With a reprint, a few appearances in recent years, and a recent cameo, Marvel’s wild team, Brute Force, might be on its way to a comeback.
Of the many super teams in the marvel comics universe, brute-force may be one of the strangest. While some may think this absurd team isn’t worth a glance, there is reason to believe they could be coming back. With new purpose and relevance to the X-Men and some new recent appearances in teasing media, don’t be surprised if the name Brute Force begins to pop up with more frequency.
Project Brute Force was introduced in a four-issue comic series bearing the team’s name. This Marvel series, published in 1990, had the creative team of Simon Furman, Jose Delbo, Mike DeCarlo, Nelson Yomtov, Janice Chiang, and Bob Budiansky. The team features cyborg animals in mechanical suits who serve as environmental protectors. They haven’t made many appearances, but they could be on the rise again for a new generation of comics.
Despite a long absence from comics, the team has been reappearing in recent years. One such appearance includes Paul Scheer, Nick Giovannetti, and Salva Espin’s Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 from 2014. This included a team-up and the acknowledgment of the team’s connection to SHIELD and friendship with renowned agent Phil Coulson. Not long after, in 2018, the original introductory series from 1990 was reprinted into a trade volume, yet Brute Force’s story doesn’t end there.
In 2020, Marvel published Weapon Plus: World War IV. This comic established the team’s experimentation as being part of the Weapon Plus program known for producing Wolverine. Brute Force is actually Weapon II, an earlier iteration of the better known Weapon X project. This connection was similarly made to another character a few years before this, in 2016. A squirrel who appeared in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 was called Weapon II in reference to the project. He was also dubbed “Wolverteeny” in reference to him being a very small iteration of Wolverine, complete with retractable claws.
While Brute Force is still very much off-the-radar in major comics, it has made two other recent appearances: one in non-comic media and one teasing panel in Marvel’s newest digital comic initiative. The team was a subject of the Disney + original series, Marvel’s 616in the episode “Lost & Found” which also debuted in 2020 like Weapon Plus: World War IV. The team’s most recent appearance is in Geoffo’s Infinite Possibilities Infinity Comic #1, which debuted in January of this year. The team is depicted between other, more popular Marvel heroes. Yet this inclusion and the multiple recent appearances could imply that Marvel has plans for these wild heroes in the near future.
By itself, the Brute Force might not be much of a draw. It comes across as what it was designed to be: a 90s gimmick meant to sell toys via comics. While not successful in that arena, there certainly seems to be a serious place for this team within the Marvel Universe. With a wider range of comics being available via Marvel’s digital comics, including a series focused completely on Jeff the Land Shark, and a connection to one of the X-Men’s most popular heroes, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Brute Force came back for good. With more heroes who have affinities for animals and animal sidekicks rising towards media projects in the past two decades (ex: Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur), there could definitely be room for more animal heroes. This is especially true now that even Spider-Ham and animal variants of iconic heroes (Alligator Loki/Frog Thor) have leapt from the page to comic fans’ screens in recent years. brute-force may not have hit their stride in the 1990s, but their time could be coming in marvel comics if they’re handled as proper heroes instead of a gimmick.
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