We head back to Marvel for tonight's reviews, starting off with Thunderbolts, starring Luke Cage! I don't really know why that's important, but I guess Luke Cage = sales in the eyes of somebody at Marvel... Oooookay...
What Happened: While Songbird and Mach-V are stuck at the Raft doing clean up and talking to the Federal Advisory Committee to the Thunderbolts(or FACT), Luke Cage is rounding up the villains that escaped the Raft during the events of Fear Itself. Luke manages to take down the two remaining living members of the Enforcers, and gets a tip that Soundwave was hiding out at a condemned church in Washington DC. Luke outfits himself with equipment that would handle Soundwave, but is surprised to find Mr. Fear there instead. Fear blasts Luke with some of his fear gas, and Luke is forced to live through his various fears(he's an incompetent leader, the T-Bolts are a mess, he's still a prisoner, he's failed his wife and daughter, etc) while Fear makes good his escape... But not before leaving behind a dead body, causing Luke to fear that he had killed the woman while in the throes of the fear gas. Luke soon realizes that he wasn't responsible for the woman's death, and swears revenge on Mr. Fear. Meanwhile, while meeting with FACT, Songbird and Mach-V get a message from Ghost from 1888. It seems Ghost had written a letter and then locked it in a box to be opened by either Mach-V, Songbird or Luke in the present. Songbird and Mach-V inform Luke that Ghost and the evil Thunderbolts were still alive, which sooths one of his fears.
The Good: It's been a while since we actually got a Luke Cage heavy issue of the Thunderbolts. I liked that FACT took Songbird and Mach-V to task for Luke hardly ever being with the T-Bolts, because it's true. Since I'm not looking forward to the evil Thunderbolts hanging out in Camelot, this issue was a welcome reprieve. I liked the way Ghost sent the T-Bolts a message from the past.
The Bad: I wasn't really enamored by the Luke Cage/Mr. Fear face-off. Luke has been away from this team for so long, I just don't see him fitting in here anymore... Since he has his responsibilities as the leader of the New Avengers, maybe either Mach-V or Songbird should be named as the leaders here.
The Verdict: Meh. This comic just did nothing for me. Considering the fact that Luke Cage has been little more than an afterthought in this series for a while now, it was odd, and a bit jarring that this issue focused so heavily on him. If nothing else, it made me realize that maybe Luke just doesn't belong here anymore... I mean, in a perfect world, I'd take him off the New Avengers and have him exclusively in this title, since he fits here WAY more than as a leader for the Avengers(I still don't see Luke as Avengers material!), but alas, Marvel seems determined to keep Luke on both teams, thus making him totally ineffective here since we all know that anything major that's going to happen to Luke will be happening in the pages of the (New) Avengers, not here.
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Damn, Mr. Fear looks pretty badass...