STRIKE (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies) is a counter-terrorist Special Mission Unit of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Led by Brock Rumlow during Nick Fury's directorship, the unit included several of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents, including Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff. However, at the same time most members of the team were actually undercover HYDRA operatives whose true allegiance was revealed during the HYDRA Uprising which led to the disbandment of the team.
STRIKE was reformed a few years later during the directorship of Jeffrey Mace, this time led by Melinda May. Following the assassination attempt on Glenn Talbot by the Life-Model Decoys, S.H.I.E.L.D., and STRIKE with it, was shut down, only to be once again reformed during Alphonso Mackenzie's directorship.
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Originally formed by S.H.I.E.L.D., STRIKE tactical unit mostly consisted of undercover HYDRA operatives. Following the end of the Battle of New York, several STRIKE teams led by Brock Rumlow and Jasper Sitwell were sent to the Stark Tower to contain the Tesseract, the Scepter and Loki himself. The Avengers successfully handed them the Scepter, so Sitwell contacted List who was interested in researching it.
The other STRIKE teams were waiting for the Avengers at the lobby, as Alexander Pierce demanded them to turn Loki and the Tesseract to them. However, he was confronted by Tony Stark and Thor who dismissed Pierce's demand, as Loki was an Asgardian war criminal who must be judged by Asgardians. Despite Pierce's efforts, Loki was taken away to Asgard by Thor.
- "STRIKE, move it out!"
- ―Brock Rumlow
Brock Rumlow, Jack Rollins and STRIKE unit was assigned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to assist Captain America and Black Widow in recapturing of the Lemurian Star from mercenaries led by Georges Batroc. Following a briefing about the mission, the team joined Rogers and Rumlow killed one of the mercenaries with a silenced shot to the back of the head.
With the pathway clear, STRIKE operatives made their way through the ship, taking position outside the kitchen where the hostages were held. Once Rogers and Romanoff were in position and ready to begin the assault, they killed mercenaries and rescued the hostages, including Jasper Sitwell. Rumlow then informed Rogers and Romanoff about saved hostages and made their escape from the Lemurian Star with all of them.
- "Mobilize STRIKE units, 25th floor."
- ―Jasper Sitwell
Following attack on Nick Fury, Rumlow and several STRIKE members were sent to the hospital. When Rumlow received a call from the Triskelion, he informed Rogers that he needed to return to S.H.I.E.L.D. to debrief with Alexander Pierce and accompanied him back to the Triskelion.
After the meeting, Pierce ordered Rumlow and the STRIKE team to capture Rogers before he left the building. Operatives attempted to capture him inside an elevator. However, Rogers became suspicious and gave the team one chance to escape; they refused and attempted to capture him. Rogers managed to defeat all of the operatives including Rumlow. When the elevator reached the destination, Sitwell mobilized more STRIKE operatives but Rogers jumped out of the elevator before they could capture him.
Pierce and Sitwell sent Rumlow and the STRIKE team to track down and capture Rogers. They were able to track him to a mall in Washington, D.C. when he and Natasha Romanoff activated a flash drive with a tracker on it. The team arrived at the mall, but despite a long search, they failed to spot the fugitives anywhere within the shopping mall. Later, they arrived at Camp Lehigh which was destroyed by a missile sent by Pierce to kill Rogers and Romanoff. Operatives explored the area, looking through the rubble for their corpses and discovered a pair of shoeprints, telling him that targets had survived and escaped.
STRIKE team captured Captain America, Falcon and Black Widow after the confrontation with Winter Soldier. As operatives surrounded the three with their guns drawn, Brock Rumlow noticed Jack Rollins attempting to execute Rogers and ordered him to stop and wait until they were clear of the media. Then they took their captives to a secure location to execute them, however, they were saved by Maria Hill who pretended one of the STRIKE operatives.
After Captain America revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by HYDRA, members of STRIKE stayed loyal to HYDRA. Rumlow and several HYDRA members confronted Sharon Carter and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who tried to prevent the launch of the Project Insight. Jack Rollins and the STRIKE team arrived at the room with the members of the World Security Council and held them all at gunpoint. However, they were attacked by Hawley who revealed herself to be none other than Black Widow in disguise.
The Return of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Jeffrey Mace's Directorship
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Alphonso Mackenzie's Directorship
Due to temporal interference, the Avengers created an alternate timeline with several differences to the original timeline. Right after the end of the Battle of New York, a group of STRIKE operatives recovered Loki's Scepter in Stark Tower, planning to take it to List. However, before they could leave the building they were intercepted by Captain America who pretended to be HYDRA member by whispering "Hail HYDRA" to Jasper Sitwell. Sitwell instantly handed the Scepter to Rogers without any doubts.
Meanwhile, Alexander Pierce argued with Tony Stark and Thor, demanding them to turn Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. However, Stark suddenly had a heart attack, and while Pierce, STRIKE operatives gathered around Stark, Loki had stolen the Tesseract and successfully escaped.
|Appearances for STRIKE|
- In the comics, S.T.R.I.K.E. was a British analogous to S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Lance Hunter.
- The patch used by the STRIKE operatives on their uniforms in Captain America: The Winter Soldier have green and yellow details, colors that are traditionally used by HYDRA in the comics.