Warning: SPOILERS for The Avengers #24
Captain America just got a MAJOR upgrade in this week's Avengers #24. Jason Aaron's Avengers run has seen the team's status quo shift quite dramatically, with Black Panther becoming leader of the Avengers. The superhero team has moved to a new headquarters, "Avengers Mountain," which is actually the husk of an ancient Celestial.
Naturally, King T'Challa has wasted no time giving the Avengers something of a power-up. Wakandan scientists have been examining the Celestial, and finding ways to tap into its power. Meanwhile, the Avengers have been granted access to Wakandan technology, including to their precious stock of Vibranium.
Avengers #24 sees Captain America get the ultimate Black Panther upgrade. T'Challa reveals that he installed a Vibranium weave into Steve Rogers' new Avengers suit, allowing him to channel the power of Avengers Mountain itself. That literally means that, when the Wakandan technology is triggered, Captain America has the punch of a Celestial.
As shown on the big-screen in Black Panther, Vibranium has the capacity to absorb and redirect energy on an incredible scale. In this case, it's literally channeling the power of a Celestial, and granting it to Captain America. Celestials are among the most powerful beings in the entire Marvel Universe, and they judge entire worlds and civilizations; that means Captain America's Celestial-enhanced punch would be the envy of the Hulk. Meanwhile, it's thrilling to consider whether or not Black Panther has installed similar tech in the rest of the Avengers' costumes; it raises the possibility that this is the most potent and powerful team of Avengers ever assembled.
But the greater the heroes may be, the greater the foes they will face. In Avengers #24, the Celestial-powered Captain America is going up against the Cosmic Ghost Rider. The Spirit of Vengeance is one of the mightiest forces in the Marvel Universe, as was shown during the "World War Hulk" event, when a Ghost Rider went head-to-head with Worldbreaker Hulk. He would have won had he not realized the Hulk was fighting for revenge, and so retreated from the battle. And the Cosmic Ghost Rider is envisioned as the most powerful Ghost Rider who has ever lived. As a result, while Steve Rogers may be able to fight alongside the likes of Captain Marvel and She-Hulk, even this Black Panther upgrade doesn't mean he can take down the Cosmic Ghost Rider. The next time he crosses paths with Hydra, though, the Red Skull is sure to get a nasty surprise.
THE CHALLENGE OF THE GHOST RIDERS! If the Avengers thought one Ghost Rider was tough to deal with, wait’ll they see how many Spirits of Vengeance have just been unleashed by the King of Hell, Johnny Blaze! Including the craziest, most powerful Rider of them all...That’s right, it’s the Avengers vs. Cosmic Ghost Rider!
Avengers #24 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.