Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 (Marvel – Slott / Weston / Scherberger) – Marvel’s blurb – AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY! You have been granted clearance to Camp Hammond’s most sensitive files. For the first time anywhere, witness the hidden origins of the GAUNTLET, ARMORY, MVP, and HARDBALL. Also, learn some of the Initiative’s most hi-tech secrets. And meet the team from America’s 2nd State, Pennsylvania, as they battle FLAG SMASHER and the forces of ULTIMATUM! How will Philly react to the Initiative’s all-new take on the LIBERTY LEGION? Dan Slott comes through again in flying colors. If you have been enjoying the Initiative – this is a can’t be without annual. In addition to the origins of some of the main characters, we also get a backdrop into the Scarlet Spiders. If you can read between the lines of the last issue of The Initiative, you see that work is in order for that trio to play into helping Peter Parker get his life back. This book, which was forged out of the end of Civil War has been underscored for the last nine months within the Marvel Universe. Even though it hasn’t taken a spotlight, title-crossing event-wise, it was a key role in other major marvel books and is a turning point in World War Hulk (if you didn’t know it, you will need to check your back issues) and now we see it will be a central book in the upcoming Secret Invasion event (big spoiler – last page). If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, this annual is a great place to start.