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Thunderbolts #5: Review

Dec 2022
Jim Zubkavich, Sean Izaakse

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4 stars

Thunderbolts #5 Review by (December 31, 2022)
For this issue Netho Diaz helped with pencilling again but this time with Victor Nava helping with inking.

So this issue says Nightmare's been messing with Hawkeye and feeding off his insecurities and despair since before Avengers: No Road Home and West Coast Avengers (2018). Following my theory in Comments on #1 I'd say he's been doing it since Hawkeye's 2012 series.

Nightmare's presumably also responsible for America Chavez' problems in this series too.

And this is the end of this series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thunderbolts #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the giant robot Terminus apparently killed the rest of the Thunderbolts leaving only Hawkeye alive. But the gang had different costumes, and in reality their PR Helen Astrantia found Hawkeye in a coma.

Now Terminus faces them all alive (except America Chavez who's not here) but they all now have their regular costumes (except Clint Barton who's still in his original Hawkeye duds). A voice in their heads tells them how they're all failures. They ask for death and Terminus makes their own powers kill them all.

But then we discover that Nightmare is behind it all and he has Chavez captive. Their 'suicides' fuel him, and now he wants America's power to create portals to other dimensions so he can feast on multiversal suffering. He makes the other Tbolts experience being mocked by their more successful versions from last issue. America is dissed by her sister and both versions of her 2 mothers as well as her own WWII Miss America version from last issue.

Nightmare looks in on a world where Super-Skrulls have invaded, another where Dormammu and his Mindless Ones run rampant, a 3rd where Thanos leads an army of zombie or cannibal Earth heroes, and a 4th where Galactus destroys the world. Meanwhile he tells America (and us) what's been going on. He'd been feeding off Clint Barton's insecurities for a while before he had a major go at him (in Avengers: No Road Home #2-3). But then he stuck with him when he returned to Los Angeles (West Coast Avengers (2018) series) and Nightmare saw America Chavez and realised what he could do with her. Since then he's worked to undermine her self-confidence.

America has continued to face Miss America but now she summons the resolve to defeat her and she shatters all last issue's versions of the Bolts like glass. The proper team are all up and assembled and Gutsen Glory, Power Man and Spectrum attack Nightmare together. Clint gives Eegro permission to unleash his Ultimate Attack so he grows (and Clint gets the joke) as big as a skyscraper and slams his volcanic fists down on the foe. Then Persuasion persuades him to go to sleep.

Later America tells Helen she took Nightmare to a distant dimension. It turns out Eegro can grow but can't shrink back so they're going to have to get hold of some Pym particles to do the job. Victor Alvarez convinces Gutsen not retire because they still need him as a 'Drill Sergeant'. Lawyer Harris Hutchley tells Kara Killgrave how he's been looking into precedents for making her mind control arrests stand up in court and she seems to be warming towards him. Clint tricks Monica Rambeau into confirming that he was Luke Cage's 2nd choice for leader behind *her*, but they agree on balance that he's doing OK.

Next morning Mayor Cage interrupts Clint's archery practice to agree with that but asks him to do better. And then Clint calls up his ex-wife Bobbi Morse and they agree to meet for coffee.

Sean Izaakse
Sean Izaakse
Java Tartaglia
Sean Izaakse (Cover Penciler)
Sean Izaakse (Cover Inker)
Nolan Woodard (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Sabino.
Editor: Wil Moss. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)

Plus: Eegro The Unbreakable (Eegro), Gutsen Glory, Harris Hutchley, Helen Astrantia, Persuasion, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Spectrum (Monica Rambeau).

> Thunderbolts: Book info and issue index

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