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Trauma (comics)

There are two fictional characters in the Marvel Universe that are named Trauma with two distinct origins. They are detailed separately below.

Publication history

The first Trauma debuted in The Incredible Hulk #394 by Peter David and Gary Frank.

The second Trauma debuted in Avengers: The Initiative #1 by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli.


Fictional character biography

Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Incredible Hulk #394 (1992)
Created by Peter David
Gary Frank
In-story information
Alter ego Thow Mah
Species Troyjan
Team affiliations Troyjan Empire
Abilities Experienced warrior and strategist
Superhuman strength and durability
Channel and project cosmic energy
Body armor with numerous weapons triggered by thoughts
Special lenses attached to his eyes

Born the son of Armageddon, the unforgiving monarch of the Troyjan empire, Troh-Maw was instantly at a disadvantage. Having a twin brother fight for the attentions of his father made matters worse. Both Trauma and his brother had superhuman strength, became proficient at all forms of combat, and both shared their race's ability to channel and expel cosmic energy. Between the two brothers, whole solar systems were conquered and worlds were ravaged. It was only when they reached the planet Earth that tragedy struck. In pursuit of the Pantheon member known as Atalanta, Trauma's brother was killed. This angered their father greatly, but it wasn't until Armageddon found out Troh-Maw was in love with his brother's murderer, that he thought Troh-Maw was an incompetent fool. Trauma initially wanted to avenge his brother's death by slaying Atalanta, but somewhere along the line, the chase became more to him. She became more to him than just prey. When Trauma professed his love for Atalanta during his pursuit of her in the Himalayas, she mocked him, and he rethought his position of killing her. Unfortunately, for him, the Hulk was also looking for his missing teammate, and he wasn't about to let her be executed. Hulk and Trauma fought, and in the end, Hulk buried him under an avalanche.[volume & issue needed]

Trauma eventually returned and kidnapped Atalanta with the intentions of bringing her back to his home world and making her his bride. Of course, she resisted every step of the way. Those in the Pantheon were also unwilling to let her abduction go unanswered, so a few of them mounted a rescue operation. On their journey, the Hulk recruited a few more members to his cause such as the Silver Surfer and the Starjammers. All traveled to the Troyjan planet, and their exploits led them to an audience with Armageddon and Trauma. Hulk and Trauma would finally get their rematch. Tragedy struck again when Trauma impaled himself on a piece of his own shattered armor and was dying. Before his passing, Trauma asked Atalanta if his loving her was a crime he should die for. Although, they had their differences, Atalanta was sad for him and didn't want to see him die. In order to show his intentions were never evil, Trauma asked Armageddon to give safe passage to all back to Earth. Troh-Maw died in his father's arms.[volume & issue needed]

Armageddon didn't realize how much he truly cared for his son until he lost him, and even though he honored Trauma's last wish, he would soon seek revenge on the Hulk. Armageddon came to Earth and took over the town of Freehold, so he may possess a device created by the Leader with the hope of resurrecting his son. Armageddon was going to use the Hulk's body to power the machine and transfer his energy into the corpse of Troh-Maw. The Hulk would most likely die in the process, but it was considered an acceptable consequence. The Hulk agreed to Armageddon's request, but the Hulk already knew how he was going to defeat the Troyjan. Hulk forced too much of his energy into the machine at once causing an overload, followed by an explosion, and Trauma's body was incinerated. Armageddon swore the Hulk would die by his hand even as he left the planet.[1]

Terrence Ward

Artwork for the cover of Avengers: The Initiative #5 (Oct, 2007) with Trauma (lower right).
Art by Jim Cheung.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers: The Initiative #1 (March, 2007)
Created by Dan Slott
Stefano Caselli
In-story information
Alter ego Terrence Ward
Species Half-Demon
Team affiliations The Initiative
Shadow Initiative
Abilities Able to change own form into manifestation of opponents worst fear

Trauma (Terrence Ward) is a fictional comic book character. He is a teenage superhero in Marvel Comics' shared universe, the Marvel Universe. Created by writer Dan Slott and artist Stefano Caselli, he first appeared in Avengers: The Initiative #1 (April 2007).

Fictional character biography

Terrence Ward's powers drove him away from his family,[2] and sent his mother to an insane asylum.[3] He is first introduced giving his codename[3] as he receives his first costume. The team's drill-sergeant, The Gauntlet, refers to Trauma as "emo-boy." Trauma wears a black tee with a block "T" for his codename, a black foppish fringe, and tight black jeans.

Trauma's powers are first introduced in a Danger Room-like simulation overseen by Gauntlet and Henry Peter Gyrich. A scientist states that the powers-that-be are very interested in his "power set." Trauma's powers exploit the deepest fears in others, causing him to morph into a physical representation of that deep-seated fear. He must be within proximity to another person for these powers to work. During a training exercise with the other new heroes, Trauma morphs into a giant spider to exploit Armory's fear. Armory loses her senses and begins firing blindly. She blasts off Komodo's arm and shoots MVP in the head while he attempts to protect Cloud 9 from harm. Armory is "grounded" and expelled from Camp Hammond. Gyrich, who is overseeing the entire project, informs Trauma and Cloud 9 that the mishap "never happened."[4]

Since it appears that Trauma can't fully control his powers, Gyrich takes him away to receive private tutoring on how to control his powers. Gyrich also tells Trauma that as he is a "shape changer who can read minds", his power set is one of those considered a "Holy Grail". The instructor was revealed to be Dani Moonstar.[5] At first Trauma tried to reject her (since he really wanted his powers to be neutralized instead); first by using his powers on Hank McCoy, then by attacking Dani by summoning the Demon Bear. However, Dani facing her fears against the creature years ago plus her training in self-defense allows her to easily force Trauma to reluctantly accept her help in controlling his powers.

Trauma is part of the Initiative's black-ops team.[6]

World War Hulk

As a part of the Initiative's Black-Ops team, he joins fellow team members Bengal, Constrictor, The Scarlet Spiders, and Mutant Zero into the Hulk-controlled Manhattan to rescue his fellow members of the Initiative that rushed into battle with the Hulk. Trauma does battle with Korg, a member of Hulk's Warbound, transforming into Thor, Korg's greatest fear, and defeating him.

He then engages the Hulk, transforming into the Abomination, Juggernaut, Brian Banner, and then Bruce Banner himself until Hulk reveals that he has no fear. Stuck in human form, Trauma is thrown aside into a car, and is left alive to carry on the message that Hulk has no fear. While recovering at Camp Hammond, he makes peace with the other Initiative members, particularly Hardball and Cloud 9. When Dani Moonstar teases Secretary Gyrich about Trauma not being the "Big Gun" he expected, Gyrich then decreases Trauma's power ranking from Class Omega to Class 50.[7]


A psychotic clone of MVP, wielding Armory's Tactigon and calling himself "Killed in Action" went after Trauma for the hand he played in his "death". Trauma transformed himself into what the Tactigon feared most, an armored alien creature, the opponent that the Tactigon was used to fight in its origin story. This did not faze KIA, who rammed a bladed weapon into Trauma's chest, killing him.[8] In the aftermath of KIA's rampage, his fellow trainees visit his open casket. To the surprise of the group, Trauma suddenly rises from his coffin. With no knowledge of how he has returned to the living, Trauma chooses to remain in Camp Hammond as a counselor in order to get answers.[9]

Secret Invasion

During the Secret Invasion, Bengal discovers that the Skrulls have taken over Camp Hammond and summons the rest of the Shadow Initiative to deal with them. They decide to assassinate Queen Veranke, but the attempt fails when Queen Veranke suggests that one of them is a Skrull. This interacts with Trauma's powers, causing him to shape change into a Skrull; the very thing his allies fear he is. The team is defeated and taken captive.[10]

In the Avengers: The Initiative Special, it is revealed that Trauma's biological father is the demon Nightmare, which explains Trauma's fear powers.[2]

Dark Reign

After the invasion, Trauma is in a therapy session with Thor Girl when the Thor clone attacks Camp Hammond. After the clone beats Thor Girl badly, Trauma takes on the clone by assuming the form of the real Thor. However, the clone discovers the ruse and beats Trauma badly until Gorilla Girl intervenes.[11] After the battle, Trauma realizes that the real Thor Girl does not have a crush on him, unlike Thor Girl's Skrull impostor.[12]

Norman Osborn persuades Trauma to remain in his employ, training criminals to behave, by promising to cure his mother's insanity.[13]

Trauma began sleeping more and more even becoming depressed over his treatment of Penance. He does try to help Penance by tracking down his old cat, Niels. As Trauma attempts to fall asleep his mind and body are taken over by his father Nightmare.[14] Nightmare uses Terry's body to attack the Initiative members, Hood's gang, and the "Avengers Resistance", until Penance helps Terry regain control of himself causing Nightmare to release him and disappear. Justice offers to let Trauma join the Avengers Resistance but Trauma instead has decided to leave the Initiative and go on his own to figure how to prevent Nightmare from taking over again. However, he did tell Justice that the offer helped.[15]

Powers and abilities

Trauma has the ability to shape-shift into his opponent's worst fear. At first, he could not fully control the power, causing him to become a gigantic version of Armory's fear (a spider).[4] After receiving training from Dani Moonstar, Terrence is now able to "fine-tune" his transformations, and actually use them to calm people, as shown when he became Gyrich's father, who died from Alzheimer's disease, and telling him "you're clean, son."[7] Dani believes Trauma could use this power to become one of the greatest psychiatrists in the world, helping patients to face their fears, one at a time. Terrence's powers do not work on those without emotions (robots, for example), and were eventually ineffective on the Hulk, who declared that he feared nothing.[7] Trauma has even been able to assume the forms of Thor, Abomination, and the Juggernaut.[7] His powers also enable him to duplicate weapons, as demonstrated when he became Thor to battle the Thor-Clone. However, the weapons, being a part of him, cannot leave his hands. This caused the clone to no longer fear him as he realized Trauma was not the true Thor.[11]

The first Trauma was a virtual powerhouse. He had superhuman strength and durability, making him slightly stronger than the Hulk. Trauma also had the Troyjan ability to channel and expel cosmic energy. Trauma wore body armor with numerous weapons built into it, and all were triggered by his thoughts. Trauma also had special lenses attached to his eyes for targeting.

Other media

Video games

Trauma appeared as an opponent in the PlayStation game The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga.


  1. ^ The Incredible Hulk #413-416
  2. ^ a b Avengers: The Initiative Special #1
  3. ^ a b Avengers: The Initiative #1
  4. ^ a b Avengers: The Initiative #1
  5. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #3
  6. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #4
  7. ^ a b c d Avengers: The Initiative #5
  8. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #9
  9. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #12
  10. ^ Avengers: the Initiative #17
  11. ^ a b Avengers: The Initiative #21
  12. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #22
  13. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #25
  14. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #29
  15. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #30