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Avengers: The Initiative #29: Review

Oct 2009
Christos N. Gage, Jorge Molina

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers: The Initiative #29 Review by (January 31, 2018)
RAID stands for Radically Advanced Ideas in Destruction which evolved from AID (Advanced Ideas in Destruction) which splintered off from AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) which used to be a part of Hydra.

They were discovered in CA(2005)#19 by Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Union Jack which led into the UJ(2006) series. Then they turned up again in CA(2005)#32,34-35 where Winter Soldier was becoming the new Cap.

They'll turn up again in Winter Soldier #1-2. Then they'll be 1 of the AIM splinter groups taken down by Sunspot's New Avengers in their #18 finale before morphing into US Avengers.

After next issue Nightmare inhabits the Dr Voodoo series (still within Dark Reign).

Some other characters wander out of the series after this issue or next:- Razor-Fist joins the gang revolting against Hood in New Avengers #55-57. Asp and Quicksand are next in Siege #1 but they'll be back for #32.

Some of our semi-regulars will take a few issues off. Baron Blitzschlag until #33 along with Gauntlet, Rage and Scarlet Spider of the Resistance, and Slapstick won't make it back until #34. We won't find out what Cloud 9 wants with Hardball until the last issue #35, and Trauma won't reappear until then either.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Initiative #29 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Night Thrasher (Donyell Taylor) of the Avengers Resistance (and New Warriors) was captured by Initiative villains and taken to their Camp HAMMER HQ. At the end of the issue Norman Osborn (Iron Patriot), the Hood and Baron Blitzschlag offered to bring his brother Dwayne (the original Night Thrasher who died in the Stamford disaster in Civil War #1) back to life if he'll work for them.

Now Donyell points to the body floating in a tank a declares that it's *not* his brother. Blitzschlag says that of course it's a clone, but Osborn says they can restore Dwayne's soul to it. And Hood claims he can use his magic to make it happen. Donyell retorts that he saw on the news that Dr Voodoo took Hood's powers away (New Avengers #54). Osborn retaliates by asking Taylor if he also heard about previously-dead criminals attacking the Punisher (#6-10 of his 2009 series) - they were revived by the Hood. (But Norman neglects to mention this was *before* NAv#54.)

Donyell wants them to prove they can do it, but NO says he'll have to prove his loyalty 1st. Norman reminds him that he schemed (in the 2007 New Warriors series) to use time-travel to prevent his brother's death, but failed. Does he dare risk not taking this chance?

In the Las Vegas Hotel/Casino owned by the Heavy Hitters Initiative team Tigra surprises Razor-Fist asleep without his 'fists' on. He calls for Cutthroat and 1 Brother Grimm (Barton Grimes - Tigra disabled his brother Percy in #26) but she has already dealt with them. She wants to know where Thrasher is being held and what the security arrangements are. Razor-Fist claims to know nothing ...

... and a female voice says he's telling the truth. It's a teen in a wheelchair who claims to be Komodo. They took her powers away when she quit the Initiative (last issue). Tigra recognises her by scent, so she KO's R-F with an uppercut. This was apparently a trap set for Tigra (though how she was lured in is unclear), and Komodo heard them planning it.

Komodo tells Tigra that NT is at Camp HAMMER and she knows all about the security. Tigra ties up and gags the villains so they can't raise the alarm and puts a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. She promises that the Resistance will smuggle Komodo out of the country but Melati Kusuma wants to join them. She may not be able to fight anymore, but she knows stuff and can make a regeneration formula - and she wants revenge. Tigra welcomes her on board.

In Camp HAMMER Trauma is continuing to counsel Penance who is now a national hero after his actions in Secret Invasion and #27's retaking of the Negative Zone Prison 42. But Penance can't feel good about it because the public don't know how he killed 600 people. And he has dreams where a couple he thinks are his parents disown him because of it. But he can't remember who he is or who they are or where he killed the 600. Trauma tries to assure him that *he* didn't kill the 600 it was a bad guy. But he's not allowed to tell him the truth about the (above-mentioned) Stamford disaster, nor his previous identity as Robbie Baldwin/Speedball. (But his parents really did disown him in Civil War: Front Line #2.)

Terry Ward walks out of the session to confront Hood and Taskmaster. He's been keeping Penance in ignorance on their orders because they promised to cure his mother's insanity. But he can't do it anymore and demands they cure his mom *now*. Hood responds by threatening Trauma that if he doesn't toe the line he'll make her condition worse. Ward uses his power to turn into Parker Robbins' greatest fear as *his* mother who is also mentally ill and blames Robbins for letting her stew in a psychiatric home. Angry Hood just ups the ante and threatens *all* Terry's relatives.

Taskmaster comes between them. He promises Terry that he'll get on the case and have a plan for his mother next week. But Ward must respect his superiors. Terry calms down but suggests Penance might improve with a therapy animal, so TM gives him permission to get 1.

When he's gone Taskmaster rounds on Hood. He hopes Robbins can actually still deliver what he promised, or at least is able to kill Trauma when it's necessary. Hood tells TM to get off his case, he's having enough trouble fending off leadership challenges in his gang (see NAv#55). Tony Masters is beginning to think the whole Initiative is falling apart (after last issue's rebellion by the Heavy Hitters).

Constrictor is helping the Initiative team the Women Warriors (Asp, Black Mamba, Diamondback, Quicksand and Skein) take down RAID terrorists at Baltimore airport. 1 of the bad guys' big guns goes off and takes the wing off a plane coming in to land. The crashing plane slides towards Diamondback who stands her ground trying desperately to think of a way to save the passengers - while the rest of her team scatter. But Constrictor gets behind the plane and grabs it's remaining wing and tail with his extending coils. And he brings it to a halt just before it hits her.

Rachel Leighton runs towards Frank Schlichting who asks her to help him push his bionic arms back in their sockets before they have to face the press. At the press conference later Asp spins it that the save was a group plan. A family whose husband/father was on the plane come forward to thank Constrictor personally.

Rachel follows Frank into a storeroom where she thinks he's suffering from near-death trauma. But he says it's more to do with his life in general. He has an adult daughter Mia who doesn't know he's alive and whom his mercenary/criminal career has kept him from looking after. (This was established in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD v2#36 - but strictly speaking he *did* send her a load of money, and did let her know he was alive.) He also hints at abuse by his father, but I don't think this is ever referenced again. Rachel says that *she* is feeling the effects of nearly dying, and gives him a more-than-thank-you kiss.

Back in Camp HAMMER Taskmaster tells Cloud 9 off for not obeying his order to shoot to kill Night Thrasher last issue. She says she deemed killing unnecessary and he says she's not paid to think. He puts her on probation teaching sniping.

He tells Osborn he thinks she might be their suspected mole. Norman orders him to let her 'overhear' where Night Thrasher is held, the same as they did with Komodo. He also wants Constrictor to get a bonus - the airport incident has replaced last issue's Heavy Hitters' rebellion on the news. Schlichting and the Women Warriors should go on a publicity tour.

Last issue they captured the Heavy Hitters' leader Prodigy. He's now in the Negative Zone Prison. NO doesn't want him harmed because reporters might get wind of it. But he should be kept in solitary confinement until he rots.

Osborn commends Taskmaster for doing a good job. He's become more reliable and useful than the Hood, and Norman promises Masters a bright future. Then he leaves for New York.

Trauma brings Penance a cat, which worms its way into his affection. Penance names it Niels, but he doesn't know why. The cat comes with a ball to play with, but before Penance can throw it for him to chase an alarm goes off calling him to battle. After he leaves we see the cat surrounded by a glow. (Next issue we'll learn that this is Robbie Baldwin's pet Niels who has the same powers as his master.)

Meanwhile Trauma is talking to himself trying to drown out a voice in his head. He gets Physique to take over medical duties while he goes for a lie down. And then he hears the alarm too.

Others who hear the alarm are:- Cloud 9 who wants to talk to Hardball. Constrictor and Diamondback in bed together who ignore it. Butterball who sleeps through it. Hood who tells Night Thrasher it's time to betray his teammates in the Resistance ...

... who are attacking the base. Justice sends Gauntlet, Rage and Ultragirl to keep their foes occupied while Scarlet Spider, Slapstick and Tigra go rescue Donyell. The foes include Ringer, Scorcher, Quicksand, Badd Axe and some HAMMER troops. Penance thinks some of the Resistance look familiar (Justice and Rage, and according to our #10 Slapstick and Ultragirl, were in the original New Warriors with Speedball). Taskmaster tells him he's seen them on wanted posters, and he must kill them.

Meanwhile Trauma has been taken over and transformed by his father Nightmare.

Norman Osborn isn't in the next issue so I won't be doing it. Here follows a very brief (for me) résumé:-

Nightmare/Trauma unleashes everyone's fears, but this includes giving Penance his memories back. But Penance manages to free Trauma from his father, which ends the problem. However Robbie Baldwin deliberately doesn't tell his old friends from the New Warriors who he is, and decides to stay at Camp HAMMER for now.

Meanwhile Dr Blitzschlag lets the Resistance rescue Night Thrasher, expecting him to be Osborn's inside-man. Hood quits and leaves Taskmaster in charge. And Constrictor discovers that Diamondback is the mole passing info to the Resistance.

Jorge Molina
Victor Olazaba
Edgar Delgado
Matteo De Longis (Cover Penciler)
Matteo De Longis (Cover Inker)
Matteo De Longis (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Bill Rosemann.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Rachel Leighton)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Greer Nelson)

Plus: Asp, Baron Blitzschlag (Wernher Von Blitzschlag), Black Mamba, Cloud 9 (Abby Boylen), Gauntlet, Hardball (Roger Brokeridge), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Komodo (Melati Kusuma), Night Thrasher (Donyell Taylor), Penance, Physique, Quicksand, Rage, Razor-Fist, Scarlet Spiders (Michael Van Patrick clones), Skein, Slapstick (Steve Harmon), Trauma, Ultragirl (Suzy Sherman).

> Avengers: The Initiative: Book info and issue index

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