Uncanny Avengers (4th series) #5

Issue Date: 
February 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), Nik Vierlla; Stephanie Hans (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: 

Weeks ago, the evil version of Steve Rogers is resurrected by Orchis, and, calling himself Grant Rogers, agrees to serve Orchis against mutantkind – but disguised as one of their own, Captain Krakoa. Now, Captain Krakoa has shot Captain America and severed Deadpool in two. Deadpool bites Captain Krakoa, distracting him and enabling Kwannon to attack him, but Captain Krako throws Kwannon at the Black Widow, taking them both out. Monet launches an attack, tearing away at Captain Krakoa's costume, but is defeated, too. Captain America uses Deadpool as a shield against anymore Krakoan energy which Captain Krakoa attempts to blast him with, before hurling Deadpool at Captain Krakoa as if he was his trusty shield. Captain America then uses his own shield, attacked to Captain Krakoa's arm, to break his enemy's arm. At the Empire State university, scientists cannot stop the nuclear weapon, as it needs a retinal scan, to which Captain Krakoa announces that he can stop it. Captain America figures he could then, too, but Monet and Kwannon have determined that it is a trap. Rogue is at the University and is running out of time, so she flies the nuclear weapon to Area 51. Quicksilver speeds after her, collecting what remains of Deadpool on the way, and hurls Deadpool at Rogue as the nuclear weapon explodes. Deadpool's healing factor is able to save both himself and Rogue. Afterwards, Captain Krakoa's identity is madde public, and the Kingpin comes clean about what he witnessed at the mutant massacre. Grant Rogers is sent to trial, but justice was perverted somehow and he is set free. The Avengers Unity Squad are keeping an eye on him though and witness as he speaks to hundreds of supporters, identifying himself now as the new Flag-Smasher, he is preparing for a new world where mutants and mutates are destroyed. Captain America and the Unity Squad share a moment together as they ready themselves for the next fight.

Full Summary: 

(X weeks ago)

'So, Steve -' Dr. Stasis begins as he stands in front of several monitors depicting Captain Krakoa, Wolverine, Storm, Sunspot and Genesis. 'Call me Grant Rogers. The other guy has tainted our first name' the alternate Steve Rogers responds as he looks up at the monitors. 'Very well, Grant. While you've been gone, it's essentially been “Mutie Gras” - a nonstop party on Earth. And if you don't put their foot down -' Dr. Stasis begins, to which Grant Rogers stands up and tells Dr. Stasis to stop talking. 'I'm in. but I'll do it my way...and I'll do it in their uniform!' the psychopath exclaims as he motions to the image on the monitor depicting Captain Krakoa.


Steven Grant Rogers, the dark reflection of this world's Captain America created by the Red Skull and resurrected by Selene at the instruction of Dr. Stasis, stands triumphant on the roof of the Daily Bugle building. He has successfully assassinated the character of Captain Krakoa and is about to murder Captain America and Ben Urich. 'you're a weak old man, Steve. This world won't miss you' Grant Rogers frowns as he holds a Krakoan weapon towards the unmoving Captain America. Suddenly, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool bites down on Grant Rogers' ankle, causing him to stumble and as he fires the weapon, Deadpool slides between Captain America and the blast. But Grant Rogers regains his footing, and aims his weapon again. 'You were a good soldier, Wade Wilson. A shame I have to do this' Grant Rogers announces – before Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke drops down and uses a blade to slice the Krakoan weapon apart.

Kwannon telepathically tells the other Avengers Unity Squad members that their foe will be impossible to defeat in the Captain Krakoa uniform – so it hasto go. 'You ladies wait your turn' Grant Rogers snarls as he grabs Kwannon and hurls her towards Natasha Romanoff the Black Widow, both women who are knocked off the rooftop and through the window of a nearby apartment building. 'Widow and I are out. You're up, Monet!' Kwannon calls out telepathically. Monet St. Croix appears behind Grant Rogers. 'On it!' she responds as she starts to tear at his Krakoan armor, before Grant smacks his head backwards, slamming it into Monet's, causing the powerful mutant to stumble to the ground. Grant Rogers collects Captain America's shield from the wall where it has been embedded after severing Deadpool's torso from his legs. 'You mutants have all this power – and not an ounce of self-control! You deserve to die out!' Grant Rogers shouts as he raises the shield above his head, then slams it into the Monet, smashing her through the roof and into the office below.

'I've got you, Deadpool!' Captain America calls out as he grabs Deadpool's torso and darts across the rooftop – but Grant Rogers is quick, and spins around and fires a blast towards his other self, which Deadpool blocks, although he receives a scorching hole in his chest as a result. 'Cap – throw me like one of your vibranium girls' Deadpool jokes. 'I'll be right behind you' Cap replies as he begins to spin around to gain momentum. 'When Captain America throws his bitey shield – all those whose chose to oppose his shield must yield!' Deadpool exclaims as Cap throws him towards the villain, and Deadpool latches onto him, and begins biting into his head. While Grant Rogers uses one hand to try and pull Deadpool away from him, Captain America grabs his own shield, which is attacked to Grant Rogers' other arm – and he twists the shield hard and fast – breaking Grant Rogers' arm, causing the alternate Captain America to cry out in pain.

At that moment, Rogue, who is at the Empire State University with Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver, contacts her teammates. She apologizes for interrupting all the fun she can hear, but that the nuke that “Stevil” planted at the university is going to blow in less than a minute, and it is booby trapped. She explains that it seems to have one off button – attached to a retinal scanner. While the university scientists do their best to examine the nuclear weapon. Quicksilver speeds into view with the Black widow.

'I can stop it' Grant Rogers claims as he looks on in pain. 'Then so can I' Captain America declares, before informing Roge that he is inbound. 'No! It's a trap!' Monet reports as she appears with Kwannon, who captures Grant Rogers in a psi-rope. 'Damn telepaths' Grant Rogers complains, while Kwannon explains that the retinal scanner is another trigger, designed to atomize Captain America. Monet and Kwannon then kick Grant Rogers back in unison. Cap tells Rogue  that the bomb can't detonate here, and adds that he wished there was another way. 'But you have to move it out of New York – maybe up into space?' Cap suggests, but Rogue tells him that she can't, as the International Space Station is heading this way – and she is already outbound. Cap, Kwannon, Monet and Deadpool look up to the star-filled sky, where they can see Rogue streaking across it with the nuclear weapon. Rogue announces that she is looking west, as she knows where Area 51 is. Her communication is suddenly cut off, while, watching from one of the rooms in the Daily Bugle building, the Kingpin and Ben Urich look out, and Ben tells the Kingpin that his is not the hand he wanted to hold as he died.

'Somebody do something!' Deadpool exclaims. 'Maybe she'll survive -' Captain America begins, but Grant Rogers shouts 'Fat chance she'll survive' and tells Wade that this is twice he lost everything by betting on “Good Old Steve”. 'Did you ever tell Rogue how you felt, you coward?' Grant Rogers asks. 'Sleep, pig' Monet tells him as she and Kwannon slam their boots down on his face. Cap touches the communicator in his ear and announces that he needs help, as he has an Avenger down and a nuclear detonation is about to take place at Area 51. 'And – and... good luck' he sighs as Deadpool's torso suddenly vanishes – collected by Quicksilver who sped onto the scene and now races along the ground beneath Rogue who is still flying above the United States with the nuclear weapon. Quicksilver tells Deadpool to listen up, as they will have a fraction of a second to save Rogue's life by sharing his healing factor with her. 'I can't outrun the bomb after it detonates, so I'm going to get you close and pin you down, but it will be up to you to hold on'.

A moment later, Rogue arrives in Area 51, and drops the nuclear weapon – which begins to explode. Rogue is torn apart, her body reduced to a skeleton, when suddenly, another skeletal hand grabs onto her, and her flesh begins to reform. Quicksilver has stopped some miles away, shielding his eyes from the nuclear explosion. The explosion rises upwards, while the flesh begins to slowly reform on Rogue and Deadpool, who remarks that he had been meaning to ask Rogue what she sees in Gambit, anyway. 'Thank you, Wade' Rogue responds as she looks over at Deadpool, who replies 'You never have to thank me'. He pauses, before asking 'Does Gambit make you thank him?'

The stolen nuclear bomb has exploded, but somehow, nobody was killed – thanks to a team of Avengers and X-Men. The murderous imposter who posed as Captain Krakoa was unmasked after trying to kill the reporter trying to expose him, Ben Urich, who understands that Orchis seems to have their own resurrection protocols, and chose o bring back this dark reflection of Captain America. His court docket will refer to him by his middle name, “Grant”. People are beginning to question just who Orchis is and what they stand for. Captain America, Monet and Kwannon stand over the unmoving Grant Rogers, who lies across Ben Urich's desk. The unfortunate human witness who corroborated many of the X-Men and Avengers' storie was none other than the Kingpin of crime, Wilson Fisk, whose wife, the mutant Typhoid Mary, is still missing and presumed dead. Wilson Fisk stands with the Blob at his side while answering reporters' questions. He has not been trustworthy about many things in his career, but he is not lying about this. One of the worst men that Ben Urich knows can still tell the truth. The X-Men were framed. There will be trials. Including one for the X-Men's leader, Cyclops. The wheels of justice turn slowly – but they are in motion now.

Weeks after the capture of Grant Rogers, it was hoped that justice would be done. On the day the trial ended, the heroes were reminded how justice could be perverted. 'Ah can't believe this' Rogue remarks as she stands with the rest of the Avengers Unity Squad, although she has short hair and wears one of her old costumes following her ordeal. Some people have gathered to celebrate, while others commiserate. Another ugly scene plays out in America – a country getting used to such ugly scenes. Supporters and opponents of Grant Rogers gather in front of the courthouse, and a riot has broken out.

Suddenly, 'Stop! There's been enough violence!' a voice calls out. Ben Urich passes through the crowds of squabbling civilians. He will continue to write the truth. The civilians look up and sees Grant Rogers, dressed in a white suit walking down a barricade, on one side, those who support him, on the other, protesters. 'Your secret empire perseveres, sir' one of the police officers whispers to him. 'Good man'  Grant Rogers responds.

'Ah wanna fly down there and -' Rogue begins as she and the others continue to keep watch from a nearby rooftop, while Deadpool suggests that they hear “Stevil” out first. Grant Rogers takes a podium, the American flag waving blowing in the wind behind him. He starts his speech by saying that he believes every human being will stand shoulder to shoulder, and that they can finally emerge from the shadow of fear cast over them by the mutants and their ilk. 'I'm not a cruel man. In my dream...the mutants are also side by side and with their own kind and they are at peace, too' he claims. As he thinks of his dream, he sees himself standing on a platform watching as members of the X-Men and Fantastic Four have been captured. They march to their fate, shackled, as guards stand over them. Andrea von Strucker snuggles up to Grant Rogers, while her brother, Andreas, stands several feet away. And the mutants are side by side – in their graves, as Kate Pryde walks across a snow-covered graveyard, the names of several mutants etched into headstones. Polaris. Penance. Psylocke. Rogue. Storm. Forge. Colossus. Domino. Synch. Angel. Emma Frost. Sunfire. Iceman.

'When someone tells you who they are, believe them. The mutants told us their truth: they are different. They have their own laws...they have an entire planet too themselves in Arakko!' he exclaims, pointing to the sky. He then holds up the American flag. 'Man loves. Mutant kills' he utters. 'And what fear do the mutants have of death? It's a revolving door for them. We should not have to ask, so I'll only ask once: leave man in peace' he states. He holds the flag out in front of him and asks 'When the mutants ascended and threatened this world, poisoning our medicine – did this flag protect you? Unfortunately no'. He hangs his head, and boasts that he fought for this flag, but like his misguided counterpart, he has returned, and has changed. 'I know it's not this flag's fault. We let the Stars and Stripes down...this flag was once the symbol of a nation of men, and it is the government that let down mankind. So from now on... I SHALL BE A FLAG-SMASHER!' Grant Rogers shouts as he tears the flag apart with ease. He lets the pieces of the flag fall to the ground and raises a fist above his head and announces that from now on, he will not let any flag separate him from his fellow humans. 'Together, we stand united. It's not the color of our flags, it's the merit of our genes that makes us brothers and sisters' he calls out – when suddenly, someone throws a cup off coffee at his face.

'Whoopsie daisy!' Deadpool exclaims from the rooftop, some spilled coffee around him. 'Ah reckoned you'd be angrier, Cap' Rogue remarks, turning to Cap, who tells her that he is. 'But when you get to be my age – you learn to keep your powder dry. America is the best, but most frustrating country in the world. Worth fighting for. Worth dying for...but I'll bet on me and my friends over them any day.' Cap smiles as he puts a hand out. Rogue, the Black Widow and Kwannon put their hands into the middle, too, while Deadpool stands up and wraps his hands on Rogue and Kwannon's shoulders. Quicksilver and Monet look at each other, then put their hands in the middle, too – while Monet puts her other hand on Quicksilver's ass. 'And I haven't lost yet' Captain America concludes.


Characters Involved: 

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


Captain Krakoa II/Grant Rogers/Flag-Smasher III


Ben Urich





Police officers

Flag-Smasher's supporters


(in flashback)

Captain Krakoa II/Grant Rogers

Dr. Stasis


(on computer screen in flashback)

Captain Krakoa/Cyclops




Genesis III

(in Flag-Smasher's future)


Andreas & Andrea von Strucker

Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastiic Four)

Kate Pryde




Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Fall of X event.

This issue includes a memo from Dr. Stasis to all departments of Orchis, informing them that the trial of Cyclops is scheduled to take place in Paris. The memo refers to engaging in mutates like the Fantastic Four and Avengers once the mutants are destroyed.

Flag-Smasher says 'Man loves. Mutant kills', probably as a parody of the classic X-Men story 'God Loves, Man Kills.

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