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Thunderbolts #7: Review

Nov 2016
Jim Zubkavich, Sean Izaakse

Story Name:

No going back part 1: Not what we planned

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thunderbolts #7 Review by (December 18, 2016)
The cover says this is the start of 'Caught red-handed', but inside it's part 1 of 'No going back'.

Sean Izaakse took over the art from Jon Malin last issue (which I didn't synopsise).

Maria Hill has been 'demoted' to only-acting Director of SHIELD while she's under investigation for the Standoff/Pleasant Hill fiasco.

Melissa Gold was originally minor villain Screaming Mimi but she became Songbird as 1 of the original Thunderbolts. They were initially villains only pretending to be heroes, but the hero-life grew on them and they became heroes for real - to varying extents. Melissa is the only 1 who never reverted to villainy.
Lately she's been in Avengers Idea Mechanics in the 2015 New Avengers series just concluded. She was secretly a spy for SHIELD, but even more secretly she was actually a spy on SHIELD for Sunspot's AIM. But SHIELD found out and she didn't fare well. In the last issue #18 Sunspot came to an agreement with SHIELD which included a pardon for Songbird. And she left both agencies.

Steve Rogers of course has an ulterior motive for wanting Kobik. The Cosmic Cube was working for Red Skull and when she rejuvenated Cap she also brainwashed him into working for Hydra. Cap doesn't want this to come to light. (And Kobik doesn't want her new friend Bucky to find out what she did.)

Moonstone lost her phasing ability in #144-145 of the original run when she was re-recruited for post-Siege government-run version of the team. They didn't trust her so injected her with nanites to disable that particular power.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Maria Hill, acting Director of SHIELD, comes to a high-security holding facility to see Bucky Barnes, captured in #5. But he won't tell her where the Cosmic Cube (in the shape of a little girl) Kobik is.

The rest of the Thunderbolts, including Kobik, have learned of their leader's capture and are planning to spring him. Fixer explains that when he erased all their SHIELD records in #1 he also infected the SHIELD network with a virus that tells him everything that's going on so he knows where Barnes is.

Kobik is particularly eager to go rescue her friend, but Mach-X says she's got to stay behind because SHIELD want to capture and use her power. Kobik offers to just use her power blow the base up and whisk Bucky to safety, but Abe Jenkins is concerned about becoming even more wanted than they already are. Fixer agrees it's a bad idea, but because SHIELD might be able to track her energy signature back here.

Moonstone thinks they should just let Barnes stew - he didn't trust them enough to tell them what he was doing. But the others outvote her - he's 1 of their own.

Abe suggests they need help from someone who's familiar with SHIELD - so he calls his friend and ex-Thunderbolt Songbird who's enjoying the freedom of her recently-pardoned status on a beach.

Meanwhile Maria Hill is considering her next move when she's informed that Captain America (Steve Rogers) has turned up to see his ex-partner Winter Soldier. Bucky explains the circumstances of his capture. In #5 he went after Spider-Man (Miles Morales) because of the prediction by Ulysses (Civil War #5) that SM was going to kill Cap. Bucky of course was only going to capture Spidey. But Steve is just angry about his 'interference'.

They also disagree about Kobik. Cap thinks she's too dangerous to be on the loose. Bucky believes she's a victim not a threat, and he reminds Steve that she made him young again (CA: Sam Wilson #7). He doesn't trust SHIELD with Kobik, but Cap asks if he'd trust her with him.

Songbird and Mach-X are flying together to their destination. Melissa Gold tells Abe that she isn't rejoining the team. And she's not doing this for them, or even for him. She wants to get back at SHIELD (for the events in the recent New Avengers issues).

The other 3 Thunderbolts have flown in the Thunder-Jet (which Winter Soldier sent back on auto-pilot). When the other 2 join them they greet Melissa as a friend, even Karla Sofen. But Songbird still hates Moonstone (not least because Karla tried to have her killed her in #126-127 of the original run).

Songbird says she knows all about the design of the holding facility. Fixer plans to use his tech to kill their power including the backup generator, but she counters that all the doors will failsafe locked. Atlas and Moonstone would be able to break through the inner doors, but the outer ones are Hulk-proof. Moonstone bemoans the loss of her power to walk through walls.

Melissa has an alternative plan. She'll use her sonic power on the voice-activated lock to an outer door and get them in. Then Fixer can cause havoc in the computer system while the others smash their way to Bucky. But 1st she dons a hooded cloak because she doesn't want to be recognised.

She duly gets them inside, but then they come up against a feature she doesn't recognise. Devices scan them (which previously checked that Hill wasn't an LMD or any other kind of imposter). They don't recognise the Thunderbolts (because Fixer erased their records). But they do recognise ex-SHIELD agent Melissa Gold. Bang goes her anonymity and her non-criminal status. Abe welcomes her back to the criminal fraternity.

Fixer cuts the base power and they prepare to fight their way in.

Sean Izaakse
Sean Izaakse
Matt Yackey
Kris Anka (Cover Penciler)
Kris Anka (Cover Inker)
Kris Anka (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Bruce Banner)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Atlas.

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

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