Uncanny Avengers (4th series) #4

Issue Date: 
January 2024
Story Title: 

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), Cory Smith & Federico Blee; Matteo Scalera & Moreno Dinisio; Rob Liefeld (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: 

Dr. Stasis is at the Empire State University, giving a guest lecture, when one of the audience asks him if he was at the “mutant massacre” and reminds him he had previously stated that all the humans were dead by the time Orchis arrived at the Hellfire Gala. Dr. Stasis becomes physically nervous and leaves, as Ben Urich follows him and reveals that one of the survivors was a human who witnessed what really happened. Dr. Stasis threatens Urich before leaving in a limo. At the headquarters of Captain Krakoa's Mutant Liberation Front, Captain Krakoa gives his team their orders, before he receives a call from Dr. Stasis, who claims that a reporter has been asking questions about his identity. The Avengers Unity Squad arrives at the M.L.F. headquarters and launches and attack on the Blob, Wildside and the Fenris twins in an attempt to locate information on the stolen nuclear weapon's location. Psylocke and Penance take Wildside out, but discover he knows nothing. Captain America battles the Blob, until Rogue tries to reason with the Blob. Penance and Quicksilver dodge the energy blasts of the Fenris twins, until Psylocke severs their connection – permanently, by cutting their hands off. When the Blob is convinced that Captain America is not Cyclops, he reveals that Captain Krakoa is on his way to deploy the nuke as he said it was for Dr. Stasis. Rogeu realizes that Stasis is due to give another lecture at the Empire State University, while Captain America is certain that he knows the identity of Captain Krakoa. Rogue and Quicksilver speed to the university, where they expose the nuclear weapon during Stasis' speech. Captain Krakoa arrives at the Daily Bugle to deal with the nosy reporter asking questions about him – but before he can harm Ben Urich, Captain America arrives, and a rooftop battle breaks out between them. Captain Krakoa is skilled in the use of Captain America's shield and uses it to take out Monet, Kwannon and the Black Widow, before severing Deadpool's torse from his legs with the shield. Captain America then smashes Captain Krakoa's helmet, exposing his evil counterpart, who then blasts him with Krakoan energy at close range.

Full Summary: 

Empire State University, where a science fair is underway. Doctor Stasis of Orchis is presenting a lecture to aspiring scientists. He tells them that he was grateful to meet with them all in their graduate program, and hopes that they will join him tomorrow at his seminar for the entire campus. 'And if there are any thoughtful questions, I might entertain -' Doctor Stasis begins, when suddenly, a voice calls out 'You were at the Hellfire Gala the night of the “mutant massacre,” were you not, Doctor Stasis?' This catches the diabolical Doctor Stasis off-guard, and he replies 'Um. I meant about my genetics lecture -' to which the voice calls out 'You've said that, quote, “the humans were all dead by the time Orchis arrived.” Do you want to amend that statement now?' the mystery man asks. Doctor Stasis narrows his eyes: '... who, may I ask, wants to know?' he snarls.

Several students in the lecture room turn in shock as the mystery voice identifies themselves as Ben Urich. 'I'm a reporter' he announces. Doctor Stasis then steps down from the platform and excuses himself from the room, announcing that he must prepare for a seminar. Ben Urich rushes after Stasis, informing Doctor Stasis that a witness to the events of the massacre has come forward. 'You can't seriously take a mutant's word -' Doctor Stasis begins, trying to ignore Ben. 'The witness is a human' Ben calls out, causing Doctor Stasis to stop in his tracks. He turns to Ben and grits his teeth as he warns Ben to be careful about his clickbait. 'You may catch more than you bargained for'. Doctor Stasis then races out of the building, down to a waiting limo. 'Gotcha, weird beard. You can read the story in tomorrow's Bugle!' Ben calls back.

Meanwhile, at Camp Lehigh, the base of the Mutant Liberation Front, where the mysterious Captain Krakoa tells his team – Andreas and Andrea von Strucker, Richard Gill a.k.a. Wildside and Fred Dukes the Blob – that they have their orders. 'If I don't rendezvous with you, it's because I was killed taking out Orchis' space station' he announces, before telling the mutants that it has been an honor serving with them all. 'Thank you, Cyclops' the Blob smiles, shaking Captain Krakoa's hand. 'Of course, Blob. You're a good soldier' Captain Krakoa responds, not correcting Blob for addressing him as Cyclops.

Captain Krakoa then takes flight, and answers a call from Doctor Stasis, who appears via hologram. 'Thank you for taking my call' Doctor Stasis begins. 'Been busy' Captain Krakoa frowns, before Doctor stasis asks him what he needs a nuke for. 'Insurance' Captain Krakoa responds. 'Ah, I see. You think you don't need Orchis? Just so you know...a reporter asked me questions. About you, about your identity. I know you wanted complete anonymity, but perhaps someone you trusted talked?' Doctor Stasis asks, before revealing that the reporter's name is Ben Urich. 'Should you decide calling on him is in our mutual best interest' he adds, before ending the communication. 'Dammit, Andrea' Captain Krakoa mutters.

Elsewhere, in rural Virginia, a disused military base slumbers in a blanket of razor wire. Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver reconnoiters it three times before his teammates leap from their plane. 'Lemme guess, you already took them all down?' Monet St. Croix aka Penance smiles as she drops down beside Quicksilver, who smiles back at her and claims that he considered it, but that he knew she would never be quiet about it. 'Maybe don't ruin the view from up here while running that mouth' Monet tells Quicksilver. Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. the Black Widow drops down to the ground with the aid of a parachute and reports that she is getting a read on the Avengers I.D. cards that Quicksilver and Monet hid on the Fenris Twins. 'This place?' Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America asks as he drops to the ground with a parachute. Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke lands at his side, while Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool crashes into the high fence surrounding the facility. Deadpool turns to Captain America and asks him if he is good, to which Cap replies that he is, and informs his Unity Squad teammates that he was here a long time ago. 'I'm not surprised – it's old as $#%&. Just like you' Deadpool remarks.

Inside a bunker, Wildside sniffs the air before telling his teammates to look alive, as they have company. The Blob looks over from where he is sitting on his bed, while Andrea sits on her bed, brushing her hair, and Andreas is busing combing his hair, can of hairspray at the ready. 'Surender, Wildside' the Black Widow utters as she appears in the shadows behind him, and puts a gun to his head. '$#%&' Wildside mutters, before he turns to the Black Widow and grins, revealing that his mutant gift lets him crack open her brain and pull out the worst suffering. And he does so, causing the Black Widow to burst into laughter as images memories flood her mind – the Red Room, murders, and Yelena Belova to name a few. But this doesn't trouble the Black Widow for long, as she turns back to Wildside: 'Cute trick' she tells him before shooting him. He falls backwards, and raises his middle finger to the Black Widow as he claims 'Usually that works'.

Monet appears and stands on Wildside's chest: 'Where's the nuke?' she asks him. 'Go to hell!' Wildside responds, before spitting at Monet. This does not impress the glamorous Monet, who warns him that she is going to pry the info from his mind, before Kwannon steps forward: 'Mind if I cut in?' she asks as she shoves a psi-blade into Wildside's head. Wildside begins to drool, before Kwannon retracts her psi-blade and reports that Wildside knows nothing. Suddenly, the Blob leaps towards Monet and Psylocke, and tells him that they expected better of the two of them. 'Stop!' Captain America calls out as comes between Blob and Monet and Kwannon, blocking the Blob's fall with his shield. Captain America tells the Blob that his teammates refer to him as a reasonable man, a man who is hurting and fighting a righteous war with the wrong soldiers. 'If that's true – then prove it – by standing down' Captain America suggests.

'I got nothing to prove to the likes of you!' the Blob responds as he slams his fists into Cap's shield, only to be shunted backwards, while Captain America informs the Blob that the man in the Krakoan battlesuit is not Cyclops. Rogue drops down beside Captain America and, calling the Blob by his real name, she tells him that she knows they have all been through the ringer, but she needs him to trust the Unity Squad. Rogue then screams as a blast of energy courtesy of the Fenris Twins knocks her backwards. 'I don't think so, Rogue' the Blob remarks. 'I don't know how they found us -' Andreas begins, '- and I don't care. Let's kill some filth!' Andrea grins as she holds her brother's hand and fires another blast, this time towards Monet, who swiftly ducks and rolls to avoid the blast. 'You can't dodge us forever!' Andreas shouts. 'I just wanted your eyes on me' Monet responds, while Quicksilver speeds over to her and announces that he thinks it is time that the Fenris Twins were disarmed. 'Oh - $#%&!' the Fenris Twins utter, wide-eyed, as Kwannon drops down from above and severs their hands with two thin blades. The Fenris Twins scream as they are separated and blood sprays everywhere.

The Fenris Twins fall to the ground, each of them looking on in horror at the severed limbs. Kwannon stands above them while Quicksilver asks her if she can telepathically cut off their ability to feel pain, while he holds several rolls of bandages in his arms. 'I could, yes' Kwannon confirms. Deadpool picks up the Fenris Twins severed hands and quotes a phone call that Captain America made to him: “Wade, it's me, Steve, I know it went to hell the last time you volunteered, but I need you back on the Unity Squad...there's always a job that only you can do. Let's find out what it is together”. As Quicksilver races around the Fenris Twins, wrapping their entire bodies in bandages, Deadpool tosses the two severed hands into a trash can nearby.

The Blob turns to Rogue and tells her that whoever Captain Krakoa is, he said that the nuke was for Dr. Stasis, and that he is on his way to deploy it against Orchis' space station. 'Wait! Bargain-Bin Sinister is giving some kidn of speech at Empire State University later! He wouldn't, would he?' Rogue exclaims. Captain America announces that he knows who Captain Krakoa is, and that they are in the wrong place. He instructs Rogue and Quicksilver to get to the Empire State University now, while the rest of the team are to come with him. He then tells the Blob that they will discuss these crimes later, before suggesting they take the X-Men's jet, as there are two emergencies in New York. Once inside the jet, Cap instructs the Black Widow to call in a medevac for Fenris and to tell the FBI that Camp Lehigh has been compromised by terrorists.

A moment later, 'We racing'?' Rogue as asks she flies alongside Quicksilver. 'Not on your best day, Sugah' Quicksilver jokes. They arrive at the university, and find the lecture hall where Dr. Stasis is delivering his speech. 'And so, the telescope will, uh...excuse me. This room just became a lot more dangerous' Dr.. Stasis remarks as he looks over to Rogue and Quicksilver. 'I don't know what you two are doing here, but -' he begins, before Rogue instructs Quicksilver to find the bomb. Quicksilver begins speeding through the lecture hall, eventually stopping at the stage Dr. Stasis stands on, where he hits a panel on the stage, causing a platform to rise up from beneath the stage, revealing the bomb. 'Look at that. It was under the stage' Quicksilver calls out. 'Well, this is unfortunate news!' a wide-eyed Dr. Stasis exclaims. The civilians in the lecture hall begin to panic and start to flee the hall, as does Dr. Stasis after Rogue tells him that she guesses he didn't approve of this part of Captain Krakoa's plan. 'I have no idea what you're talking about!' Dr. Stasis calls back.

Rogue turns to Quicksilver and suggests they get this bomb out of the city, but Quicksilver warns her that it is booby-trapped. He radios Captain America and reports that they have located the device, but that they need Captain Krakoa on-site to safely disarm it.

Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, a newspaper which has been making all the right people look bad for decades, Ben Urich has another story that will be felt in the corridors of power in every country on the globe. Ben is busy reading a proof of the next edition of the newspaper, when suddenly, Captain Krakoa bursts into his office. 'You're an old problem that nobody has fixed yet. That printer's proof you're holding will never be published' Captain Krakoa exclaims. Captain Krakoa then grabs Ben by his neck and tells him that this is a shame, as he was not without talent. Ben struggles for breath, but an instant later, Captain America drops through a window, slamming his shield into Captain Krakoa and knocking him away from Ben. 'I know how good your hearing is, even without that suit' Captain America begins, explaining that he had Monet throw him once they crossed the Hudson River. He continues to push against Captain Krakoa, slamming him through several walls and out the window on the other side of the building. 'This is your only chance – stand down!' Captain America declares, while Ben sits up and rubs his neck as he regains his breath.

'AND TELL ME HOW TO DISARM THAT BOMB' Captain America shouts as he lands on Captain Krakoa, who slams into the sidewalk at the bottom of the Daily Bugle building. 'Not even your pet telepaths could pry that information from me. You'll just have to poke at it' Captain Krakoa responds as he pushes past Captain America and takes flight. Captain America clings to his enemy's leg and calls out 'Damn you!' before Captain Krakoa kicks him off. 'What a disgrace. Killing you would be a mercy I don't intend to give this country' Captain Krakoa declares, as Captain America falls downwards, landing on the large Daily Bugle sign that sits atop the building. 'Don't you dare!' Captain America calls back. 'You don't get to pass judgment over me or my countrymen. You're a traitor!' Captain America exclaims as he tosses his shield towards Captain Krakoa, who drops back down onto the rooftop. Monet, Kwannon, Deadpool and Black Widow arrive and stand ready at Captain America's side, while Captain Krakoa grabs Captain America's shield.

Captain Krakoa declares that he is no relitigating the past, and boasts that he is going to smash what doesn't work and reforge this broken world. He then hurls Captain America's shield, which first slams into the Black Widow's head, then smacks against the back of Monet's knees, before rebounding into Kwannon's stomach, sending all three women to the floor. 'Oh no. Dammit' Deadpool mumbles. Captain Krakoa announces that before this world can heal, the rot must be cut out and then their wounds cauterized by fire. 'Please tell me this isn't him!' Deadpool utters as he opens fire, shooting two pistols at Captain Krakoa. 'Hello again, Wade. I thought you were a soldier with a decent head on your shoulders, but here you are following Rogers again' Captain Krakoa remarks as he hurls the shield towards Deadpool – which pins Deadpool to a wall, and severs his torso from his legs. 'Dammit. B. R. B' Deadpool jokes as he slides down the wall while his innards fall out onto Captain America's shield.

'I didn't want to believe it. How – are – YOU ALIVE?' Captain America shouts as he begins punching Captain Krakoa's helmet over and over again – until it finally shatters. 'Nice hands, Steve. Yeah... here I am. Hale and hearty. Your Hydra-raised counterpart. Steve Rogers. And what can I say? My friend missed me'. Captain Krakoa raises his hand, connected to Krakoan weaponry, and reminds Captain America 'The ethnostate of Krakoa brought you back after your recent demise' and boasts that humanity resurrected him to stop Captain America from helping them, before opening fire at close range, as energy rips across Captain America....

Characters Involved: 

Black Widow, Captain America, Deadpool, Penenace, Psylocke II, Quicksilver, Rogue (all Avengers Unity Squad)


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


Ben Urich


Dr. Stasis (Orchis)



Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Fall of X event.

Captain Krakoa says “dammit, Andrea” because he revealed his identity to her last issue, and presumably assumes she leaked his identity.

Deadpool served under the alternate Captain America during the “Secret Empire” event.

The alternate Captain America was raised in an alternate reality by a sentient Cosmic Cube, and first appeared in Sam Wilson: Captain America #7, rising to notoriety during the “Secret Empire” event.

Although the alternate Captain America died in Captain America (9th series) #8. He was resurrected by Selene at the instruction of Orchis, and retrieved from stasis by Dr. Stasis in Free Comic book Day 2023 Avengers/X-Men #1.

Steve Rogers was resurrected in A.X.E. Judgment Day #5

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