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Thunderbolts #129: Review

Apr 2009
Andy Diggle, Roberto de la Torre

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thunderbolts #129 Review by (July 26, 2017)
Roberto de la Torre finishes his short run (#126-129) as penciller/inker here (but he'll be back for just #132). But he only does part of this issue - the rest is by Carlos Magno pencils and Scott Hanna inks. Regular colourist Frank Martin also shares duties here with Giovanni Kosovski so I'm guessing he works with the new guys.
The new 3 seem to take a central section (p9-16), judging by the cleaner simpler lines of the art. In my synopsis that's from where then fake Goblin gets picked up by the Thunderstrike to just before the epilogues.

Headsman has only appeared before this story arc in #8 & #18 of the continuity insert series Untold Tales of Spider-Man. In #8 he was testing a disc-shaped prototype of the Goblin Glider (he rides the real thing here) for Norman Osborn before Green Goblin's 1st app in Amazing SM #14. In #18 GG took the disc and power-pack back. In succeeding issues Headsman will be back riding his disc.

Paladin is a mercenary who can be a hero if it suits him. For instance during Civil War he joined Heroes For Hire but then betrayed them. Then he was part of the Last Defenders Initiative team for New Jersey. Then he worked for a villain in Iron Man: Director of SHIELD #30-32. In Dark Reign: Elektra #1 Osborn hired him to kill the escaped Elektra. He failed of course, but that obviously didn't stop Norman keeping him on for this team.

Swordsman faked Songbird's death in #127 so she could escape the purge of Thunderbolts Mountain. (And later Osborn killed *him*.) She's keeping a low profile for the moment but she'll play a big role in later issues.

The Cube is the prison the Kree Marvel Boy was put in at then end of his mini-series. MB took it over at the end of the Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways mini. Then Secret Invasion let the inmates all escape, and now NO has put it to another use. (He also put Noh-Varr to another use as Captain Marvel in his Dark Avengers.)

When next we see Doc Samson its in Hulk #600 where he's been brainwashed by MODOK to have a Samson/Hulk split personality. Apparently this was done before the current story so possibly that's the 'Hulk' we see here. But I don't think the warrant for his arrest is mentioned again before the end of DR, and after that it's presumably voided. Meanwhile Doc's busy in the Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks storyline.

Next NO and the team go through a Magnum Opus crossover Deadpool (2008) #7-8, #130, DP#9, #131. The TBolts' bit of DP#7 actually happens before their Epilogue in this issue.

DP#7 is actually the finale of another story involving Tiger Shark. At the end DP learns it was Osborn who sent TS after him. Wade Wilson figures that NO wants him dead so as to hide the fact that it was Skrull info that DP got hold off but NO stole from him that enabled Norman to kill the Skrull queen and become the hero of the nation at the end of Secret Invasion. So DP now blackmails Osborn, who contacts Black Widow with a new mission for her team (who we see on the last page).

More on the actual crossover in the next 2 issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #129 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
OK, last issue Doc Samson was going to show the President a DVD proving that Norman Osborn reverted to being Green Goblin in #120-121. But then Osborn's secret new Thunderbolts team attacked Air Force One and Green Goblin himself smashed through the wall of the plane.

As the Secret Service squad try to get the Pres to the escape pod Doc Samson goes into full Hulk rage. (Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) stuck a gamma emitter on his neck last issue.) And Goblin makes out that Doc's an ally before knocking the President and his staff out with a neural scrambler.

Now that there are no witnesses that matter Osborn reveals the attackers are working for *him*. he calls on the Ghost to take Samson intangibly through the floor of the plane and drop him in mid-air. Ant-Man then injects the President with an antidote that wakes him up - in time to see NO defeat the Goblin and throw him from the plane.

Norman gives the Pres an edited account of what happened. He reckons the Goblin's ally the Hulkified Samson could have survived the fall, so the President orders a manhunt for him.

Meanwhile the 'Green Goblin' has a device which enables him to be picked up by the Thunderbolts' plane the Thunderstrike. He calls himself the Headsman. The plane is piloted by Paladin, and Ghost is already on board.

AF1 is in turn piloted by the TBolts' new leader Black Widow (Yelena Belova), who made it seem like the engines were on fire last issue. She brings the craft down for an emergency landing on the Bering glacier. HAMMER agents are 'conveniently' quickly on the scene.

Osborn issues a global warrant for Leonard Samson. No-one mentions the DVD of evidence, which Ghost made off with last issue. The Pres is now pretty much convinced that Norman is a shining example of the Thunderbolts program to turn ex-villains into heroes.

Epilogue 1:- Songbird listens to 2 homeless guys discussing the news. She vows to bring Osborn down.

Epilogue 2:- The Thunderbolts return to their new HQ in the deserted Cube prison. They think it went well but BW thinks they were sloppy. She already has their next mission lined up - Deadpool is expected to attack Osborn in Avengers Tower.

Roberto de la Torre
Roberto de la Torre
Francesco Mattina (Cover Penciler)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Inker)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Albert Deschesne.
Editor: Bill Rosemann.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric O'Grady)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Doc Samson
Doc Samson

(Leonard Samson)

Plus: Headsman, Paladin, Songbird.

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

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