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The Initiative: A State of Disarray

Writer Christos Gage discusses how chaos reigns within both the Initiative and the Resistance

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #28 preview art by Rafa Sandoval
By Tim Stevens

In much the same way Newton ruled that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, comics have taught us that chaotic situations tend to breed more chaos. On September 23, AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #28 from writer Christos Gage and artist Rafa Sandoval will prove that axiom as both the Initiative and the Resistance find their situations becoming more complicated by the moment.

For the Initiative, the bedlam comes first in the form of a possible exodus. Nevada's Heavy Hitters, shaken up by the dismissal of Gravity as team leader in favor of Prodigy, quickly reach their breaking point and decide to keep the name, but ditch the system.

"Norman puts a villain on the team disguised as a hero in the manner of the Dark Avengers and [the Heavy Hitters] don't like it one bit, so they secede from the Initiative," reveals Gage. "What they're hoping to accomplish is to inspire other heroic Initiative teams to follow their example, to publicly call out Osborn, and to try to reveal him as the nutjob he really is through his reaction to them."

Needless to say, Osborn has no intention of taking the mutinous decision in stride, and in refusing to do so might just give the Hitters exactly what they need to prove their point.

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #28 black and white preview art by Rafa Sandoval
"[Osborn] calls for a calm, reasoned debate," the writer jokes. "No, I'm kidding. He decides they need a beat down, and they need it now. He wants to make an example of them so that anyone else who gets the same idea thinks twice.  And he is confident of his ability to withstand any criticism.  Is he right?  We'll see."

The return of fan favorite and newly anointed hero of the people Butterball also stirs things up at HAMMER's training facility.

"He's a likeable guy," Gage asserts of the rookie's new celebrity status. "He's easy for people to relate to."

However popular he may be in the real world, though, Butterball should not expect any more respect than he gained his last time out.

"As we see in [AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE] #27, Taskmaster is essentially bringing Butterball in not because he's suddenly become more capable, but because he's big and indestructible and useful for throwing at the enemy," Gage concedes.

Normally with a team threatening to leave and a new celebrity bringing more attention on the Initiative than ever, the advantage would go to the Resistance. Unfortunately for them, they find themselves in a period of upheaval that could prove equally destructive to their team. The first hit comes from a team member deciding that he or she cannot remain aligned with the group.

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #28 black and white preview art by Rafa Sandoval
"I can think of a lot of reasons to quit when you're a fugitive and everyone from the cop on the street to Norman Osborn is after you," offers Gage while declining to identify the deserter. "It could be brought on by the pressure of the situation, or it could be more like the decision Firestar made during the Civil War: not really agreeing with the way either side is conducting themselves."

Another member will depart the Resistance as well in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #28, but this one will be nowhere near voluntary as the hero will be abducted. The situation he or she will find themselves be very dangerous and will demand the Resistance's attention, the writer promises.

Finally, the Resistance may soon have to deal with the sequence of events Tigra perpetuated in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #26 when she attacked one of the Brothers Grimm as seeming retaliation for their role in the assault on her by the Hood, notes Gage:

"The rest of the team is not completely aware of what she's doing and how far she's going-for the moment."


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