So New Avengers 31 is supposed to have a dramatic last page where a traitor is revealed (or some such future issue). Its been said that this issue is another Captain America 25 in shock value. Most long time fans will of course wait to make the judgment as to whether they end up being surprised. So I decided to post this. Its almost completely emotion, instinct and guesswork.
First the descriptions for the next few issues:
New Avengers 31:
"No hype! No BS! The most important last page of any Marvel comic this year! Do not miss it!"
New Avengers 32:
"The New Avengers have found a huge clue to the threat that has faced them since the day they banded together. And now just the knowledge of that threat is tearing them apart. What secret could be so damning that it could do to the New Avengers what the Civil War could not??"
New Avengers 33:
"Still reeling from the new reveals about their lives and shocking betrayal of one of their own, the New Avengers press forward, trying to find a way to trust each other. All that and The Hood starts his takeover as Kingpin of the super-villains. So dust off your old Marvel Handbooks, because you will not believe who he is gathering to join him and who he kills to make his mark! Plus guest-star Deathlok!!!"
Shock Value Ratings: 1= Little surprise, 10= Huge surprise
Cage is currently acting as the leader for the New Avengers. Bendis has nothing to lose if Cage (his favorite character) is the traitor and moves on over to Mighty Avengers since he writes that book too. He might consider doing it to safeguard the future of his new family. Why Jessica Jones even returned from Canada to live a fugitive's life is beyond me. Doesn't seem like something a responsible parent would do. Those clues aside, Luke has seemingly been the most vocal in his stance against the pro government side. Joining up with Tony would be very out of character...normally.
Shock Value: 6.5 (clues almost even out)
Captain America is dead. Right? I mean J.Q. said he's dead as long as he's E.I.C. But he's never lied before to pull a surprise right? (sarcasm) What if the traitor is a 'not dead' Captain America? Or heaven forbid, unknown to the New Avengers, a clone? Or maybe just someone willing to wear the costume and act in the role?
Shock Value: 10 (the real not dead Steve Rogers)
Shock Value: 7 (Clone of Steve Rogers)
Shock Value: 6 (Another person wears the flag)
Has been set up since the end of the Civil War as the guy who is trying to make up for his past indecision. What if the futurist Stark made plans long ago with Strange to follow the path that he has during and after the Civil War? After all Strange is the least likely New Avenger. He out-powers the others and he's not a typical street level guy. Strange might be convinced that Mister Fantastic's calculations of the future are correct and he could have cast a spell to see into the future as well. Wasn't with the Secret Avengers to be 'sniffed' by the Black Panther.
Shock Value: 7 (Just not in his nature)
The entire post Civil War storyline has focussed on Echo thus far. She has already seemingly betrayed the group. If we look back at the Ronin surprise ending up being the obvious choice of Hawkeye, then we might be able to point to Echo and say that she is the obvious choice to be the traitor. While she did stab Strange and is fighting on the side of the Hand, readers might still be thinking it's a ruse. The shocking last page might be exactly what the cover shows. Echo stabbing Elektra who might have been undercover this whole time working for the good guys (as she has done before). Echo in fact 'betrays' Elektra and takes over as the leader of the Hand. Elektra might have had plans to fake the conversion of Echo to the Hand but the New Avengers interrupted those plans when they broke in to rescue Echo. Wasn't with the Secret Avengers to be 'sniffed' by the Black Panther.
Shock Value: 2 (she's a tragic throwaway character setup for a fall)
A recent recruit to the New Avengers. He has Cage to vouch for him personally beyond being known by the others as well. However he was imprisoned in the Negative Zone and they may have gotten to him there creating a mole. Being so close to Cage, no one might suspect Danny Rand as being a spy. It would also create an interesting wrinkle in the relationship between Cage and Iron Fist as they might end up becoming long time enemies. Wasn't with the Secret Avengers to be 'sniffed' by the Black Panther. I believe he had been captured by that point.
Shock Value: 6 (a bit of a surprise but not very interesting longterm)
Jessica has her baby to be concerned with. Luke seems to be on a one man mission to get himself and everyone else killed. Putting a mother's baby in danger is not something you want to do. How long does she stay loyal and hold out weighing the risks to her child? Wasn't with the Secret Avengers to be 'sniffed' by the Black Panther. Was in Canada.
Shock Value: 6 (might force Cage's hand in various ways)
Ronin II (Hawkeye):
The new Ronin spoke with Stark before joining up with the New Avengers. Iron Man wanted Clint to be the new Captain America. That whole scene could have been fabricated and Barton could be working for the Mighty Avengers where he fits in a more traditional sense. However, his personality has always been a bit anti-establishment. I personally think it would be a u-turn for his character. Wasn't with the Secret Avengers to be 'sniffed' by the Black Panther.
Shock Value: 7 (shocking yes, but he is the new guy)
Certainly would be quite a shock. His whole conversion to Cap's side might have been a ruse. But it all seems out of character for him. If it were to be true it might be due to his Aunt or wife being in danger, forcing his hand. It would also mean all his future book solicitations have done a good job of ignoring it.
Shock Value: 9 (does this make Spider-Man as hated as Stark?)
Another obvious choice to turn on the New Avengers with her past of going back and forth from SHIELD to Hydra. However if she ends up being the traitor, then she wasn't very adept at it.
Shock Value: 3 (might need to go legal to get her own book)
Very out of character for Wolverine to turn all establishment and pro-government. Their might be a desire to send Wolverine back to strictly the X-universe. Though he is too popular to lose for the book. He has been reprogrammed and brainwashed so many times who knows who might be able to pull the trigger and make him turn traitor?
Shock Value: 8 (if he is a traitor he won't be hanging with the M.A.s)
This would be such a non interest. Losing Wong would only hurt Doctor's Strange and he certainly wouldn't be able to do much physical harm to the group. The worst scenario I can imagine is Wong nabs Jessica's baby, shuts down Strange's Starbucks illusion and gives the child to 'protective services' forcing Cage and Jones to make a decision immediately.
Shock Value: 5 (6 if he does what I suggested)
I'm starting to think it is Mephisto, and he has taken the form of Dr. Strange.
Wasn't there something printed saying threads of this story stem back a few years? Possibly before the House of M, which Dr. Strange played a pretty prominent role. If Mephisto has been in Strange's place for that long, his manipulations would have definitely shifted the Marvel Universe.
The only sticking points to this theory (that I'm aware of, at least) would be Dr. Strange's scene in Civil War, and BKV mini-series.