Since I'm an idiot, I figured instead of getting some much needed sleep before tomorrow's U.S. History final exam, I would read this issue of Thunderbolts. Yes, I am insane.
Overall- Dammit. I really didn't want to like this comic book. The only reason I continued to collect it after Fabian Nicieza left was to see what Warren Ellis was going to do with the book. I really hated Warren's run, but then Christos Gage took over, and once again I thoroughly enjoyed this comic. However, Christos left after the last issue, so I figured I'd give the new writer, Andy Diggle one issue to convince me to keep collecting this comic book. I've collected every single issue of the T-Bolts, from Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley's great early issues through all of the other writers who wound up penning this book. I really thought this issue would be my last... Oh well, Andy has brought himself another month with this pretty good issue. Onto the review.
Norman Osborn is in Washington D.C. railing against the Senate Oversight Committee on Superhuman Activities(basically his supervisors)about the fact that they allowed a full scale Skrull Invasion to take place on American soil. Norman also goes on to rip into Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D., for incompetence as well. You go Norman! Norman then claims that he suspects there were humans helping the Skrulls, which causes the Committee to accuse Norman of trying to manufacture a witch hunt. Norman says he's had enough of the Committee, and resigns as T-Bolts leader, and that he was also disbanding the team as his final act as T-Bolts leader. He then storms away, stating that he has a meeting with the president. Hmmm, very interesting...
Swordsman buries his sister again, after her murder at the hands of Bullseye, on the orders of Norman Osborn. Songbird accompanies Swordsman, and he warns her to watch her back with the rest of the Thunderbolts. Next, we see Penance having a meeting with Moonstone. Moonstone tries to provoke Penance to attack her, but he refuses to take the bait. Moonstone, ever the master manipulator, convinces Penance she was just testing him, and that he passed. However, we discover that Moonstone drugged Penance's water, which knocks him out, while Moonstone tells the unconscious Penance that he'll be spending the rest of his life in the worst mental institution she can find... Ahh, that's the evil Moonstone that I remember and love!
Radioactive Man reveals to Songbird that he is being recalled back to his native China in light of the recent Skrull Invasion. Radioactive Man reveals that he had entertained thoughts of expanding his relationship with Songbird, but she pretty briskly blows him off. Radioactive Man apologizes for offending Songbird, and she tells him to just go. Radioactive Man climbs aboard the helicopter and leaves without another word. Back on the ground though, we see that Songbird was moved to tears by Radioactive Man's comments, but was apparently ordered to send him away. After she announces Radioactive Man had left, she is surprised by Bullseye, who presses a blade into her back, as well as putting another knife to her throat. Bullseye reveals that Norman Osborn has big plans for the T-Bolts, and that Songbird was not part of them. The issue ends with Bullseye telling Songbird to ask him to kill her.
So, it seems that Norman has begun to eliminate any member of the T-Bolts with any semblance of a conscience, as we see Radioactive Man, Penance and Songbird targeted by Osborn and the unscrupulous Moonstone. I'll pick up the next issue of this series just to see what happens to Songbird. I will say one thing though, if Bullseye kills or paralyzes Songbird, all bets are off, and I WILL stop collecting this book. Songbird is pretty much the lone beacon of light on this team, and without her, I don't think I would be very interested in a team full of scumbag villains. For a score, I'll give this comic a very respectable 7 1/2 out of 10. Like I said, I've been looking to drop this comic for a while now, and losing Songbird would be all the reason I need!