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U.S.Avengers #11: Review

Oct 2017
Al Ewing, Paco Diaz

Story Name:

Hey, Bugface, where are you?

Review & Comments

4 stars

U.S.Avengers #11 Review by (November 17, 2017)
The cover is obviously an homage to Archie comics and cartoons, as is the title and much of the contents.

There is no renumbering for Marvel Legacy. This is strictly true because there was no US Avengers series series before this 1. But it was very much a continuation of the last New Avengers series. However that continued a major plotline from Avengers World.
And this issue doesn't even get its own 3-page primer - it uses the standard Avengers version - see Av#672.

This is obviously a Skrull world in their home Andromeda galaxy. The name Kral X suggests it's in the same system as Kral IV from Fantastic Four #91-93 and later. That world was populated by Skrulls who imitated 1930's US gangsters, so Rico and friends are presumably from there. The Official Handbook says there are 10 habitable planets in the Kral system each replicating some alien culture. The Kral IV gangsters relied on TV transmissions (including movies) to base 1930's USA on. Kral X seems to rely on the same thing.

Skrulls learned how duplicate Earth superpowers, including powers from multiple sources, in the long lead-up to Secret Invasion. Apart from the original Super-Skrull we 1st saw this program back in X-Men (1991) #89, which itself was a time-travel trip further back to when Galactus destroyed the Skrull homeworld in FF#257. The Skrulls started the program after they captured the Illuminati in their #1, after the Kree/Skrull War in Av#89-97.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

U.S.Avengers #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Cannonball was captured by space slavers and sold to Howard Mason who appeared to be an aged Earthman. Now Mr Mason brings his captive to Glenbrook, a sleepy little US town - on a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy. He removes Sam Guthrie's shackles (and throws them in a trash bin) and reminds him he promised a job in education - he wants everyone to be able to study him as an example of a real human.

But they are interrupted by a youth who protests that *everyone* here is human - this is after all America. Mason grovels an apology to his majesty, sorry he means Mr Redwood sir. 'Mr Redwood' hisses an aside to him to get into character or suffer the fate of Bugface Brown. Howard immediately warns Redwood off trying to see his daughter. And Redwood says he just wanted to greet the new guy. He introduces himself as Ritchie Redwood, Glenbrook's typical teenager. Sam is getting more confused by the minute.

The U.S. Avengers are on a Shi'ar spaceship with Guthrie's wife Izzy Kane, Smasher of the Shi'ar Superguardians. Citizen V (Roberto Da Costa) (in the control room with Smasher) tells Enigma (Aikku Jokinen), Red Hulk (Gen'l Robert Maverick), Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) and Toni Ho (ex-Iron Patriot) (in the passenger lounge) that Cannonball didn't really die in the explosion of a Chitauri dragon (warship) (#6 during Secret Empire), and they're going to rescue him. Izzy explains that she can track him via the broadcasts from a medical implant, which also proves he's alive.

Gen'l Maverick is his usual grumpy self, but he's still bringing his Red Hulk hour of power on the mission even though the Government fired him and Secret Empire left his human body dangerously weakened. Toni Ho may have given up the Iron Patriot armour but she's now head of AIM. And anyway they both want to help Sam (even Maverick).

As the Shi'ar ship travels through warp space (and presumably nears their destination) they are attacked, and the attackers use hi-tech methods to communicate with them (which isn't normally possible in warp space). But on screen they appear to be 1930's American gangsters driving cars and carrying tommy-guns. Their leader Little Rico (who works for Don Scarpone) asks if the Shi'ar are cops, or in league with Ritchie Redwood - either way they're "gonna get filled fulla lead".

Sam Guthrie has been given clothes to suit his supposed persona as high-school geography teacher in this 1950's or early '60's setting. But still Ritchie won't tell him what's going on. They are joined by 4 other teens (Vanessa, Becky, Biff and Gerry Mays). Vanessa wants to meet the specimen her father has brought. Becky warns her about slipping out of character and she gets an evil look from Ritchie.

Gerry tries to rescue the situation by asking Sam where he's from. When he says "Earth" Gerry desperately treats it as a joke, and gets him to narrow it down to Kentucky - but doesn't know whether that's a town or what. Biff makes fun of Sam's Southern accent. Vanessa says they have to learn human behaviour somehow because they're only allowed to watch certain 'episodes'. Ritchie warns her that she may be vital to the plot but she can be 'replaced'. Becky pleads for her friend - they're not subversives like Bugface and others.

Now it's Ritchie's turn to try to get things back on track. He introduces Mr Guthrie as the new geography teacher at Glenbrook High. But even he slips by saying that they've got plenty of time to study him before he eventually dies. Cannonball interjects that he's *not* staying here - he's got a family to return to. And he rockets off.

Ritchie exclaims that no-one told him Guthrie had rocket legs. This really ruins the suspension of disbelief. He allows Biff to break character and go after him. Biff bamfs in front of the flying 'teacher' and appears as a combination of Nightcrawler with Archangel, Colossus and Cyclops.

Little Rico and his men invade the Shi'ar cotrol room. 1 of them is a large robot Jimmy Robotface. They have their guns on stun presumably because Don Scarpone doesn't want to annoy the Shi'ar empire *too* much. Citizen V and Smasher are already in the fight. Gen'l Maverick disobeys Toni Ho's orders and the USAv see him Hulked-out and ripping Robotface's head off. The mobsters set their guns to kill.

Enigma flies Squirrel Girl into action. As SG attacks 1 crook he calls for help from his pal Ratzo. Unfortunately Ratzo has already been floored by Enigma. Roberto has Rico in his grip and is about to hit him with a Sunspot-powered fist ...

... but Smasher calls out the news that Cannonball's implant says he's now unconscious. And Rico recognises the coordinates as Glenbrook. They explain about going there to rescue a friend. And Rico is only too glad to sick them on Mad Prince Ritchie Redwood. He also let's them know the planet's real name is Kral X, the nightmare world.

On Kral X Sam Guthrie awakes in a dungeon wearing a ball and chain. A voice tells him it's part of Sabine the Teen Sorceress' haunted castle. There are other human-looking teens present, but the speaker is Bugface Brown - and he's a Skrull.

Paco Diaz
Paco Diaz
Jesus Aburtov
David Nakayama (Cover Penciler)
David Nakayama (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Robert Maverick)

Plus: Cannonball, Citizen V (Roberto Da Costa), Enigma (Aikku Jokinen), Howard Mason, Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Ritchie Redwood, Smasher (Izzy Kane), Squirrel Girl, U.S. Avengers.

> U.S.Avengers: Book info and issue index

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