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Avengers: The Initiative #6: Review

Sep 2007
Dan Slott, Steve Uy

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4 stars

Avengers: The Initiative #6 Review by (September 15, 2015)
Steve Uy takes over the art from Stefano Caselli for this issue. Debrii was a member of the reality TV New Warriors in their 2007 series, but she quit before the Stamford disaster. Tigra's current affair with Henry Pym was revealed in Mighty Avengers #3, though they were previously linked in West Coast Avengers. But I believe this is the 1st time we've seen that Justice and Ultragirl are an item. Despite waking up here Gauntlet will be back in a coma in Annual #1 and #9. Before next issue Komodo, Rage, Thor Girl and Triathlon will help Damage Control in #3 of their World War Hulk Aftersmash series. Then Ultragirl will appear in New Warriors (2007) #7-8. She will be given a team of young teens called the Junior Guardsmen to train. They are meant as a propaganda counter-example to the NW. Justice is there with her. (And Rage will drop in to kibitz in #8.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Initiative #6 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Camp Hammond Gauntlet is berating trainees Cloud 9, Hardball, Rage, Slapstick, Thor Girl and Ultragirl for disobeying orders and going to attack Hulk and his Warbound during World War Hulk. (Other trainees like Debrii and Komodo are spared his wrath.) As usual he compares them to the New Warriors whose disastrous actions in Stamford triggered the Civil War, as he puts them through extra training sessions.

At home Joe Green plays with his daughter and obeys his wife, before leaving for another day on the training ground. But he never makes it because someone beats him senseless. Lovers Tigra and Yellowjacket are out for a run when they find Gauntlet''s body, with NW scrawled on his chest in his own blood.

Ex-New Warriors Debrii, Rage, Slapstick and Ultragirl are jailed on suspicion. Even staff member Justice is thrown in with them.

Later Henry Peter Gyrich gives a press conference about the Initiative''s successful evacuation of Manhattan during WWH. Reporter Sally Floyd comments on the young trainees being used then, and during the Hydra attack on the President in #2. She asks why this is different from the New Warriors in Stamford. Gyrich replies that the trainees are supervised. Floyd counters by asking why no superheroes have left the base in the last 2 days. HPG terminates the meeting.

SHIELD Capekiller agents have been sent to investigate the attack on Gauntlet, who''s in a coma. When they ask Mrs Green if any of the trainees hate him, she answers that they''re supposed to hate him - that''s his job as Sergeant.

The agents take Debrii from the jail cell for questioning. Rage loses his temper with him fellow inmates, before they take him to an interrogation room. They ask him about a confontation with Gauntlet when he told him to stop bad-mouthing the New Warriors. Elvin says that Joe Green took him aside to tell him he''s going to be dropped from the Initiative, because he''s too immature. They''ll remove his powers, and maybe return them when he''s 18. But Rage denies the attack on the Sergeant. The agents leave him to stew for a while.

Dr Von Blitzschlag informs them that Gauntlet wasn''t beaten with superhuman fists. He was hit with a large blunt weapon.

Cloud 9 is unhappy being confined to base. She tells Hardball and Komodo she''s got to get out to see MVP. The other 2 don''t understand - they all saw MVP die in #1. But Cloud 9 insists she saw him (when she and Justice went to visit his family in #4). Hardball almost reveals that he saw MVP''s body in Dr Pym and Von Blitzschlag''s lab when he burgled it in #4. But Yellowjacket expands from ant-size in their midst to stop their conversation. They were ordered never to talk about MVP''s death.

In the brig Slapstick is asleep, and we learn about an affair between Justice and Ultragirl. Then SHIELD take Justice for a ''chat''. They ask him about an argument he had with Gauntlet, but Vance Astrovik says the matter is classified. Actually Justice was also confused about MVP being both dead and alive. And he was unhappy about the order never to enquire about the circumstances of his death. He accused Gauntlet of having trained the boy to death. The students had to hold the 2 apart.

Justice admits to threatening to kill Gauntlet in the heat of the moment. He sarcastically tells the agents how he might have done it. He could have used his telekinesis to drop a large object on Joe, then used the same TK to throw the object away. He suggests they ask Henry Pym how far he could have thrown such a thing, and then search that area.

The Capekillers take him seriously. Their search doesn''t find such an object. But it does uncover a Capekiller armour that an inventory had revealed was missing. There''s no DNA evidence because it''s been wiped clean electromagnetically. Hardball overhears this - it''s the suit he used in #4 to steal a SPIN sample.

Hardball contacts the guy who blackmailed him into doing the robbery, who advises he lay a false trail to divert the investigators.  They find the same EM signature on the lock of the locker HB stole the armour from. And inside they find a subtle clue - a note made out of cut out letters telling them to check Dr Pym''s lab.

They also find the EM signature on the keypad to the lab (which HB broke into). (Roger Brokeridge is obviously hoping the preserved body of MVP will interest the agents.) Dr Blitzschlag is desperate to keep his and Pym''s secrets, and phones Gyrich to get him to stop SHIELD''s forced entry.

Mrs Green storms up and drags the Capekillers away, because Gyrich has ordered Pym to wake Gauntlet with a stimulant - a very risky move. The agents rush to the hospital bed - they don''t want to risk losing Gauntlet''s testimony.

But the Sergeant wakes up OK. And he tells the SHIELD agents that he was attacked by Iron Man''s foe the Ghost. So the Capekillers leave the base.

But we see in Slapstick''s memory that it was actually he who avenged the memory of his New Warriors pals, hitting him with the cartoon weapons he can pull out of his dimensional storage pocket.

Steve Uy
Steve Uy
Steve Uy
Stefano Caselli (Cover Penciler)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Inker)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Warbound.

> Avengers: The Initiative: Book info and issue index

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