U.S.Avengers #1 launched Roberto DaCosta’s new, patriotic mission this week, with writer Al Ewing and artist Paco Medina kicking things off with some big revelations about the team’s roster.
Spoilers ahead for U.S.Avengers #1.
U.S.Avengers #1 marks a fairly standard super-team debut, with the assembled might of the squad taking on a Secret Empire threat. However, the “getting to know you” talking heads that intersperse the action hold some interesting revelations = including the surprise identities of two of the team’s members.
New Avengers supporting team member Dr. Toni Ho is revealed to be the new Iron Patriot, piloting a version of the armer she designed herself - with non-lethal weaponry, natch. Ho is the daughter of Yinsen Ho, the scientist that helped Tony Stark build his first suit of Iron Man armor.
But Iron Patriot isn’t the only familiar superhero identity with a new face behind it, as the team’s Red Hulk isn’t Thunderbolt Ross at all, but rather General Robert Maverick, a decorated soldier with physiology that makes him compatible with a special S.H.I.E.L.D.-designed implant that allows him to “Hulk out” for one hour every day.
While the rest of the team is comprised of characters we already know - Squirrel Girl, Cannonball, POD’s former host in a new identity - there are still other revelations in the final page of U.S.Avengers #1, in the form of a "Coming Soon" page highlighting events still to come in the series.
The teaser mentions “Zero Day,” a name that’s been seen both in the volume of New Avengers that preceded U.S.Avengers, and solicitations for upcoming issues. Zero Day is an unspecified event that took place in Dani Cage - the Captain America from the future that is a member of this present-day team. While Dani does appear at the very end of this issue, the teaser connects Zero Day with Thanos, who appears in the panel wielding his trademark gauntlets - albiet outfitted with white, glowing rectangular stones on the knuckles.
Readers also get a glimpse of what appears to be American Kaiju fighting alongside the new Red Hulk and Deadpool, with the caption “Monsters N’ S.H.I.E.L.D.” This could be a teaser for events related to the upcoming Monsters Unleashed, or it could mean that American Kaiju will join the team at some point.
There’s also a panel of Steve Rogers, with a caption indicating he’ll make a guest appearance in U.S.Avengers. But it’s the panel just above that one that as perhaps the most ominous future tease – an image of a headstone marked “Here lies Sam Guthrie, Cannonball. He died a hero.”
Bearing in mind Cannonball’s best friend - and U.S.Avengers team leader - Sunspot just faked his death, this raises questions about how accurate that vision is - or if it even means he'll die. It also brings to mind Cannonball’s Shi’Ar family, his wife and children who were a part of his life prior to Secret Wars.
As with all the teaser pages Marvel has been including in its newly-launching series of late, there are many interpretations for these glimpses at the future. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store, perhaps as soon as U.S.Avengers #2 hits shelves on January 18.