Catching up on the hero’s history in time for his appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON
On January 4, the youngest Avenger ever, Rage, will team up with the new Falcon in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #17.
We know what you might be thinking. How can he be the youngest Avenger? He looks mid to late 20s at the youngest! True enough, but as with many things about Rage, one must dig deeper to learn the truth.
With that in mind, we walk you through Rage’s history to help you look past his code-name and his age.
One day, 13 year old Elvin Halliday finished basketball practice and headed home, as he had done most days that year. This day, however, before he could make it home, a seeming tragedy befell him. Exposed to toxic waste, Halliday became horribly ill, as one would expect. Sent to his grandmother’s to convalesce Halliday quickly showed, however, that his reaction to toxic waste could not be considered at all expected.
In place of a wasting disease that slowly robbed him of life, the teen became stronger and stronger, appearing to grow up before everyone’s very eyes. Before long, he looked like a full grown adult at the height of physical fitness and nothing like the 13 year old he truly was.
UNAFRAID OF CONTROVERSY
Fully recovered and officially calling himself Rage, Halliday announced himself to the world by banging on the door of Avengers Mansion and demanding he be made a member. When the Avengers—particularly Captain America– pushed back at what they viewed as arrogance and presumptuousness, Rage refused to be cowed.
Instead, he pointed out that their lack of diversity given their nearly complete absence of heroes of color and called on them to consider why that might be. Months later, the team came around and tapped Rage for membership.
Given his appearance, no one with the Avengers even considered to ask Rage his age and he seemed more than happy to leave them in the dark about it. For a time, this deception by omission went unchecked. Then Hate-Monger began to stir racial hatred in the population, forcing the New Warriors and Avengers to combined their efforts to repel the white supremacist.
While the teams proved successful, in the fight Rage’s true age became known. Feeling as if he had no choice, Cap demoted Rage to trainee.
AN AVENGER NO MORE
Unfortunately, his separation from the team did not stop there. Aiding his friends in the New Warriors, Rage helped the teen team secure a Quinjet without approval. A less than good choice in the first place, things rapidly got worse when the villain team the Folding Circle stole the jet from the Warriors. In the resulting fallout, Rage ended up fully fired from the Avengers and taking a punch from Hercules. Halliday immediately joined the New Warriors full time in response.
A WARRIOR BORN
In the New Warriors, Rage found an extended super hero family that made him feel included in a way the Avengers never did. Unfortunately, his time with the team quickly turned tragic. Over the years, Rage would see his grandmother killed in front of him, be accused of the murder of one of the members of the gang that murdered her, be fired from the team for not being available to help when teammate Namorita got abducted, and then be reinstated just to watch the team slowly drift apart until his mentor, friend, and surrogate brother Night Thrasher no choice but to officially disband the squad.
After a time of intermittent super hero acts, Rage joins with the Initiative in the wake of CIVIL WAR. Despite being a former Avenger and one of the most experienced recruits at the game, Rage finds himself the frequent target of abuse by their instructor Gauntlet for, amongst other things, his former membership in the New Warriors. Gauntlet never lets up and apparently had planned to drum Rage out of the camp and have Halliday stripped of his powers until a violent incident left Gauntlet in a coma, his attacker unknown.
IN CAP’S FACE ONCE MORE
Most recently, Rage demonstrated that although he has been a hero for some time now, he remains just as unable as ever to keep his mouth shut when it comes to heroes of color and people in need. This time Steve Rogers did not have to be the one getting the earful. Instead, Sam Wilson ended up on the receiving end of a Rage monologue. Disappointed in Wilson, in Halliday’s opinion, being overly concerned about his reputation and not concerned enough with the opportunity to do good he had been given, Rage called him on the carpet for it.