"U.S.Avengers" was announced just in time for the Fourth of July -- but who are all those star-spangled superheroes in the teaser for Al Ewing and Paco Medina's followup to "New Avengers"? CBR went through the team's roster to find out just who will join Roberto Da Costa's crusade "to save the world and have fun doing it."
All-New Iron Patriot, Captain America, the Red Hulk, Cannonball, Squirrel Girl, Sunspot and Pod are all confirmed members of the team, and the solicitation for the new series promises there will be even more superheroes joining the cause. CBR looks at the characters who will show up for sure, suggested a few that might still enlist and provided a comprehensive reading guide so that you can prepare for the day the book finally hits retailers.
9 Roberto da Costa
The mutant superhero known as Sunspot got his start as one of Professor Charles Xavier's original New Mutants recruits. Roberto trained under Xavier, the reformed supervillain Magneto and the militaristic time-traveler Cable, and continued to hone his solar-powered super strength as a member of X-Force and the Avengers. But more recently, da Costa shifted his focus and started using his bravado and business acumen to fund a new Avengers team. This billionaire bought the science-terrorist organization A.I.M., turned them into the Avengers Idea Mechanics and used their tech to help save the world. Recent events have seen Bobby's team split into two, with the New Avengers being born out of the Avengers Idea Mechanics initiative. (Brett White)
8 Iron Patriot (Toni Ho)
There's a new Iron Patriot in town. When "U.S.Avengers" launches, Dr. Toni Ho will take up the mantle. An extremely competent scientist with three doctorates under her belt, Ho follows in the footsteps of her father Yinsen, who helped Tony Stark create his first suit of Iron Man armor. She currently works in A.I.M.'s Engineering Division. In "U.S.Avengers," it appears she'll be taking on an all-new role in the team.(Meagan Damore)
7 Captain America (Danielle Cage)
Danielle Cage's inclusion on the U.S.Avengers is a surprising one considering she's not even from the present day. Danielle Cage is the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, and yes, she's currently a toddler making sporadic appearances in the "Power Man and Iron Fist" series. But this Danielle Cage is from decades in the future, where she has picked up Captain America's shield and mantle. Possessing the super strength of her parents, Danielle served as her timeline's leading Avenger and Sentinel of Liberty. Cage Cap did make an appearance in the present, however, during a recent storyarc in "New Avengers." She battled the evil wizard Moridun alongside Sunspot's team and eventually went back home. It looks like, however, Danielle Cage will be making another trip back in time. (Brett White)
6 Golden Skull
Danielle Cage won't be the only character making a jump through time for "U.S.Avengers." Golden Skull will follow her lead and travel back in time to act as the main villain of the series' first arc. He first appeared in Al Ewing and Alan Davis' "Avengers: Ultron Forever" #1, where he attempted to steal tanks of helium when Manhattan flooded, until his plan was foiled by Captain America. It is unclear if he has any superpowers.(Meagan Damore)
Born with the power to manipulate a combustible blast field, which he can either extend outward like a forcefield or use to propel himself through the air, Cannonball served lengthy stints as the leader of X-Force and became a well-respected X-Man. As Sunspot's best friend, the Kentucky-born Sam Guthrie has been by Roberto da Costa's side from the founding of the New Mutants through to their recent stint in the Avengers. But Sam left the Avengers alongside his teammate Smasher, and the two had a child together named Josiah. But the current whereabouts of his family remain unknown; Cannonball most recently popped up once again by Bobby's side -- this time planning a new Secret Avengers initiative. Could the U.S.Avengers be the end result of their plan? (Brett White)
4 Squirrel Girl
Following her appearance on Marvel NOW!'s "Divided We Stand" teaser, Doreen Green is smashing her way over to "U.S.Avengers" -- and she's called the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for a reason. From Doctor Doom to Wolverine to even Thanos, Squirrel Girl has beaten the best of the best, so enemies of the ol' U.S. of A. better take note. In addition to her prehensile tail, she has an arsenal of superpowers that includes superhuman strength, agility and an extensive knowledge of squirrel language. Her appearance in "U.S.Avengers" doesn't come as much of a surprise; after all, she was also in Ewing's "New Avengers" as a member of Sunspot's Avengers Idea Mechanics.(Meagan Damore)
Norway native Aikku Jokinen was in the wrong place at the wrong time; her proximity to the landing zone of a defensive device created and launched by the alien called Ex Nihilo left her permanently joined with a powerful suit of armor. She was kidnapped by A.I.M. -- the science-terrorist version -- and was freed upon the organization's sale to Robert da Costa. Now called Pod, Aikku used her flight, high durability and energy blasts to serve as Sunspot's bodyguard and a member of his New Avengers team. But despite her stilted method of communication, the young Norweigan girl still exists inside the armor and struggles to accept what she's been turned into. (Brett White)
2 Red Hulk (Thaddeus Ross)
You might recognize this guy from "Captain America: Civil War," though the film's version of the character was a lot smaller and a little less red. In the comics, however, Thaddeus Ross has the ability to turn into a giant red rage monster, a la the Hulk, after his obsession with hunting down and capturing the Hulk led him to become the very thing he despised. Despite his frequent revenge-driven missions and anger problem, Ross has oscillated between working with the Avengers and playing the villain. In addition to possessing the Hulk's power set, Red Hulk can also emit heat from his eyes and absorb energy. In last year's "Hulk" #15, he was de-powered and arrested by the US Army for desertion after a battle with Doc Green and Deadpool led to his capture. While he has not been subsequently re-powered, the events of "Secret Wars" may have restored his previous status quo. (Meagan Damore)
The heroes that appear in this teaser won't be the only ones joining the U.S.Avengers. While All-New Iron Patriot, Captain America, the Red Hulk, Cannonball, Squirrel Girl, Sunspot and Pod all appear explicitly in the image, the solicitation teases "more" members of the team; considering that, CBR has a few ideas about what other patriotic superheroes could enlist.
1 Extra Reading
While "U.S.Avengers" is an all-new series starring a mostly new configuration of heroes in a new setting, the series does look to be building on the events of a few previous series. If you want even more context for "U.S.Avengers," or if you just want to read more adventures starring these characters, here's what you can check out:
"Avengers: Time Runs Out": Specifically, "Avengers" #35-44 from 2014. This storyline, which came as Jonathan Hickman's epic "Avengers" run was barreling towards its conclusion, saw the sprawling team ripped into multiple factions. One of those factions just so happened to be Roberto da Costa's A.I.M., a team that he put together in order to stop the planet-destroying incursion events. If you want to see the Sunspot go from Avengers newcomer to major player, this is where that journey begins.
"New Avengers": The currently-running "New Avengers" series from Al Ewing is the most natural precursor to "U.S.Avengers." Not only does the series share the same writer, they also share the same artist (Paco Medina) and a number of characters (Sunspot, Cannonball, Pod and Squirrel Girl). "U.S.Avengers" will also reposition A.I.M. as they shift from being Avengers Idea Mechanics to American Intelligence Mechanics. Odds are that the events leading up to that shift will at least, in part, play out in "New Avengers."
"Avengers: Ultron Forever": This three-part story written by Al Ewing may have involved a ragtag group of Avengers pulled throughout that teams past and future, but it's now having a great effect on the team's present. This series introduced the Danielle Cage Captain America, so readers curious about the character's origin need look no further. This series also marked the debut of another massive player in "U.S.Avengers" -- the villain Golden Skull. If you want to see these two clash for the first time before the new series starts, this is the book to read. (Brett White)
What do you think of America's new super team? Will you be picking up "U.S.Avengers"?