attacker-aru-mainTHE ATTACKER

Real Name:Clayton Richard Taine (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human, exotic technology user

OccupationSee comments

Group Membership: Anti-Registration Undergound (All-Out/Unarmed Training Automaton Awe-Striker/Cecily Johnson, Basic Black/Norman Gentry, Battlestar/Lemar Hoskins, Brain Spasm/Dennis Hoxie, Canasta/Henry Cavanaugh, Captain Kinship/Edward Randlebuck, Dahntu/Charles Luc Phan, Freeware/Kurt Duryea, Gladiatrix/Robin Braxton, Green Guardswoman/Natalie Bell, Harbormaster/Sean Beckett, Haunter/Mark Runnemyer, Human Haze/Steve Cochrane, Iguanid/Tom Boldstep, Johnny Justice/Jonadab Megyscol, Kruzado/Dorothy Cardoza, Lawman/Leon Frankfurt, Leather Angel/Andrew Mussawyr, Masked Rose/Josie Tyler, Natural/Beru Addison, Network/Valerie Martin, Orange Crusher/Andy Gardner, Panthrax/Alex Mitchell, Peace-Lover/Barry Kanczeski, Qiblah/Jared Nelson, Saint Hildegard/Sonya van Jagt, Scorecard/Bill Merrick, Skybolt/Zack Zimmerman, Solo/James Bourne, Spaceheat/Charles Yaméogo, Staten Island Star/Russell Feldman, Stone-Tough/Ted Pendleton, Tosser/Ferris Hartke, Typeface/Gordon Thomas, U.S. Annie/Harriet Best, Warbug/Bernard Van Buren, Winter Woman/Angela Stover, Xantippe/Mandy Atkinson, Zapster/Langley Saint-Margaret, others); see comments

Affiliations: See comments

Enemies: (At least formerly) S.H.I.E.L.D. and its "Cape-Killers"
see comments

Known Relatives: See comments

AliasesSee comments

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    previously an unidentified Anti-Registration Underground safehouse in Manhattan, New York
    see comments

First Appearance: (Unidentified) Civil War: Front Line#4 (2006);
   (identified) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (2010)

Powers/Abilities: The Attacker uses weapons based on those from pulp stories. See comments

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'4"; see comments)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 240 lbs.; see comments)
Eyes: Unrevealed (see comments)
Hair: Unrevealed (see comments)

History: See comments.

attacker-aru-unmasked(Civil War: Front Line#4 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14: Anti-Registration Underground (fb) - BTS) - Following the Stamford disaster, where hundreds had perished during a battle between New Warriors and four Raft escapees, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) and others worked with US officials to develop the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), outlawing any crimefighting activities by unregistered super heroes. 

    Vigilante Typeface, although his identity was already known, resolved to fight a perceived assault on freedom, and he organized an Anti-Registration Underground, beginning with ex-government operative Battlestar and anti-terrorist Solo, to support super heroes who continued fighting crime without SHRA approval. Their ranks were soon supplemented by mystic-armored Freeware; bodysuit-enhanced Green Guardswoman; Masked Rose, leader of super-team TJAW (Truth, Justice, and the American Way), empowered by accidental mutant blood exposure; exoskeleton-empowered Network; and cyborg Skybolt. Via a covert interview with Alternative reporter Sally Floyd, ARU members publicized their perspective, and several other anti-registration heroes joined, including the Attacker.

(Civil War: Front Line#4) - The Attacker was present with the ARU when S.H.I.E.L.D. raided the ARU's safehouse and arrested most of its members, including himself.

    As the ARU members debated whether to seek and join Captain America (Steve Rogers)’s Secret Avengers, a better organized and equipped anti- SHRA unit, or to remain independent. Armored S.H.I.E.L.D. Cape-Killers, accompanied by Iron Man, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Wonder Man (Simon Williams) and at least ten unidentified flying heroes, raided the base. Caught by surprise, few ARU members managed to effectively fight back against their more powerful and organized opponents. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. captured over 40 members, The Harbormaster, the Awe-Striker, Canasta, Dahntu, the Green Guardswoman, and the Tosser evaded capture, as did the Masked Rose, who had been absent seeking new recruits. 

(Civil War: Front Line#5) - ARU prisoners, such as the Attacker, were seen being sent to the Prison 42.

(Civil War#6 - BTS) - The Secret Avengers and the Superhuman Registration Act resistance arrived at Prison 42 to free the prisoners.

(Civil War#7/Amazing Spider-Man I#538/Civil War: Front Line#10-#11 - BTS) - The Secret Avengers penetrated Prison 42, freeing many prisoners. When the combined anti-registration forces were confronted by Iron Man’s pro-registration forces, Secret Avenger Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) teleported both groups to Manhattan. Freed ARU prisoners took part in the battle between the pro and anti-registration heroes, spanning from the Negative Zone prison to the streets of New York. In the ensuing battle, which caused severe damage, the Thunderbolts’ Venom (Mac Gargan) apparently killed Typeface. Other fatalities may also have occurred. Following Captain America’s surrender to forestall further civilian risk, Battlestar and possibly others avoided recapture.

    The government offered amnesty in return for registration. Although Gladiatrix rejected the offer, Network registered under the 50 States Initiative, while Solo also registered but pursued independent interests. Presumably additional ARU members followed Gladiatrix’s example, others followed Network’s or Solo’s, and still more remained at large.

Comments: Created by Paul Jenkins, Sean Chen, Rick Magyar;
    Codename, real name, and nature provided by Ronald Byrd

   During the production of the Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007) writer Paul Jenkins provided Ronald with authorization to provide identities, real names for the various background Anti-Registration Underground characters, and to flesh them out as much as he wanted. Ronald provided identities and real names for the Anti-Registration Underground entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (2010). There wasn't room to provide much more than that in that entry. However, Ronald had backgrounds and histories in mind for these characters when he provided their names. While the information is unofficial until it sees print, here is the full story behind the Attacker:

REAL NAME: Clayton Richard Taine
The Nocturnal Nemesis, the Doom in the Dark, others
Known to US authorities
OCCUPATION: Librarian, occasional mercenary
PLACE OF BIRTH: Scarsdale, New York
Elder "Eldie" Taine (father), Paula Taine (nee Went, mother)
ILIATION: Formerly Anti-Registration Underground
EDUCATION: College degree
SHRA CLASSIFICATION: Exotic Technology User
FIRST APPEARANCE: Civil War: Front Line#4 (2006)

HISTORY: While organizing a collection of rare pulp novels for a private library's reference section, Richard Taine grew interested in stories about the Attacker, an apparently fictional costumed adventurer whose weapons received occasional brief descriptions in prose. As a hobby, Taine combined the piecemeal descriptions, extrapolating any missing details, and built facsimiles of the weapons described in the "Attacker" stories. Caught up in his project, Taine himself became a "new" Attacker, even using the pulp hero's catchphrases and mannerisms, and clashed with various criminals and subversive organizations.

    Following the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), the Attacker declined to register, both because he was unsure how long he intended to continue using his costumed identity and because the concept went against the mindset he had developed for that identity. Eventually he was recruited into Typeface's Anti-Registration Underground and was present when SHIELD raided the ARU's safehouse and arrested most of its members, including himself. He was detained in the Negative Zone Prison 42, indicating he maintained his refusal to register following his arrest. Following the SHRA's repeal, he received an official pardon.

HEIGHT: 5'10" WEIGHT: 171 lbs.
EYES: Brown HAIR: Brown

ABILITIES/ACCESSORIES: The Attacker's costume is lined with industrial-strength suction cups covered by a thin layer of cloth, allowing him to adhere to walls by his hands, feet, or back. 

    The toes of his boots and the fingers of his gloves are reinforced with thin sheathes of tempered steel, allowing him to deliver blows of near-superhuman level by kick or open-handed strike. 

    His cowl can generate a blinding and exceptionally hot light which renders victims temporarily incapable of seeing anything but jagged, flame-like shades of red; the Attacker is himself unable to see while the device is in use but recovers his sight immediately after turning it off. The light has a deleterious effect on human sinuses and presumably the middle ear, affecting balance, providing a nearly overwhelming disorientation, by which the Attacker, in conjunction with the light itself, can psychologically convince his victims that they are experiencing a vision of Hell. 

    The Attacker can travel via a spring-loaded wired projectile device; after shooting the projectile to embed it within a rooftop or other surface, the projectile rapidly retracts the wire into containment, pulling the Attacke along with it. Since the Attacker is susceptible to severe impact upon arrival at the desired point, he rarely uses this device to travel more than a few blocks in succession. 

    The Attacker is an above-average hand-to-hand combatant, a experienced researcher with a wide array of esoteric knowledge, and a talented inventor, particularly skilled in extrapolating on a device's technical details based on minimum data. He possesses detailed knowledge of human nerve points, enabling him to temporarily paralyze, deafen, or affect the short-term memories of an opponent. He is farsighted and thus requires glasses or, in his costumed identity, corrective lenses in his cowl.

  Profile by Ronald Byrd, Snood, and Multi-Tasking Mike Fichera.

The Attacker should be distinguished from:

: (without ads)
Civil War: Front Line#4, page 5, panel 4 (main);
Civil War: Front Line #5, Page 17, Panel 2, figure directly below C.L.O.C.

Civil War: Front Line#3/1 - BTS (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Ramon Bachs (penciler), John Lucas (iniker), Cory Sedlmeier (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#4/1 - BTS (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Ramon Bachs (penciler), John Lucas (iniker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#4/3 (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Sean Chen (penciler), Rick Magyar (iniker), Molly Lazer, Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#5/2 - BTS (October, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Steve Lieber (artist), Molly Lazer, Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War#6 -BTS (December, 2006) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War#7 -BTS (January, 2007) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines, John Dell & Tim Townsend (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (June, 2010) - Jeff Christiansen & Mike Fichera (head writers/coordinators), Markus Raymond & Mike O'Sullivan (coordination assistants), Stuart Vandal, Sean McQuad, Michael Hoskin, Ronald Byrd, Markus Raymond, Mike O'Sullivan, Madison Carter, Kevin Garcia, Gabriel Shechter, Jacob Rougemont, Rob London, Rich Green, Chris Biggs, David Wiltfong, Jeph York, Mark O'English, & Mike Gagnon (writers),
John Denning (associate editor), Alex Starbuck (assistant editor), Thedore Kutt (copy editor), Mark D. Beazley (editor, special projects), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editor)

First posted: 11/12/2021
Last updated: 11/12/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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