"Didn’t See That Coming" (2003/02/01) from Thunderbolts 75 (February 2003)
Reader Rating: Above Average
Roll Call: Amazon, Atlas, Baron Zemo, Blackheath, The Fixer, Harrier, Hawkeye, Jolt, MACH-3, Moonstone, Dallas Riordan, Skein, Songbird
Summary: Reunited on Earth, Zemo’s Thunderbolts and Hawkeye’s substitute team close down the anomaly void and flee the V-Battalion. Finding refuge in an old hideaway of Dr. Faustus, the two teams ponder their futures – leading to a new team, with a startling new mission.
Amazon and Skein leave the team to return, presumably, to their criminal lives. Abe vows to serve his debt to society by returning to prison, and Harrier chooses to go with him. Jolt is seen on Counter-Earth, where she convinces the Young Allies to help her continue the Thunderbolts’ work. Dallas Riordan finds her legs restored, and discovers that she has amazing new powers of strength and agility. The Fixer undertakes to inject Erik with Pym particles, restoring his growing powers. Zemo convinces Hawkeye that he sincerely wants to do the right thing, and Clint agrees to leave Zemo in charge of the restored team.
Citizen V, Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch), and Elizabeth Barstow (the Silver Scorpion) appear briefly. The Young Allies are Bucky, Toro, Kid Colt, the RIP (Order and Chaos) and I.Q.
The new team of Zemo, Atlas, Blackheath, the Fixer, Moonstone, Dallas Riordan and Songbird declare their intention of saving the world…by ruling it!
Continuity: The gag set up in "Wanted Dead or Alive" ( 1998/06/01) and "The Nefaria Protocols" ( 2000/09/01) is paid off as the secret of the “gelatinous footprints” is revealed – as the clone of Kevin Costner! Hawkeye and Moonstone admit (at least to themselves) that they love one another, then separate. In a scene with Songbird, Sybil suggests pretty strongly that she is bi-sexual. Blackheath and Dallas Riordan are welcomed on to the new team. And, on this promising note, the series ends. (Beginning with issue #76 the comic book called Thunderbolts focuses on a completely different concept.)
Comments: It is tragic that artist Manuel Garcia was clearly rushed, and that the editors made no attempt to clean up the multitude of errors within the book (I count seven mistakes on the recap page alone). But not to dwell on the negative in this, the end of the team's original run:
Fabian Nicieza closes Volume 1 with some nice character moments and a fitting, startling last page turnaround. All thanks to him for his efforts to keep Thunderbolts fans on their toes for so long. It’s been a wild ride.
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This page was revised on December 17, 2004
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