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Comic Book / U.S.Avengers

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U.S.Avengers is a 2017 comic book published by Marvel Comics, as part of the Marvel NOW! wave of titles. It's written by Al Ewing and drawn by Paco Medina, serving as a relaunch of the former's previous run of New Avengers.

With the Avengers Idea Mechanics torn after the events of Avengers Standoff and Civil War II, billionaire superhero Sunspot —now going by the alias Citizen V— takes it upon himself to rebrand A.I.M. as the American Intelligence Mechanics, now working alongside S.H.I.E.L.D. to better serve the interests of a distrusting American people and win back their trust.

Joining Sunspot on this new endeavor are his best friend Cannonball, A.I.M. members Squirrel Girl, Enigma (formerly Pod) and Toni Ho (now operating under the Iron Patriot alias), with a new Red Hulk also recruited.


U.S.Avengers provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Guillotine's magic sword manages to cut through the flying Hydra fortress, which is noted to be made of adamantium.
  • An Aesop: The first issue has Sunspot makes an impassioned speech about how America belongs to everyone at the end, setting the tone for the series and establishing its main theme.
    Sunspot: It's Luke Cage's flag. Ms. Marvel's flag. Ben Grimm's flag. We belong here and that is our flag. We can't let anyone take it away.
  • Affirmative-Action Legacy:
    • Toni Ho (an Asian lesbian) as the new Iron Patriot.
    • Sunspot (a black Latino) as the new Citizen V.
    • Dani Cage (a black woman) as the Captain America of 20XX.
  • Always Someone Better: By the end of the previous series, Roberto has established himself as a leading chessmaster. In the opening act of Secret Empire, he's outmatched by Hydra!Captain America, who has already infiltrated A.I.M. and then unleashes a blistering speech on 'Berto designed to cripple him.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Golden Skull makes his last stand in golden Powered Armor. The second the Skull brags that it's solid gold and not merely gold-plated, Toni immediately tears it apart like paper, since gold is an incredibly soft and malleable metal.
    • The Red Hulk. As Squirrel Girl notes, if something is thrown at the Red Hulk and he's taken down easily, what does he do for the remaining 59 minutes? However, it's totally justified as he's considered a Godzilla Threshold for the team.
  • Bad Boss: The Golden Skull gathers crews for heists, then murders them when they're done because he thinks it's clever.
  • Bad Future: Subverted. While some disastrous occurrences have decimated the heroes of Dani's timeline, she and the survivors have actually handled things pretty well by the time she came to the past.
  • Battle Couple: Toni Ho/Iron Patriot with Aikku Jokinen/Enigma, leading off from them becoming an Official Couple in the end of New Avengers.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Remember Larry the goofy AIM mook who was a little too enthusiastic about Roberto back in New Avengers? During Secret Empire, he turns on Roberto and catches him off guard.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Golden Skull attempts to fight the team in solid gold Powered Armor. Unfortunately for the Skull, gold is an incredibly soft metal and the suit is ripped apart by Toni in seconds.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Dani Cage Captain America of Ultron Forever returns at the end of issue 1, followed quickly by her adversary the Golden Skull.
    • Cannonball's wife Smasher and their son reappear during issue 5.
    • After Secret Empire, the Plunderer returns to commit ludicrous super-crime once more, "assisted" by a returning Bluestreak.
  • Call-Back:
    • Enigma repeats POD's mantra from the previous series of New Avengers, "I see you".
    • The "firewall" around time, previously mentioned during New Avengers, is mentioned again in issue 2. The Golden Skull manages to find a way around it.
    • The creepy castle Vandoom is holed up in during issue 4 is from alllllll the way back from Daredevil issue 9.
  • Captain Ersatz: Issue 2 introduces talk, dark-haired, lantern jawed billionaire industrialist playboy Bryce Wyne. Oh, and his butler Freddie.
  • Captain Geographic: As you'd probably expect, much of this team bears the American flag colors and iconography.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Hydra struggle to control Paris, as the populace refuse to surrender to their rule, feigning mocking obedience in public while fighting back in secret.
  • Comics Merger: Ends with issue 12, merging with Uncanny Avengers and The Avengers to form the new weekly book Avengers: No Surrender.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Roberto's introductory flashback has him watching TV with the original New Mutants team.
    • Toni's recording in issue 1 mentions that she has a half-brother from her father out there, and that it's "complicated", a nod to an old Iron Man storyline.
    • Maverick's Red Hulk upgrade seems to be derived from the gamma-enhancement tech S.H.I.E.L.D. was seen using in the second issue of Ewing's New Avengers.
    • During the discussion of Zero Day with Dani Cage, she mentions the A.V.E.N.G.E.R.S Initiative, which was mentioned during her team's appearance back in New Avengers. It's revealed here that Black Widow founded it, Nat having been shown as one of the few modern Avengers still a member of the team in the future back in Ultron Forever.
    • In Dani's universe, Thanos' rampage was stopped by Black Knight, Hulkling, Fazia Hussein and Guillotine using their swords to stab him to death.
    • Before leaving, Dani reminds Doreen of the time Doreen was her babysitter.
    • Back in his introductory issue in New Avengers, Todd Ziller was implied to be the marine from an old meme. On meeting him, Deadpool asks if he is "that marine from that meme", trying to say he's a huge fan.
    • In issue 8, a badly out-of-it Roberto mutters "Juliana", after his former love interest all the way back from his first appearance. Later on, he mutters something to Professor X (about proving him wrong - Roberto proving he wasn't a future villain in the making was a theme of New Mutants).
    • During issue 9, Roberto tells Senator Krask he knows the way out of the White House, after having saved Obama from the Maker back in New Avengers.
    • The Kral Skrulls have a pair of Power Skrulls, left over from Secret Invasion.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Roberto had all of A.I.M., and the Avengers, study Professor X's mind-shielding techniques to resist brainwashing.
    • HYDRA's anti-riot foam is also designed to block wifi signals, in case of civilian journalists.
  • Cross Through: Phil Voght appears in issue 8, telling Toni about the events over in Ultimates. She has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Dani mentions that after "Zero Day" came the Eternity Wars (also mentioned by her team the last time they appeared). She doesn't elaborate on it any further, other than it was worse than Zero Day.
  • Cultural Posturing: Smasher gets very defensive when Maverick asks why the Shi'ar provided no help with the Chitauri swarm.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Toni's fighting the Golden Skull in his own Powered Armor, she's surprised that his armor is actually solid gold and not gold-plated; solid gold is so soft that it can be molded by hand. She easily tears his armor apart.
  • Diesel Punk: Squirrel Girl and Cannonball's Rocketeer-esque costume designs are very much in this style.
  • Dumb Muscle: Golden Skull's usual henchmen. Dani frequently tries to point out the man's going to kill them, to no avail.
  • Eagleland: Justified metatextually and in-universe. Al Ewing (who writes this book) is British, and Sunspot (the team leader) is a Brazilian expatriate who loves his adoptive nation, so the gauche perception of American patriotism on display here makes sense in hindsight.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Dani Cage Captain America tells the team about Zero Day and it turns out that our heroes stopped it... back in the very start of Civil War II.
  • From Bad to Worse: In Dani's reality, Zero Day began with Thanos breaking into Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and stealing the Iso-8 cube to make the Iso Gauntlets. He then proceeded to murder almost every hero who tried stopping him. That was just the first day of his rampage.
  • Funetik Aksent: Victor Vandoom, as is required of the stereotypical mad European scientist.
  • Funny Background Event: At the part in issue 2, as Doreen asks Freddy the butler about the foodstuffs he's serving, the woman behind her is having to deal with Doreen's tail in her face.
  • Future Badass: Danielle Cage. It doesn't really become more badass than becoming Captain America. Not to mention she's also inherited her parents' powers.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Toni Ho and a forcefield generator equals momentarily squished skrull.
  • Hero of Another Story: Dani Cage has years of heroing under her belt, including several team-ups with other versions of herself. But then, she is Captain America.
  • History Repeats: Toni Ho winds up in a room with a dying man, and has to finagle a way to save him with whatever scraps are to hand.
  • Hour of Power: General Maverick's Red Hulk form was a device created by S.H.I.E.L.D that would give its user half-power Hulk abilities. AIM got a hold of it and modified it so that it can grant full Hulk power for an hour, but it requires a full day to recharge.
    • He smashes one threat so thoroughly that Squirrel Girl Lampshades "So, what does he do for the other 59 minutes?"
    • In the Secret Empire tie-in, one of A.I.M.'s staff reveals there's a work-around that lets him bump it up to two hours. All part of Hydra's plan, as it also makes a failsafe that allows them to use him as People Puppets.
  • It's All About Me: The Golden Skull, to the point where he always kills off his henchmen whenever he pulls a job just so he doesn't have to share anything.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: In issue 3, Toni shows her tuxedo hides Iron Patriot implants. Stylish and practical!
  • Large Ham: Issue 4 is practically a competition between Victor Vandoom and Deadpool on who can be hammier.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Dani Cage as Captain America and Toni Ho as Iron Patriot, as well as the Golden Skull. Though Golden Skull is implied to be a legacy of the eco terrorist called The Green Skull.
    • General Robert L. Maverick replaces General Thunderbolt Ross as the new Red Hulk.
    • Sunspot is the latest person to be named Citizen V.
    • In Issue 4, Red Hulk and Deadpool deal with a scientist named Victor Vandoom, the great-grandson of Ludwig Vandoom, He Who Made A Monster, who first appeared all the way back in Tales To Astonish #17
  • Medium Awareness: Deadpool, natch. His first appearance in issue 4 has him complaining about the overblown narration (too many elipses), and later agreeing with it as he starts to Hulk Out
  • Mini-Mecha: Toni's Hulkbuster-esque Iron Patriot armor is quite big —roughly the size of Red Hulk— but not gigantic.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Issue 11 has alien and robot gangsters (in space!).
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • On finding out the Golden Skull's current goons are robots, Dani asks if he still made them listen to one of his dumb speeches. The Golden Skull denies it, only to immediately add that it was a brilliant speech, actually.
    • Deadpool tries dissuading the American Kaiju from eating him by pointing out he's Canadian, only to realise halfway all the things he's listing just make him sound more appetising.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: At the beginning of issue 4, General Maverick mentions Al Capone had a magic tommy gun. The caption underneath says it's true (for the Marvel Universe, at least).
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Senator Krask, who manages to be worse than Henry Gyrich ever was, attempts to be one. "Attempts" being the keyword here as Da Costa ends up outwitting him.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The (calculated) main gimmick of this new team. They even created a series of videos to drive this home.
  • Power Degeneration: Maverick has AIM hack his plug-in to bypass his time restriction. After they betray him in Secret Empire, he's spent several hundred hours over his limit and has to be depowered carefully in a slow and painful process. The end result leaves him wheelchair bound, medication dependent, and with permanently red skin.
  • Power High: Todd Ziller is willing to go AWOL and be experimented on by a Mad Scientist to become American Kaiju again because he dislikes being so small and wants everyone to see his tail. For America. He definitely doesn't have any underlying issues or anything.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: General Maverick uses the phrase "Red Hulk Plug-in, do your sluggin'!" when he transforms, but he grouses that it needs work.
  • Pun: Guillotine remarks that her ancestral sword hates Excalibur, because that's swords for you. They're edgy.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Discussed by Squirrel Girl and Cannonball. He could shoot concussive blasts from his arms, but that'd send him flying, unless there's someone around with Squirrel-Strength to stop this happening.
  • Saying Too Much: A tense argument between Aikku and Toni about those large, tank-destroying cannons on Toni's armour ends with Toni declaring "I'm not like Tony Stark".
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This seems to be the Golden Skull's MO, believing that those with money has the power. In fact, his New World Order name is called the $kullocracy, complete with the dollar sign instead of an S.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Ed Acra. Roberto chalks it up to Arcade being "old school".
  • Serious Business: Richie Redwood is a Skrull who took over the Kral system, and forced everyone to conform to his view of the franchise, banishing anyone who steps out of line.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted. Dani tells the U.S.Avengers about Thanos getting a Cosmic Cube and murdering half the heroes on Earth back in her history. When Red Hulk starts thinking about how to prepare for it, She tells the team that they'd already prevented it, as it should have happened a year ago.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: The whole team dressed up fancy to get into a party in issue 2, including the usually unkempt Cannonball.
  • Shout-Out:
    Deadpool: (After Red Hulk has no idea what Deadpool's talking about) Fine. I'll G-Moz it for you. Spooky Castle. Mad Scientist. Monster Juice. Kindly Couple... of punches to my head, activating my Healing Factor and now I'm human again. The end.
    • One of the fake titles for issue four is "WHAAAAMM: Dawn of Justice".
    • As he snaps back to (relative) normality, Deadpool remarks "choke, even". Back in the Silver Age of Comic Books, characters would often go "choke" in thought bubbles.
    • Victor Vandoom remarks that when he's succeeded in his plan, he'll swim in money, a la Scrooge McDuck. He also declares that nothing in the vurld can stop him now, quoting the similarly-accented Dr Zarkoff in the Doctor Who serial "The Underwater Menace".
    • In issue 9, a Hydra flunky declares that all of France has fallen to them! ... well, not all of France. It gets telegraphed when said flunky compares Hydra to the Roman conquest of Gaul.
    • During his breakout, Sunspot paraphrase the old tune of the 60s Captain America cartoon.
    • Kyle the Hydra goon declares, as his buddy remote controls General Maverick, "Fatality! Finish him!".
    • Outlaw pretty much lampshades that Hydra's Riot Foam is stolen from Judge Dredd (which, incidentally, Al Ewing once wrote for).
    • One of the alien gangsters borrows the Verbal Tic of Edward G. Robinson. Nyeah!
    • After Toni crushes a skrull with a giant foot, she calls out "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Squirrel Girl declares Kids in the Hall better.
  • Sixth Ranger: Smasher becomes this after Secret Empire, because Cannonball has gone missing.
  • Skewed Priorities: Riche Redwood's reaction to Cannonball getting fed up with "shenanigans"? Yelling at everyone else about how suspension of disbelief has been ruined.
  • Sequel Series: U.S.Avengers follows (directly) in the footsteps of Al Ewing's eighteen-issue New Avengers run, reuniting him with frequent collaborator Paco Medina as the regular artist, even with most of the same characters.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Maverick is pretty much Thunderbolt Ross right down to the 'stache only matched by Sam Elliot. His main difference is that he takes Ross' General Ripper traits and ramps them up.
  • Take That!:
    • Issue 4 is divvied up by multiple fake comic book covers indicating that it's technically a multi-title crossover, with parts labeled "Alpha" and "Omega". It's Ewing's sign that he's a little fed up with how often his titles get corralled into crossovers, especially since his runs tend to be short.
    • Halfway through the same issue, one of the fake covers has Deadpool about to be eaten by the American Kaiju, remarking that he's "trapped in a political cartoon!"
    • The final Secret Empire tie-in issue is called "Let's Pretend We Won A War".
  • Take That, Us: When Maverick is stomped flat by the American Kaiju, Deadpool remarks he's "even more two-dimensional than before". Al Ewing, who writes the series, is Maverick's creator, by the way.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: The Golden Skull's robo-mooks, yar!
  • Technical Pacifist: Toni hates using violence and even admits that she doesn't know how to build a gun. Thus, her Iron Patriot armor is designed to use force fields to fight. Though as New Avengers shows, piss her off enough, and those forcefields can cut off a person's head. As the series goes on, Aikku points out the "technical" is becoming more and more suspect, and that those weapons Toni's developing sure look a hell of a lot like guns.
  • Tempting Fate: Roberto claims that so long as he has his chunk of wall, he can handle anything HYDRA throws at him. At which point the controlled General Maverick shows up, prompting Roberto to quip he jinxed it.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Da Costa pulls one on Senator Krask at the end of the Secret Empire - Da Costa reveals that not only has he quit AIM, he's given up everything of his, including his powers, which are held back by a regulator. He, then, points out that if they turn off said regulator, he'll die and cause a civil lawsuit against him. He notes that this will probably destroy the Senator's career.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Given the team's mission statement is "Q-Branch meets IMF", yeah. Issue 2 has the whole team dressing up in tuxes to get into a fancy shindig, ladies included.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Toni is a queer Asian-American woman.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Lampshaded in issue #9 when Squirrel Girl meets Ares for the first time, noting the last time he had been around, he was torn in half by the Sentry during Siege. Justified that she doesn't realize he was brought back thanks to the events of Contest of Champions (2015).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Larry the A.I.M. goon turns traitor on Roberto and shoots him during Secret Empire. He doesn't appear after this, leaving his fate unknown.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Invoked, with generous Lampshading by Deadpool, when Maverick only stops attacking him when he starts talking.
    Deadpool: Wait, hold up, the threshold for whether someone's a monster is if they speak English? Can we just unpack that for a sec?
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Dani Cage always tries to spare the Golden Skull's mooks, or at least warn them that the guy will betray and kill them the first chance he gets. Even though she has no luck, it doesn't stop her trying. Now, if they're robots on the other hand...
  • Workaholic: Though she seemed to have signs of it before, this series shows that Toni Ho is definitely one of these, eating only once a day, twice if forced to by Aikku, and nearly constantly concentrating on improvements to her armor to the point of decreased emphasis on limiting lethality.