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Thunderbolts #5: Review

Sep 2016
Jim Zubkavich, Jon Malin

Story Name:

There is no high road part 5: What we do best

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thunderbolts #5 Review by (October 13, 2016)
Jon Malin's art is growing on me a bit because he's toned down the dramatic Liefeld poses. And Jim Zub has given us a more meaningful conflict than the previous issues.

I think this issue follows on from stuff we haven't seen yet because Civil War II #6 is late. In particular the last we saw in CWII#5 was Captain Marvel arresting Spidey, and there's obviously more happened after that. Of particular interest is the motive of the current Hydra version of Steve Rogers for letting Miles Morales go.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier walks into the underground Thunderbolts base in its new home in the Arctic. The team has a rare quiet time after their fights with pod aliens, Inhumans and the Squadron Supreme in the 1st 4 issues.

But then he picks up a news report about the latest precog vision of the Inhuman Ulysses (at the end of Civil War II #5). It says that Spider-Man (Miles Morales) will kill Captain America (Steve Rogers). A whole load of superheroes saw the vision but they disagree about how these visions should be treated, especially after the death of Bruce Banner, so they haven't arrested him. Rogers himself voted to let him go.

Bucky isn't going to let Steve get killed - again. So he heads out to do something about it himself, letting Fixer know he's going on the way out. He sets the jet on stealth mode autopilot and checks his weapons. Suppressing memories of his lover Black Widow when he was a Russian assassin.

On the ground in New York he's still in contact with the plane. Its AI guides him to the new Spider-Man's latest sighting. And he is troubled by how easy it is to slip back into assassin mode. But consoles himself that his motive is pure.

He has Spidey in his sights. He's using tranquilliser darts because he only intends to capture him and keep him captive until the vision is passed. But Miles' spider-sense warns him, and he dodges the bullets and swings to their source.

They fight, and Barnes is unprepared for this SM's camouflage ability so Morales gets in lots of free punches. But Bucky catches on and detects his foe's position by the raindrops bouncing off him. However catching Spidey doesn't stop him fighting.

When Miles learns that the other guy is here to stop him killing Cap he protests that he would never do that. But Bucky's taking no chances. His Winter Soldier training takes over and he beats Spidey into submission - but still managing to stop short of killing him.

But then SHIELD arrive to arrest Barnes. And Spider-Man zaps him with a Venom Blast. And a horde of SHIELD Agents pound him unconscious. When he awakes he's  shackled in a cell.

Jon Malin
Jon Malin
Matt Yackey
Jon Malin (Cover Penciler)
Jon Malin (Cover Inker)
Matt Yackey (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Bruce Banner)

(Peter Parker)

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

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