EUROFORCE

Membership: The Baby Killer (Mikhail Zamorska), Sliver (Franco Fibbri), Swordswoman (Marjorie), Tiger (Hughes Aït-Kaci), Tumult;
   formerly (see comments) Argento (Michele Alex Argento), Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Danger (Dolph Dongen), Deep Sight (Jane Melville), Key (Geyr Kluge), Nuage (Silvie Rouge), Picaro (Antonio Rey)

Purpose: Research and Defense on paranormal phenomena in European Territories for the European Union;
   formerly adventurers, fugitives, Research and Defense on paranormal phenomena in European Territory for EuroMind

Affiliations: Avengers (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Nightmask/Adam, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Starbrand/Kevin Connor), Director François Borillon, Champions of Europe (Ares, Captain Britain/Brian Braddock, Guillotine/Jeannine Sauvage, Outlaw/Nigel Higgins, Peregrine/Alain Racine), Sebastian Druid, EuroLab, European Union, Iceboy (Hamish Carlyle), Salomé, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) European Branch, Moloid Subterraneans, U.S. Avengers (Enigma/Aikku Jokinen, Squirrel Girl/Doreen Green) 

Enemies: A.I.M., Hydra, Lords of War (Kaneda, Oda, Sakuragi, others), Morgan Le Fay;
   formerly S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Commission

Base of Operations: Europe

First Appearance: Europa#3/2 (September 1996)

History: (Europa#1/2-2/2 - BTS) - S.H.I.E.L.D.'s rapid response combat unit Task Force and superpowered paranormal research team EuroLab were attached to EuroMind, a European section of S.H.I.E.L.D. that answered to S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). Both teams investigated the sudden appearance of human mutates, EuroLab in Europe and Task Force in Malaysia, and uncovered a connection to French multinational Nadir, Inc., but the latter were ambushed by armored mercenaries, the Lords of War, and suffered both casualties and the abduction of a team member, Iceboy. Unbeknownst to either team, Nadir was secretly an A.I.M. front and had powerful connections within both S.H.A.P.E. and EuroMind; upon returning to base, EuroLab and the two survivors of Task Force were ordered to drop the mutate investigation and were targeted for assassination. Defeating their attackers, the combined groups went rogue, fleeing EuroMind's Spanish base determined to rescue Iceboy and get to the bottom of the mystery.  

(Europa#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - En route to Western Malaya, the groups decided to unite as a new team, choosing the name Euroforce. Meanwhile, back at EuroMind, faked video footage was used to frame them for murdering fellow agents, making them fugitives. However, EuroMind operative Salome secretly analyzed the footage for Director François Borillon, confirming his suspicion that it had been altered to discredit his operatives. 

(Europa#3/2) - Aware from their investigations that Nadir had an expensive lab on an isolated private island in Western Malaya, the team snuck in, overpowering and hiding the guards. Deep Sight accessed the base's map, and the group split into two teams. Argento, Danger, Deep Sight, Nuage and Picaro formed the larger group, designated Euroforce Red, who headed for the lab's main computer to get into the archives, while Tiger and Key (Euroforce Blue) set out to retrieve Iceboy. Unfortunately, the guards were soon discovered, and seconds before the Red squad reached their target the alert was sounded.  

   As the archive room's door slid open, Deep Sight's metal fist smashed into a nearby guard's face before he could react, and Red squad entered the room. Nuage informed Danger that she sensed eight more people inside, while Deep Sight told Picaro she had detected a terminal compatible with her internal biochip A-14. Informing his teammates that if it wasn't for the fact that their raid was unauthorized and illegal, forcing them to show more restraint, he would have already unloaded his guns into the A.I.M. guards they now faced, Argento proceeded to smash his way through those guards with brutal martial arts precision. Standing over his own downed opponents, Danger announced that the area now seemed to be secured...just before an overlooked guard struck him from behind with the electrified tip of a staff weapon, discharging a massive electrical shock into his back. Unhurt and unimpressed, Danger turned to face his attacker, raised a fist crackling with energy, and enquired if the guard objected to his assessment. Cowering, the guard decided not to argue. 

   Argento and Danger then stood watch while Picaro and Deep Sight worked to access the database, copy it and then destroy it. However, they were interrupted by the Lords of War, who announced their arrival by blasting Danger from behind. Recognizing Argento as one of the opponents who had escaped them a few days earlier, the Lords' leader, Kaneda, called dibs on him.

   On a lower level of the complex, Tiger and Key were spotted and came under fire. Tiger shielded Key as he breached a security door's control panel, and they fled into the room beyond, where they discovered to their shock and horror Iceboy, floating within a clear container of greenish fluid, his still-human face barely recognizable atop a monstrously mutated body. 

(Europa#4/2) - Key tried to stabilize Iceboy's condition so he could be released without risking killing him, but A.I.M. security forces breached the doors before Key could do so and opened fire. Tiger and Key ducked for cover, and the shots instead shattered the container, freeing the mutated Iceboy. Having entered an area beyond their meager clearance, the security men paused, unsure what they were facing, and Tiger called to his friend to get to cover. In response, one of the A.I.M. agents shot Tiger, but seeing the bullet strike his friend stirred up memories in the mutate's dizzy mind, recalling his past in S.H.I.E.L.D., the recent death of his teammates, and his own capture. Sensing that his unintentional release meant he only had seconds to live, Iceboy surrendered to rage and ripped the A.I.M. agents to pieces before collapsing. Kneeling beside his fallen comrade, Tiger swore to Key that someone would pay for all his friends' deaths.   

   Meanwhile the Lords of War learned they had underestimated their new adversaries. Though most of Euroforce's members were not combat specialists like Task Force, this time the Lords of War did not have the advantage of ambushing and downing half their opponents before the battle began. Additionally, the former EuroLab members possessed a wider range of powers than Task Force, who had mostly been armed with military weapons outmatched by the Lords' superior technology. An energy blast from Picaro sent Oda flying backwards, and a telepathic assault by Nuage instantly knocked out Sakuragi. Complaining that these tactics were dishonorable, Kaneda and Oda switched their armors up to higher power levels and charged back into the fray. As they re-entered the room, Argento dropped on Kaneda from above, informing him they had a score to settle. Caught off guard, Oda wondered aloud where Argento had been hiding, just before Danger suddenly appeared and struck him, emerging from the same psychic camouflage Nuage had been providing his teammate.

    Announcing that she had finished downloading the files and had destroyed the database, Deep Sight added that she didn't foresee any great difficulty taking down the Lords. This pronouncement pleased Danger, who noted that his foe didn't seem to want to stay down even as he struck Oda with energized fists. Leaping over Kaneda, Argento shot him in the face with both guns and shouted to his teammates that the mercenary was all their's. Nuage drew the Lords attention towards her, distracting them while Deep Sight stepped up behind them and electrocuted them into unconsciousness, a feat she noted was only possible because the battle had ruptured their armors' internal insulators. Checking the corridor outside, Argento confirmed it was all clear, and suggested they leave before he succumbed to the temptation to decapitate the Lords.

    They radioed the other squad to let them know they had achieved their objective, and Key responded that they should return to their jet, stating that he and Tiger needed no support. Unwilling to leave their friends behind, the Red squad ignored this order, and reached Key's location just in time for Nuage to knock out a guard who was about to shoot a distracted Key in the back. After seeing Iceboy's horribly mutated corpse, the group reluctantly accepted it was time to depart before A.I.M. reinforcements or the revived Lords caught up with them. Reaching the exterior of the base, Nuage facilitated sneaking past some guards by telepathically suggesting those sentries look in the other direction as they passed, but other guards she had not noticed spotted them and opened fire; tackling Nuage, Picaro saved her from being shot. Making a dash for it, Euroforce reached their stolen jet, but as they flew away, a trio of armored figures breached the vehicle. The team prepared to fight, but moments later the jet exploded (see comments).

   Director Borillon subsequently informed S.H.A.P.E.'s commission that Euroforce had been slain, then contacted the team, alive and well and staying in a large villa, informing them that he had provided them with fake identities. Until they could prove their innocence and help him uncover just how deep the corruption in EuroMind went, they had to stay officially dead.

(Avengers World#1 - BTS) - Eventually, having presumably proven their innocence under unrevealed circumstances, Euroforce began working for the European Union (E.U.).

(Avengers World#12 (fb)) - Key apparently re-established EuroLab as a separate entity from Euroforce, the latter working as the combat-ready branch of the former, similar to how Task Force had occasionally backed EuroLab up. 

(Avengers World#1 - BTS) - Most of the old team either moved back to EuroLab or left (see comments), and new members were recruited, including Swordswoman, Tumult, Sliver and the Baby Killer. Some time later, Morgan Le Fay took control of a City of the Dead beneath the Italian town Velletri. One of several underground spirit traps constructed in Europe by Yagzan's followers, the Cult of Entropy, back in the 15th and 16th centuries (see comments), the City held countless tormented lost souls unable to move on. Either as a deliberate act or a side-effect of seizing control, Morgan's action caused everyone within the city limits of the Italian town Velletri to simultaneously vanish.

(Avengers World#12 (fb)) - Key and Tiger recruited the Black Knight to lead the new Euroforce team investigating the City of the Dead, feeling his Ebony Blade would be useful to have in such circumstances. They found him drowning his sorrows in a London pub; though the Knight was initially uninterested, Key soon convinced him.

(Avengers World#1 - BTS) - The new Euroforce reached Velletri four hours after the mass disappearance, and soon found their way to the City, learning about Morgan's plot, but they were trapped and unable to pass on their discoveries. Eight hours later S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Maria Hill dispatched a squad of Avengers - Hawkeye, Nightmask, Spider-Woman and Starbrand - to the scene. They soon found their way into the City.

(Avengers World#8) - Not recognizing them as Avengers, Swordswoman impetuously attacked Spider-Woman, Nightmask and a wounded Hawkeye (Starbrand having become separated from the others). Her assault caught them off guard, and she nearly skewered Spider-Woman before Black Knight called her off. He introduced his new teammates, ordered Sliver to treat Hawkeye's stab wound, and was about to inform the Avengers about Morgan when an army of monsters attacked. Euroforce leapt into action, destroying many of the creatures, but even as they did so, Morgan used the power of the tormented souls to unleash armies of the dead from all the Cities of the Dead, sending them to assault Europe's capitals.

 

(Avengers World #10) - The Avengers and Euroforce continued to battle the City's monstrous defenders while Morgan's armies rampaged. As they fought, the Avengers and Black Knight relayed the news of Morgan's involvement in events back to Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

(Avengers World#12) - Swordswoman reveled in the battle, and decried Tumult as a buzzkill when she devastated most of their opponents with a well-placed shockwave. The City produced a giant spider to attack them, but the Baby Killer happily called dibs on destroying it. This didn't prevent Sliver also attacking, and the creature tried to swallow him, which proved a mistake as he swiftly sliced his way out through its skull. However, more monsters kept coming, until Maria Hill's operative Sebastian Druid teleported in, his magic disrupting the creatures. He swiftly explained that Morgan was nearly invincible in her current empowered state, but declared he had figured out a way to beat her; before he could expand on this, he was impaled from behind by a spear. As he collapsed to the ground, seemingly slain, the giant image of Morgan that had appeared and stabbed him now demanded that the other heroes bow to her.

 

(Avengers World#14) - Ignoring this demand, the two teams continued to battle as the City's monstrous creations again attacked them. However, Druid's spirit emerged from his downed body, now able to fully access the City's death magic, and forcibly returned all her ghostly armies to the void, painfully depowering Morgan back to normal strength. Druid, Spider-Woman and Black Knight then swiftly and simultaneously struck, finishing her off.

 

(Captain America: Steve Rogers#18) – Euroforce battled Hydra forces next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. When a woman fell from the Eiffel Tower’s observation deck, Swordswoman swung up on an energy rope and caught her, then deposited her safely back atop the tower. Swordswoman then surprised the woman with a passionate kiss before swinging off again to rejoin the fight. Leading the team, Key shouted to his compatriots to bring the terrorists down, an order Sliver, Tumult, Tiger and Baby Killer were happy to comply with.

 

(U.S. Avengers#9) – Hydra took over France, maintaining control with the aid of the flying fortress La Deuxiéme Bastille, which hovered over Paris threatening to rain down death. Euroforce members Baby Killer, Swordswoman and Tumult, plus their ally Black Knight, were held hostage in the fortress’ brig under power-dampening fields (see comments). However, the recently assembled Champions of Europe (Outlaw, Captain Britain, Guillotine, Ares and Peregrine), joined by U.S. Avengers Squirrel Girl and Enigma, attacked in stolen Hydramechs, damaging the fortress’ generators, which in turn shut off the power dampeners. Confronted by the freed and angry quartet, the fortress’ commander swiftly surrendered. They joined the Champions on the ground as Enigma received word from her girlfriend Toni Ho that anti-Hydra forces in America were also rallying. In response, Enigma informed Toni that she and her fellow heroes were all “coming home.”

(Secret Empire#9) – As Earth’s superhumans went to war with Hydra in Washington, D.C. to reclaim the United States, Euroforce (Tiger, Baby Killer and Tumult visible) teleported to join the fight.  

Comments: Created by Xavier Marturet and Paco Diaz for Marvel Italia.

Europa, an anthology miniseries consisting of two stories, Gemini and Euroforce, was the first all-Italian superhero project. It was short-lived, alas, and the plot, which was intended for a longer arc of time, was condensed in 5 issues (including #0), with scarce characterizations, making it all hard to follow. A true pity, IMHO. Among the story points that fell on the cutting room floor as a result was more details about the history between Key and Dragonfly. - Wolfhead

I originally thought that Europa, the title that featured both Euroforce and Gemini, was a Marvel UK project that was shelved when Marvel UK went bankrupt and then revived to be printed by Marvel Italia. However, while this was true for Wild Angels, a crossover between Wild Thing (Nikki Doyle) and Dark Angel, it seems that Europa was always a Marvel Italia project. A note in Europa #0 notes that the idea for creating "Italian" superheroes was something Marvel Italia's Marco M. Lupoi had been considering for a couple of years, as he desired to create something American in tone but international in essence, with stories set within the Marvel Universe but set on the European continent. Europa was intended to only be the first such title, Marvel Italia's debut as a publishing label of new stories and comic-book series.

N.B. Italian is in quotes in the paragraph above, because though produced in Italy, most of the heroes created were not Italians; Europa did a good job of spreading the nationalities around. - Loki

    It is unclear from Euroforce's more recent appearance in Avengers World whether the old team members have left or not. Given that Key was present to recruit Black Knight for the mission, and mentioned EuroLab, it appears the more scientific team has been re-established, which could explain the absence of all the old EuroLab members from said mission. Meanwhile Euroforce seems to have taken up what were effectively the duties of the old Task Force, investigating more perilous, likely to end in combat, missions. As such, it would make sense why Tiger was the only old Euroforce member to go on the City of the Dead mission; he's one of Task Force's two surviving members, so he wouldn't have transferred to EuroLab. The other Task Force survivor, Argento, might have been depowered on M-Day, or, given they only had four hours to deploy to Velletri, might simply have been elsewhere when the team got scrambled.

    In U.S.Avengers#9 Hydra held their captives "under power-dampening fields." However, when you look at the captives, that's a weird thing to say, because of the four captives seen, only Tumult might have innate powers; everyone else in the cell uses equipment.

Profile by Wolfhead and Loki, with comic translations by Angelo Mammone.

CLARIFICATIONS: Euroforce should not be confused with


images:

Captain America: Steve Rogers#9, p11, pan 1 (current roster)
Europa#3/2, p2, pan 4 (Euroforce with Picaro off-panel, infiltrating Nadir)
Europa#/23, p11, pan 4 (Euroforce Red)
Avengers World#8, p8 (Velletri roster)
Avengers World#12, p5-6, pan 1 (Velletri roster and Avengers vs. Morgan Le Fay's monsters)
U.S.Avengers#10, p7, pan 2 (hostages of Hydra)


Appearances:
Euroforce#0-5 (April-October ,1996) - Xavier Marturet (writer), Paco Diaz (art), Enrico Fornaroli; Marco M. Lupoi; Miguel Carrasco (editors) 
Avengers World#8 (August, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#12 (November, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#14 (December, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Captain America: Steve Rogers#18 (August, 2017) - Nick Spencer & Donny Cates (writers), Javier Pina (pencils), Andres Guinaldo (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Secret Empire#9 (October, 2017) - Nick Spencer (writer), Leinil Francis Yu, Joe Bennett & Rod Reis (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Francis Yu,  Joe Pimental & Rod Reis (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First posted: 01/14/2019
Last updated
: 01/14/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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