Robot 6

What could have been: Avengers H.I.T. Squad

Avengers H.I.T. Squad

Avengers H.I.T. Squad

Over on his blog, writer Kurt Busiek shares some artwork from a pitch that once upon a time he and Karl Kesel submitted to Marvel called Avengers H.I.T. Squad. The “Heroes in Training” team would have featured Hawkeye teaching a group of former villains to be Avengers.

For a brief time, wasn’t Rhino a good guy in the pages of Silver Sable? I wonder if Busiek and Kesel included him because of that, or if they had the idea first.

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23 Comments

I think it was Sandman that was a hero at the time. He was even in Busiek’s first couple issues of Avengers.

AvengerS H.I.T. Squad?

Wasn’t this recycled for part of the run on Thunderbolts?

That was my first thought as well.

>> AvengerS H.I.T. Squad? >>

We didn’t call them Super Heroes In Training for a reason…

kdb

Really nice answer Mr. Busiek, and yeah, this totally looks like Thunderbolts when Hawkeye was leading them, who was writing that?

Peace.

>> yeah, this totally looks like Thunderbolts when Hawkeye was leading them, who was writing that? >>

No one, at the time.

But yes, the fact that the T-Bolts were the third time I took a swing at this idea is mentioned at the link.

kdb

I see Rhino and the Yellowjacket chick who is dead now. Who are the other two? Yeah this is real close to what he wanted to do with Thunderbolts it seems. But I have to wonder- wasn’t there any better villains out there to use?

A redesigned Tempo and a new character. And yeah, there were probably better villains, and we used some in THUNDERBOLTS. This didn’t sell, after all.

I think our thinking at the time was, a Spider-villain, an Avengers-villain, an X-villain and a newcomer covered the bases well, and we had interesting plans for them. And there would have been others, including a guy I’d come up with named M.A.C.H.1.N.E., or MACH-1 for short, but I found another place to use that idea, too.

kdb

What’s Hawkman doing in that line-up?

Was there anyone you wanted on the original line-up of Thunderbolts that you couldn’t have? Were you a bit jealous when Warren Ellis got to stick the ‘big guns’ of supervillains on the team?

>> Was there anyone you wanted on the original line-up of Thunderbolts that you couldn’t have? >>

Not really. I did want to use the Rita de Mara Yellowjacket, but decided that undoing her death would be too much continuity-gristle, and opten for turning Screaming Mimi into Songbird instead. But that wasn’t someone else telling me I couldn’t use her, it was me deciding against it.

>> Were you a bit jealous when Warren Ellis got to stick the ‘big guns’ of supervillains on the team? >>

Not at all. I didn’t want to use big guns who nobody would ever believe would ever reform in the first place; I wanted characters there was room to mess with. And, of necessity, I wanted the Masters of Evil, not just an assemblage of villains.

What Warren did, from what I gather, was go back to the original “wolves in sheepdog’s clothing” concept and toss out the “and it turns out they kind of like it and that changes them” part. I was pleased that the book has lasted this long and had a concept that could survive the changes it’s been through, but that’s not the book I wanted to write. I wrote the idea I came up with, and I don’t think it would have survived had I started with Warren’s line-up.

kdb

Heh, it’s kinda funny seeing this come out of the woodworks after Marvel’s teaser with Hawkeye and a bunch of heroes who wouldn’t mind getting down and dirty on missions. Like a hit squad. Was that the intent?

News to me, Dasani.

I found this in the files while looking for something else, like the other stuff I put up at the blog. No mysterious intent.

kdb

I’m SO glad things worked out the way they did with Thunderbolts. Especially with Songbird!

Well, this would have been awesome. I love the original T-Bolts and Liberty Project and this seems right along those lines. I’ve always seen Rhino as one of the Outlaws (reformed spidey villains) for some reason. Nowdays he seems to be on the more heroic side……just saying. I’d really like to see someone bring Rita back, too, since her death was one of the very few things not retconned from The Crossing in Avengers Forever. She wasn’t explicitly shown as a Space Phantom, but it would be easy to have had her as one. Man, its neat to see a pitch this old bring out so many nostalgic feelings.

>> I’m SO glad things worked out the way they did with Thunderbolts. Especially with Songbird! >>

On the other hand, had we used Rita, and done the stuff we had planned for her, you might today be saying, “I’m glad things worked out the way they did! Screaming Mimi? No thank you!”

It’s always hard to judge what might have happened from the perspective of what did.

But I’m glad things worked out the way they did, too.

kdb

You’re thinking of Sandman.

Ah. It’s a funny coincidence though. I didn’t suspect any kind of “hidden meaning” behind this coming out now, but thought that maybe you saw the teaser and it jogged your memory.

Funny how life works sometimes, no?

I think I found the picture you were thinking of, Dasani, and in another bit of coincidence, Karl Kesel worked on that one, too.

kdb

This was a great article. I thought that I was the only one (besides Kurt Busiek) who remembered this proposed series (which Kurt talked about in a past interview about how he came up with the idea for THUNDERBOLTS).

Wait, Hawkeye in the Thunderbolts was the third try? What was the second?

Click through to the blog, Ian…

kdb

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