Thunderbolts: The Bug Bites Back! Justin and the Bad Boys, from Thunderbolts 35

"The Inheritance" Thunderbolts 35 (February 2000)
"How is Justice Best Served?" Thunderbolts 36 (March 2000)
"The Bug Bites Back!" Thunderbolts 37 (April 2000)

Reader Rating: Average

Roll Call: Atlas, Charcoal, Hawkeye, Moonstone, Songbird, Techno/Ogre

Summary: The T-Bolts mourn the death of Hallie, then go after the new Beetle whose mysterious motives involve Justin Hammer and The Commission.

Also: Citizen V splits from the V-Battalion when she refuses an assignment; Gayle Rogers learns too much and becomes the next victim of the T-Bolts’ stalker; Techno begins brewing up something that looks an awful lot like Jolt; and Abe returns to the team with a new, darker complexion and a new name: MACH-2.

Appearances from Blacklash, Blizzard, Hydro-Man, and Speed Demon. The real Ogre is seen in a cryotube.

Continuity: Abe’s abandoned Beetle armor is returned to the Commission. Hawkeye makes a quip that will come back to haunt him in "Redemption?" (2001/03/01). Techno recovers Jolt's body, as will be revealed in "Heroic Tendencies" (2001/02/01). Speed Demon goes to work for Hammer again, and escapes. Blizzard, no doubt freed from prison by Justin Hammer, appears in a freaky new costume. He is captured and "the ice converters in his costume" are disabled.

Comments: Fabian Nicieza’s script brims with surprises, but the story develops jerkily and is overburdened with exposition. Greg Adams’ inking in the first installment adds a darker and, to my eye, more satisfying heft to Mark Bagley’s pencils. The third installment is unfortunately marred by several careless lettering errors. But you’ve got to love Moonstone in a jet black body stocking.

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This page was revised on March 23, 2005

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