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Thunderbolts #135: Review

Oct 2009
Andy Diggle, Miguel Sepulveda

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Thunderbolts #135 Review by (March 6, 2018)
This is part 3 of 4 of the Widowmaker story arc from #133-134. But #134-136 are also a crossover with Secret Warriors #7-9. The 6 issues of this crossover can't be put in a simple sequence. Instead the 2 series run in parallel with some shared plot and scenes. This issue overlaps with the end of SW#7 and the start of SW#8.

SW#8 will reveal that Nick Fury here is actually a Life Model Decoy with young and small Phobos inside - part of his plan to help our heroines. In fact the real Fury never appears in our side of the crossover.

Black Widow, Songbird and the Thunderbolts only visit SW#8 as part of the shared last scenes of this issue. They'll be back here for #136.
Norman Osborn, Ares, Bullseye and Phobos-as-Fury also go over for those scenes. But they'll stay there through SW#9. NO will pop back for the end of next issue.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #135 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Black Widow and Songbird in Oregon are on the run from the Thunderbolts, keeping to woodland cover to hide from HAMMER satellites. Natasha Romanova explains that she has been undercover in the TBolts for Nick Fury as the other Black Widow (Yelena Belova) since Norman Osborn formed the new team (#128). As well as spying for Fury she's been doing her best to keep the 'Bolts from killing anyone. (A comment explains this is why she made sure Deadpool survived the crossover in DP#7-9/TB#128-130.)

Suddenly they are ambushed by Mr X who quickly knocks down Songbird. Widow is a bit more of a match but he plucks her neurotoxin dart out of the air and stabs Melissa Gold with it. Then his 2 swords deflect a hail of bullets until 'Tasha's guns are empty. BW defends herself against his sword attacks for a while but X's ability to predict his opponent's moves eventually lets him wound her. And he has her at his mercy.

But then Songbird hits him with a sonic blast which sends him crashing through the trees. (We don't get an explanation how she survived the neurotoxin. Maybe the dart hit the sonic harness she wears round her neck?) SB helps BW get away from the scene.

Headsman, Paladin and Scourge (Nuke) are still at the site of the crashed Thunderstrike jet (Songbird brought it down last issue). Mission leader Scourge is hacked off that Mr X and Ghost have gone off without orders. He isn't at liberty to explain to the other 2 why they aren't actively chasing the fugitives. Instead he contacts Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) who is keeping BW & SB under surveillance. (Scourge orders him *not* to zap them unconscious.)

Meanwhile Ghost has appeared hovering before the females and reported their position back to Scourge. But he explains that he has sent false co-ordinates, confirming the sort-of alliance he made with Black Widow in #133. In return Natasha tells him she made up the threat of nano-bombs in his body then, but he claims to have figured that out.

As they go on their way, with now Melissa seeming to be the 1 who needs help, BW sends an encrypted message to Nick Fury telling him where she's going and asking to be 'extracted'. (This message will be received by Hellfire and Phobos of Fury's Secret Warriors in SW#7. Nick is off on a secret mission so *they* will decide to help.) Then BW leads the way through a railway tunnel through a mountain.

3 days later they are outside Yankee Stadium in New York. Widow knows the access codes to a secret base underneath the Stadium. But miniature Ant-Man, hovering with his jet pack, is still following them. This is NF's secret base #20 codenamed Home Run. At this point we reach a scene from the end of SW#7 as Fury greets them and tells them they've been followed. And the Thunderbolts blast their way in.

There's a brief fight as Ant-Man zaps Songbird (accompanied by a typical sexist remark) and Paladin's stun grenade takes all 3 of them out.

Fury awakes to Norman Osborn's gloating face and Dark Avenger Hawkeye (Bullseye)'s fists. The 3 prisoners are in restraints surrounded by the Thunderbolts, Ares of the Dark Avengers and several H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents. Osborn tells Romanova that she has delivered to him 2 of his enemies - Fury and Gold. And now Hawkeye will make her tell them where Captain America is. (Presumably he's referring to Bucky Barnes and the New Avengers. Steve Rogers hasn't been Reborn yet.)

He explains that the Nick Fury she's been reporting to has just been a voice or hologram under his own control. So it was *he* who sent her into his own Thunderbolts as the other BW. Her reports on the likelihood of getting other 'Bolts to revolt were just giving him info on their loyalty or not.

NO tells Scourge to send Romanova to an interrogation unit - he'll attend to her later. But he wants Gold's head - and a film of it being removed. The TBolts leave with the females and Headsman prepares to cut off Songbird's head with his axe. Natasha tries to reach the unease with Osborn she had previously found amongst some of them. But Scourge says they're just obeying orders.

Meanwhile Norman Osborn takes a gun and shoots Nick Fury in the head.

Parts of the end of this issue will be repeated in the beginning of Secret Warriors #8. The Fury side of this story will be resolved there and in SW#9. The Black Widow/Songbird part will continue in our next issue.


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Miguel Sepulveda
Miguel Sepulveda
Frank Martin
Francesco Mattina (Cover Penciler)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Inker)
Francesco Mattina (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Albert Deschesne.
Editor: Bill Rosemann.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

Plus: Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady), H.A.M.M.E.R., Headsman, Mr X, Nuke, Paladin, Phobos, Songbird.