Thunderbolts: The Parent Trap Meet the parents: Charlie's Dad turns up in Thunderbolts 53

"The Parent Trap" (2001/08/01) from Thunderbolts 53 (August 2001)

Reader Rating: Above Average

Summary: Charlie’s father, Calvin, arrives on the scene and involves Charcoal in his plot to steal secrets from a nearby chemical plant for the Secret Empire.  But when Calvin’s plan goes awry, Charlie has to choose between saving his Dad and saving his own skin.  Meanwhile, Jolt tries physical therapy, the Fixer gets a bead on the whereabouts of Ogre and HS-1, Hawkeye enjoys Mentallo’s protection in prison, and Moonstone continues treating Graviton in outer space.

Melissa and Abe make cameo appearances in a street scene.  Captain America briefly leads the Redeemers (the Beetle, Meteorite, Scream, and the Smuggler).

Comments: Once the situation is established, the main plot plays out predictably.  But the Machiavellian personality of Calvin Burlingame, revealed through voice-over narration, provides a believable spark for Charcoal’s eruption.  There are also some memorable moments in Patrick Zircher’s art.  My favorite: the Hitchcockian camera trick that starts with an overhead shot of Cap looking down from a balcony, then pulls progressively back to reveal first Cap on a view screen being watched by the Fixer, then the Fixer on a view screen being watched by the Ogre.  Primo paranoia.

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This page was revised on July 5, 2001

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