Force of Nature (comics)
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|Force of Nature|
|First appearance||New Warriors #7|
|Created by||Stan Lee
The Force of Nature is a group of supervillains in Marvel Comics who each have elemental themed powers: earth, fire, water, and wind. The team was organized by the eco-terrorism group Project: Earth, who enticed certain criminal/antisocial superhumans into joining their cause with the notion of continuing to commit illegal acts while acting under the guise of ecological activism. They have most often clashed with the superhero team known as the New Warriors, and first appeared as a team in New Warriors #7.
Fictional team biography
The Force of Nature first appears as a team when Project: Earth sends them to stop land developers from clearing sections of the Amazon rainforest. The original members consisted of Aqueduct, Firewall, Skybreaker, and Terraformer (a creation of Plantman). They come into conflict with the New Warriors when several members of the Project fake their own disappearances as a publicity stunt; among the missing members is actress Maddie Baldwin, mother of Warriors member Speedball, who asks for his teammates' help in locating her. The trail leads to the Amazon, where the subterfuge is revealed after the Force of Nature ambushes and captures the Warriors. Speedball pledges the Warriors' aid in an attempt to get close to his mother, but the heroes turn on the Force of Nature when it becomes clear that the villains intend to use lethal force in stopping the clearcutting crews. With the Force on the verge of defeat, Project: Earth abandons them to their fate after an aborted attempt to martyr Maddie Baldwin and blame the developers (foiled by Speedball). The Force of Nature is turned over to local authorities for incarceration.
However, Project: Earth later facilitates the Force of Nature's release and retains them as agents, despite the defection of Firewall to the Folding Circle. After recruiting Firebrand II as a replacement for Firewall, Project: Earth sends the Force of Nature to deal with oil well fires in the war-torn nation of Trans-Sabal; when the Force of Nature deviates from their assignment and takes a side in Trans-Sabal's ongoing conflict, Project: Earth asks the New Warriors to pull the villains out of the country before their actions further damage the Project's reputation. The Warriors reluctantly agree and eventually succeed in the task (though not before being dragged into the conflict themselves), bringing the Force of Nature out for incarceration in the Vault.
While in the Vault, Aqueduct, Skybreaker, and Terraformer are part of a prisoner riot that rises out of requests for better inmate living conditions, denied by prison authorities on the basis of the greater security measures required to incarcerate superhuman criminals (for example, denying Terraformer "communion" with even a small houseplant, reasoning that Terraformer would use the plant in an escape attempt). The dispute is mediated by New Warriors member Justice (himself an inmate at the time for an accidental murder), who demonstrates good faith on the prisoners' part by allowing Terraformer access to a potted plant from the prison warden's office; Terraformer proceeds to simply "commune" with the plant, as requested. The warden agrees to the possibility of granting privileges to inmates on a case-by-case basis, according to each prisoner's individual behavior and needs.
The Force of Nature did not appear as a full team for some time following the Trans-Sabal incident, and most of the membership was shown returning to criminal activity. Aqueduct (who kept his new alias and costume after the Force of Nature separated) in particular was active as a member of the seventh incarnation of the Masters of Evil, and more recently as one of the villains recruited for government service by the Thunderbolts during Marvel Comics' Civil War event. Firewall/Silk Fever also appeared as a Thunderbolts recruit along with her Folding Circle teammates.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Aqueduct, Skybreaker, and Terraformer are recruited with other super-criminals by Norman Osborn, who is currently in charge of all matters regarding the Superhuman Registration Act and, in a deal made with crime lord The Hood, intends to replace many of the registered heroes operating under the Fifty State Initiative with super-villains who are willing to act as heroes while "enriching themselves in more...subtle ways than they're used to". With the addition of Initiative recruit (and former criminal) Sunstreak in place of Firebrand II, Force of Nature is revealed as the new Initiative team for the state of Oregon. Osborn orders Force of Nature to attack the Heavy Hitters after they secede from the Initiative. They help the other Initiative teams to defeat and capture the Heavy Hitters' leader, Prodigy.
Force of Nature joins Norman Osborn in the Siege of Asgard alongside the Dark Avengers and the Initiative members that are on his side. During the Siege of Asgard, Terraformer is sliced almost in half by an Asgardian sword wielded by Heimdall.
- Omar Barrenos (leader) - The head of "Project: Earth" and direct liaison between the Project and the Force of Nature.
- Aqueduct — formerly the liquid-controlling criminal Water Wizard, renamed "Aqueduct" by Project: Earth.
- Firebrand (Russ Broxtel) - The second criminal to use the Firebrand identity. He was recruited as the "fire" member after Firewall's departure. He is the only member to depend on technology for his powers.
- Firewall - A Vietnamese pyrokinetic who left the Force of Nature after their first encounter with the New Warriors to join the Folding Circle as Silk Fever.
- Skybreaker - An Inhuman criminal (known as Aireo among his own people) with wind-manipulating abilities.
- Sunstreak - A fiery supervillain who in lieu of jail time complied with the Superhuman Registration Act and underwent training with the Fifty State Initiative at Camp Hammond. She was placed with the Force of Nature when Aqueduct, Skybreaker, and Terraformer joined the Initiative under Norman Osborn's management.
- Terraformer - A plant-based "Stimuloid" duplicate of the criminal Plantman who gained sentience and struck out on his own. Terraformer initially resembled his creator's human form (albeit in a different costume), but after sustaining severe damage in battle, transformed into a more plant-like humanoid form. He can mentally control plants, not only altering their rate and size of growth, but causing them to move on their own. A facet of this is the ability to communicate with plants; Terraformer has claimed a need to "commune" with plants in this manner on a regular basis to maintain his physical well-being.
- New Warriors volume 1 #7-9, January–March 1991
- New Warriors v.1 #29-30, November–December 1992
- New Warriors v.1 #36, June 1993
- Thunderbolts #24-25, March–April 1999
- Thunderbolts #107, December 2006
- Thunderbolts #108, January 2007
- Close-up of art from Avengers: The Initiative #26
- Avengers: The Initiative #25, June 2009
- Avengers: The Initiative #26
- Avengers: The Initiative #28
- Siege #1
- Avengers: The Initiative #32
- Force of Nature at Marvel.com
- Force of Nature at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe