Thunderbolts: Beyond Redemption! The 'Bolts are back, and Graviton's got 'em, from Thunderbolts 57

"Beyond Redemption!" Thunderbolts 56 (November 2001)
"Storm Clouds Gathering" Thunderbolts 57 (December 2001)
"Degrees of Evil" Thunderbolts 58 (January 2002)

Reader Rating: Above Average

Roll Call: Atlas/Dallas, Citizen V (Zemo), Fixer, MACH-3, Moonstone, Jolt, Songbird

Summary: Graviton suspends most of Earthís super heroes in mid-air, then attacks the remains of Mt. Charteris, where he casually kills the Redeemers. Citizen V convinces Abe and Melissa to go back into action and, aided by Atlas (now inhabiting Dallas Riordanís body), they strike at Graviton. MíReel executes his plan: using Gravitonís powers to open a portal so that the other-dimensional PíTah can attack Earth. In driving back the invasion, the reunited Thunderbolts flash out of existence.

The Chain Gang (Hawkeye, Cottonmouth, Plantman, and Mentallo inhabiting Headlok) escape from prison guards, but find themselves linked together through high-tech security manacles.

The Avengers, Captain Marvel, The Fantastic Four, The Defenders (including Nighthawk), The New Warriors (including Speedball), Doc Samson, X-Force and some X-Men are among those trapped by Graviton. The V-Battalion appear briefly, including Roger Aubrey, Elizabeth Barstow and Fred Davis.

Continuity: The original team is reunited, if only long enough to give Graviton what-for. In new armor, Abe becomes MACH-3. Jolt and Scream are apparently killed by Graviton, but recover. Charcoal is turned to dust. Meteorite and The Beetle (Leila Davis) are killed pretty convincingly. Smuggler, too, appears to be dead, but will later be revealed to have escaped to the darkforce dimension (see "The War at Home", 2006/04/01).

Several years from now, Doc Samson will recall his first meeting with Speedball as involving "Galactus" who "had come to make us all into socks or something." Since he's joking around, it's possible he is actually referring to this meeting. (See "Caged Angels", 2008/07/01)

Comments: I mean, Graviton just kills the Redeemers. He waltzes in and kills 'em, one then another, in one of the most audacious sequences in T-Bolts history. That sequence and the breathtaking return of the Thunderbolts are the highlights of this adventure; the perfunctory PíTah invasion sequence the low. Along with interiors that range from solid to brilliant, Patrick Zircher delivers three of the best covers in T-Bolts history. (And, yes, I am the "BobMM" whose name appears as grafitti in #57; thanks for asking!)

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This page was revised on January 26, 2009

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