Real Name: Violet Lightner

Identity/Class: Human;
   former alien technology user

Occupation: Former superhero-in-training

Group Membership: Formerly the Initiative (Bengal, Cloud-9, Gauntlet (Green), Henry Peter Gyrich, Hardball (Brokeridge), Komodo (Kusama), MVP, Rage, She-Hulk, Slapstick, Thor Girl (Skrull imposter), Trauma (Ward), Ultragirl, Baron von Blitzschlag, Yellowjacket (Criti Noll))

AffiliationsDr. Burke, the Mighty Avengers (Ares, Ms. Marvel (Danvers), Wonderman, Wasp (Van Dyne)), unidentified friend

EnemiesBrothers Grimm, Flying Tiger, Needle (Night Shift), Ultimo

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: The Burke Wellness Center, San Francisco, California;
   formerly a foster home, in an unrevealed location;
   formerly Camp Hammond, Stamford, Connecticut

First Appearance: Avengers: The Initiative#1 (June, 2007)

Powers/Abilities: Clinically depressed, Violet Lightner appears to have the strength and agility of a young woman who engages in moderate exercise. Formerly in possession of the Tactigon, a multi-dimensional war chest, Lightner controlled a device capable of defensive and offensive weaponry in a variety of sizes and shapes.

History(Avengers: The Initiative#1/Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Violet Lightner spent time in a foster home growing up, developing an intense fear of spiders upon seeing they would crawl over her while she slept.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Becoming seriously depressed as she got older, Violet began cutting herself to deal with her pain. Placed into the care of Dr. Burke of the Burke Wellness Center, Violet was prescribed medication to stop her from hurting herself. Contemplating suicide, Violet read a study of how people who attempted suicide by jumping off bridges wished they hadn't while falling.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb)) - Choosing to jump off the Golden Gate bridge, Violet recalled the study, noting instead how empty she felt as she fell. Violet was saved mid-fall by the Tactigon, which sprang from the water below and attached itself to her. Violet felt a strange consciousness from the Tactigon telling her it was a weapon capable of becoming whatever it's wearer needed the most, and she found that in her case it was a reason for being.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb)) - Calling herself Armory, Violet became a superhero, using the Tactigon to foil the criminal pursuits of the Brothers Grimm, Flying Tiger, and Needle. Helping people and showing that someone was looking out for them made Violet feel like she mattered, and when the Superhuman Registration Act was passed and the 50 state Initiative started, Armory saw a chance to make a real difference.

(Avengers: The Initiative#1/Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2) - Seeing the Mighty Avengers fighting the extraterrestrial android Ultimo, Armory introduced herself to the group by defeating Ultimo with a single blast of the Tactigon.

(Avengers: The Initiative#1) - Armory arrived at Camp Hammond alongside fellow her fellow new Initiative recruits and was introduced to administrator Yellowjacket (secretly the Skrull Criti Noll) and drill instructor Gauntlet. Later that day, Armory trained in the combat simulator, testing her skills in a match of capture the flag against several combat-bots. With the Tactigon more than a match for the combat-bots, Armory finished her training session quickly and prepared to step aside for Trauma's session. Feeding off Armory's fear of spiders, Trauma transformed into a giant spider, causing Armory to fire the Tactigon blindly. Armory was stopped by Gauntlet, but not before blasting off Komodo's right arm (which quickly regrew) and accidently killing MVP. Told she'd "washed out" of the Initiative, Armory had the Tactigon surgically removed and was taken out of the Initiative.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Violet returned to the Burke Wellness Center.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2) - Violet attended a session with Dr. Burke, who noticed the scars on Violet's left arm from the removal of the Tactigon. Revealing the truth of her discovery of the Tactigon and her brief career as a superhero, Violet stopped at her arrival at Camp Hammond and the accidental death of MVP, having been sworn to secrecy with her departure. Backtracking and claiming the story of the Tactigon and her encounter with the Avengers were lies and the scratches were the result of saving a cat from a tree, Violet was denied outpatient status by Dr. Burke, who suspected Violet was hiding the truth from her.

Comments: Created by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli

Avengers: The Initiative co-writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage revealed in an interview with the Comics Newsarama, that while co-writing Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 Gage asked if Violet Lightner was related to Thomas Lightner (whom he'd remembered from his connections to Project: PEGASUS and the Squadron Supreme). While a connection between Armory and Lightner (currently known as Mysterium) is possible, it's been unexplored thus far.

While Violet Lightner has apparently abandoned the codename "Armory" following the loss of the Tactigon, her follow-up story in Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1 refers to her by that name.

After being removed from Violet, the Tactigon was used by KIA, a revenge-crazed clone of MVP.

Penance was admitted into the Burke Wellness Center following his forced removal from the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts I#126 (wherein it's mentioned by Moonstone that the "maximum security mental institution" Penance is being sent to is a "really nasty one" -- Osborn must've pulled rank and had him diverted to Burke, which seems neither to be a maximum security facility, nor a nasty one at that).

Profile by G Morrow.

Armory has no known connections to


(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Burke founded the Burke Wellness Center in San Fransisco. Burke personally met with young patient Violet Lightner, for whom she prescribed anti-depressant medication.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Burke was approached by Henry Peter Gyrich, Secretary of the Superhuman Armed Forces, to report to him in the event Lightner revealed the circumstances of her expulsion from the Initiative.

(Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1/2) - Burke had a session with Violet, who began to tell her about the Tactigon, before claiming the story of Tactigon was a lie. Burke told Violet that she wanted to keep her as a patient until she was ready to tell her the truth, offering to be there for Violet when she was ready to tell her what was really going on with her. After Violet left her office, Burke telephoned Gyrich to let him know that Violet would keep the secret of what happened at the Initiative.

(Avengers: The Initiative#25 (fb) - BTS) - Following his dismissal from the Thunderbolts, Penance (Baldwin) was admitted into the Burke Wellness Center by Norman Osborn, following his rise to power in the wake of the Skrull "Secret Invasion". In their short time together, Burke had already made great progress healing Penance's fractured mind.

(Avengers: The Initiative#25) - Burke welcomed Osborn and Taskmaster and brought them to Baldwin's room. Informing them of the progress he'd made since being admitted, Burke stepped aside as Osborn reminded Penance of the events in Stamford that led to the superhuman Civil War and offered him a chance to atone for his actions by training under Taskmaster.

unidentified friend

(Avengers: The Initiative#1 - BTS) - Armory was on the phone with an unidentified friend as she arrived at Camp Hammond. She promised to get her friend Iron Man's autograph if she saw him.

images: (without ads)
Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1, p14-15, pan4 (main image)
Avengers: The Initiative#1, p18, pan6 (close-up)
Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1, p9, pan3 (Dr. Burke)

Avengers: The Initiative#1 (June, 2007) - Dan Slott (writer), Stefano Caselli (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Avengers: The Initiative Annual#1 (January, 2008) - Dan Slott and Christos Gage (writer), Clayton Henry (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#25 (August, 2009) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Humberto Ramos (art), Jeanine Schaefer (editor) Tom Brevoort (exec. editor)

First Posted: 05/01/2009
Last updated: 07/19/2009

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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