Vault (comics) - Fictional History - Better Living Conditions

Better Living Conditions

In New Warriors (Vol. 1) #25 (August, 1992), Vance Astrovik was sentenced to imprisonment in the Vault, after being found guilty of the manslaughter of his father. While he was en route to the facility, a group of his teammates in the New Warriors overwhelmed the Guardsmen, whom Vance has befriended and attempted to aid his escape. Astrovik chose to stay in captivity and serve his time (New Warriors (Vol. 1) #26; June, 1993). While incarcerated, he helped foil a riot. Part of Vance's success was his willingness to campaign for better living conditions. For example, Terraformer, a captured member of Force of Nature, simply desires a plant in his cell. Vance manages to give him one off the Warden's desk. This serves to lessen the ire of many of the prisoners (New Warriors Vol. 1 #36; June, 1993). Astrovik was released from the prison in New Warriors Vol. 1 #43 (January, 1994).

On at least one occasion, a criminal was not freed from the Vault itself, but rather while they were en route to the Vault. The mutant terrorist group known as the Resistants attacked a prisoner transport van, killing or incapacitating the Guardsmen operating the van, and freed the mutant criminal known as Mentallo.

Mass breakouts did occur at the institution on at least four occasions. The first occurred as a result of Iron Man having disabled the Guardsmen's armour as a part of the Armor Wars storyline in Iron Man Vol. 1 #228 (March, 1988). The resulting jailbreak occurred in Captain America (Vol. 1) #340 (April 1988), though the escapees were quickly recaptured.

The second large-scale breakout, instigated by Loki, was one of the major contributing factors to the numerous supervillain attacks on various heroes during the "Acts of Vengeance" crossover, with the jailbreak itself occurring in Avengers Spotlight #26, Damage Control (Vol. 2) #1 (December 1989) and Quasar #6 (January 1990). The villains enjoyed more freedom then expected as the warden accidentally calls Damage Control before the Avengers. The facility was restored to functionality by the time of Avengers Spotlight #29 (February 1990), after Loki's alliance of criminal masterminds had collapsed and most of the escaped inmates had been recaptured.

Another breakout was recounted in a flashback in Thunderbolts Annual '97 (1997) (it had actually occurred prior to the events of Thunderbolts (Vol. 1) #1; April 1997), although only a handful of escapees were named. The fourth and final mass breakout occurred in Heroes for Hire (Vol. 1) #1. In that final prison break, the facility was destroyed by the U-Foes.

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