The T-Bolts go Pro, from Civil War 6 "Civil War" (Part 5-7)
"Civil War (Parts 5-7)" Civil War 5, 6, 7 (2006-2007)
"Embedded (Parts 8-11)" Civil War: Front Line 8, 9, 10, 11 (2006-2007)
"The Accused (Parts 8-10)" Civil War: Front Line 8, 9, 10 (2006-2007)
"Sleeper Cell (Parts 5-7)" Civil War: Front Line 8, 9 (2006-2007)

Reader Rating: Above Average

Summary: Following the loss of Zemo, the Thunderbolts continue to work with Pro-Registration forces in the violent wrap-up of the Civil War...

Ben Urich investigates the destruction of the Atlantean sleeper cell and finds further evidence that the Green Goblin did it.

Meanwhile, an Atlantean envoy arrives -- and Osborn shoots him! Under interrogation, Osborn insists that he didn't do it, but the cops don't tumble to the nanobots controlling him before a shadowy government figure shuttles him away.

Following treatment for his shooting, Robbie Baldwin is returned to prison (The Raft this time), where he becomes a pawn in a prison break engineered by Justine Hammer (The Crimson Cowl) and Razor Fist. Another burst of Robbie's new power shuts down the escape attempt and convinces Robbie to join the Pro-Registration forces. Since his new power is driven by pain, Robbie gets a new costume with spikes inside, and takes a new codename: Penance.

Captain America's Secret Avengers engineer a break-out at the 42 prison, leading to a final confrontation with Iron Man's forces in the streets of New York. The destruction finally drives the point home to Cap that he's going about this the wrong way, and he surrenders.

Stark becomes director of SHIELD. Following the final battle, Urich and Floyd meet with Tony Stark and confront him with what they've learned: That he intentionally manipulated Osborn to escalate the war, ensuring public support for the Fifty State Initiative.

Appearances from Blizzard, Fixer, MACH-IV (III?), Nightwing, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Bullseye, Venom, The Black Panther, Cloak, Dagger, Daredevil, Diamondback, Dr. Strange, The Falcon, Hercules, Hulkling, The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Mr. Fantastic, Goldbug, Lady Deathstryke, Ms. Marvel, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Patriot, Plunderer, The Punisher, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Taskmaster, The Thing, Tigra, Typeface, The Vision, Wonder Man, Yellowjacket and The Watcher. Plus some engineered new heroes including a Thor clone and someone who claims to be Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell).

Continuity: Commences with page 18 of Civil War part 5.

Since Abe's MACH-IV armor was fried by the Wellspring of Power (as explained in "Beyond Redemption", Previous/Thunderbolts), it's possible he is wearing his older MACH-3 armor in these final battles of the Civil War.

After taking the Penance identity and before joining the T-Bolts, Baldwin has an encounter with Bart Rozum of Damage Control (see "Damage Control", 2007/07/02).

Comments: Very little happens in the final chapters of Front Line. Mar-Vell returns in most unspectacular fashion. Characters talk in circles to avoid explicitly stating facts that are now very clear (such as Stark being a "traitor" to the Pro-Registration movement). Penance's transition is grotesque, brutal, illogical and just plain out of character.

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This page was revised on April 4, 2009

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