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U.S.Avengers #5: Review

Apr 2017
Al Ewing, Paco Diaz

Story Name:

Meet the new boss

Review & Comments

4 stars

U.S.Avengers #5 Review by (April 25, 2017)
This issue is 1 of 3 books published in the week of Secret Empire #0 with the banner SE: Opening Salvo. The other 2 are Thunderbolts #12 and Captain America: Steve Rogers #16. This issue and Tbolts precede CASR#16, which leads directly into SE#0.

Cap recruited Sunspot (now Citizen V) and Cannonball into the Avengers at the start of the 2013 series. Smasher was introduced then too and their romance, marriage and parenthood was tracked through that series. Cannonball rejoined Sunspot halfway through New Av (2015) and into this series.

Bobby's 'questionable decisions' started before NAv(2015). Taking over AIM happened in Av(2013), and in the countdown to Secret Wars III he set up his own Avengers based in the Savage Land, independent of the warring Cap and Illuminati factions.

Arthur Nagan entered modern Marvel as 1 of the Headmen in early Defenders, but his origin was back in #21 of a 50's Atlas anthology book called Mystery Tales. He was last seen in the Civil War II issues of Power Man & Iron Fist (2016) and before that with some other Headmen working for Dr Bong in Amazing Spider-Man's 2016 Annual. This is the 1st time we've seen his Gorilla Men.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

U.S.Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Captain America (Steve Rogers), now head of SHIELD, has come to see Citizen V (Roberto da Costa), head of AIM. Since SHIELD took over AIM Bobby now works for Steve. Steve claims to want to continue the friendly relationship they had as Avengers, but he gets in a dig about the 'questionable decisions' da Costa has made since Rogers invited him on that team.

Cap also makes some veiled references to his secret allegiance to Hydra and the upcoming Secret Empire event. He commends Roberto on his rehabilitation of the previously evil organisation AIM (in the previous New Avengers series and earlier), and comments that the public trusts them since they took the colours of the US flag (in this series). And his opening remark is "Hail Hydra" which he passes off as a joke.

Meanwhile in the Engineering Division Aikku Jokinen (Enigma) brings coffee to her lover Toni Ho who is struggling with the latest upgrade to her Iron Patriot armour. Aikku is concerned by all the weapons Toni is installing. Dr Ho continues to insist that they are non-lethal, and that IP is only designed for defence and rescue. But Aikku suggests that the guns are potentially lethal.

She's also worried about how much time Toni is devoting to this. The last time she was so driven she was searching for a way to get Jokinen out of her living POD armour without killing POD. Neither of them know what's driving her now.

Steve Rogers is now talking about how the country needs a firm hand to run it. He wants to know if Bobby will toe the line and take orders. (Apparently last issue's mission wasn't completely authorised.) He also enquires about the AIM's psychic training. Da Costa says he's used non-SHIELD techniques of mental resistance he learned from Prof X. Cap seems concerned about this.

Meanwhile, again, Red Hulk (Gen'l Maverick) and Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) are on a mission in an underground scientific lair. Rulk's hour of power runs out just as Arthur Nagan (a man's head on a gorilla's body) returns with his army of Gorilla Men (gorillas' heads on men's bodies?). He's embarrassed about having to be saved by Doreen and her troop of squirrels.

Maverick is contacted by an AIM scientist who tells him there's a way to get around the 1 hour limit of being the Red Hulk (which is imposed for safety reasons). Apparently the other scientists think it's too risky, but this guy is willing to do it if the General wants. Maverick readily agrees. But we hear the AIM guy say "Hail Hydra".

Cap is piling the pressure on Citizen V. He wants assurances that da Costa won't repeat things like some of his recent ploys:- Deploying a giant robot against government agents (Avenger Five in NAv(2015)#9-10). Infiltrating SHIELD with a double agent (Songbird in most of that series). Turning Robert Maverick into a Hulk and letting him loose among civilians. And in general doing whatever he wants because he thinks he knows what's best for America.

3rd interlude:- Cannonball (Sam Guthrie) is visiting his wife Smasher (Izzy Kane) on a Shi'ar planet where she is doing her duty as (the only human) member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. Sam is taking their toddler Josh on patrol with them as they take down some villains. Izzy isn't worried because the baby's inherited some powers including an even stronger version of Guthrie's protective forcefield.

Sam has been working on Earth for AIM/US Avengers on weekdays and then commuting to Shi'ar space for weekends. Izzy tries to persuade him to come live here all week - she makes enough money to support the whole family. Sam would miss Earth and his family, but not AIM so much now that SHIELD is in charge. He finally agrees to resign when he gets back to Earth.

Cap has returned to his secret base and is discussing the day with Erik Selvig. He's worried that AIM won't be susceptible to Dr Faustus' hypnosis. But on the positive side 1 of the team is already 'compromised' (presumably Maverick/Rulk). And he's got da Costa wary so that he'll hesitate before trying any of his tricks. And this will give Steve and Hydra time to strike 1st.

Days later Secret Empire starts (in SE#0). Bobby sees Hydra agents and supervillains on the rampage, and the Chitauri invading.

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


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