Uncanny Avengers (4th series) #3

Issue Date: 
December 2023
Story Title: 
The Arrogants

Gerry Duggan (writer), Emilio Laiso (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: 

On Ellis Island, the Avengers Unity Squad debate the merits of most of them trying to have Captain America step aside as leader of the team, but Kwannon is sure that if Captain Krakoa killed Captain America, then Orchis wouldn't be the only problem for the team. When Captain America sends a distress call the team race to find him at the X-Men's Treehouse, where he makes an impassioned speech to the citizens of the United States, urging them to be understanding and treat mutants – and in fact anyone who is different – with compassion. Orchis leaders watch Captain America's speech, and afterwards, Captain America informs Rogue that he received information of a human survivor from the Hellfire Gala – but Rogue wasn't there during the massacre so she doesn't know who that is. Cap urges Rogue to investigate, and she agrees to, while Quicksilver and Monet team up to follow a lead. Monet's lead was useful, as she and Quicksilver locate the Fenris Twins. They battle them, and although don't get any clues as to the identity of Captain Krakoa, or the location of the stolen nuclear device, Quicksilver is able to place his and Monet's ID cards on the Fenris Twins before the twins escape, leaving Monet and Quicksilver to focus on preventing the department store they are in from collapsing. Monet and Quicksilver also kiss. Later, Cap arrives at Ben Urich's office, where he reveals that the human survivor of the Hellfire Gala has agreed to meet them both, although he still doesn't know who the human is – until that survivor arrives, and claims that the X-Men have not been protecting him, he has been protecting them – it's the Kingpin!

Full Summary: 

Ellis Island, headquarters of the Avengers Unity Squad. Several pumpkins have been carved in the likeness of villains from the organization known as Orchis. The pumpkins then explode as gunfire blasts them apart. 'Hmmm. You sure you're not peeking now?' Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool asks as he lies on his stomach next to Natasha Romanoff the Black Widow, who crouches beside him, blindfolded and holding the weapon which destroyed the pumpkins. 'Not since I put on the blindfold' Natasha replies. 'Nothing sexier than a woman with a blindfold and a sniper rifle' Deadpool adds, to which the Black Widow tells him to stop talking. Nearby, Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver tells Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke that they made a mistake asking Captain America to come of the front lines. 'Imagine whoever is running around dressed as Captain Krakoa kills him – we won't just be fighting Orchis, we'll be fighting everyone!' Kwannon points out. Suddenly, Rogue races over to her teammates and informs them that Steve is in trouble, that he sent another distress code. 'Catch up with me as fast as you can!'

A moment later: “Catch up with you?” Quicksilver asks, unimpressed as he speeds across the water, underneath Rogue who flies above him. The others are in a Quinjet, flying behind Rogue. 'Ah didn't know this was a race, Quicksilver. Don't let me slow you down' Rogue responds, before Quicksilver announces that he has eyes on Cap – and this is worse than he thought.

Indeed, at Central Park, New York City, at the base of the Treehouse, the former headquarters of Krakoa's X-Men, which has been destroyed, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America stands and addresses a large gathering of people. Humans like their symbolism. He has decided to call this press conference at the burned out former home of the X-Men. An Orchis base has been stationed nearby – and there is only one man who can destroy it by speaking his mind. Captain America smiles as he introduces himself – not that he needs much of an introduction. He admits that he has just done something which he has always told his fellow Avengers would get them kicked off the team: he sent a distress signal to make them think he was in mortal danger. At that moment, Quicksilver, Rogue, Deadpool, the Black Widow, Kwannon and Monet St. Croix appear behind Cap, as he explains that he did it for a good reason, as he wanted everyone to meet the heroes who are willing to rush headfirst into danger to save him. 'You'll notice a lot of mutants among this iteration of the Unity Squad' Cap points out.

'The mutants attacked us!' a man in the crowd shouts. Daily Bugle owner Ben Urich is amongst the crowd, and glances at the other man, while Cap tells him that it does seem like that, before reminding everyone that in this country, they have a presumption of innocence. 'No one has been convicted in a court of law for the attacks at the Hellfire Gala or in Washington, DC' Cap states. He adds that he doesn't know who is currently wearing the stolen armor of Captain Krakoa, but that it is not Cyclops, and he doesn't think it is a mutant at all. Suddenly, someone throws their malt drink at Captain America. 'I'll teach you to waste food!' Deadpool calls out, waving a fist at the crowd. Cap frowns and tells Deadpool to stay. Cap doesn't comment about the malted drink, and continues: 'As I was saying, I think divisions in this country are being sowed by those who will benefit by fracturing us'.

Captain America declares that his America celebrated independence, not just as a country, but as individuals as well. 'In this country, we are all promised life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The chance to be the person we were born to be. I didn't grow up afraid of our differences' he states.

At Orchis Headquarters, M.O.D.O.K. frowns as he, Feilong and Dr. Stasis watch the news coverage of Captain America's speech. Moira MacTaggert can be seen on the other side of the room. 'This %$&% man is out there just killing us!' Feilong exclaims. 'What about our guy? Where is he, Dr. Stasis?' Feilong demands. Dr. Stasis reveals that Captain Krakoa is a little off-script at the moment. 'He's swiped a nuclear bomb...it's all a bit of a disaster!' Dr. Stasis responds, suggesting that they can clean it up, that they need a big trial – Cyclops or Xavier.

Captain America tells the crowd that he volunteered to fight for this country when they were attacked by an axis of ethnostrates. 'You might be surprised, then, that I was a believer in Krakoa' he reveals. 'Back when I first went to war -' Cap starts to say, while touching the American flag nearby, before an elderly man calls out 'The muties ain't even American, man. They turned their back on America. You look in the mirror lately? You've got a big “A” on your head'. Cap frowns at the old man, then admits that he was unhappy that his mutant friends felt that their health and safety couldn't be guaranteed in this country. 'That they needed something more than America, well...that was a shame'.

Captain America announces that he is loyal to the dream, and that America needs to hear the truth in order to be better. 'That truth is that the American dream isn't the promise it should be because fear is being weaponized'. Captain America turns to an elderly man and states that Americans shouldn't be afraid of different races, and as he turns to a woman he adds that Americans don't need  tobe afraid of the poor and addicted. A middle-aged man frowns as Captain America continues, stating that Americans shouldn't be afraid of what you are reading. 'Americans shouldn't be afraid of what you're wearing' he adds, while a boy in a wheelchair smiles. Someone in punk attire smiles as Captain America remarks that Americans shouldn't be afraid of differences, political or otherwise. A blonde woman scowls as Captain America tells the crows that Americans shouldn't be afraid of how someone else lives – or someone else loves. He adds that he thinks they should always have some healthy skepticism for folks who ask you to be afraid of the person standing next to you. 'Always ask why' Cap declares, while Ben Urich smiles as he takes some notes.

Someone people in the crowd begin cheering, as Captain America announces that this brings him to mutants – his teammates and his friends. He admits that he is skeptical of the official story, and is very concerned about Orchis, who are being less than honest. 'And that's my truth' Captain America concludes. 'Ugh. I love this guy' Kwannon remarks to Monet, adding that she hopes he leads an X-Men team next. 'He already is' Monet responds. An elderly woman approaches Captain America and tells him that was a very nice speech. 'I'm sorry I threw my malt at you, but I've always hated the X-Men' the old woman admits, before asking Captain America if she can give him dry cleaning money. Captain America tells the old woman that there is no need to apologize, that he understands and he doesn't want her monet.

Ben Urich approaches Cap and tells him he made a nice speech. 'I figure it'll put a bee in some bonnets' he adds. 'Good, Mr. Urich' Captain America responds, before informing him that he has a meeting later that might be of interest to him, if he is planning on working late tonight. Cap then turns to Rogue and informs her that he needs a favour. He asks her to get word to the X-Men that they understand there was a human witness to the events of the massacre at the gala, someone who can refute the story that Orchis is telling. 'I'd like to introduce that witness to Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle' Cap reveals. Rogue tells Steve that she will never be able  to thank him for what he just did for mutantkind, before explaining that she wasn't at the gala when the X-Men escaped. 'Ah dunno if -' Rogue begins, to which Cap points out that if the X-Men trust him then they need to share the witness – for all of their sakes. 'Of course. Ah'm on it, Cap' Rogue replies as she takes flight.

Monet turns to Cap and informs him that she and Quicksilver have a lead to follow up on. 'What? We do?' Quicksilver asks, confused. Cap gives Monet the thumbs up and tells her that finding the new MLF is the highest priority, and asks her to stay in touch. Quicksilver carries Monet and speeds ahead. Monet tells him to go to Washington, DC, to the mall near K Street. 'You could've simply asked me to bring you here' Quicksilver responds, to which Monet grabs his hand supporting her shoulders, and moves it down to her lower back. 'Oh' Quicksilver utter,s wide-eyed and blushing. They come to a stop, and Quicksilver sees they are at a perfumery. 'You didn't just comandeer me to take you shopping, did you?' Pietro asks. 'You're not fast in any way that counts, are you?' Monet responds. Quicksilver begins waving a finger in Monet's face: 'See here, woman. I will suffer no more of your taunts' he declares. 'Shh, Pietro...just give into my plan' Monet responds as she puts a finger to his lips.

Quicksilver frowns as Monet tells him that if he wants to run around a lot and accomplish very little then he may go, but if he is staying, then he can do as she tells him. 'Now go disguise as both' she instructs him. 'Watch your tongue' Pietro responds as he speeds away and then returns with two long trench coats, a wide-brimmed hat for Monet and sunglasses for both of them. 'Good boy' Monet tells Pietro as they enter a department store. Monet reveals that when they fought Fenris, she smelled something she hadn't smelled in years – a perfume that her father bought her mother. 'This row of stores caters to royalty and diplomats. My parents were both' Monet remarks. 'I trust they were as infuriating as you too?' Pietro asks. 'You should be so lucky as to find out' Monet replies, before she looks concerned, and remarks that she has miscalculated. 'Do tell' Pietro asks. 'Fenris is here now!' Monet shouts as a blast of plasma energy is aimed towards her, and destroys her hat.

'I told you we shouldn't have returned, Andrea. Where there are two, there are more' Andreas von Strucker tells his twin sister, Andrea. But Andrea tells her brother to shush. 'The only thing I see of importance – is the load-bearing column!' Andrea exclaims as, holding her brother's hand, she fires a plasma burst which strikes the load-bearing column. 'I've got the column!' Monet calls out as she positions herself in the middle of the broken column, using her incredible strength to keep the roof above from collapsing in, she then instructs Quicksilver to get everyone out of the building. 'So – what gave us away?' Andreas grins. 'The perfume' Monet retorts. 'Of course. It is decadent' Andrea remarks. 'You Von Struckers are betraying your own kind!' Quicksilver calls out as he speeds past them and knocks them both into a rack of clothes. 'And, Monet, you may join me in the physical rebuke of these zealots – I've found a construction site a few miles away and will begin making the necessary repairs' Quicksilver declares as he speeds back wearing a hard-hat and a yellow construction worker's vest. With some tools, he begins repairing the column.

Monet walks casually towards the Fenris twins and cracks her knuckles as she remarks that she doesn't care for violence, but that she is going to make an exception for the two of them. 'Stay back!' Andreas warns Monet before Andrea blasts her – but Monet holds her ground. 'No more hand-holding!' Quicksilver calls out as he speeds towards the twins and comes between them, separating their hands. 'You two deserve each other' Quicksilver adds. Monet begins slapping Andrea and asks 'Who is he? WHO IS CAPTAIN KRAKOA?' she shouts. 'You bwoke my node!' Andrea complains, looking up at Monet as blood trickles down her face. 'I'll do worse than that' Monet warns Andrea.

'Where is Captain Krakoa? Where is the bomb?' Quicksilver shouts as he slams Andreas to the ground. 'Get off!' Andreas responds. 'How pathetic' Quicksilver mutters as he and Monet stand over the Fenris twins. Monet informs Quicksilver that the twins have been trained to resist telepathic interrogation. 'Talk. Or I send Quicksilver to fetch Psylocke' Monet warns them. 'H-he'll kill us' Andrea gasps. 'Let me lead the dance' Pietro suggests to Monet. 'No, we're just -' Monet begins, before she notices the column is giving way, and flies over, placing herself in between the broken column once more. 'Dammit. I have it again' Monet announces. Quicksilver offers to clear the building, and as the Fenris twins make their exit, Quicksilver suggests that they can catch up to them. 'You're a sloppy construction worker, Quicksilver' Monet declares, before asking him if he is going to help her. 'Not yet. Not until they're a bit further away, I think' Quicksilver smiles.

Quicksilver then crouches beside Monet, who realizes that Quicksilver planted his Avengers I.D. card on one of the twins and then kicked the bricks out.'I put mine on the brother...and I put yours on her' Quicksilver reveals. 'Watch your hands' Monet whispers in Quicksilver's ear before Quicksilver wraps an arm around Monet, and kisses her. 'You did good, Quicksilver' Monet admits as she slaps Quicksilver. 'I'm always good, M' Quicksilver responds. A moment later, Quicksilver picks Monet up and speeds away, as Monet tells him to get back to Ellis Island before Fenris discovers what they have done. 'And watch your hands' she adds.

Meanwhile, at the office of the Daily Bugle, Steve Rogers arrives and greets Ben Urich, before reporting that he has arranged a meeting with the witness whom the X-Men are protecting. 'That's great. I'll really think about my questions, and I'd like to schedule that interview soon' Ben responds. Cap tells Ben that he is luck, and admits that even he doesn't know the identity of the X-Men's witness, but that the good news is, the X-Men's witness agreed to meet him if he was here, too. Both men turn as a third figure enters the room: 'Captain Rogers, Mr. Urich...' the new arrival calls out. 'Oh, oh my god' Ben utters as a large shadow looms over him. 'I couldn't help but overhear your chat, and since I'm risking life and limb by going on the record, we should be sure that every detail is one hundred percent truthful. So I would like to correct one misunderstanding from the beginning' the mystery human announces. He grins as he steps forward. 'The X-Men are not protecting me... it is I, Wilson Fisk, who is protecting the X-Men' announces the Kingpin of Crime.

Characters Involved: 

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



Ben Urich




Andreas & Andrea von Strucker (both Mutant Liberation Front)

Feilong, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, M.O.D.O.K., Dr. Stasis (both Orchis)



Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Fall of X event.

The Kingpin has been working with  the X-Men in the pages of X-Men (6th series) and Invincible Iron Man.

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