Friday, 12 February 2010

Justice... like lightning!

The other major Heroic Age news for me is that Thunderbolts is getting another new direction.

I have been reading T-Bolts since it began and I love it. The anti-heroes, the quest for redemption - it all really resonates with me.

Initially heroes masquerading as villains, Thunderbolts began under the guidance of Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. They took the Masters Of Evil and hid them under heroic aliases - a trick that fooled everyone until the final page of that first issue.

The world had lost a large chunk of its superheroes in the battle with Onslaught and the Thunderbolts were hailed as saviours by the public. Led by Baron Zemo, they planned to overthrow the world once they had the trust of the authorities.

But some of the team began to enjoy the adulation and the sense of fulfilment that came from helping people. Eventually, some of the team turned on Zemo and foiled his plans. After a brief cosmic adventure, they returned to Earth and tried to redeem themselves and become true heroes, though some of the team were reluctant. For a time, they were led down their path of redemption by Avenger and former-criminal, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (and recently known as Ronin).

During the Civil War, the pro-registration side turned to the T-Bolts and called upon them to help hunt renegade heroes. Eventually a new team of true villains being controlled by nano-chains in their blood were unleashed.

When the dust settled, the two versions of the Thunderbolts team were integrated under the command of Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. These Thunderbolts were key to stopping the Skrull armada during Secret Invasion and Norman Osborn was hailed as a hero.

He gave some of his key Thunderbolts members new heroic identities and disguised them as his own team of Avengers. Ousting the few remaining truly heroic Thunderbolts, he changed that team into his own secret black ops strike force.

Post Dark Reign, the Thunderbolts will once again become a symbol for redemption. Led by another Avenger and former-criminal, Luke Cage, this new team will operate out of the prison known as The Raft. Super-powered criminals will be given a chance to earn lower sentences, better living conditions and prove they can rehabilitate themselves by joining the Thunderbolts program.

Former Thunderbolts like presumably Mach-IV, the Fixer and hopefully Songbird (one of my favourite Marvel characters) will serve as staff. The program will operate out of Thunderbolts Tower in the prison complex, rising above the courtyard as a reminder to others that redemption is possible.

Jeff Parker is continuing as writer and has revealed that the initial line up will include Juggernaut, Crossbones, Ghost, Moonstone and Man-Thing.


  1. Actually I'm hoping that Songbird is moved off from Thunderbolts and into an Avengers title. It's about time the character was allowed to grow beyond yet another direction for Thunderbolts.

  2. I take your point - having recently re-read Avengers Forever - I do want to see Melissa step up to shine as an Avenger.

    But I also think their is a lot of drama and story potential of seeing how Moonstone reacts to Songbird being her 'superior' after their time together on Zemo, Hawkeye and Osborn's versions of the team.

    I was disappointed that Bendis squandered the potential of a Clint and Karla scene during Ronin's capture by the Dark Avengers. Bendis is normally good at remembering and incorporating old story points and relationships.

    For a time Karla was influenced by the moonstones to become ever more heroic, eventually driving her mad. During this time, she and Hawkeye had a fairly passionate love affair.

    I think a scene or two calling back to that would have been ideal. Karla would adore having Clint Barton to taunt and torment as she would abhor having been made to feel something for anyone...