Superhuman Restraint Unit

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The (Anti-[1])Superhuman Restraint Unit[2] is a fictional special operations unit of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Comics universe designed by penciller, Howard Chaykin.[1] These S.H.I.E.L.D. agents wear armor, and use hardware, designed by Tony Stark[3] and Stark Enterprise employee, Kenny[4] and are trained to take down superhuman combatants. During the events of the Civil War, where these agents were sent to bring in rogue superheroes, its members (and the armored suits themselves) became known as Cape-Killers[5] (sometimes written Capekiller[6]).

History[edit]

A "Beetle" squad member guns down Tom Lennox The Mighty World Of Marvel #9 (Feb, 1984). Art by Alan Davis

The first appearance of an armored superhuman restraint unit in the Marvel Universe was in the pages of Marvel UK's The Mighty World Of Marvel, during the events of the Jaspers' Warp story arc. In this tale, insane reality warper, Jim Jaspers became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and turned the UK into a fascist state.[7] As PM, he enforced "Super Hero Legislation"; using armored agents of S.T.R.I.K.E., the UK division of S.H.I.E.L.D., to hunt down and detain superhumans within the UK. These anti-superhuman agents were called "Beetle" squadrons, due to their beetle head shaped helmets, and were best known for gunning down Tom Lennox, Betsy Braddock's lover.[8]

During the events of Marvel Comics' Civil War crossover, the United States government passed a Superhuman Registration Act[9] and used a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, recently trained to deal specifically with superhuman threats,[1] to enforce the law. These foot soldiers[10] of S.H.I.E.L.D., known as (Anti-)Superhuman Restraint Unit, and more commonly Cape-Killers, were spread out across Marvel comics, and came into conflict with various superpowered individuals throughout the event and into the subsequent Initiative story arc. Following the Secret Invasion storyline, Norman Osborn is placed in control of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s replacement, H.A.M.M.E.R., and discontinues Stark's line of Cape-Killer technology.[11]

Cape-Killer armor[edit]

  • Armor

Not much has been revealed in the comics about the Stark Enterprise's armor which is used by the Cape-Killers. During appearances of this unit, two different styles of helmet have been used; a Riotsquad style helmet[12] and, more commonly, a helmet with a Filter style gas mask.[13]

These suits are out-fitted with internal comm systems,[13] and hover discs[14] that give the wearers the ability of flight which have been seen in various comics.

  • Weapons

The Cape-Killer's various firearms in early comics shot tranquilizer darts[5] though later they have been shown to use genetic paralyzer laser weapons.[14]

  • Weaknesses

The armor suits have been shown to be susceptible to power surges[12] in several issues, and Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s former director who went into hiding after the events of the Secret War limited series, would later develop a device that transmitted an electromagnetic overload pulse-broadcast straight into their comm systems,[13] shutting down their suits and frying their electrical systems that was shown to take down several unit members at once.

It was later shown that former Stark Enterprise employee and a designer of the Cape-Killer armor, Kenny[4] has an override code on his high tech palm pilot that can freeze the suits.[6]

Known Cape-Killer teams and members[edit]

In other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

They appear in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2; as enemies if the player chooses the Anti-Registration side of the story, if the player chooses the Pro-Registration side they appear as allies.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mark Millar (w), Steve McNiven (p), Dexter Vines (i). Civil War (Directors Cut) 1 (July 2006), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b Marc Guggenheim (w), Humberto Ramos (p), Carlos Cuevas (i). "Revenge" Wolverine Vol. 3 43 (August 2006), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ a b Brian Michael Bendis (w), Howard Chaykin (p), Jose Pimentel (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 21 (June 2006), Marvel Comics
  4. ^ a b c Brian Michael Bendis (w), Jim Cheung (p), Livesay (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 25 (December 2006), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ a b c Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Mike Perkins (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 22 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ a b c "New Avengers #25 Script (jinxworld.com)". Retrieved 2007-12-17. this palm pilot is very high tech.", "The cape killers freeze in place. The armor is frozen, but its hard to notice just now.", and "The man walks away from us and right towards the fallen Capekiller's and is sauntering right inside the Avengers tower lobby. 
  7. ^ Alan Moore (w), Alan Davis (p), Alan Davis (i). "The Twisted World (Reprise)" The Mighty World Of Marvel 8 (January 1984), Marvel UK
  8. ^ Alan Moore (w), Alan Davis (p), Alan Davis (i). "Among Those Dark Satanic Mills (or Madwar)" The Mighty World Of Marvel 9 (February 1984), Marvel UK
  9. ^ "Marvel Comics Civil War (summary)". Retrieved 2007-12-17. With that incident as the igniting spark, everything in the U.S. changed. Super hero regulation and Registration swept through the government and sides were quickly drawn. 
  10. ^ Marc Guggenheim (w), Humberto Ramos (p), Carlos Cuevas (i). "Vengeance" Wolverine Vol. 3 45 (October 2006), Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Dark Avengers #1
  12. ^ a b c Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Mike Perkins (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 23 (December 2006), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ a b c Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Frank D'Armata (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 23 (January 2007), Marvel Comics
  14. ^ a b c Brian Michael Bendis (w), Leinil Yu (p), Dave McCaig (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 22 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Brian Reed (w), Roberto De La Torre (p), Jon Sibal (i). "Battle Lines" Ms. Marvel 6 (October 2006), Marvel Comics
  16. ^ Zeb Wells (w), Stefano Caselli (p), Daniele Rudoni (i). Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways 1 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (w), Khoi Pham & Stephane Peru (p). "Birds of Stymphalis (Incredible Herc)" Incredible Hulk vol. 3 112 (December 2007), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ J. Michael Straczynski (w), Mike McKone (p), Andy Lanning & Cam Smith (i). "Some Words Can Never Be Taken Back" Fantastic Four 540 (November 2006), Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Dan Slott (w), Steve Uy (p). "Persons Of Interest" Avengers: The Initiative 6 (November 2007), Marvel Comics