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"It doesn't even matter if we die. The movement is strong enough to continue without us. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Hold tight. Move fast. One world... One world!"
"One people."
Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers[src]

The Attack on the GRC was the Flag Smashers' attempt to disrupt the ratification of the Patch Act at the GRC New York Headquarters in New York City. The attack escalated once Karli Morgenthau took Global Repatriation Council members hostage, escalating into a battle amongst the Flag Smashers against Captain America, Winter Soldier, Sharon Carter and John Walker. While the Flag Smashers were defeated, their goal of preventing the Patch Act's ratification succeeded after Captain America publicly condemned the Act and the GRC's atrocious treatment of Blip-displaced refugee communities.

Background

Flag Smasher's Campaign

Karli Morgenthau meeting Georges Batroc

In 2018, Thanos snapped his fingers, wiping out fifty percent of all life.[3] This crisis led to the nations of the world forming a one-world government to help each other survive and recover from the incident.[1] Five years later, the Avengers reversed Thanos' genocide, bringing everyone back to life.[4] However, this had massive consequences, leaving many people homeless or in poverty. The Global Repatriation Council, or GRC, was formed to help people who had vanished after Thanos' snap recover and resume normal life.[5] Some displaced refugees, such as Karli Morgenthau, formed the Flag Smashers in an attempt to restore Earth to the way it was after Thanos' attack.[1]

In the months after the Snap was undone, the Flag Smashers staged many attacks and robberies, developing a large following from other people who sympathised with their cause. They eventually attracted the attention of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, as well as John Walker, the new Captain America, and his partner Battlestar.[5] After a skirmish in Latvia between the groups, Battlestar was killed by Karli Morgenthau, leading to Walker killing a Flag Smasher named Nico.[6] Following this, the Flag Smashers planned an attack on the GRC to stop the Patch Act, a legislation that would displace numerous refugee communities.

Sam trains to become the next Captain America

Meanwhile, Wilson, having taken Captain America's shield from Walker, trained to become the next Captain America. He was soon informed by Joaquín Torres about the Flag Smashers' attack on the GRC in New York, and, after donning his new Wakandan uniform, accepted the title of Captain America and flew to the GRC building to combat the Flag Smashers.[2]

Attack

Captain America arrives at the GRC New York Headquarters

Arriving at the GRC New York Headquarters, Karli Morgenthau gave instructions to her crew as well as other allies to her cause. While flying to New York City in his new uniform, Captain America joined communications with Bucky Barnes. Nearing the building, Wilson threw his shield at one of the Flag Smashers inside the GRC New York Headquarters. By doing this, the glass window shattered, thus allowing him to get in. Inside, Wilson deduced that evacuating the building was a misdirect. However, he was attacked by Georges Batroc, who was seeking revenge for his last encounter with Wilson.

Bucky Barnes receiving a phone call from Karli Morgenthau

On the ground, Barnes reunited with Sharon Carter, who was able sneak back into the U.S. using a Photostatic Veil after Wilson called her for assistance. Infiltrating the headquarters, Carter split from Barnes to find any Flag Smashers moving GRC members outside. Once the GRC members were forced out of the meeting room, Morgenthau told her allies to send them down to the parking garage where they would be loaded into armoured humvees and taken to an undisclosed location in order for them to negotiate.

Bucky Barnes chases after the Flag Smashers

Meanwhile, Barnes went up to the second level, and was promptly handed a phone by a woman who told him the caller is for him. He answered the phone and found the caller to be Morgenthau. Barnes told Morgenthau that she would regret her actions, as it would always haunt her if she did not back down, until realizing that the call was a distraction while Morgenthau moved GRC prisoners in the trucks. Frustrated for having fallen for the trap, Barnes ran out to the parking garage and hopped onto a motorcycle. Meanwhile in the garage, the GRC senators filed into armoured trucks, where Flag Smasher Lennox used clamps to unknowingly lock them inside. Meanwhile, Flag Smasher Diego snuck onto a helicopter containing other GRC members, posing as its pilot.

Sharon Carter sneaks into the garage

Carter snuck into the garage and successfully planted a Mercury Vapor Bomb to kill Lennox. With senators in trouble in the now-flying helicopter, Wilson abandoned his fight with Batroc to help them. With his newly created Redwing drone, Wilson was able to discover that one of the senators, Ayla Perez, had flight experience. He was momentarily diverted when Diego disabled a helicopter piloted by the NYPD, forcing him to rescue the pilots. Wilson used Redwing to save one of the pilots while he saved the other. Landing on the Manhattan Bridge, Wilson used both his shield and his wings to deflect the falling helicopter and protect the pilot, resulting in cheering from bystanders.

John Walker arrives to fight Karli Morgenthau

Wilson then established contact with the senator, coordinating an attack: he pushed Diego out of the aircraft and into the Hudson River, while Perez took over the controls, saving the helicopter. Elsewhere, Morgenthau announced to the remaining Flag Smashers that, were the situation to go south, they would kill the hostages to prove their point. Morgenthau began the Flag Smasher motto, which the others reluctantly finished, unsure of Morgenthau's plan. Barnes arrived and tackled Dovich, beginning a duel between him and the other Flag Smashers. To cause a diversion, one truck was set on fire, forcing Barnes to rescue the senators. While Morgenthau planned with the other Flag Smashers, John Walker arrived with his own shield, seeking revenge for Battlestar's death.

Captain America follows the hijacked chopper

Morgenthau tried to explain to Walker that she didn't mean to kill his friend and that his life didn't matter to the cause, which enrage Walker. Throwing his shield, Morgenthau easily kicked to shield and she and the other Flag Smasher engaged in a fight between Walker. They eventually knocked Walker to the ground however before they could finish him, Barnes arrived and tackled Dovich. After Barnes knocked Dovich out, Morgenthau fought him, tearing a parking meter out of the ground and swung it at him, only for him to dodge it. However, after Barnes used a heavy chain in an attempt to hit Morgenthau, she kicked him, causing him to fall off the ledge to the riverbank below. Back in the air, Captain America sent a message to her phone and told her to put her headphones in. After she did, Captain America told Perez to prepare to get ready to take over the helicopter. Captain America then flew after the helicopter, but was diverted into metal pipes which fell down into the Hudson River below. Captain America fell as well and managed to dodge the pipes as he swam out of the water. Picking up energy, Captain America then flew back and then used the shield to strike Diego, the Flag Smasher in the control seat and quickly grabbed him out of the helicopter. After a brief struggle with Diego, Captain America dropped him in the Hudson River. He then complimented Perez on managing the helicopter after she successfully landed.

John Walker fights Flag Smasher

On the ground, Barnes engages in hand-to hand combat between the Flag Smashers, while Walker personally fight Morgenthau. Morgenthau swiftly defeats him and hijacks a truck carrying GRC senators and plans to drive the truck into the riverbank. However, Walker abandoned his mission to kill Morgenthau to save the GRC senators, briefly carrying the truck back up. He was soon however tackled by Morganthau and other Flag Smashers and he too fell into the riverbank. Captain America then observed the situation and swooped down to the construction site and used his Redwing drones to assist him as he stopped the armored truck containing GRC hostages inside from falling to the ground. He then used the thrusters from his new suit to further help him. After he had made sure the hostages were safe, Captain America then flew back down to the riverbank. Using his shield, Captain America knocked out Karli Morgenthau and the other Flag Smashers, before standing alongside Bucky Barnes and John Walker. Morgenthau then took off her Flag Smasher mask and approached Captain America, criticizing him for having taken on the mantle. Captain America told her he was trying something different and that she should as well. They were interrupted when Georges Batroc arrived and shot smoke bombs at the ground, allowing for the Flag Smashers to escape. Captain America then led Barnes and Walker deeper into the construction site underneath the building.

Captain America, Winter Solider, and John Walker split up

Captain America, Barnes, and Walker ran through the construction site, trying to find the Flag Smashers, when Sharon Carter called and gave them an update. It was then determined that they would split up to find the Flag Smashers quicker, with Captain America going solo, while Barnes left with Walker. Escaping off deeper into the construction site, Morgenthau heard the Flag Smashers' whistle, and thinking it was Dovich, walked towards the sound, only to run into Sharon Carter. Carter held her at gunpoint, to which she did the same. Carter then told Morgenthau that she felt disappointed in her for leaving and betraying her, which she said she felt the same towards Carter. Morgenthau told Carter that she only wanted the them because they had Super Soldier Serum and that even though she was the Power Broker, they were still more powerful than her. Carter disagreed, telling Morgenthau she was more powerful, and then watched as Georges Batroc walked up to them. Upon hearing that Carter was the Power Broker, Batroc demanded more money from her or he would blackmail her, but she shot and killed him instead. Morgenthau then shot Carter, causing Carter to fall to the ground, clutching her side. Meanwhile, Dovich and the other remaining Flag Smashers lured into a trap by Barnes and Walker and the rest of the members were arrested by police.

Captain America fights Flag Smasher

Captain America who heard gunshot, was able to locate where it came from and found Karli Morgenthau holding a gun at Sharon Carter, who was on the floor and injured. Captain America asked Morgenthau how many more people had to die and what she was willing to do for her goal, getting her to get away from Carter. Morgenthau then engaged in a fight with him, but Captain America was able to dodge and flip his way from her blows, telling her that fighting wasn't the answer. Eventually, Captain America fought back in order to try and stop Morgenthau, but she had an irrational tantrum and knocked Captain America to the ground. After he was separated from the shield, Morgenthau got out her gun and pointed it at him. Captain America tensed up at the situation and then witnessed Morgenthau double over after getting shot by Carter. Captain America lifted Morgenthau into his arms as she died and heard her tell him that she was sorry. After exchanging glances over the situation with Carter, Captain America left the site and flew down to where the rescued GRC members were, carrying Morgenthau's body.[7]

Aftermath

"Who's in the room with you when you're making those decisions? Hmm? Is it the people you're gonna impact? Or is it just more people like you? I mean, this girl died trying to stop you, and no one has stopped for one second to ask why. You've gotta do better, Senator."
Captain America to Government Official[src]

Sam talking to the GRC senators

As Captain America landed with Karli Morgenthau's body in his arms, the paramedics then rushed over and put Morgenthau's body on a stretcher and took her away to the ambulance. Captain America then walked past news reporters and photographers with some crying out asking what to call him and that the government hadn't approved of him yet. He was then thanked by the Government Official, Ayla Perez, and another GRC member for his role in saving them. However, he then explained to them that they as a whole should do better in helping everyone equally, since the Blip had affected everyone. He then noted that that was a reason why Morgenthau had started her movement to begin with. The Government Official told him that he didn't understand what the GRC did and how it worked, but Captain America laughed and said that he understood.

Cap talks to Bucky and Sharon

Captain America said he understood now that a black man can take on Captain America mantle and that it didn't matter what he looked like in order to do so. He then told them that they as a governing body had a lot of power. He said that because of this they affected people, so much as that of Thanos and Morgenthau. Captain America then said that all he could do was believe that America could do better. Captain America was then asked by a GRC employee to retrieve Diego, who had been dropped in the river earlier. Before flying away, he told Carter he would still get her the pardon from the U.S. government. He then flew away and picked up the last Flag Smasher, taking him back to the police.

The remaining Flag Smashers, having been detained by John Walker, Bucky Barnes and the NYPD, were handed over into the custody of the United States Navy, who loaded them onto an armored vehicle for transport to the Raft. One of the US Navy Sailors informed the Flag Smashers of his secret support for their cause before shutting the rear door of the truck. The vehicle however was destroyed by an underside detonation, revealed to have been planted and triggered by Oeznik, as ordered by Baron Zemo.[7]

References

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