Freedom Force (comics)
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The original was a supervillain team, though they occasionally acted in a heroic capacity as well. It was a government-sponsored team originally composed mainly of Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They mostly interacted with the X-Men, X-Factor and New Mutants, but also repeatedly met the Avengers.
Fictional team biography
Mystique's Freedom Force
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #199 (Nov. 1985)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
John Romita, Jr.
Valerie Cooper (government liaison)
When mutant and human relationships worsen, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants's leader Mystique decides that it has become too dangerous for them to continue their current path. She offers the services of the Brotherhood to Valerie Cooper, a United States National Security Advisor, in exchange for full pardons. Cooper sees a great opportunity in Mystique's offer, but wants the team to prove their loyalty first by arresting the original Brotherhood's founder Magneto. The team accepts, is renamed Freedom Force, and the sorceress Spiral is added to the team. They attack Magneto at a remembrance ceremony for the Holocaust. Though they meet a decisive defeat at the hands of Magneto's new allies, the X-Men, Magneto decides to surrender himself to Freedom Force.
On their next mission, Spider-Woman is added to the team's line-up. When the Avengers are framed by their embittered former member Quicksilver, the U.S. government sends Freedom Force to arrest them, which they do successfully. Spider-Woman feels guilty for these actions, frees the Avengers from jail, and leaves Freedom Force, becoming a fugitive. Another three members are added: Crimson Commando, Stonewall and Super Sabre, all World War II veterans who decided to take justice in their own hands and hunt down and execute criminals. When they targeted Storm, they were defeated and turned themselves in. It was thought that the former heroes could be redeemed and they were offered a position on Freedom Force.
Over the next few months, they are given many unpopular tasks, such as enforcing the Mutant Registration Act, arresting the outlaw X-Men, and saving the people of Dallas from an attack by an evil god. Freedom Force clashes with X-Factor and the New Mutants when they learn that Freedom Force is helping the U.S. government forcibly recruit young mutants and potential mutants for training and eventual government service. During this time Spiral leaves the team for her own reasons. Freedom Force also helps train John Walker as Captain America and assists Walker in apprehending the mutant terrorists known as the Resistants.
Freedom Force also participates in other missions of a more general nature, including the rescue of Senator Robert Kelly from a South American drug syndicate that had kidnapped him during a diplomatic visit, as well as helping to contain a jailbreak at the Vault.
The team begin to fall apart after the mutant Forge asks them to protect Muir Island against the Reavers. During this mission Stonewall and Destiny are killed, and Avalanche is severely injured. The death of Destiny especially hits Mystique hard and the team fights the Avengers without her leadership. Shortly after the battle at Muir Island, Val Cooper is possessed by the Shadow King and ordered to kill Mystique; however, Cooper resists the Shadow King's influence and seriously injures herself rather than commit murder. Mystique then assumes Val's identity, passing Cooper's injured body as her own corpse, and later aids the X-Men and X-Factor as a "mole" among the Shadow King's servants.
Without Mystique, the remaining members of Freedom Force are sent on a disastrous mission in Kuwait during the first Gulf War, in which Super Sabre is killed and Crimson Commando severely injured. To save Commando's life, Avalanche leaves Pyro and the Blob stranded in enemy territory. Avalanche and Commando, now a cyborg, continue to work for the US government, apparently as covert operations agents. The team is soon replaced by a government team called X-Factor, also under Val Cooper's supervision.
Initiative Freedom Force
|First appearance||Avengers: The Initiative #12|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
John Romita, Jr.
This Freedom Force team consists of Cloud 9, Think Tank, Equinox and Spinner, led by the Golden Age hero Challenger. Spinner and Think Tank are two new characters. Spinner wakes up every day with a different power. Her known powers have included invulnerability, super-strength, super-speed, and flight. Think Tank possesses telekinesis and his brain is in a liquid-filled globe.
During the Dark Reign storyline, new Initiative leader Norman Osborn orders Freedom Force to attack the Heavy Hitters after they secede from the Initiative. He feels he can trust the team to follow orders due both to Equinox's criminal past and to Challenger coming from a time where authority is to be respected and obeyed without question. They help the other Initiative teams to defeat and capture the Heavy Hitters' leader, Prodigy.
Steve Rogers later reported that Challenger refused to take part in the attack on Asgard. Norman Osborn then excluded his team and Stark-formed teams from the Siege.
During the Fear Itself storyline, members of Freedom Force appear at a meeting held by Prodigy regarding magical hammers that have crashed into the Earth. Between these, there is also an inexplicably alive Spinner.
Freedom Force trademark
Marvel Comics abandoned the Freedom Force trademark in the 1990s and it was eventually re-registered by computer game developer, Irrational Games, which used it as the name for their own team of comic book heroes (with no connection to Marvel or its characters). These all-new characters were featured in two games and one comic book miniseries (through Image Comics).
An undead version of Freedom Force appears in the Marvel Zombies universe consisting of Mystique, Pyro, and Avalanche. They are seen in pursuit of the still-living Blob, whom they apprehend and create into a zombie like themselves. United as a foursome, they then attack the X-Men who defeat and destroy them all.
- Uncanny X-Men #199 (November 1985)
- New Mutants #78 (August 1989)
- Captain America #346 (October 1988)
- Marvel Comics Presents #41 (January 1990)
- Avengers: Deathtrap, the Vault (July 1991)
- Avengers: The Initiative #12
- Avengers: The Initiative #18
- Avengers: The Initiative #19
- Avengers: The Initiative #28
- Heroic Age: Heroes
- Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1
- Marvel Zombies - Dead Days #1
- America's Heroes: Freedom Force
- Freedom Force Initiative at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe