Superhuman Restraint Unit
The (Anti-)Superhuman Restraint Unit is a fictional special operations unit of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Comics universe designed by penciller, Howard Chaykin. These S.H.I.E.L.D. agents wear armor, and use hardware, designed by Tony Stark and Stark Enterprise employee, Kenny 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 (sometimes written Capekiller).
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. 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.
During the events of Marvel Comics' Civil War crossover, the United States government passed a Superhuman Registration Act and used a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, recently trained to deal specifically with superhuman threats, to enforce the law. These foot soldiers 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.
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 and, more commonly, a helmet with a Filter style gas mask.
The armor suits have been shown to be susceptible to power surges 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, shutting down their suits and frying their electrical systems that was shown to take down several unit members at once.
Known Cape-Killer teams and members
- 9-6 - unlicensed hero recovery team.
- Agent Abrams - he led a Superhuman Restraint Unit to capture Robert "Nitro" Hunter; they failed and died when they were caught in a Nitro generated explosion.
- Agent Cleery
- Agent Doug ???, and another Cape-Killer - Security for the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.
- Aerial Company C & Aerial Company E - Posted in the Manhattan area follow the events of World War Hulk.
- Dum Dum Dugan
- Force Unit 9 - Avengers/Stark Tower Guards.
- Team Cobra - which included Commander Gabriel Jones, and Agent Whitman
- Team 1 & Team 2 - assigned to the Baxter Building.
- Special Agent Marquez, and her partner Agent McAllister
In other media
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.
- Mark Millar (w), Steve McNiven (p), Dexter Vines (i). Civil War (Directors Cut) 1 (July 2006), Marvel Comics
- Marc Guggenheim (w), Humberto Ramos (p), Carlos Cuevas (i). "Revenge" Wolverine Vol. 3 43 (August 2006), Marvel Comics
- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Howard Chaykin (p), Jose Pimentel (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 21 (June 2006), Marvel Comics
- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Jim Cheung (p), Livesay (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 25 (December 2006), Marvel Comics
- Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Mike Perkins (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 22 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
- "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."
- Alan Moore (w), Alan Davis (p), Alan Davis (i). "The Twisted World (Reprise)" The Mighty World Of Marvel 8 (January 1984), Marvel UK
- 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
- "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."
- Marc Guggenheim (w), Humberto Ramos (p), Carlos Cuevas (i). "Vengeance" Wolverine Vol. 3 45 (October 2006), Marvel Comics
- Dark Avengers #1
- Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Mike Perkins (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 23 (December 2006), Marvel Comics
- Ed Brubaker (w), Mike Perkins (p), Frank D'Armata (i). "The Drums of War" Captain America Vol. 5 23 (January 2007), Marvel Comics
- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Leinil Yu (p), Dave McCaig (i). "New Avengers Disassembled" New Avengers 22 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
- Brian Reed (w), Roberto De La Torre (p), Jon Sibal (i). "Battle Lines" Ms. Marvel 6 (October 2006), Marvel Comics
- Zeb Wells (w), Stefano Caselli (p), Daniele Rudoni (i). Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways 1 (September 2006), Marvel Comics
- 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
- 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
- Dan Slott (w), Steve Uy (p). "Persons Of Interest" Avengers: The Initiative 6 (November 2007), Marvel Comics