Comics

U.S.Avengers: Performance Review

Writer Al Ewing evaluates the members of his patriotic super team!

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Some teams act like families. Others act like friends. Others still act like soldiers, brothers, and sisters-in-arms thrown together to wage war.

The U.S.Avengers, on the other hand, play it a bit more corporate.

Like any good corporation, the team utilizes performance reviews to make sure everyone stays on track and increases their productivity. These reviews, of course, have been labeled confidential and cannot be reviewed by just anyone.

Don’t worry though, we have the hookup. U.S.AVENGERS writer Al Ewing peeked at them and summarized them for us.

The A.I.M. Crew
“These come in three flavors,” the writer reveals. “You have Admin division in blue, Science division in white—like the lab coats—and Security division in red. After Roberto got through pruning the organization down in NEW AVENGERS and getting rid of the bad apples, the A.I.M. troops who were left were surprisingly clean, and they’ve all been thoroughly vetted. The verdict: none of them are worse than John Garrett, or that guy who played Galaga during mission briefings.”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Keep an eye on them anyway

General Robert L. Maverick, aka Red Hulk
“On loan from the United States Government,” reminds Ewing. “General Maverick’s last posting was with the top secret Skunkworks facility Project: Troubleshooter, where he created the American Kaiju—although if rumors are true, American Kaiju is currently AWOL. His new posting as military liaison to A.I.M. might be seen as a demotion, especially as he never got on well with A.I.M. or S.H.I.E.L.D. in the past.

“He’s not just a liaison, however—as the Red Hulk, he gets to be a full team member. A.I.M. technology has enhanced the ‘Hulk Plug-in’ of days gone by—the technology that created the Bannermen—into a subcutaneous delivery system that reacts with Maverick’s unique genetic profile to create a full-on Hulk state, for a period of one hour. Attempts to exceed this time limit are seen as highly dangerous, which limits the General’s utility in the field. Unless, of course, he were to tamper with it.”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Don’t let him tamper with the Hulk Button

Aikku Jokinen, aka Enigma

“Aikku—introduced way back in Jonathan Hickman’s classic AVENGERS run—bonded with a suit of living armor named Pod, which eventually sacrificed its life in order to save hers,” states the writer. “Aikku still has the Pod undersuit, though. Where Pod was a big, bulky blasting machine, the undersuit, codenamed ‘Enigma,’ is more of a stealth suit. It can phase itself—and other things—through matter, disguise itself holographically, and do a couple of other neat tricks if need be. Performance-wise, she’s doing great.

“Aikku herself is Norwegian—although she’s been fully vetted and vouched for by S.H.I.E.L.D.—and it’s a little up in the air as to whether she’ll stay in America or move back to Europe at some point. It helps that she’s got friends and a relationship—with Dr. Toni Ho, the Iron Patriot—in the U.S., but Norway is pretty strict about citizenship, so moving to the States full-time is a big decision for her.”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Wait and see

Sam Guthrie, aka Cannonball
“As an ex-Avenger and an ex-X-Man—not to mention X-Force and the New Mutants—Cannonball is a one-man unity squad,” Ewing argues. “His power—to fly through the air propelled by a ‘blast field’ that renders him nigh-invulnerable while he’s blastin’—is useful in all kinds of situations, especially since he’s learned to use it in some surprisingly subtle ways over the course of years of super hero experience.”

“As one of the late Professor X’s most committed students, he’s dedicated his life to a dream of brotherhood between human and mutant—one he feels can only be achieved if all humanity can come together as one. He’s also torn between his birth-world and the Shi’Ar colony world where his family lives. How this will affect his performance as a U.S.Avenger remains to be seen.”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: He is nigh invulnerable while he’s blastin’

Dr. Toni Ho, aka Iron Patriot
“Toni is only a medium genius by Marvel standards—she’s got three PhD’s, but they’re specialized in engineering and tech fields rather than being degrees in everything at once—but she’s definitely the biggest brain on the team,” the writer asserts. “For A.I.M., she built time machines, giant robots and gravity chutes, but for S.H.I.E.L.D., she’s stepping out of the lab and into combat as the new Iron Patriot.”

“Toni’s got a complex history with armor; her dad, Ho Yinsen, died while helping to build Tony Stark’s first. She says she thinks about Stark a lot as a result, and that’s no surprise, but is she subconsciously moving down the same road? For a scientist who claims to hate building weapons, she’s building a lot of them—from a slim, concealable ‘stealth armor’ to a big, bulky ‘heavy combat suit’ and everything in between. That’s good for S.H.I.E.L.D.—but is it good for her?”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: We don’t care, keep building fight suits

Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl
“Squirrel Girl is the best super hero, so it’s only natural that Roberto da Costa would headhunt her for A.I.M.; not just because of her amazing squirrel-strength and agility, but also for her smarts and compassion,” acknowledges Ewing. “Where other heroes apply their fists to a problem, Squirrel Girl applies her brain, her heart, and her army of squirrel friends—and don’t knock that last one, it’s beaten Doctor Doom.

“But while S.H.I.E.L.D. likes her big wins—including Thanos, the real Thanos, not a clone or simulacrum—how do they feel about her desire to rehabilitate all her foes and solve their underlying problems? Is there room for that style of heroics in the current climate? And if Squirrel Girl were to turn against S.H.I.E.L.D. for some reason…could they stop her?”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Hmmmmm

Roberto da Costa, aka Citizen V
“Once he was Sunspot, but thanks to the Terrigen Cloud and its awful effects on mutants, every time Roberto uses his Sunspot powers, he loses five years off his life,” reveals the writer. “Until a cure for his unique M-Pox condition can be found, Roberto da Costa is essentially just a normal man—a normal man who’s been training to be a super hero since he was a teenager. Which—along with his natural talent for the super-spy game—might make him one of the world’s top secret agents.

“He’s also the head of A.I.M., that organization of super-science baddies-turned-goodies we mentioned earlier. As a group, they’ve got a record as long as a helicarrier deck; and while Roberto may have personally saved the President from the clutches of an evil Reed Richards, it was the outgoing President. Is Roberto the kind of guy S.H.I.E.L.D. wants in a senior role at this point in history? Or are there already moves to oust him from power?”
PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Get Rid of Him

U.S.AVENGERS #3 from Al Ewing and Paco Medina ships out February 15!