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Avengers: The Initiative Volume 2 - Killed In Action Premiere HC Hardcover – Jul 16 2008

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (July 16 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785128689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785128687
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #664,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x998e430c) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99af6c30) out of 5 stars More heroes than you can shake a stick at (Helpful hint: Don't shake a stick at heroes) Oct. 28 2008
By H. Bala - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The long story short, with the Initiative (skip the paragraph, if you already know): The tipping point was when the New Warriors made a mess of their superheroics and inadvertently caused part of Stamford, Connecticut to blow up, the explosion resulting in over 600 fatalities. Bring on the Civil War (Marvel Comics) event, the fallout of which is the ratification of a law requiring costumed and super-powered beings to register themselves with the federal government. Which led to the 50 State Initiative, a program vowing to provide a superhero team for each state. Erected on the very ground on which the New Warriors fell, Camp Hammond is a specialized training facility, a boot camp for super-powered recruits...

But just peel away the Initiative's public epidermis and, already, you might see something rotten underneath. Criminy, does history teach us blah blah blah? It never, ever pays to have scurvy, duplicitous nogoodniks on your payroll. To wit, key staffers Henry Gyrich and Baron von Blitzschlag have begun to bend the rules and to twist the ideals of the Initiative.

Writers Dan Slott and Christos N. Gage do a bang-up job with bringing the Initiative to life. For a grip of issues now, they've managed to juggle complex storylines and a huge and ever growing cast, and every now and then they throw in some comic relief. The main characters are found in the recruits, with Trauma and Cloud 9 as particular stand-outs. And, being a Spidey fan, I was intrigued (and a bit outraged) with the Scarlet Spiders. Issue #7 showcases the Spiders, as they become public, which ticks off the original wallcrawler. And if you've been wondering how Dan Slott was gonna reconciliate his Spider-Man: Brand New Day stuff with Marvel continuity, well, this issue gives a clue. If you're curious about these other newbies, the Annual lays out some origin stories, although I guess it's too early for the big reveal on the mysterious Mutant Zero (oh, more of her, please!). By the way, established heroes like War Machine and Yellowjacket do get turns in the spotlight, as well as ex-members of the New Warriors.

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE Vol. 2: KILLED IN ACTION collects issues #7-13 of the monthly and its first Annual. In these pages, Slott and Gage put the Initiative thru its paces like they got a grudge against them. Gyrich and von Blitzschalg's dubious shenanigans aside, first there was the World War Hulk crossover (see Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 1: Basic Training), wherein various capes were beaten down like street urchins. Now the "Secret Invasion" crossover event begins to manifest in this series. Can you guess who the Skrull is? Hint: There's more than one here.

Naturally, that's not the only infiltration going on. Constant readers are already aware of the double agent status of one of the recruits, although, in these issues, the mole is pretty much on stand by mode.

With the Gauntlet out of commission (again, see Vol. 1: BASIC TRAINING), the cadets get a new drill instructor in the form of the Taskmaster, and he's not any nicer. Issue #8 kicks off the wicked four-part "Killed In Action" story arc and features a deranged and unstoppable enemy bent on eliminating certain members of the Initiative. This guy is a serious Omega-level threat, even though his codename is utter dung. Anyway, pretty much everyone at Camp Hammond, even the Shadow Initiative, gets a crack at this guy and ends up getting their you-know-whats handed to them. At the end of this one, folks get seriously maimed and seriously killed.

Camp Hammond, let's not forget, is a training facility. As such, expect new waves of recruits to come in. Fresh off the bus is the Irredeemable Ant Man, who opens up all sorts of possibilities for sleazy shenanigans. Right away, he lives up to the "irredeemable" part of his name. By the way, you know he's irredeemable when someone as questionable as the Taskmaster tells him he's good people.

Issue #12 is titled "Changing of the Guard" and covers certain principals in the Initiative undergoing a hearing for the "Killed In Action" snafu. It also has the original recruits graduating. I thought that the very effective last page of this issue, featuring a commanding Cloud 9, aptly sums up what the Initiative is supposed to be about. What a good send off for this bunch of recruits. Issue #13 repeats the cylce as yet another string of rookies is brought in. And going by the actions of the Taskmaster and the Constrictor here, they just may be good guys after all.

I don't know how illustrator Stefano Caselli does it, covering such a sweeping canvas of characters. My theory is, they done him what they did to MVP. Anyway, I dig his visual storytelling. He's really good.

So far, I've liked everything about this comic book. Exciting storylines, dirty intrigue, compelling characters, great action, and even flickers of romance. Guys, if you haven't yet checked out this title, you are seriously missing out on something seriously good. Seriously. I mean, it's got the Irredeemable Ant Man, for cripe's sake.
HASH(0x99af6e7c) out of 5 stars Great storytelling arc that turned this book into one of Marvel’s MVPs. June 24 2016
By THowerton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Volume 2 of The Initiative, a book about training superhumans in an effort to create and place superhero teams in all 50 United States, continues the most excellent story begun in volume 1. This flawed program, run by Hank Pym (a.k.a. Yellowjacket) and War Machine with help from the likes of ex-Nazi Baron von Blitzschlag (what a name!) and former bad guy Taskmaster, and with interference by U.S. State Dept. official Henry Peter “I’m a hornet in the superhero’s bonnet” Gyrich, royally and radically reaps what it has sown. And how! Often times there are no consequences that are really felt in comics, and deaths are cheap or turned cheap when the dead so easily come back to life, but this “Secret Invasion” storyline tie-in (it’s pretty lite on the tie-in) plays with that cheap attitude in some fun ways. MVP, one of the most promising young recruits who was killed in the first couple of issues in volume 1, comes back to life with a vengeance. (Literally) Branding himself KIA (Killed In Action) he goes about killing other heroes and personnel that were there when he was killed by the alien Tactigon device, which has now reanimated him. And kill people he does. Some come back, some don’t. I had said that volume 1 was like Marvel’s version of “Full Metal Jacket”. This collection feels like a heightened and expanded scene from that film where the private that was tortured by his peers and the Boot Camp Sergeant lost his sanity and killed the Seargeant. For a Marvel superhero comic that is ostensibly friendly toward younger readers this is pretty intense (too intense for them actually; this is PG13). Writer Dan Slott has my respect. He juggles a lot of voices and personalities and gives most of them compelling distinctions. This is probably best seen in issue #13, which is funny as all get out in its set up. After the trauma of the previous story arc we take a break as we are introduced to some new recruits. Taskmaster, who as his name implies enjoys whipping them into shape, is working with one whom he dubs Butterball (real codename: Boulder), a pudgy out-of-shape badly dressed teen whose enthusiasm for being there and superhero fandom in general gets on everybody’s nerves. This guy isn’t cut out to be an offensive (as in taking the battle to your opponent) player, and he’s annoying, so Taskmaster tries to discipline the kid but his power set basically makes him invulnerable to everything. So TM punishes Butterball’s peers so they’ll put pressure on him to step up his physical game. They beat him with the old soap-in-the-sock trick (remember that “Full Metal Jacket” scene?) only…Butterball’s impervious and sleeps through the beating! And so on and so forth. It’s a clever, and funny, twist to the storyline and adds some welcome relief to the heaviness that this book has worked under. It’s been a great run so far and I’m very much looking forward to future volumes.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99af90d8) out of 5 stars Harsh times July 15 2008
By N. Durham - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Avengers: The Initiative was originally conceived as a mini-series, but the longer that the series goes on, the better it seems to get. In the chaotic Killed in Action, with drill instructor Gauntlet out of comission, the recruits get the Taskmaster as their new instructor, and that's only the beginning. MVP's clone (of which there are many) sets out for revenge against everyone involved with the original's death, and the effects of Secret Invasion are felt as Skrull revelations occur. Writer Dan Slott (She-Hulk, Spider-Man: Brand New Day) manages to not only keep things interesting, but actually make you care about the fates of the characters instead of just offing them for the sake of offing them. Stefano Caselli's artwork may be an acquired taste at first, but it will grow on you in time, as will this series. All in all, Killed in Action is a high-octane and chaotic chapter in the Avengers: The Initiative series, and if you've been missing out on it, now is the time to check it out.
HASH(0x99af9354) out of 5 stars Interesting read... Oct. 9 2009
By Mark A. Domeier - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Parts of this collection are a set-up for Secret Invasion as one of the big-time Skrulls is secretly one of the main cast. Even with that aside, the mysteries presented in The Initiative are intriguing and allow subplots that keep the reader attuned to what's going on. Most of these characters are not big names, but you gain an interest in their lives. It will be interesting to see how many are left after the Invasion and how many might grow into their own titles some day. The writing is good and the art is above average - I like it!
HASH(0x99af91ec) out of 5 stars Really enjoyable book Oct. 30 2008
By Ana Pastor Valdivieso - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, it's not a must have, but I definetly recommended it. If you liked the volume one, you're definetly gonna like this one. I loved the new characters and you get to see more on the old one's background. I can't wait for volume 3 (allready ordered it).