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Avengers: The Initiative #10: Review

Mar 2008
?, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

Killed in action part 3: Confirmed kills

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers: The Initiative #10 Review by (April 20, 2024)
Christos Gage & Dan Slott continue to be the authors.

This issue features a lot of MVP clones. The original MVP was Michael Van Patrick who was accidentally killed during Initiative training in #2 by Armory's alien Tactigon weapon. Trauma was involved in the accident, Gauntlet was supervising the training and Cloud 9, Hardball and Komodo were present as were Henry Peter Gyrich and Baron Von Blitzschlag. Armory was dropped from the program but they kept the Tactigon.
The Baron started cloning MVP. The 1st clone was sent home to Michael's father believing he was the original. The next 3 clones became the Scarlet Spiders. The 5th clone was given the Tactigon which told him of the original's death. Insanely angry and calling himself KIA he set out to kill everyone connected with the death and his creation. The Baron had some more clones nearly ready but KIA destroyed them last issue.

The Tactigon is an alien weapon that fell to Earth. The Gauntlet armour was also of alien origin and various parts of it have also fallen to Earth. Sgt Green's Gauntlet was found alongside the sword he uses in this issue. Our Annual explained that the alien owners of the Tactigon and Gauntlet armour fought each other. (Southpaw has the other glove in the 2004 She-Hulk series. Fantastic Four (2018) #43 will reveal that Grasshopper IV has the leg armour and Helmsman has the helmet.)

The New Warriors flashback fits between the Ultra Girl mini-series and the Thunderbolts, with Justice fitting in a backup tale in Venom: Hunted #2-3. before TB. Slapstick was previously last with NWers in a tale in Marvel Comics Presents #159-163. Slapstick and Ultra Girl were next seen with other NWers in She-Hulk (2005) #8 during Civil War.

The fb where Justice contacts the 4 trainees and asks them to come to Tennessee is the last app of all 5 before they turn up at the end of the issue. It obviously occurs  after Justice quits in #7. For Debrii and Slapstick it's their 1st app since #6. Rage and Ultra Girl were in New Warriors (2007) #8 with Justice before #7.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Initiative #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In a flashback to an otherwise unrecorded Badoon invasion of New York the New Warriors (Firestar, Justice, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Rage and Speedball) celebrated victory by inviting Slapstick and Ultragirl to become official members. They readily accepted - UG because she had a crush on Justice and SS because why not, but he made a comedic play for Namorita anyway. And they were given triangular Warriors communicators.

3 days ago Debrii, Rage, Slapstick and Ultragirl in the Camp Hammond Initiative Trainees Barracks were discussing how all ex-New Warriors are under suspicion. SS tries to lighten the mood by pulling a super-soaker gun he calls Shirley out of his Infinite Pockets. Debrii reminds them how Justice went on a mission with Cloud 9 in #7 and she came back alone, and now the rumour is that he's gone rogue. Rage says it's his fault because they think he beat up Gauntlet in #6 and they're going throw him off the Initiative and take his powers away. Slapstick tries to confess that he did it but Rage says he'll kill whoever it was. UG reminds them that Ms Marvel put her in charge of the Junior Guardsmen Program (#7) so things are good.

SS tries to confess again but something beeps in his Infinite Pockets. He pulls out a load of diverse objects until eventually he finds his Warriors communicator. And Justice is on the line saying he knew that the Infinite Pockets would bypass the Camp's security but he can't talk long or they'll trace his signal. He tells them there's something suspect about MVP and he wants them to sneak out and meet him in Tennessee.

Now Cloud 9 flies a cloud to the Barracks to roust some troops. She finds the male dorm empty and when she goes to the female dorm she find only Komodo there having sex with male Hardball. They angrily call her a sneak but she says there's something bad and loud going on the in the subbasement labs.

We see the newest MVP clone with the Tactigon weapon calling himself KIA (Killed In Action) and smashing through walls calling out for Gauntlet. But the Tactigon tells him there's someone else on his kill list nearby. We also see Gauntlet staggering around with his Gauntlet weapon and a large blade, but speaking in an alien tongue.

In the War Room Henry Peter Gyrich is haranguing the SHIELD Agents because all their monitor screens just show the letters KIA. Then they change of their own accord to show KIA's face declaring he's coming for Gyrich. And then he smashes his way into the Room. Gyrich urgently contacts his personal guard the Shadow Initiative. We see Bengal, Constrictor, Mutant Zero and the 3 Scarlet Spiders rushing to the scene.

Meanwhile we look in on the Combat Simulator room, a scene of last issue's KIA carnage. Crusader has lost a hand. Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) crawls out from under the unconscious body of Geiger (a situation that in other circumstances he would enjoy). Taskmaster is getting Gyrich's emergency call but he and AM decide to sit it out here.

In the War Room KIA kills all the Agents and closes in on HPG. But the Shadow Initiative arrive in time and Constrictor wraps his electric whip coils around KIA. However the Tactigon multi-weapon converts to razor wire which rips Frank Schlichting's arms off. The Scarlet Spiders unmask as other MVP clones and try to talk him down. KIA is initially taken aback that he's not the only clone of dead Michael Van Patrick, but then he decapitates 1 of the Spiders. Meanwhile Mutant Zero grabs Gyrich and telepathically makes them both undetectable by KIA.

Then KIA is distracted because Gauntlet has drawn near. They meet and KIA sees the blade Gauntlet is wielding and the Tactigon morphs to match it. He realises that the Gauntlet has taken control of Sgt Green, so he intends to chop it off. The warriors meet in a clash of swords but the Tactigon changes again to push Green through a wall. Meanwhile in Yellowjacket's lab Baron Von Blitzschlag recovers consciousness and sees other MVP clones lying murdered around him. He summons his old electricity power and sets about saving the Initiative.

Next we see that Gauntlet has been forced outside and KIA follows him out. He sees more of his targets Cloud 9, Hardball and Komodo. But they're backed up by more trainees Stature and Triathlon plus Camp staff Gargoyle, Hellcat, Nighthawk and Stingray. Hardball and Komodo are shocked to recognise him as the supposedly dead MVP, but Cloud 9's blasé about seeing MVPs by now (she met 1 at Michael Van Patrick's home in #4). Some of them fire pulse rifles and KIA replies by turning the Tactigon into a 'gatling gun' wounding Cloud 9, Gargoyle and Nighthawk.

Outside the Camp protesters against it run away. Inside Gauntlet has recovered and attacks KIA. KIA comes out on top but he says it's Joseph Green he wants to kill not the alien weapon controlling him. So he generates a small blade to pierce Joe's shoulder, shocking him into awareness. Green's devastated to see the injured especially his students Cloud 9 and Komodo. But KIA attacks him again claiming that everything is *his* fault, including his own existence. But as he's about to strike a killing blow the remaining 2 Scarlet Spiders intervene.

Cloud 9 limps away from the battle, astounded to see that those 2 still unmasked are also MVPs. Then Blitzschlag finds her. And Hardball notices and carries bleeding Komodo to them, who's already regenerating. The Baron gives Abby Boylen a device to make a copy of an MVP's mind to then download into KIA to cure him of his insane anger. The Spiders won't do because they are part-Blitzschlag. Abby realise he means the MVP on his father's farm, but she has to report that he and his dad have gone (as of #7). However the Baron says that MVP has an implanted tracker chip and gives them a locating device. Hardball points out that the Camp's Negative Zone jump gate is the only way to get there in time. Abby uses a cloud to transport the 3 trainees there.

'Michael Van Patrick' and his dad are driving up with supplies for them and their guests to a cabin outside Bulls Gap, Tennessee. When they get out of the truck the 3 trainees arrive. Cloud 9 apologises that they haven't time to explain and places the device on MVP's head as Komodo holds him while Hardball holds Brian Van Patrick off. But then the guests turn out to be Debrii, Justice, Rage, Slapstick and Ultra Girl. These New Warriors have no reason to trust the Initiative trainees so they pull them off.

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Daniele Rudoni
Stefano Caselli (Cover Penciler)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Inker)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric O'Grady)

(Isaac Christians)

(Patsy Walker)

(Kyle Richmond)

Plus: Baron Von Blitzschlag, Cloud 9 (Abby Boylen), Crusader (Z'Reg), Debrii (Deborah Fields), Gauntlet, Geiger (Dee Dee Dearborn), Hardball (Roger Brokeridge), Justice (Vance Astrovik), KIA, Komodo (Melati Kusuma), Michael Van Patrick, Mutant Zero (Typhoid Mary), Rage, Scarlet Spiders (Michael Van Patrick clones), Slapstick (Steve Harmon), Stature, Triathlon (Delroy Garrett Jr.), Ultragirl (Suzy Sherman).

> Avengers: The Initiative: Book info and issue index

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