The Shadow Initiative was a special "black ops" team within the Initiative, answerable only to Henry Peter Gyrich. This team consisted of Bengal, Trauma, Constrictor, Mutant Zero, and the Scarlet Spiders.
"The Initiative program denies all knowledge of a special Black Ops Team. There is no pardon on file for the super-villain known as the Constrictor. No record of any dealings with the Vietnamese national codenamed Bengal. Tony Stark cannot recall what became of his designs for the Iron Spider armor. And, most importantly, the Superhuman Armed Forces wishes to dispel all rumors of a 199th mutant. We repeat, there is no Mutant Zero. Mutant Zero does NOT exist. That is all."
This Shadow Initiative was sent out by Gyrich to free the Initiative members captured by the Hulk's Warbound; Rage, Cloud 9, Ultra Girl, Thor Girl, Slapstick and Hardball. On this assignment Bengal showed to be a perfect field leader of this Shadow Initiative.
The black ops group successfully rescued these captured trainees, while Trauma, their "secret weapon" tried to use his powers to scare the Hulk (becoming, in turn, the Abomination, Juggernaut, Brian Banner, and Bruce Banner) he failed to beat the Hulk, the Hulk beat him into unconsciousness, leaving Terrance alive to pass the message on to the others. Trauma later recuperated in the Initiative's medical bay. It is later revealed that the Scarlet Spiders are clones of Michael van Patrick (MVP),a deceased initiative recruit accidentally killed. The Scarlet Spiders are later taken off the Black Ops team after revealing themselves to the public and places with the other trainees.
Gyrich called them to protect him from KIA, but they lost and one of the Scarlet Spiders was killed, and Constrictor was badly maimed. Mutant Zero saved Gyrich and the remaining Scarlet Spiders continued the battle for their brother. After KIA was defeated, the two remaining Scarlet Spiders left the Initiative to join Counter Force, a team of former New Warriors, MVP and these two, led by Justice, while Constrictor was healed with two bionic hands.
During the Skrull Invasion, the Shadow Initiative stayed at Camp Hammond while most others of the Initiative went to fight the Skrulls in New York. Later the Skrulls used Camp Hammond as a base, which Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady), discovers, having stayed behind out of cowardice. The Shadow Initiative tries to assassinate the Skrull Queen Veranke, but is defeated and captured, except for Ant-Man. During this story it was revealed Mutant Zero is a red haired woman.
After the events of the Secret Invasion, Taskmaster was added by Gauntlet to the Black-Ops team as their fieldleader. The first thing he did was discover Mutant Zero's true identity to be Typhoid Mary. After some of the cadets graduated, Batwing was appointed to the Shadow Initiative. However since the Shadow Initiative, including Komodo was on an assignment to take down Hardball in Madripoor, Batwing will have to be patient to meet the rest of his team.
- 19 members of Shadow Initiative (Earth-616)
- 21 appearance(s) of Shadow Initiative (Earth-616)
- 4 image(s) of Shadow Initiative (Earth-616)