EUROLAB

Membership: Danger (Dolph Dongen), Deep Sight (Jane Melville), Key (Geyr Kluge), Nuage (Silvie Rouge), Picaro (Antonio Rey)

Purpose: To research paranormal phenomena in European territories for the European Union

Affiliations: Director François Borillon, EuroMind, European Union, Salomé, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) European Branch, Moloid Subterraneans, Task Force (Argento/Michele Silver, Blue Condor/Emilie Scholz, Dragonfly/Cornelia van der Valk, Iceboy/Hamish Alain Carlyle, Tiger/Hughes Aït-Kaci)

Enemies: Nadir, Inc. (an A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) subsidiary/front), S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Commission, "Skrullified" subterranean Inhumans

Base of Operations: EuroMind base, Spain

First Appearance: Europa#0 (April 1996)

History: (Europa#0/text (fb) - BTS) - EuroLab was a group of five individuals possessing a range of superhuman talents who worked as a scientific research division for EuroMind, a European section of S.H.I.E.L.D. that answered to S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). They were first responders dedicated to the survey and study of all paranormal phenomena encountered within Europe (and sometimes beyond), and were based out of EuroMind's complex in a secret location near Spain's Mediterranean coast.

(Europa#2 (fb) - BTS) - EuroLab's leader, Key, formerly of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Science Division, was assured that EuroMind (and by extension EuroLab) was intended to be a scientific research organization, not a front for a disguised military unit.

(Europa#0/text (fb) - BTS) - Though many of EuroLab possessed talents that could be used for fighting, they were not considered a combat unit, and so the rapid-response S.H.I.E.L.D. combat unit Task Force was sometimes sent along on their missions to lend assistance if required.  

(Europa#2 (fb) - BTS) - At least two of EuroLab's members, Picaro and Deep Sight, had grown suspicious of French multinational corporation Nadir Inc., and had been quietly monitoring and investigating its activities for a long time.

(Europa#0/2 (fb) - BTS) - While there was respect for each others' abilities, Key viewed Task Force as heavy-handed barbarians with no sense of scientific values, while Task Force's leader Dragonfly in return resented her unit having to "baby-sit a Boy Scout troop."    

(Europa#0/2) - EuroLab were sent to an archeological site in Spain to investigate alleged monster sightings, though Key was less than impressed to learn that Task Force were present to monitor their mission. Via a natural gorge, EuroLab descended into the cavern system below, where Deep Sight did a quick patrol of their vicinity while Danger assembled a thermograph, and Picaro investigated an underwater lake. But then Nuage, EuroLab's telepath, sensed something awakening, and Picaro noticed a grotesque insectoid creature watching them. Initially it seemed non-hostile, but then the creature began transforming into something even more monstrous, and Danger spotted more approaching, seemingly drawn by EuroLab's lights. Hearing this over the radio, Dragonfly told Key to let her bring in Task Force, but Key ignored her.

   The first monster snared Danger with an elongated tongue, but he swiftly dissuaded it with a blast of energy although this seemed to anger the other creatures. Hoping to avoid conflict and the resultant death of the creatures, Key instructed the team to withdraw into an adjacent cavern to search for a tunnel to ascend back to the surface. Instead they found humanoid skeletons, long picked clean of flesh. Nuage deduced the bones belonged to Inhumans, but her musings were interrupted as she sensed another ground of underground dwellers approaching, this time Moloid Subterraneans. As Key noted that Moloids had been rarely sighted in Europe, the newcomers tackled Picaro en masse. With Danger fighting a rearguard action against the hostile insectoids, Key came to his aid and ordered Deep Sight to assist Picaro; barging through the Moloid mob, Deep Sight literally tossed Picaro to safety. Nuage shouted that according to Reed Richards' notes, Moloids were normally peaceable and sociable, and that she would try to communicate with them. Despite the numbers clearly being against them and the insectoids gradually getting the upper hand, Key again declined calling in Task Force, fearing the archeological damage they might do.

   Ignoring Key's preferences, EuroMind's Director François Borillon deployed Task Force, who dropped down into the caverns and into the fray. Task Force ignored the protestations of Danger about their use of lethal force, gunning down the monsters, but Nuage shouted to them that the Subterraneans were not hostile, merely frightened and disoriented. Accepting this, and with more monsters than they could handle anyway, Task Force began defending the Subterraneans too, gunning down the monsters attacking them. Reaching out telepathically, Nuage convinced the Subterraneans that the monsters were a common enemy. Even working together, the heroes and Subterraneans risked being overwhelmed as more and more creatures arrived. Detecting thirty more creatures inbound, but also fresh air that hinted at an exit to the surface, they fled to another part of the caverns. The creatures pursued, and Dragonfly ordered Iceboy to join her in targeting a rock arch they had passed through, though he responded that the arch seemed too solid for gunshots to bring down. Key protested that doing so might destroy the entire cavern they had just left, and shouted that they could use Bengal lights (flares) to buy time. Seeing the creatures already clambering into the new cave, Dragonfly thanked Key for giving her an idea, switched her gun to explosive rounds, and blew up the arch in an impressive pyrotechnic display, much to Key's annoyance.

   Afterwards EuroLab and Task Force discovered inscriptions explaining that the "monsters" were descendants of Inhumans who had been captured by the Spanish Inquisition, and thrown into the gorge to die. A few survived the fall, and, unable to escape the caves, scraped a living, eating whatever they could find. The Inquisition subsequently dropped another group of "demons" into the precipice: the remains of a crashed Skrull ship and its crew. Eating the dead Skrulls caused a mutagenic change in the remaining Inhumans, driving them insane, and they had degenerated into a colony of predators.

(Europa#1) - In the skies over Chioggia, Italy, a passenger on a civilian flight unexpectedly transformed into a monstrous creature with claws and fangs. His violent rampage into the cockpit caused a forced splashdown. EuroLab was sent to investigate and to recover any survivors, finding the plane barely afloat, taking on water and with the rear already submerged. While Picaro, Deep Sight and Nuage finished evacuating passengers into a life raft, Danger and Key descended further into the sinking plane seeking their main objective, the mutate. Hearing a noise, they found a young girl crying beside her crushed mother. Realizing the child thought her mother was only unconscious, Key kept her calm by promising that Danger would stay with her mother, and began carrying her to safety. As they left, the girl mentioned that there was someone else still left behind, the "ugly man" who had now hidden himself, and Danger reassured her that he would protect her mother. Near the front exit Key handed the child over to Nuage, but was prevented from returning to Danger by Picaro because the plane was about to submerge. Reminding Key that their mission was a scientific one, Picaro pointed out that he was confidant Danger could make it out on his own, and they could do a properly equipped underwater retrieval later to get a tissue sample from the mutate's remains.

   At that moment, further down in the plane, Danger located the metahuman, trapped in the wreckage. On the raft, Nuage tried to comfort the girl, promising her that the monster couldn't hurt anymore, only for the child to dismiss her attempt at reassurance for being obvious; after all, the monster was good, having taken care of her until it heard Danger and Key approaching, prompting it to flee. In an airpocket after the craft sank beneath the waves Danger told the mutate to stay calm, promising that if he listened to Danger's instructions he would get the mutate out alive, but to Danger's surprise the mutate told him he knew perfectly well who his would-be rescuer was, but that it would only take a moment for "them" to make him disappear once he was off the plane. Stating that Danger had no idea what it was like to live knowing that at any moment he could turn into a living nightmare, and though he had been warned of the risks (by whoever had put him through the unspecified process that had turned him into the horror he had become), he didn't want any other innocents to die, Danger included. With that, the mutate pulled on the release for an emergency escape hatch, flooding the airpocket. Though Danger's powers enabled him to escape the ship and reach the surface, he passed out as he resurfaced. His teammates fished him from the waters to find he was not breathing, and with Nuage sensing no brain activity, they hurriedly attempted to revive him.

(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - EuroLab's members successfully revived Danger, though the near-death experience left him weak and he was expected to take some time to fully recover.

(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - Around the same time Task Force was attacked by armored mercenaries, the Lords of War, while on a mission to Malaysia investigating reports of similar mutates. Tiger and Argento returned to base to report two team members, Dragonfly and Blue Condor, had been slain, Argento had suddenly displayed unpredictable and previously unrevealed superpowers, and that Iceboy was missing. EuroLab also arrived back from their mission, but like Tiger and Argento were ordered to stand down from further investigations.

(Europa#2/2) - Back in EuroMind's Research Center near Spain's Mediterranean coast, Key went to check on his friend Tiger, finding him in the training room venting his anger by pounding at the base's training equipment.

(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - In the brief period while Key was away, Danger's mutant ability to generate energy boosted his vital functions to heal him fully with unexpected rapidity.

(Europa#2/2) - When Key tried to talk to him, Tiger told his friend to save his breath, insisting he was too frustrated to talk. However Key made it clear that though he too was saddened by Blue Condor and Dragonfly's deaths, he wasn't there to give condolences, but instead wanted to know what Task Force had found. Continuing to strike at the equipment, Tiger retorted they had found death, and now Iceboy had disappeared and Argento was being kept under observation. Persisting, Key informed Tiger that while EuroLab had not suffered losses, their superiors had taken the "mutated" investigation off their hands, and he asked Tiger to consider what their leaders feared so much that they would block all attempts to look into the case. Taking on board Key's remarks, Tiger finally outlined the details of what had befallen Task Force, noting that Nadir was apparently involved, and that he believed Iceboy had still been alive when his surviving teammates had been forced to flee. Key mused aloud that Picaro and Deep Sight had been investigating Nadir for a while, but before he could continue with his thoughts, they were interrupted by Borillon calling on Key's comms, ordering them both to his office. There they were informed that S.H.A.P.E.'s executive commission had closed the case. Key responded that this made no sense, but Borillon confirmed that they were supposed to forget about the mystery of the mutates and their lost comrade, conspicuously adding that it might be different if he was calling the shots instead of S.H.A.P.E. and the United Nations.

   The two men returned to the gathered members of EuroLab, where Key was surprised to find Danger apparently fully recovered. After Key informed the team of Borillon's orders, they reacted with incredulity, and Tiger pointed out that it didn't take a genius to figure out Nadir was behind the Lords of War and Iceboy's abduction. Picaro and Deep Sight suggested they could carry out an unofficial internet investigation of Nadir, but Key replied that he was not planning to sit idly by with Iceboy held prisoner, and to hell with S.H.A.P.E. Despite knowing they would be acting without official permission, the entire team concurred, unaware their discussion was being observed over hidden cameras. His face hidden in shadows, the observer radioed to EuroMind's base, ordering a hit team hidden within EuroMind's own agents, Blue 1 (Azzurro 1), to proceed. They caught up with EuroLab and Tiger after they entered the base's hanger. As they opened fire, Danger discharged a bright energy blast to provide cover, but a sniper still drew a bead on Tiger. Before he could fire, Argento came out of nowhere and smashed into him. Having slain his own would-be assassins, Argento blasted through Blue 1, and just managed to join the others as they made their escape in a stolen nuclear plane.

(Europa#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - En route to Western Malaya, EuroLab and the two survivors of Task Force decided to unite as a new team, choosing the name Euroforce. Meanwhile, back at EuroMind, faked video footage was used to frame the group 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. 

...and the story continued in Euroforce.

(Europa#4/2 - BTS) - Euroforce's hunt freed Iceboy, but only after A.I.M. had mutated him, and he died during the team's escape. After Euroforce faked their deaths to stop pursuit with the help of Borillon, Tiger reminded everyone they still had an unpaid blood debt, as the dead of Task Force had not been avenged. 

(Avengers World#12 (fb) - BTS) - At some point EuroLab was reinstated, with Key and Tiger both members. It remained affiliated with Euroforce, who apparently assumed a role similar to the one Task Force had held, acting as EuroLab's troubleshooters handling dangerous incidents. 

(Avengers World#1 - BTS) - Some time later, Morgan Le Fay took control of a City of the Dead beneath the Italian town Velletri. One of several underground spirit trap constructed in Europe by Yagzan's followers, the Cult of Entropy, back in the 15th and 16th centuries, 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)) - Tiger accompanied Key to London looking for Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. He proved tricky to find, but they eventually located him in a nearly empty pub. Key introduced them both to the slightly sozzled American hero, and, after Dane admitted he had been tossed out of most of the other "bars" in London, Key suggested they might make more productive use of his energies. Key then asked Dane if he had heard of EuroLab, and when Dane responded by saying he hadn't heard of it being around for some time, Key assured Dane that it was still active, and that they'd like to make Dane an offer. Dane was initially disinterested, until Key asked him if he had heard of the City of the Dead. Throughout the discussion, Tiger remained quiet, a looming presence behind Key. 

(Avengers World#1 - BTS) - While Key presumably remained at base, Black Knight served as the temporary leader for the new Euroforce - Baby Killer, Sliver, Swordswoman, Tiger and Tumult - while they investigated the Velletri incident, arriving a mere four hours after the mass disappearance.

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.

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

CLARIFICATIONS: EuroLab should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Europa#0/2, p1, pan 1 (EuroLab, accompanied by head of archaeological dig)
Europa#0/2, p3, pan 6 (team preparing to descend into caverns)
Avengers World#12, p3, pan 3 (informing Dane Whitman that EuroLab remains active)


Appearances:
Europa#0-4 (April-October,1996) - Xavier Marturet (writer), Paco Diaz (art), Enrico Fornaroli; Marco M. Lupoi; Miguel Carrasco (editors)
Avengers World#12 (November, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)


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

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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