Uncanny Avengers (4th series) #2

Issue Date: 
November 2023
Story Title: 
New Avengers

Gerry Duggan (writer), Javier Garron (artist), Morry Hollowell (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Javier Garron & Morry Hollowell (cover artists), Bryan Hitch & Paul Mounts; David Nakayama; Greg Land & Frank D'Armata; Javier Garron & Edgar Delgado; Ryan Stegman & Dave McCaig (variant cover artists), Martin Biro (assistant editor), Annalise Bissa (associate editor), Tom Breevort (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Avengers created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The mysterious new Captain Krakoa is about to shove a spike through Captain America's neck, until he is shot by the Black Widow, who has been trailing Captain America since an attempt was made on his life. Quicksilver arrives and after taking out Andreas von Strucker speeds into a nuclear facility, where the soldiers working for the new Mutant Liberation Front are stealing a nuclear device. Quicksilver attempts to take the soldiers out, before one of them gasses him, and knocks him out. The nuclear device is taken to the Mutant Liberation Front's ship, near where Monet is battling the Blob. The Blob is reluctant to hurt Monet, so Captain Krakoa does it for him, knocking her backwards. Wildside lunges at Monet, but before he can harm her, the Blob stamps the ground, causing a seismic wave which knocks Wildside away from Monet, as Deadpool tries to attack Captain Krakoa. It's no use, as Captain Krakoa, the Fenris Twins, Blob and Wildside escape in their jet, with the nuclear device. The Black Widow attempts to go after them, but she is shot out of the sky. The Unity Squad regroup, and Kwannon has captured one of the soldiers, and attempts to get some information out of him – but he bites down on a cyanide pill, killing himself. At the Unity Squad's temporary headquarters on Ellis Island, Captain America is fitted with one of Bucky's old cybernetic arms, before Rogue, Kwannon, Monet and Quicksilver attempt a coup, with Rogue issuing a no-confidence vote in Captain America, and claiming to be the group's new leader. Captain America isn't worried by this, and leaves, to go meet with someone who can help the fight against Orchis. Deapdool tells his teammates they are fools, before asking them what they think Orchis wants with a nuclear weapon. Aboard the Bloom, Dr. Stasis and M.O.D.O.K. discuss the problems they are having with Captain Krakoa, while at an old U.S. military base, Captain Krakoa gives his team strict orders, and when Andrea von Strucker is showering, he enters the showers and reveals his identity to her. He grabs her and warns her if she reveals his name to anyone he won't be so gentle with her next time as they kiss – while Andrea's unimpressed brother scowls outside the bathroom. On the rooftop of the Daily Bugle, Captain America meets with Ben Urich. Ben informs Cap that there are rumors of a human who survived the massacre at the Hellfire Gala. Cap departs to do some digging, but not after Ben agreed to expose Orchis if he had enough evidence to do so. At the Empire State University, the nuclear device is planted at an Orchis-sponsored science fair.


Full Summary: 

'America could be a great country – if its leaders weren't weak-minded fools...intent on giving away out inheritance to trespassers' the mysterious new Captain Krakoa declares as he stands over the injured Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America. Fire rages behind them, and Captain Krakoa pulls Captain America up by his chest and holds a large spike towards his neck – but before he can shove it into Cap's throat, a bullet is fired at him and knocks him backwards.

That bullet was fired from some distance away by Natasha Romanoff the Black Widow, who has positioned her weapon on top of a pile of unconscious Orchis agents. 'Adjusting for wind. And Orchis stupidity. The next shot will go through Captain Krakoa's big square jaw' the Black Widow frowns. Not long ago, Orchis secretly made an attempt on Captain America's life. Steve didn't ask the Black Widow to shadow him, but he could feel her in the shadows, just out of sight.

Captain Krakoa grins as he examines his Krakoan battlesuit, and notes that it is  quite a wonder, as it is already self-healing. 'Shame the same can't be said about your arm, Rogers' he adds, referring to Cap's broken arm. 'I'll fight you one-handed – then it'll be fair, murderer' Cap tells his foe. As he tends to his broken arm, Cap calls out to Quicksilver and tells him to get behind the enemy's defenses, as there will be a second team working on the base. 'On it, Cap' Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver responds as he speeds past, before announcing that first he must do what comes naturally when he sees the most slappable face on the planet. 'Hello, Andreas' Quicksilver frowns as he slams his fist into Andreas von Strucker's face, knocking the villain backwards so hard that he bounces several times across the ground.

Quicksilver speeds on. He knows that this new Mutant Liberation Front is here to steal nuclear weapons – and he also knows that their support soldiers don't stand a chance – because if there is one thing that Pietro Maximoff is – it's fast. He arrives inside the nuclear facility, where several Orchis agents turn to him and raise their weapons. He starts to speed across the walkways and punch his way through the agents. He's fast, but he's also overconfident. 'Piss off, mutie!' one of the agents suddenly shouts as he hurls a grenade towards Quicksilver, that releases some gas. Quicksilver begins to cough repeatedly, before an Orchis agent smacks him on the back of his head with their gun. 'We have the “broken arrow” and one injured. We're exfiltrating now, Captain Krakoa' an agent reports as several of them are seen in a jeep, towing what seems to be a missile head, and driving towards a nearby aircraft.

'I don't want to fight you, Monet!' Fred Dukes the Blob shouts at Monet St. Croix who is in her Penance form, crouched before him, ready to strike, while the Blob raises his fists in the air above his head. 'I do!' Captain Krakoa calls out as he runs forward and slams his helmet-covered head into Monet, knocking her backwards towards a fire. Captain Krakoa turns to the Blob and points at Monet. 'You see them, Blob? Penance, Rogue, Psylocke...they're all traitors to their species' Captain Krakoa declares, before calling out to Richard Gill a.k.a. Wildside, instructing him to finish Penance off. 'With pleasure' the psychotic mutant grins as he lunges at Monet, keeping her on the ground, until the Blob slams his foot into the ground and shouts 'You should be fighting alongside us!' The force of his foot on the ground creates a shockwave that knocks Wildside away from Penance. 'Hey, Captain Corsage – guess who has a pouch filled with DDT and -' Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool begins as he opens fire on Captain Krakoa. 'Shut up, clown' Captain Krakoa responds calmly as he fires a Krakoan weapon at Deadpool, which releases a vine that wraps around Deadpool and sends him falling to the ground.

The X-Men's battlesuit isn't the only thing that had been stolen. Their jet, the Thunderbird, has been flying the terrorist M.L.F. group all over the world. That is the point, of course. A gravity field beams down from the Thunderbird jet and surrounds Captain Krakoa, the Blob, Wildside, Andreas and his sister, Andrea, and lifts them up into the air. 'We have what we came for. But you mutants know this: Krakoa fell because it rotted from within. Weak mutants killed it'. He suggests to them that if they want to join the liberation, next time, they swear fealty to Captain Krakoa. At that moment, the Black Widow appears in an old S.H.I.E.L.D. craft and flies after the Mutant Liberation Front. Standing on the Thunderbird's hatch, Andreas remarks 'I hate that woman' to which Andrea tells him that he hates all women. They clasp hands and fire energy blasts towards the old S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel. 'Present company excepted, of course, Andrea' Andreas states, as the Black Widow's vessel explodes and crashes towards the ground.

Before the vessel crashes, the Black Widow ejects herself and parachutes to safety, dropping down near where Cap, Deadpool and Quicksilver have gathered. Cap turns to Deadpool and instructs him to track the X-Men's stolen jet via satellite. 'Already on it' Deadpool responds, while a drowsy Quicksilver claims that it isn't his fault. 'They gassed me' he explains. 'I promised no jokes – but Pietro is making this difficult' Deadpool remarks. Everyone turns as a voice calls out 'I think I found someone who can tell us where they're going'. It's Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke, who has captured one of the Orchis agents and has pinned him up against some rubble, she holds two blades towards his neck and suggests to him that he speak, or else she will open up his carotids. 'Sure, I'll talk... HUMANITY FIRST' the Orchis agent shouts as he bites down on a pill that he was hiding in his mouth – white foam appears and he collapses to the ground.

'Cyanide' the Black Widow remarks. 'Yes' Kwannon tells her. 'I thought you were a telepath, Kwannon?' the Black Widow responds. 'I thought you were a pilot, Natasha?' Kwannon answers, glancing back at the flaming wreckage. Monet crouches beside the Orchis agent and reports that he has a sophisticated psi-blocker in his head, before Cap suggests they get back to base. 'We need to regroup... and maybe rethink' he suggests.

Later, on Ellis Island, the home of Steve Rogers' reconstituted Unity Squad. In one of the rooms, Steve sits shirtless as the Black Widow examines Cap's broken arm, now encased in one of Bucky's old cybernetic arms. Deadpool tends to the arm also as the Black Widow tells Cap that she doesn't want to know where he managed to get one of Bucky's old arms. Deadpool tells Cap that the Super-Soldier Serum in his system will heal him fast, but that the frame of the robotic arm will keep him in the fight. Cap stands up and puts his broken arm through the straps on the back of his shield. He reports that he has full range of movement. 'Let's see how this shield flies -' Cap remarks as he hurls his shield across the room, it bounces off several beams, then returns to him – he catches it with his broken arm protected by the robotic frame. 'Right as rain' Cap declares, before Rogue enters the room, flanked by Monet, Kwannon and Quicksilver. 'You look like you have something on your mind' Cap points out.

'Ah do, Cap' Rogue responds, before telling him that this will be a hard conversation to have – and they don't want to have it lightly. 'This is taking to long' Quicksilver scowls, before informing Cap that they don't think he should leave this team. 'Excuse me?' Cap asks, surprised. 'Yeah...excuse you' the Black Widow frowns. Rogue then announces that she is taking over the Unity Squad. 'We want you around... but positioning you as the tip of the spear is... a mistake' Rogue points out. 'Ha! You can't be serious!' the Black Widow exclaims. As Cap pulls a shirt on Kwannon explains that so many mutants are already dead or missing, so if Captain Krakoa kills an Avenger, the world won't hesitate to fall in line behind Orchis. 'And if whoever is beyond that mask kills Captain America -' Quicksilver begins, before Monet cuts him off: '- we won't just be fighting Orchis, the Sentinels and the rest, we'll be fighting everyone' she states. Quicksilver frowns then pinches the bride of his nose: 'I wish you wouldn't interrupt me, Monet' he tells her.

Steve pulls a cap down on his head and tells the mutants that he appreciates their concern, recalling the same arguments when he deployed to Europe to fight the Nazis. “What if Captain America should fall?” he quotes. He packs his shield into a backpack and announces that the answer is the same today as it was before he went into the ice: 'If I do my job right, if Captain America falls, then someone else is inspired to rise to the occasion'. He then excuses himself, reporting that he has a rendezvous with a contact about opening a new front in the war on Orchis.

'People think I'm funny. But you mutants are the real crack-ups. All you do is lose' Deadpool remarks as he sits at a table cleaning some weapons. Rogue tells Wade that she isn't in the mood for his jokes. 'Who's joking?' Wade asks. 'I haven't had time to change my underwear since you guys last lost a war' Deadpool claims. 'There was the first Mutant Massacre, there was this new one that was a frame job, several Infernos, and I don't even want to know what “Decimation” was, but it sounds bad' Deadpool announces, before asking them how they react to Cap being injured – by chasing away the one guy you always bet on – the one guy who neveer loses, even when folks around him do. 'Not a smart play. I'm Team Cap' Deadpool announces as he clicks some ammunition into place in a gun. He then tells the mutants that when the chips are down, they can't start making fearful decisions. 'Now... what the hell does Orchis want to a U.S. military nuclear weapon for?' Deadpool asks.

Meanwhile, aboard The Bloom, Orchis' orbital planetary defense platform. A Stark Sentinel stands on the outside of the Blooms, adding to the station's defenses, while, inside, Dr. Stasis enters the conference room, where several monitors depict newspaper coverage of the stolen nuclear weapon. 'Did I miss a meeting?' Dr. Stasis asks M.O.D.O.K., adding that Captain Krakoa is supposed to be whipping up anti-mutant sentiment so they can flip the last swithes and go home. M.O.D.O.K. suggests to Dr. Stasis that their man is just improvising a bit. 'Look at the panic it's generated! And it's all at the mutants' feet' M.O.D.O.K. notes. 'I think we both know when we brought that soldier out of “retirement” that he might have a difficult time following orders' the floating head adds. M.O.D.O.K. then bursts into laughter and exclaims 'Omletes and eggs and so forth!' Dr. Stasis frowns and decides that it wouldn't be the end of the world if Captain Krakoa nuked an American city, but that it might make Orchs look weak for not having stopped him. 'I just hope it's not a city I enjoy' he adds, before wondering if they need Cincinnati.

Back on Earth, inside a decommissioned U.S. military base located at an undisclosed location. The base is in ruin, but part of it liveable, as the new Mutant Liberation Front are using this as their base of operations. The team sit around a table and Andrea looks at the food in front of her: 'Surely we must be able to do something else for food? These “meals ready to eat” are quite the opposite in fact' she declares. Andreas makes a disgusted face and agrees with his sister. 'But I suppose taste, like beauty is...' Andreas begins as he looks over to the end of the table where the Blob is devouring the food. Captain Krakoa stands up and slams his fists down onto the table as he instructs everyone to wash up and get ready to hit the hay. 'Lights out in an hour. We have big days coming up. I won't tolerate a force that is not ready to fight. If we fail to prepare...' he begins. '...we prepare to fail' Andrea smiles as she looks up at Captain Krakoa. 'Exactly' Captain Krakoa agrees as he smiles under his mask.

Shortly, the Blob lays propped up on several mattresses, snoring loudly. 'Kill me' Wildside complains as he lays on a bed nearby within the bunker, tissues stuffed in his ears in an attempt to block out the Blob's snoring. Captain Krakoa walks towards the showers which are through a door at the end of the bunker. 'Excuse me, Captain – but my sister is in there' the shirtless Andreas remarks, looking up from his book as he sits on his bed and watches the Captain. 'Uh-huh' Captain Krakoa smiles as he walks past the shocked Andreas.

Steam rises in the showers and Andrea realizes she is no longer alone. 'You didn't seem like the type to fraternize with the troops, Herr Captain' she utters, glancing back from where she stands under a shower. Captain Krakoa suddenly removes his helmet. 'Oh. It's you' Andrea remarks as she looks upon the Captain's face. The Kraokan armor suddenly drops to the shower floor, leaving Captain Krakoa naked as he tells Andrea 'Yes, it's me...and if you utter my name to anyone, even the others in our squad...then my next embrace won't be so gentle' Captain Krakoa responds as he grabs Andrea around her neck and one of her wrists. They lock lips, while outside the shower, back in the bunker, Andreas looks very unhappy as he folds his arms and scowls, lying down on his bed.

At that moment, several states away, where a very different meeting of the minds is underway on the rooftop of the Daily Bugle in Manhattan. The rain pours down as Ben Urich stands under an umbrella, and turns to the rooftop access door as Steve Rogers appears. Ben admits that he was surprised to hear from the Captain, and Cap thanks Ben for his time, adding that he has long been an admirer of his writing. 'I always have time for a former corroborating witness...on one of my most famous exposes' Ben adds as he recalls an incident involving Daredevil and the mercenary called Nuke. They shake hands as Ben reminds Cap that he helped him take down the Kingpin. 'Fat load of good that did this city in the end. But...if you're knocking on my door... then the good guys must be even more desperate than I thought' Ben decides. 'The truth matters' Cap responds. 'I sure hope so' Ben replies as he looks up to the sky.

Cap tells Ben that this is not Cyclops running around as Captain Krakoa. He adds that the true identity of Captain Krakoa is important, but that it needs to lead them to the people pulling the strings. 'Orchis' Ben realizes. Ben tells Cap that he needs evidence, especially if they are going to run a piece about an organization that is filling S.H.I.E.L.D.'s shoes and has a higher approval rating than any of the current presidential candidates. Ben adds that brute force is not getting them out of this. 'Cyclops told me the truth, and his people paid a price. I owe it to him to try to write the truuth of this so-called Mutant Massacre on Krakoa' Ben announces.

Captain America reminds Ben that Orchis left no human witnesses, to which Ben replies 'Maybe. Rumor has it there were survivors. I even hear that the mutants are sitting on a human witness from the Hellfire Gala this year'. Cap turns and leaps off the edge of the Daily Bugle rooftop. 'Interesting. I'll do some digging' he calls out. 'Good luck, Captain. We're going to need it...' Ben calls out. 'There's a pit in my stomach. I hope I'm wrong...but something tells me the Mutant Massacre was only the beginning of the carnage' Ben adds.

Meanwhile, at the Empire State University, in the dead of night, Orchis agents go about setting up the stolen nuclear device at a science fair within the university sponsored by Orchis....

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Deadpool, Kwannon, Monet, Quicksilver, Rogue (all Avengers Unity Squad)

Blob, Captain Krakoa II, Andreas & Andrea von Strucker, Wildside (all Mutant Liberation Front)

Black Widow


Ben Urich


M.O.D.O.K., Dr. Stasis (both Orchis)


Orchis agents

Stark Sentinels


(in flashback image)


Ben Urich


Story Notes: 

Orchis made an attempt on Captain America's life in Free Comic Book Day 2023 Uncanny Avengers #1.

This issue ties into the “Fall of X” event.

When Captain Krakoa reveals his idenity to Andrea in the shower, his face remains obscured to the reader at all times.

The incident Ben Urich referred to Cap being a witness to was seen in Daredevil: Born Again.

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