An X-Men Villain Brutally Exploits a Little-Known Captain America Tactical Weakness
This weeks Your Nerd Side Show:
The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Uncanny Avengers #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics
One of the biggest tactical advantages Captain America has in any given fight is his nearly unbreakable shield, which is made out of something commonly referred to as "Proto-Adamantium" (because Adamantium was later created to try to replicate Captain America's shield). It is one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, because there are very few things in the whole UNIVERSE that can break it. However, while the shield itself is effectively unbreakable, Captain America himself is not, and in this week's debut issue of Uncanny Avengers, we see that that vulnerability belies a little-known tactical weakness that an X-Men villain brutally exploits.
Uncanny Avengers #1 (by writer Gerry Duggan, artist Javier Garrón, colorist Morry Hollowell and letterer VC's Travis Lanham, plus a G.O.D.S. page by writer Jonathan Hickman, and Garrón, Hollowell and Lanham) sees Captain America a form a new Avengers Unity Squad to show his support for the X-Men in the wake of the devastating Orchis attack at this year's X-Men: Hellfire Gala. The team soon finds itself paired up against a new Mutant Liberation Front led by Captain Krakoa, which leads to a major conflict between the two Captains, one that leaves Captain America literally shattered.
Who is Captain Krakoa?
Originally, Captain Krakoa was a pseudonym that Cyclops used after he was very visibly killed in action as a member of the X-Men, before the X-Men let the world know about their Resurrection Protocols (the X-Men figured out a way to essentially bring any mutant back from the dead). Once Cyclops was resurrected, he had to keep his return a secret, so he used a prototype armor that had been designed for non-powerful mutants to use in case of an emergency. Soon after his debut as Captain Krakoa, however, the world learned about the Resurrection Protocols, and so Cyclops dropped the identity.
Later on, Doctor Stasis, one of the evil heads of the anti-mutant organization, Orchis, stole the suit and, working with M.O.D.O.K. gave it to a mysterious soldier to wear as part of a false flag operation where "Captain Krakoa" attacked the United Nations. In Uncanny Avengers #1, Krakoa continues his false flag operations, recruiting other mutants (some who believe he is still Cyclops in disguise) to form the Mutant Liberation Front, all as part of Orchis' plan of making the world hate mutants. In a flashback in this issue, we saw Stasis and M.O.D.D.O.K. recruit the mysterious person behind the armor, who apparently is someone believed to be dead.
What did Captain Krakoa do to Captain America?
When Captain America and the Unity Squad took on Captain Krakoa and the MLF, Captain America was under the impression that whoever was in the armor was using the armor's strength-enhancing abilities. However, he was taken aback to learn that whoever is in the armor has super-strength of his own.
Krakoa then grabbed the shield, and twisted it, brutally breaking Captain America's arm...
This tactical weakness (the fact that his arm is tightly-strapped to the shield) has rarely (if ever) been exploited by a villain, because Captain America will typically make sure not to try to hit a super-strong assailant with his shield in the manner he assaulted Captain Krakoa. Captain America will likely not make the mistake of presuming his opponent's strength level again.
Uncanny Avengers #1 is on sale now.