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Uncanny Avengers #4: Review

Nov 2023
Gerry Duggan, Javier Garron

Story Name:

Unmasked

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Uncanny Avengers #4 Review by (November 17, 2023)
Deadpool was fooled by the 'other' Captain America into taking Hydra's side in the Secret Empire event.

That Cap was brought up in a timeline where he helped Hydra win WWII. That timeline was created by Red Skull-corrupted Cosmic Cube Kobik, and when it collapsed Kobik caused that Cap to take the place of the Earth-616 Cap during the Avengers Standoff/Pleasant Hill event. That Cap then led the Avengers and Hydra through Civil War II and then Secret Empire. But Kobik was convinced to bring our Cap back and the Hydra Cap was defeated.

Hydra Cap was imprisoned, escaped and was recaptured, and then was freed by the Power Elite but was melted/burned to death (seemingly) in Captain America (2018) #8. But Dr Stasis and MODOK revived him in the FCBD 2023: Uncanny Avengers issue.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This series is part of the Fall Of X event where Orchis have driven most mutants from Earth at the latest Hellfire Gala and also massacred human ambassadors there blaming it on the mutants. Plus they unleashed someone in the Captain Krakoa uniform previously worn by Cyclops to carry out terrorist acts against humans with his new version of the Mutant Liberation Front, most of whom believe he *is* Cyke. Captain America organised a new Avengers Unity Squad including some of the remaining X-Men to show human/mutant cooperation, oppose the MLF and unmask CK. Along the way CK and the MLF went off-piste to steal a nuclear weapon and hide it in the Orchis Science Centre at Empire State University.

Last issue Quicksilver and Penance (Monet St Croix) put trackers on the Fenris twins to find the MLF's base. And CA and reporter Ben Urich met the only living non-Orchis non-mutant witness to the Hellfire massacre - Wilson Fisk the Kingpin.

This issue opens where Dr Stasis (a Mr Sinister clone working for Orchis) is giving a talk at a Science Fair at the OSC of ESU. But Ben Urich is in the audience and challenges Stasis' repeated claims that all humans at the Gala were dead before Orchis arrived. He says that he has a human witness to the massacre who tells it differently. Stasis exits the auditorium to prepare his speech for an address to the whole campus later that day, but Urich follows him. When they are alone Dr S warns him to keep quiet.

We now see that the MLF HQ is at the abandoned Camp Lehigh (the army base where Steve Rogers was stationed while he fought as Captain America during WWII). Captain Krakoa tells his troops he's off to destroy the Orchis space station. On the way he gets a call from Dr Stasis asking why he stole a nuke. CK replies "Insurance". Dr S interprets it as meaning CK thinks he doesn't need Orchis. But he adds that Ben Urich has just been asking questions about him (not what we saw) and wonders if CK revealed his identity to any of the MLF. He suggests that it might be in both their interests if CK 'called on' the reporter. When the call's over CK suspects the leak came from Andrea Von Strucker (who he revealed his identity to (but not to us) when they had sex in a shower in #2).

The Unity Squad parachute down to the MLF base and of course CA immediately recognises it. Quicksilver got here early and has already speed-reconnoitred the place. In the base Wildside's acute senses alert him to the invasion and he warns the others. But Black Widow already has a gun to his head and calls for him to surrender. He responds by using his mental power to make her relive traumatic events from her past. But she just laughs and shoots him. Penance asks him where the nuke is but he spits in her face so she threatens to use *her* mental power to dig it out of his head. However Psylocke (Kwannon) gets there 1st with her psychic knife, but it turns out he doesn't know.

Blob (who really believes he's fighting on the right side) tries to attack them but CA and his shield (and his injured left arm cocooned by the armour shell of Winter Soldier/Bucky's cyborg limb) interpose themselves. He and Rogue try to persuade Fred Dukes that CK isn't who he says he is.

The Fenris twins (Andrea and Andreas Von Strucker), their power as usual only working while they hold hands, blast away at Monet who survives by acrobatic skill. But she was only setting them up for Kwannon to leap in and slice their joined hands of with her 2 swords. Pietro Maximoff rushes in with bandages to staunch the bleeding and also completely wrap the villains up. He asks if Psylocke can telepathically suppress their pain. She says she *could* but ... Meanwhile Deadpool's only contribution to the fight is to pick up the severed hands and drop them in a waste bin.

Blob seems now somewhat converted. He tells them that CK said he got the nuke for Dr Stasis and he has gone to use it against the Orchis base. But Rogue picks up on the Dr S reference and muses about the speech he's to give at ESU. CA says he's worked out who CK is. He sends Quicksilver and Rogue to ESU while he and the others will take the X-Men jet (which CK and the MLF have been using) to another problem site in New York. On the way Black Widow reports the Camp Lehigh situation to the authorities.

Pietro runs and Rogue flies to ESU and they arrive in time to disrupt Dr Stasis' 2nd speech. Quicksilver searches the place at high speed and triggers the nuke to arise from under the stage. Stasis obviously didn't know about this and beats a hasty retreat along with the rest of the panicked crowd. Rogue wants to move the nuke to somewhere safe but QS has discovered that it's booby-trapped. He calls CA to tell him that they need CK to disarm it.

In the Daily Bugle office Ben Urich is surveying the printer's proof of tomorrow's issue when CK bursts in through a wall and starts to strangle him. But CA bursts in shield-1st through a window to push his opponent out of the room and down to the roof of a lower floor. He takes time on the way to explain that to catch the foe by surprise he had Monet throw him at the building. He demands that CK tell him how to disarm the bomb. The baddie declines and boasts that no telepath will be able to pry the secret from his brain.

CA hurls his shield as his other 4 team members arrive. But CK catches it and expertly spins it on a ricocheting path to take down Widow, Monet and Psylocke. Deadpool attacks with both guns blazing. He's also realised who's in the CK suit, and the villain admonishes him for taking his allegiance back to Rogers again. And his next throw of the shield slices DP in half (temporarily of course). CA's fists smash CK's helmet as he asks how the villain is still alive. And we see that he is the Hydra Steve Rogers/Captain America from an alternate reality (and from the Secret Empire event). He reminds our Cap that *he* was recently resurrected by the mutants of Krakoa (AXE Judgement Day #5) and he claims that humanity has now resurrected *him* to stop Cap from helping the mutants. And he blasts Cap in the face.



Javier Garron
Javier Garron
Morry Hollowell
Javier Garron (Cover Penciler)
Javier Garron (Cover Inker)
Morry Hollowell (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Blob
Blob

(Fred Dukes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Quicksilver
Quicksilver

(Pietro Maximoff)
Rogue
Rogue

(Anna Marie LeBeau)

Plus: Andrea Von Strucker, Andreas Von Strucker, Avengers Unity Squad, Captain Krakoa, Dr Stasis (Nathaniel Essex), Penance (Monet St Croix), Revanche (Kwannon), Wildside.

> Uncanny Avengers: Book info and issue index

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