- "He is over eighty years old but his healing factor makes him appear as if in his thirties. He has been through every major war since World War II and has acquired a lifetime of combat experience. He has been known by many names, most recently Caliber. I assure you, Mr. President, he is a perfect addition to the Thunderbolts."
- — Jackson Cole
Caliber is a skilled soldier, master warrior, and all around supreme combatant. He serves the United States with skill and honor as an agent of Vanguard and a member of the U.S. sponsored super team; the Thunderbolts.
Early Life & Military Training
- "It's good to have you with us, Agent Strega. We'll need all the help we can get if we're going to take down the Nazis."
- — Captain America
Talon Strega was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1920. He discovered his mutant heritage when he was fourteen years old. He was ran over by a car and instantly healed after the incident. After testing his new found power a few more times he was confident that no one could ever hurt him. He joined up with a local gang during the Depression and started heading down the wrong path. When he was finally arrested the government discovered he was a mutant and gave him a choice; he could either rot in jail or he could join the military and be an asset to his country. His training took place while all of Europe was at war. When the United States finally entered the conflict Talon was sent overseas to help the allies take down the Nazi regime. During the war Talon met such individuals as Namor and the mutant called Logan. He even had the distinct honor of serving on several missions alongside Steve Rogers, the original Captain America. After World War II Strega continued to serve the United States government as a covert ops agent, never joining such organizations as S.H.I.E.L.D. or any super teams.
- "We want you to be part of the future, Captain Strega. By joining Vanguard you will be protecting U.S. interests in a way you never could have before."
- — Jackson Cole
In 2007, after serving the government for nearly seventy years in every major conflict the United States had been involved in, including the Chrell invasion, Strega was approached by Jackson Cole, the newly appointed Director of Operations for a massive super powered task force called Vanguard. The point of the organization was to not only police the super powered community but to also protect any and all U.S. interests. Strega was hesitant to join at first. He had always been a covert operative and Director Cole was asking him to be something else entirely. He wanted him to be a commanding agent, someone to take charge of situations. Though he would also still be used in the covert operations area as well. He took the codename Liberty Soldier in honor of Steve Rogers and was given a combat suit accordingly. He served Vanguard well and very quickly became one of their top agents. He was involved in many of the organization's major missions, including the symbiote incident in Los Angeles alongside the Ultimates. It was following the Los Angeles incident that Director Cole approached Strega about an experiment. Talon agreed to go ahead with it and Vanguard scientists coated his entire skeletal structure in adamantium, similar to many of the members of the Weapon X program. Now, he was not only able to heal instantaneously but he also had nearly indestructible bones. He was put on the Thunderbolts team and instantly increased the capability of the team. He started to go on missions with them, and brought a more covert ops look to the team's repertoire.
- "Be careful."
"What about me?"
"Jump in a lake."
"She's crazy about me."
- — Natalia Pera and Caliber
After Alex Burke's first fight with Warpath, where Warpath killed Burke's parents and Burke responded by killing Warpath, Brian Grace was put under pressure to ensure that Burke was properly handled and wasn't a wild card. To that effect, he asked Caliber to stay with Burke, and work with Burke's head of security, Samuel Freeman, who had just received the War Machine armor. Caliber agreed and when he reached the Burke residence, he was introduced to Burke's assistant, Natalia Pera. There was an instant attraction between the two.
Shortly after meeting everyone, Caliber and War Machine were tasked with a mission in Africa, not knowing that this had been set up by someone working behind the scenes. While they were there, Warpath, who had not actually been killed and had been revived by Dinah Frost, attacked the Burke residence, viciously injuring Natalia and driving Burke to the point of death.
More Coming Soon
- Healing Factor: Caliber can spontaneously regenerate any tissue in his body, allowing him to recover from any injury within seconds to minutes. He also rarely shows visible signs of pain after being injured. His ability has not been shown to have any definite limit thus far (although it is strongly believed that having his brain removed would permanently kill him), though he does need to have foreign objects, such as a branch or a shard of glass, manually removed from his body and bones pushed back into position for the wounds to heal properly. Talon has been shown to regenerate whole extremities. His blood also has healing properties. This makes his regeneration ability the most powerful to date.
- Skilled Combatant: Caliber is an extraordinary hand-to-hand combatant and is skilled in multiple unarmed combat techniques. He is a also an expert marksman.
- Advanced Covert Ops Expert: Caliber is also a trained expert in multiple types of weapons, vehicles, computer systems, explosives, and assassination techniques.
- Peak Human Conditioning: Caliber possesses the peak athletic strength and endurance of a man who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. His physical attributes exceed that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever competed. His strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, agility and coordination are at peak human perfection.
Due to his healing factor Talon Strega may be incapable of dying.