Comic Browser:


Thunderbolts #139: Review

Feb 2010
Jeff Parker, Miguel Sepulveda

Story Name:

Acceptable losses

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thunderbolts #139 Review by (September 11, 2018)
Giovanni Kosovski helps out Frank Martin with the colouring.

Grizzly has been a Spider-Man foe since Amazing SM #139-140. His Grizzly Bear costume had an exo-skeleton to increase his effective strength.
Grizzly had upgraded to his new look when he worked for Norman Osborn in Agents Of Atlas (2009) also written by Jeff Parker, but he reverted to his old bear costume for his apps working for Osborn's underling Hood in Punisher (2009) by Rick Remender. Marvel Wiki suggests Osborn augmented his power so he didn't need the exo-skeleton.

The Agents Of Atlas are based on an alternate reality team of 1950's 'Avengers' in What If #9. The modern-day mainstream version dêbuted in the AOA(2006) series, although the characters *were* around 1 way or another in the 50's and the team has been given several adventures set there as Department Zero. In the 2006 series they investigated the criminal Atlas Foundation and eventually took it over. They were active during Secret Invasion in a tale in the Who Do You Trust? anthology. They opposed Osborn in a tale in the Dark Reign: New Nation anthology and in the 1st 5 issues of their 2009 series which was where they tangled with Grizzly. They've had several other adventures since then which aren't Osborn-related, the last being the Avengers vs Atlas mini-series which involved time-travel and the original Avengers.

Norman Osborn's next app is next issue in a message he leaves for the team before getting on with the other stuff which is the build-up to Siege.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #139 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Thunderbolts have been sent on a mission against the Agents Of Atlas. Paladin has been studying the files they were given on the individual Agents and thinks they need more strategy time. Super-confidant Mr X is willing to wing it. Team leader Scourge (Nuke) says Norman Osborn wouldn't have sent them if he didn't think they could handle it. All they know is Osborn wants revenge for the Atlas Foundation double-crossing him in an arms deal (AOA(2009)#1-5).

When they land their Zeus plane Osborn greets them and introduces their newest member Grizzly as muscle, and also because he's fought Atlas before. Then he leaves them to get on with other stuff. When the team convene back in the plane Mr X makes fun of the bear suit Grizzly used to use as a costume. (He's still wearing a furry coat with a bear-head-shaped hood.) But Maxwell Markham is self-confidant enough to ignore him and tell them about their enemies.

The Atlas Foundation is the front for a criminal empire that used to be run by Yellow Claw. But now ex-SHIELD Agent Jimmy Woo has inherited it. He's the strategist of their strike team the Agents Of Atlas, but he's also handy with guns and martial arts.

Namora is super-strong and flies like her cousin Sub-Mariner.

Gorilla-Man is what his name says but he's also their weapons expert.

The Uranian is their science guy and telepath. He's their pilot and usually doesn't get involved in combat. He also permanently wears a fishbowl space helmet.

M-11 the Human Robot looks outdated but his Cyclops-eye is a death ray, he can generate electricity and has extendible arms.

Lastly Venus is a Siren whose song can affect all men.

No-one knows where their base is but the TBolts are going to attack 1 of their many subsidiary sites - a chemical warfare factory in Bayou Choupique, Louisiana. Atlas is so big the Agents probably don't even know they own this place but experience says they'll react fast when it's brought to their attention.

Ant-Man and Ghost go in as recon team. Ant-Man plants bombs on fuel lines all over the place. Ghost sees men in hazmat suits handling a fast-acting caustic chemical agent. They mention containers of antidote dotted all over the building, and Ghost nicks some.

Mr X deals with a couple of guards who stumble across the rest of the team just before Ant-Man says he's finished, and Paladin shoots another 1. Scourge is worried that they might have alerted the factory and gives the recon duo a count of 5 to get out before he blows the place. Ant-Man says he can't make it but Ghost turns him intangible so they both survive the explosion.

Eric O'Grady isn't happy with Scourge, but the leader says Ghost did just what he expected him to do. Ghost injects Eric with the antidote to the caustic agent, then explains about it to the others as the yellow gas rolls towards them. Not fully trusting him they still let him inject them too.

Then the AOA's flying saucer arrives overhead and the 'Bolts start shooting as the Agents debouch. Jimmy Woo tells pilot Bob Grayson to use swamp water to douse the burning factory. Venus starts to sing. Grizzly is immune because he has earplugs but the others reacted too slowly and now don't *want* to stop listening.

Ant-Man is immersed in a sex-fantasy with Firestar, Pulsar (Monica Rambeau) and Ms Marvel (Carol Danvers). Scourge's 'sex-fantasy' is zombies of women he killed in the Vietnam War. But his response is to start shooting which disrupts Venus' song and the fantasies dissipate.

Namora punches Scourge, knocking his mask off and revealing the flag-tattooed face of Nuke within. Then she hits Grizzly with a tree-trunk as he runs away from her. Paladin tries to dehydrate the Atlantean with a heat-ray but she bats him away. Mr X shoots her in the (fairly-invulnerable) face and then easily dodges her angry attacks due to his special telepathy.

But M-11 wraps an extended arm round X's neck and starts choking him. Gorilla Man points out that X's telepathy can't detect the Human Robot's attack plans. Then M-11 electrocutes his victim. Headsman is far from bothered about what's happening to Mr X but he still strikes Gorilla-Man with his axe. But when he tries to do the same to the robot he hits a forcefield. Then Namora hits him.

Nuke is recovering and can't accept that Norman Osborn sent them to face such superior foes. But his Vietnam women return to whisper of acceptable losses and expendable soldiers. Gorilla-Man has Paladin in a headlock. Namora has the unconscious Grizzly and Headsman. Ghost has stayed ghostly during the whole fight, and Ant-Man is now tiny and hiding too.

Namora's gills are burning and Gorilla-Man's skin is itchy. The Uranian has put the fire out and now arrives to warn them about the chemical he detects mixed with the swamp gas. He wants them all to return to the saucer so he can decontaminate them.

Nuke has taken 1 of his red pills that increases his adrenaline and turns him into a berserker. He dons his Scourge mask and picks up Mr X's sword. Then he leaps to the attack and guts the Uranian.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric O'Grady)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

Plus: Agents Of Atlas, Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan), Grizzly, Headsman, Jimmy Woo, M-11, Mr X, Namora (Aquaria Neptunia), Nuke, Paladin, Uranian (Bob Grayson), Venus.

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

Share This Page