Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thunderbolts #150

Overall: We begin this anniversary issue with Luke Cage telling Songbird and Mach-5 that he was done leading the T-Bolts. Luke explains that he can't stand the T-Bolts and the way they are always conniving, scheming and trying to manipulate their situations. As far as Luke is concerned, once Steve Rogers and the A-list Avengers arrive later, he'll be giving his walking papers. The Ghost is able to read Cage's lips through the viewing window and begins to realize that if Luke goes, the T-Bolts will almost definitely fold. After his outburst, Luke enters the room and tosses Moonstone off the team since she didn't help Fixer and Songbird during their last mission. From there Luke takes the rest of the T-Bolts(Juggernaut, Ghost and Crossfire)outside to meet the Avengers(Thor, Steve Rogers and Iron Man). Steve wants to see the T-Bolts in action, so Luke has scheduled a routine assault on one of MODOK's European bases, figuring the mission shouldn't be all that difficult. While Luke and the Avengers are speaking, Ghost informs his fellow T-Bolts of Luke's intention to leave, and that when Luke goes, the T-Bolts will be stuck back in their cells 24/7 again. Ghost has a plan to escape that involves Man-Thing's teleportation and Thor's hammer, and the T-Bolts agree to attempt the escape. So once Man-Thing tries to open a portal to Europe, Ghost zaps Thor's hammer creating a massive feedback loop that scatters the T-Bolts away from the Avengers. Unfortunately for all parties, they seem to have crossed into another dimension. The Avengers realize they've been hoodwinked and begin to look around, finding a large body of water as well as a giant talking frog who calls himself Mr. Frog. Iron Man looks into the water and notices that his reflection is of him as a young boy, while Steve sees himself as Captain America. Frog tells them that they can leave this place if Man-Thing walks them through a nearby waterfall, but Man-Thing doesn't seem to keen on leaving, plus the Avengers have to deal with the three escaped villains as well. Heading over to the villains, they are all bickering about the fact that Ghost sent them to what appears to be an uninhabited alternate dimension, and while they are arguing, the Avengers attack. Luke Cage and Thor attack Juggernaut, Iron Man takes on Ghost and Steve Rogers goes after his long-time foe, Crossbones. Steve confronts Crossbones and attacks, but is taken by surprise by Crossbones new fire-blasting powers. Crossbones powers, coupled with the element of surprise allows Crossbones to gain the upper-hand on Steve, and he begins to strangle the life out of the hero. However, the battle has strayed close to that reflecting pond, and Crossbones doesn't see his own reflection, but the reflection of the Red Skull looking back at him, which throws him for a loop. With Crossbones momentarily distracted, Steve manages to put him down. Iron Man has a slightly easier go of things with Ghost, as he reveals to Ghost that he is no longer a corporate raider, and is simply the owner/operator of the small Stark Reliant business. Upon learning this information, Ghost halts his attack since Iron Man is no longer his enemy. Finally Thor and Cage have quite a time trying to bring down the Juggernaut, and Juggernaut actually manages to toss Thor away and batter Luke a bit, before he also sees his reflection and is disturbed by the fact that it keeps changing, from Cyttorak, to Cain Marko, to the Juggernaut. This revelation, coupled with Ghost surrender causes Juggernaut to quit the battle as well, as he realizes that he needs to figure out who he really is. With that, the heroes(and T-Bolts)return to Man-Thing and the waterfall, and after some coaxing get him to bring them back to their Earth. After sending the T-Bolts back to their cells, Luke tells Steve that he feels the T-Bolts have been a failure, but Steve counters, saying Luke has done a great job with what he was handed, and has saved countless lives with his leadership of the program. In the end, Steve's flowery words seem to change Luke's mind and he seem content to continue doing his best to redeem this version of the T-Bolts.

This was a really good issue. Once the team headed to the world with the giant talking frog, I was like, “Well, this is all about to go downhill rapidly...” but much to my surprise, the story stayed strong through out, we got some good character development moments, and some pretty awesome battle scenes. Every character acted as I'd have expected them, and the little touch with the reflecting pool was nice. Sure, what some of the characters saw was kind of weird(why does Stark see himself as a little boy?)but some of them, such as Crossbones seeing himself as a pale imitation of the Red Skull, or Steve still seeing himself as Captain America was right on the money. Oh, and on top of this story, we also got a reprint of the first Thunderbolts comic, which was as amazing as it as the first time I read it. I still can't get over how awesome the reveal at the end of that comic was. So this was one of those rare cases where the $5 cover price was well deserved.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.I've got to admit, I never expected to read a comic in which Crossbones' head made like Ghost Rider and he nearly fried Steve Rogers...


  1. I guess it wouldn't be a Thunderbolts anniversary issue without the team fighting the Avengers! Jeez, it seems like they do that at least twice a year...

    But anyway, this sounds pretty cool, X. Maybe Tony sees himself that way because he's always felt that he couldn't escape from his father's shadow, and also because he never feels that anything he does is good enough. It's like he's full of potential to do good, but he feels like he always bungles that somehow.

    Also, did you know they're coming out with a Thunderbolts Classic trade in a few months? It's going to reprint the first ten or so issues of the series. I can't wait, personally, since I've only read the first two or three issues and even that was a really long time ago!

  2. Yeah, you know it's an anniversary issue if you have "vs The Avengers!" on the cover.

    I could definitely see the whole never being/doing enough thing in Tony's mind. I mean compared to a guy like Reed Richards, he probably does feel child-like. It also could have to do with all of the creativity that is coursing through him. He's always full of ideas, just like a little kid. That's the fun thing about this though, there are so many possible answers, and all of(or none of)them could be right!

    I actually have the first 63 issues of the series, but it's nice to hear that Marvel is FINALLY doing a T-Bolts Classic trade. I mean, how haven't they done that already?! I unfortunately didn't read the first issue once it came out(I was done with comics by that point), but I can imagine the shock that last page in that first issue must have given fans back then.