Iron Patriot attacks the helicarrier. Maverick thinks she's crazy because her suit has no weapons. Admittedly all her weapons are non-lethal but that doesn't mean they're useless. She unleashes a forcefield which slows the behemoth down, but it's too heavy to stop completely. Maybe she's got them 6 minutes.

But another agent has infiltrated the Empire ...

... Norwegian Aikku Jokinen (the quiet 1) used to inhabit the alien Pod. But since it sacrificed itself to save her she now uses the Pod undersuit as her costume. And she's stayed with the team to be with her love Toni.

Now under a new nom-de-guerre Enigma she discards her Secret Empire guise (it's handy the way these bad guy groups wear uniforms that completely cover them) and uses her (suit's) phasing ability to render the Empire boss's guards nearly weightless and throws them off the carrier. Then she threatens him to make him stop the carrier. But instead he voice-activates a horde of anti-aircraft drones against attacking jets.

So Roberto calls in flying Cannonball who carries Squirrel Girl. But she is accompanied by another horde - of flying squirrels.

Doreen Green (the wild card) apparently has dual Canadian/American citizenship. She's a science student with squirrel powers and a can-do attitude.

Now her squirrels attack the drones. But Iron Patriot's system is running out of juice to keep the forcefield going. Luckily Gen'l Maverick's safety lock has reached the end of its countdown.

Gen Robert L Maverick (the muscle) brings us up to date. Billionaire Sunspot staged a takeover of the evil Advanced Idea Mechanics and turned it into the good Avengers Idea Mechanics. But the government didn't trust such a loose cannon. So now Sunspot and AIM work for SHIELD as American Intelligence Mechanics. The super-characters introduced so far are the members of Sunspot's New Avengers who agreed to come with the deal. Maverick is military oversight.

But he too now has a super-power. SHIELD has developed a Hulk plug-in but it only works for certain people - and he's 1. It gives him Hulk-power for 1 hour every 36 hours.

So now he activates it and changes into a new Red Hulk. He leaps from an aircraft carrier and plummets down to smash into the helicarrier as Enigma phases out with the Secret Empire leader. And it's all over.

There is 1 more video to record. Sam Guthrie (the heart) joined the New Mutants as Cannonball. He believes in Prof X's dream of building a world for everyone. So he considers himself part of the 'us' Avengers.

When he's finished Roberto agrees that they have to believe in the future. And the future comes calling in the shape of Danielle Cage, Captain America 20XX.

But meanwhile we see Golden Skull inspire his gang. He says there's no such thing as America. In reality it's every man for himself, and the smart man grabs what he can.

Elektra


Al Ewing
Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
Jesus Aburtov
Paco Medina (Cover Penciler)
Juan Vlasco (Cover Inker)
Jesus Aburtov (Cover Colorist)

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hulk
Hulk
Iron Man
Iron Man
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

Plus: A.I.M., Cannonball.