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Thunderbolts #108: Review

Sep 2006
Fabian Nicieza, Tom Grummett

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Story Name:

Power full

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thunderbolts #108 Review by (September 20, 2014)
The Wellspring sends Baron Zemo on a time-trip to explore his family tree in the Thunderbolts Presents: Zemo - Born Better mini-series. He will return to the present, and after hanging around in the background he'll return to villainy in Captain America #600. He never takes up the reins of the Thunderbolts again. Grandmaster of course, being an Elder of the Universe (or just being a Marvel character), doesn't stay dead. He will pop up again in Hulk (2008) #10-12. Next issue will be a bridge between the Civil War issues and the Initiative. Moonstone will emerge from her coma and recreate the Moonstones. Atlas will remain stuck in the Wellspring for a while. Joystick will be sent to prison. Other Thunderbolts will go their separate ways. And Songbird will take Moonstone, Radioactive Man and Swordsman with her to the Colorado branch of the 50 State Initiative (as she was promised in #104).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #108 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Grandmaster has been recreated in the Wellspring of Power, and now he and Zemo face off. The Power has spread around the globe granting superpowers to the people. Chaos and panic abound. Zemo wants GM to control the power, but GM wants the panic - his plan is to blackmail the world until they agree to serve him.

All the Thunderbolts are now awake after the battle in #106, including traitor Joystick. Songbird has no option but to stick to her plan. After Grandmaster has calmed the Power, Zemo will defeat him again. And then Melissa will destroy Zemo's Moonstones, denying him the Power too.

Now that he and Songbird have successfully used Zemo to bring GM back, Overmind is free to resume mental coordination of the forces opposing the chaos. As we saw last issue a team of telepaths led by Prof X are calming people down and preventing many from realising they have powers, while physical teams address individual hotspots. Zemo's army of 'reformed' supervillains has been split into groups, while both the Registration supporters (represented here again by prime movers Iron Man, Mr Fantastic and Yellowjacket) and the Resistance (we see early members Captain America, 'Daredevil', Falcon and Hercules) have lent their support.

Overmind urges the villain team led by Dr Octopus not to give in. And he tells everyone to get ready to do what they promised - trust in Zemo. Meanwhile Grandmaster, bathed in the energy of the Wellspring, breaks 1 of Zemo's Moonstones.

Now we find out what the big plan is. Overmind draws on the powers of the heroes and the villains, and all the people that have been transformed by the Wellspring. And he siphons all that power to Zemo.

The Thunderbolts' powers are being sucked out too, even Smuggler's Darkforce and the technological energies of Fixer and Mach-IV. But Songbird gets Blizzard to shield them in an ice dome.

Zemo then uses all that power in a surprising way - to strip both Grandmaster and himself of all power. Then he just shoots GM in the head. And then contemplates whether to retake all the Wellspring Power himself.

The Thunderbolts throw Joystick out of the ice dome to see if it's safe to come out. She finds half of her bo staff (broken by Swordsman last issue), which was designed to disperse the Wellspring energy (as it did in #106). Now Grandmasters' agent intends to throw a spanner in Zemo's works.

But Speed Demon (his legs mended by the Power last issue) runs up and takes her staff away. He proceeds to beat her with it, in revenge for breaking his legs in #102.

Blizzard's ice dome is melting because Radioactive Man is putting out too much heat. But Dr Chen is doing that because he's also been absorbing lots of deadly radiation form the Wellspring. Finally the dome collapses and the Thunderbolts lose their powers.

They find that Zemo has absorbed all the Wellspring Power (stopping the radiation), and glued his broken Moonstone back together. He tells Melissa he intends to block up this last conduit to the Wellspring - eventually. But before that there's so much good he can do for the world. Songbird reminds him of what he told them in #106 - if he keeps the power an alliance of alien races will destroy the Earth to kill him. But of course Zemo is confidant he can defeat that armada.

Zemo now says that this is the point his visions foretold Melissa would betray him. But she's lost her superpower, along with every other superbeing. But his visions were always fragmentary, and conflicting because of multiple futures. So he didn't foresee what happens next.

Melissa does what she intended to do all along. She uses her natural singing ability to produce a high-pitched not which shatters the Moonstones into tiny fragments.

Without the Moonstones to control the Power, Zemo is sucked into the Wellspring. The Thunderbolts (and presumably all the other heroes and villains, but not the newly-empowered people) get their powers back and save each other from following him, until Atlas grows to extra-giant size and uses his body to plug the hole.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tom Grummett
Gary Erskine
J. Brown
Tom Grummett (Cover Penciler)
Gary Erskine (Cover Inker)
Chris Sotomayor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Albert Deschesne.
Editor: Molly Lazer.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)
Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus

(Otto Octavius)

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

Plus: Atlas, Blizzard, Fixer, Joystick, Mach-IV, Overmind (Grom), Radioactive Man, Smuggler, Songbird, Speed Demon, Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker).

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

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