Thunderbolts: Best Intentions

Avengers/Thunderbolts by Barry Kitson

"Best Intentions" (2004/03/01)
"The Cause of Justice" Avengers/Thunderbolts 1 (March 2004)
"The Fine Line" Avengers/Thunderbolts 2 (April 2004)
"Nerves" Avengers/Thunderbolts 3 (May 2004)
"Betrayal" Avengers/Thunderbolts 4 (June 2004)
"Truth and Consequences" Avengers/Thunderbolts 5 (July 2004)
"Blood Will Tell" Avengers/Thunderbolts 6 (August 2004)
Reprinted in Avengers/Thunderbolts: Best Intentions

Reader Rating: Above Average

Roll Call: Atlas, Baron Zemo, Blackheath, The Fixer, Moonstone, Songbird, Vantage

Summary: Six months after Hawkeye's departure, the Thunderbolts are ready to execute an ambitious plan to "save" the world by absorbing all paranormal energies into a device called "the Liberator." The Avengers, now including Hawkeye, have understandable doubts about Zemo's motives and send a spy (Iron Man, disguised as Cobalt Man) into the T-Bolts' midsts. As the Liberator comes on line, the Avengers move in, the device is damaged, fantastic amounts of energy are shunted into Moonstone -- and all bets are off.

The Avengers include Captain America, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, Yellowjacket (Henry Pym), and The Wasp, with a cameo from Warbird.

Continuity: To start, Dallas takes on the identity of Vantage and Abe works with the Avengers from prison. To end...
- Moonstone is stripped of her powers and is rendered a vegetable
- Songbird is offered membership in the Avengers -- and refuses
- Atlas voluntarily gives up his powers
- Vantage is offered a job with Homeland Security
- The Fixer abandons ship
- Blackheath loses his tree-like aspect and voluntarily returns to prison
- Jolt returns to Counter-Earth
- Zemo, his face burned, escapes with two moonstones -- and with a renewed passion to bring the world into line
- Abe is parolled and vows to give others the same chance he had, by forming a new team of Thunderbolts

Comments: Belatedly, the Thunderbolts get the proper send-off they deserve. Fabian Nicieza and Kurt Busiek bring the story of the original team to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Barry Kitson's stiff art in the first two chapters gives way to the delightful slam-bang style of Tom Grummett for the rest of the series. The story meanders on a bit longer than necessary -- I think chapters 1 & 2 and 5 & 6 could have been combined to good effect. But it's great to have this one final adventure from a solid creative team who are clearly fond of the characters.

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This page was revised on September 13, 2004

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