Comics : Avengers: The Initiative #14

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

The Skrulls have been infiltrating Earth for months, placing their agents in positions of power across the United States, including within every super-team organized under the Fifty State Initiative. And how did the Skrulls pull that off? With the connivance of their agent at Camp Hammond, Henry "Yellowjacket" Pym...

In Detail...

"We Have Met the Enemy, and They Are Us!"
Avengers: The Initiative #14
Aug 2008 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Christos N. Gage, Dan Slott
Artist:  Stefano Caselli
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Review

We flashback to the HYDRA attack on Crawford, Texas featured in Avengers: the Initiative #2. In that attack, Yellowjacket averted a suicide bombing aimed at the President, but seemingly perished himself... until he turned up, later, alive. How did he survive? The explanation, which Pym's fellow Initiative soldiers accepted, was that he'd shrunk to subatomic size and rode out the explosion; we readers had accepted it too, for lack of a better explanation. But now a better explanation is at hand: Pym, a super-Skrull, simply used the powers of the Vision to become invulnerable. Good for him!

It seems that Pym connived in the creation of MVP clones, not to further the Skrull agenda, but to distract Pym's colleagues while he got on with seeding Skrull infiltrators throughout the Initiative. When KIA went on his rampage, Pym survived again with the help of his super-Skrull powers, in this case Quicksilver's, which he used to evade KIA's Tactigon blast.

Elsewhere, Delroy X, formerly Triathlon and now the new 3-D Man, is traveling to Hawaii to join the Point Men, that state's new Fifty State superteam. He's taken with him a graduation gift, the original 3-D Man's goggles, given as a gift by the elderly but still sprightly crimefighter. Arriving at the Point Men's base, he discovers that the goggles have an interesting power: they can detect Skrulls, even the newly-undetectable Skrulls of the Secret Invasion; and that one of these Skrulls has infiltrated his own team, in the guide of Magnitude.

Delroy doesn't have time to work out what's going on before Magnitude launches his attack. Delroy is able to knock Magnitude out, but not before having half of his team become seriously injured. Injured and scared, Delroy decides the best thing to do is to call in the cavalry. With the help of his Point Man ally Devilslayer, Delroy teleports back to Camp Hammond in search of help.

Poor Delroy. Aside from Pym, there is another Skrull hidden in Camp Hammond: the Crusader. Crusader is not an agent of the Secret Invasion, but an infiltrator from an earlier wave of Skrull activity, whose loyalty has begun to shift toward Earth over against the Empire. Earlier in the issue, Crusader happened to notice that Pym was eating pickles mixed with strawberries, and deduced from this that Pym was also a Skrull. Crusader, terrified of being discovered, did nothing... until Delroy appeared, bloody and shouting, through Devilslayer's portal. Crusader, knowing what he knew, instantly worked out that Delroy's goggles could perceive Skrulls, and that he was about to expose the existence of Skrull infiltrators. Overcome with fear, Crusader used his Freedom Ring to warp Delroy's goggles so that they showed Skrulls as humans and vice-versa. As a result, when Delroy comes to his senses, surrounded by concerned Initiative cadets, he is speechless, because he sees all of them as Skrulls!

In General...

A solid issue. Aside from the satisfaction of clearing up the backstories of Skrull-Pym and Skrull-Crusader, we also get some nice character bits with the original 3-D Man, plus a good action sequence with the Skrull-Magnitude. Still, it's mostly setup for future issues.

Overall Rating...

By the standards of this title, it's three webs: good, but no fireworks.