Initiative Initiation

Initiative Initiation: What Are the Odds?

Place your bets on which classic Avengers joins the cast of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE!

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By Jim Beard When Camp Hammond, home of the 50 Stats Initiative, redecorates with wall-to-wall Skrulls, its time to call in a professional. AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #17, out September 24, tells the tale of Tony Stark's training camp for neophyte super heroes and its big welcome to a classic Avenger—but hold the wine and cheese, folks, 'cause this particular hero will find their hands full with a wee bit of a Skrull problem. Think you know which classic costumed do-gooder joins the INITIATIVE cast? What are the odds you're right? Let's tally 'em up!

QUICKSILVER This mutant speedster and his sister the Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers way back in AVENGERS v1 #16, as part of the infamous "Cap's Kooky Quartet." A sometime villain and always irascible, Pietro's back up to speed after recently regaining his lost powers and looking to be a hero again. PRO – Nobody's faster and nobody knows the face of evil like Quicksilver—his experience goes beyond valuable. Plus he's worked alongside Iron Man for years. CON – Headstrong and often insufferable, Pietro's not much of a team-player. ODDS – 10-1

FALCON This bird of prey aimed for the sky when he joined the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS v1 #184, and flew high for justice. Sam Wilson honed his fighting edge at the side of Captain America and can always be counted on in times of trouble. PRO – The Falcon owns the skies. Period. Add in street smarts and a keen eye for doing what's right and this feathered hero's the best man for the job. CON – Sam's a registered hero but, under duress and known to keep in contact with noted rabble rousers like the New Avengers. ODDS – 20-1

FIRESTAR This young mutant and former New Warrior burned her way into the hearts of the Avengers in AVENGERS v3 #1. Angelica Jones soon proved herself to be an animated addition to the team though recently she formerly retired as an active crimefighter. PRO – Intelligent and full of heart, Firestar would make a shining example to the Initiative's recruits of what a true hero can aspire to. CON – Angelica's never fully embraced the life of a super hero and her powers haven't always been the most trustworthy. Her long and complicated relationship with former Initiative staffer Justice might not be a plus, either. ODDS – 50-1

MONICA RAMBEAU Whether she fought for life and liberty as Captain Marvel or Photon, Monica's powerful abilities made her suitable Avengers material, beginning in AVENGERS v1 #231. There she honed her skills and proved herself a shining heroine of the highest caliber, even serving as team leader for a time. PRO – Monica's police officer discipline alone would be invaluable to the Initiative's recruits, not mentioning her power over myriad forms of energy. CON – Though now registered, the former Photon held a spot in Captain America's "Secret Avengers" during the Civil War—has Tony Stark forgiven and forgotten? ODDS – 100-1

RICK JONES Who hasn't Rick been a sidekick to? This clever, crafty young man has learned the ropes of super hero activity throughout most of his life, and his Avengers connections stretch all the way back to AVENGERS v1 #1. Rick's a survivor—a true blue original who's currently smashing a new path as A-Bomb. PRO – Rick's a scary guy as A-Bomb, so scary he might be one of the most effective teaching tools the Initiative could ever deploy. CON – Headstrong and independent, Rick makes his own way in the world. Besides, no one knows how or why he transforms into A-Bomb, an unpredictable wild card to say the least. ODDS – 200-1

BEAST Dr. Hank McCoy, mutant hero and genius scientist, first swung into the arms of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS v1 #137 and shook the branches for evildoers. A founding member of the X-Men, the Beast's joie de vie and incredible agility added a swashbuckling heart to the Avengers, one that's never truly been replaced. PRO – You don't get much smarter than Hank and you don't get much cooler than the Beast. Nuff said. CON – An X-Man in the Initiative? Isn't he a friend of Wolverine's? ODDS – 500-1 Whatever the odds, an Avenger returning to the fold means a party – check it out on September 24 in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #17! And catch some classic Avengers adventures at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!

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