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Avengers: The Initiative #24: Review

May 2009
Christos N. Gage, Humberto Ramos

Story Name:

Avengers: The Initiative disassembled part 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers: The Initiative #24 Review by (February 21, 2017)
As I mentioned in #22 Scorpion has broken off from SHIELD. We never do find out who she's working for here, nor if she continues her infiltration of Hydra. It's possible she was only there to steal SPIN because in her next app in Amazing Spider-Man #626 her sting removes people's powers (but only temporarily). Her only other app after that will be in the mega-group of young heroes called the Thin Spandex Line in Young Avengers (2013).

Near the end of the issue we see Negative Zone inhabitants led by Blastaar creeping up on the Project 42 prison. In Guardians Of The Galaxy (2008) #8-10 they will invade and take over the place. Later in our series prisoner Hardball will help retake the prison.

There will be a gap before the final part of this story arc in the next issue. Norman Osborn, Gauntlet, Taskmaster and Komodo will be there but 3 of them will have things to do 1st.
NO has too many apps to cover here but he will start in DR: New Nation story 2 where the Agents of Atlas steal all the gold from Fort Knox to stop him from using it. And then he picks up where he left off in Dark Avengers #1 (pages 10-13) where Ms Marvel refuses to join the team. I'll continue tracking him there.
Gauntlet will cameo at the end of GOTG#10 where they will warn him to keep the portal to the Neg Zone prison closed.
Komodo returns to her Desert Starts team in Arizona for a flashback in Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #1/3.

Bengal, Constrictor and Hardball will all return in later issues.

Ant-Man will join the Thunderbolts in their #128.

Typhoid Mary will head off on her own path starting with the Shadowlands event beginning for her in Daredevil #509.

Bloodscream and Roughhouse haven't done much since this but they've gone back to fighting Wolverine. BS in the digital Wo: Carni-Brawl, then both together in Wo#304. After that RH has to content himself with the female version in All-New Wo #15.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Initiative #24 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
On the outskirts of Camp Hammond Sgt Green and his family are packing up and leaving their military house because Norman Osborn closed the base down last issue. Bengal's wife comes rushing over to ask for help finding her husband. SHIELD took the covert ops Shadow Initiative on a mission. But now SHIELD is disbanded and Osborn's replacement HAMMER denies all knowledge. Who's going to bring hubby home now? Gauntlet promises to do something about it.

The Shadow team (Bengal, Constrictor, Taskmaster and Typhoid Mary) are in Madripoor. They went there to take Initiative traitor Hardball from Hydra, with Hardball's ex-girlfriend Komodo to help them. But that mission failed and they lost Komodo. Now they're under attack by Bloodscream and Roughhouse.

Constrictor and Taskmaster face strongman Roughhouse. Brute force fails so Constrictor uses his coils to strangle their foe. Bengal and Typhoid are faring badly against the vampiric Bloodscream. Mary and the villain engage in a swordfight until he disarms her. But she telekinetically retrieves the sword and chops his head off. But he just puts it back on and grabs her bare arm - starting to drain her lifeforce. Panicked Mary bursts into flame, setting Bloodscream alight too.

Taskmaster pulls Typhoid away and calms her down. She douses her flames but says she needs her Zero Room to recover in. But that's half a world away in Camp Hammond. Taskmaster also tells Constrictor to let Roughhouse go. He (correctly) assumes they work for Hydra. He explains that SHIELD have abandoned them, so he says they want to join Hydra.

Gauntlet goes to see Norman Osborn, now Director of the Initiative and HAMMER, but he's stuck arguing with Deputy Director Victoria Hand until Osborn comes out to see what all the noise is about. Joe Green explains the situation and Norman assures him that HAMMER is on top of it. But when Gauntlet has left it turns out he didn't know anything about it, and delegates Hand to deal with it.

The Shadow team have been taken to the local Hydra leaders Hardball and Scorpion (Carmilla Black). They are suspicious and order our guys disarmed and put in cells. Bengal is worried about Komodo but Hardball won't answer his questions. Schizophrenic Mary is beginning to fall apart. Hydra goons take them to the armoury to hand in their weapons ...

... and that's when Taskmaster reveals his plan. They defeat their guards and grab extra weapons. Constrictor uses Hydra comms to send a message to HAMMER, hoping they are still monitoring SHIELD's frequencies. Taskmaster tries to get Mary to snap out of her fug, but it's too late as more Hydra attack.

They immediately fire SPIN darts to depower Typhoid. But she stops them with her TK and roasts all the Hydra Agents with flames. 1 of her 4 personalities is back in control. But it's not Typhoid, it's the more vicious Bloody Mary who has no loyalty to the team so leaves them to make her own escape.

Last issue Komodo lost her powers to SPIN, and is now the legless human Melati Kusuma. Hardball has had her transferred from her cell to his quarters and now he and Scorpion explain that Hydra scientists are going to extract regeneration serum from her blood and then they'll let her go. But she doesn't trust the boyfriend who betrayed her. She hits out at him verbally, claiming that Hydra hasn't cured his brother as they promised. The sound of battle interrupts them and the pair leave Melati to investigate.

The 3 remaining Shadow Initiative plan to take the SPIN Tech Hydra stole from the Initiative, but the Hydra duo turn up with Bloodscream and Roughhouse. Carmilla persuades Roger Brokeridge to leave the fight to B & R, and takes him away.

She tells him she knows that he always intended to let Melati go, and only wanted to fuel her hate and make sure she had no love left for him. She knows he's only with Hydra because he can't go back to the Initiative. And she confesses that she's not really with Hydra either. She's working for someone else to bring them down. But she refuses to say who.

Back at the fight Taskmaster tells Bengal to grab a SPIN gun. Maybe that will stop their 2 foes. But Hardball arrives and fires off electromagnetic 'hardballs' that destroy the nanotech in all the SPIN darts except his personal stash. But then he finds his pocket is empty and realises Scorpion stole them from him.

Roughhouse and Bloodscream seem as indestructible as ever when the big guy collapses and the vampire is shredded apart as Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) expands to full size from within him. He explains that he defeated Roughhouse by zapping his inner ear. Osborn sent him along with a horde of HAMMER Agents.

Hardball runs away and Constrictor chases after him. But Brokeridge stops when he reaches a certain door, and surrenders. He just wanted to make sure they found Melati who's inside the room. Constrictor is confused, but Roger reminds Frank Schlichting that he has a daughter who he allows to think him dead for her own sake. He says that he feels the same way about Melati, but Frank mustn't tell her that. And he lets HAMMER take him prisoner.

Later the team are in Avengers Tower with Victoria Hand. Melati is back as Komodo. Ant-Man leaves for his current job which he can't tell them about (it's Osborn's new Thunderbolts). Norman himself enters with Bengal's wife, and tells Komodo that Hardball has been sent to the Project 42 prison in the Negative Zone. And he offers Taskmaster the job of running the Initiative.

Humberto Ramos
Humberto Ramos
Edgar Delgado
Humberto Ramos (Cover Penciler)
Humberto Ramos (Cover Inker)
Edgar Delgado (Cover Colorist)

> Avengers: The Initiative: Book info and issue index

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