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> Initiative Update
‘THE INITIATIVE’ UPDATE: APRIL 4, 2007
Wizard Universe gets a leg up on the post-Civil War Marvel Universe and fires back with our first-strike reactions to this week’s events

By Kevin Mahadeo, Matt Powell and Brian Warmoth

Posted April 4, 2007  3:05 PM

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Wizard Universe will provide a weekly recap straight from the trenches of Marvel’s post-Civil War event, “The Initiative.” Following Captain America’s surrender, Tony Stark assumed his new role as leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. to oversee the assignment of registered superheroes across the country to new teams that are organized on a state-by-state basis.)

PREVIOUSLY IN THE MARVEL U.

• Spurred by a catastrophic incident in Stamford, Conn., where more than 600 innocent bystanders were killed during a clash between the New Warriors and the human-bomb supervillain Nitro, the United States’ Superhuman Registration Act outlawed beings with superpowers acting without the training and consent of the U.S. government.

• Marvel’s heroes divide chiefly into two factions, siding with Iron Man’s pro-registration, government-backed taskforce or Captain America’s underground squad of heroes opposing the Registration Act. Captain America eventually surrenders after seeing all of the destruction and collateral damage that occurred during the war.

• Tony Stark is named director of S.H.I.E.L.D., overseeing the Initiative, a plan placing heroes on teams state-by-state across America.

• The government also commissions a group of supervillains to hunt down rebel heroes under the leadership of Green Goblin Norman Osborn.

• Walking up the courthouse steps to face trial for his insurrection, Captain America is shot and killed by a sniper.

Avengers: The Initiative #1
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Stefano Casselli

 

 
ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Slapstick is back, and everything else you read in this week’s “‘The Initiative’ Update” is only a footnote.

• Henry Peter Gyrich rolls into Baghdad to yank a U.S. soldier called the Gauntlet back to the States for employment in the Initiative.

• War Machine pulls over a new superpowered girl named Cloud 9 for flying over Evanston, Ill., without a license.

• A busload of Initiative recruits arrives at Camp Hammond in Stamford to begin training and prepare to be recruited into state-by-state teams.

CONTINUITY CHECK: BUS ROLL CALL
Initiative HQ bussed in a field trip down Marvel memory lane this week. Staring out the back window is none other than Slapstick, one of most durably bodied characters in all the Marvel U. His magic gloves allow him to use dimensional portals where he keeps a giant blue mallet. Also toward the back is Thor Girl, an alien girl named Tarene who wields a mystic hammer and shacked up on Earth to try to find some peace and quiet. The yellow-masked fellow in front of her is former New Warrior and wannabe Avenger Rage, who obtained super-strength from a puddle of hazardous chemicals.

 

 
PANEL OF THE WEEK: R.I.P. MVP
Michael Van Patrick already had the chips stacked against him. Not only is he the great-grandson of the murdered super-soldier serum inventor, Abraham Erskine, but he lost his scholarship because of it! Ironically dubbed Captain America Jr. by Yellowjacket, the star-athlete MVP would soon suffer the same fate as the Star-Spangled Avenger when he put heroism first to save a combat-frozen Cloud 9 from a wayward energy blast. And not even a half-second later, MVP took the next blast skull first! Tragically it appears anyone associated with Cap—from Erskine and MVP to Nomad and Bucky—has got the Grim Reaper walking close behind them. Who’s next? Major Victory?

 

 
SAILING ON CLOUD 9
Every time this girl speaks up, it’s like Stefano Casselli wishes he was doing an anime freeze frame. She’s the newbiest newb of the bunch right now and has an arsenal of radioactively cute expressions. But don’t pass her off as villain fodder quite yet. After all, she seems to have pioneered her own new X-Game of cloud boarding—unfortunately, the only two competitors in the world right now are her and Kit Cloudkicker from TaleSpin.

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America—Wolverine #1
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Leinil Yu

 

 
ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Crossbones didn’t shoot Captain America, can be safely crossed off the list of suspects and is dumb.

• Wolverine invites the hero formerly known as Bucky to break onto the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier where Cap’s corpse is being stored to identify the body. The onetime sidekick declines.

• Dr. Strange gives Wolverine and Daredevil an ethereal hand, cloaking them as they break into the cell where Crossbones is being held to question him.

• Wolvie gets ambushed after sniffing Captain America’s body and verifying the scent.

SPREAD OF THE WEEK: YU, THE ONE FOR ME
Leinil Yu gives us one of the most awesome images of Wolverine and Daredevil to grace the pages of comicdom. The detail is spectacular and the action just pops off the page. However, it’s the character positions that really highlight Yu’s skill—Wolverine smashing through the ground, claws popped, mouth snarling, and Daredevil artistically in mid-backflip, graceful and smooth. Yu da man!

 

 
PUBLIC SERVICE CONTINUITY CLARIFICATION
Those of you keeping up on the Initiative may find yourselves wondering, “But wait, didn’t Wolverine also break onto the Raft to find Cap’s body in New Avengers #28?” Ah yes, he did. But if you recall, that was a fake Cap corpse, as opposed to the real deal that Logan discovers this week.

Ms. Marvel #14
Written by Brian Reed
Art by Aaron Lopresti

 

 
ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Crazy spider-ladies are quick to get all up in people’s faces.

• Arachne is still ticked off about having her daughter Rachel legally taken from her custody and gets a whooping from Araña when she corners the young heroine and unleashes some maternal rage.

• Julia agrees to head up to Canada and join Omega Flight after seeing her daughter and cracking a deal to receive a full pardon.

M.O.D.O.K.
The Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing is back and creepily rendered by Aaron Lopresti! Look at that scowl, you can feel his evil! A.I.M. doesn’t appear to be shorthanded or inactive as issue #13’s massacre in Indiana proved. With the DNA bombs hidden in extra dimensions and M.O.D.O.K. at the helm. it doesn’t take a mental organism to know they’re designed only for disaster.

 

 
ADJECTIVE PHRASE OF THE WEEK: ‘SEXY COOL’
Clearly impressed by the petite elegance and cutting-edge design work pumped into Carol Danvers’ personal minicarrier, Araña becomes the first person to utter this poignant description when faced with its majestic aesthetic.

 

 
Omega Flight #1
Written by Michael Avon Oeming
Art by Scott Kolins

 

 
ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: Sasquatch is not a clone.

• Walter Langowski, also known as Sasquatch, gets bombarded with questions related to his reappearance following Alpha Flight’s near-total annihilation.

• Supervillains flock to Canada following news of the Initiative.

• Sasquatch joins Omega Flight, Canada’s answer to the supervillain insurgency, and butts heads with the Wrecking Crew.

OH, CANADA
Poor Canada. America gives its wacky neighbor to the north crap year after year, and now in the Marvel U., it’s giving them even worse. With Project Initiative in full swing, the supervillains of America find it more and more difficult to catch a break. Their solution? Let’s go to Canada! After all, who’s going to stop them, Alpha Flight? Americans constantly complain about border problems, but we’d take those problems over a supervillain influx any day, eh?

THE WRECKING CREW: TUTORIAL LEVEL OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
Every new superhero and team in the Marvel U. has to get their start somewhere, and “somewhere” is shorthand for the Wrecking Crew. Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball and Wrecker are the seminal annoyances of rookie heroes everywhere. Thankfully, Sasquatch is totally on top of these guys.

 

 
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MASSACHUSETTS OCTOBER 21, BOSTON The New Boston Comic Con Returns Sunday, October 21, 2007, Place: Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St. (corner of Stuart St.), Boston, MA Directions: go to www.backbayeventscenter.com, 10AM-5PM, Admission: $8 (children under 10 free), Parking: $6 with validation (garage around the corner at 100 Clarendon); street parking free! Starring comic book legend Jim STERANKO. Special guest artists, give aways and more! The hottest comic event in New England with over 7,000 square feet of vendors selling comics, toys, posters, and superhero memorabilia. More Info: Go to www.bostoncomiccon.com for more information or call 508-320-1440