Good guy? Bad guy? What's the diff? From Civil War 3 "Civil War" (Parts 3-5) Civil War 3, 4, 5 (2006)
Scene from "The Night The War Came Home (Part 2)" Amazing Spider-Man 533 (2006)
"Changing Sides" Civil War: Choosing Sides (2006)*
"Embedded" (Parts 4-7) Civil War: Front Line 4, 5, 6, 7 (2006)
"The Accused" (Parts 4-7) Civil War: Front Line 4, 5, 6, 7 (2006)
"Sleeper Cell" (Parts 2-5) Civil War: Front Line 4, 5, 6, 7 (2006)
*Reprinted in Thunderbolts: Faith In Monsters

Reader Rating: Above Average

Summary: The Thunderbolts begin working more directly with the authorities as the Civil War continues...

At Avengers Mansion, Spider-Man meets his newest Pro-Registration allies, including Atlas, Blizzard and Fixer.

Ben Urich is cornered in an alleyway -- by a threatening, drooling Green Goblin!

Wonder Man is sent in pursuit of the escaped Atlantean mole, and tracks him to an entire cell of Atlantean spies.

Iron Man's Pro-Registration forces -- including Joystick, MACH-IV and Radioactive Man -- lay a trap for Captain America's Secret Avengers at Geffen-Meyer Chemicals, where Goliath (Bill Foster) is killed. Following the battle, Urich accuses Stark of setting the Goblin loose.

Although Zemo's team is still in action, Stark forms his own version of the Thunderbolts, "their every movement monitored by microscopic nanobots." Songbird and R-Man are sent to bring in Venom to join Stark's new team. Bullseye is also seen as one of Stark's recruits.

Osborn meets with his shadowy benefactor, a traitor to the Pro-Registration cause who gives Osborn a second dose of the drug that counteracts the monitoring nanobots in Osborn's bloodstream. As The Goblin, Osborn wipes out the sleeper cell of Atlantean agents, injuring Wonder Man in the process.

In the wake of the Geffen-Meyer tragedy, Nighthawk decides that he's been on the wrong side and leaves the Secret Avengers to register. Spider-Man comes to exactly the opposite conclusion. He flees, with two of Stark's proto-Bolts (Jack O'Lantern and the Jester) in pursuit. This section ends as The Punisher delivers a battered Spider-Man to the Secret Avengers.

The Accused: Robbie has a falling out with his mother, who states that she will never vist him again -- It is already clear that his father is through with him. During a prison fight, Robbie Baldwin discovers that pain causes him to generate blasts of power. He is transferred to "42", where he finally agrees to testify at the Registration hearings. On the way to the courtroom, Baldwin is shot by the father of one of the children of Stamford. As he is rushed to the hospital, his new explosive power manifests again, destroying the ambulance.

Dozens of super characters appear, with speaking parts for: The Black Panther, Cable, Cloak & Dagger, Daredevil, Emma Frost, The Fantastic Four (The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing), Firebird, The Young Avengers (the new Hawkeye, Hulking, Patriot, Stature, Wiccan), Hercules, Luke Cage, The Falcon, Misty Knight, Ultra-Girl, Stingray, She-Hulk, Yellowjacket, The Wasp...oh, and someone who looks an awful lot like Thor!

Continuity: Thunderbolts continuity includes the final two pages of ASM 533 only. This section ends on page 17 of Civil War Part 5; the final scene of that installment occurs later, following some significant T-Bolts action. The Thunderbolts are pulling double duty here: Working with Iron Man's forces at the same time that they continue to round up Zemo's army. Nighthawk's moonlighting, too: He changes sides here just as he recently left the T-Bolts to join the Grandmaster's forces.

Comments: This big, middle chunk of Civil War interweaves the various stories pretty successfully. There are some scenes, especially in "Embedded", that seem extraneous, and a few bits that the authors just didn't know where else to squeeze in. It's odd that Nighthawk is so promiment in the Front Line version of the Geffen-Meyer battle, when he doesn't appear at all in the Civil War version. Osborn's meeting with his benefactor seems out of sequence and, given that there are no witnesses, it certainly doesn't belong in "Embedded."

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This page was revised on February 1, 2009

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