THE THUNDERBOLTS #173
~ Like Lightning: PART II ~
writer. Jeff Parker
artist. Declan Shalvey
end of spoilers
Brief Synopsis: trapped in the caverns under New York City, the Underbolts have no choice but to engage their former selves in a battle to the death. With the gloves off, Fixer [P. Norbert Ebersol] convinces Satana Hellstrome, Daughter of Satan, to use her magic to take out everyone in the cave, in one fell swoop. With both teams unconscious, Fixer and Satana bring their team back to the Thunderbolts Tower, in a hope of finding a solution to the mess they're in... but they are too late. Citizen V [Baron Helmut Zemo] has woken sooner than expected, and with his team behind him, he holds all the cards. Yet he comes not for war, but peace; with a proposition for the time-travelling fugitives; an unholy alliance between to the two teams, to unleash war upon Latveria ... but while the celebration of their new found camaraderie is in full swing, one Thunderbolt remains unaccounted for...
~ cliffhanger: Fixer confronts his former self, who has accessed the files on his future; and seeing how he life unfolds, he wants out... and Fixer gives it to him... [grade: A+]
~ cover: the two Moonstones, gleefully allied with Baron Zemo; not that relevant to the issue itself, but joyous nonetheless [grade: A]
BEST QUOTE: "We have destroyed out history already. I'm not going to lose a battle on top of that." ~ Centurius
BEST MOMENT: with hands raised high, drinks in hand, Thunderbolts and Underbolts toast as one "--to the THUNDERBOLTS"
1. Declan's beautiful first page with the Thunderbolts vs. the Underbolts (the TvsU of this comic )
2. that GORGEOUS image of Songbird flying at Troll. One of my favourite Songbird images ever!!!
3. CENTURIUS: Now prepare to see true leadership...
4. Centurius vs. Baron Zemo
5. Satana's nuclear ass-kicking!!!
6. the Thunderbolts and the Underbolts drinking champagne together, celebrating their alliance. EPIC!!!
7. the plan to ransack Doom's castle and steal all his arsenal!
8. Ghost wearing a party hat. HAHAHAHAHA! Adorable!
9. TECHNO: I never get married. I don't even date? There's not even any action in your life any-more! This new team leaves you at the prison all the time whenever there's an adventure. Tell me man, how do I change it? How do I keep from becoming you? You've dropped everything I believe in! Forgot everything I know about life-- really living!
10. SONGBIRD IS ALIVE!!!! ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. Satana giving Techno "the catatonic kiss"; then taunting Fixer about her feelings for her
2. Songbird vs. Troll... so sad...
3. Zemo assuming Ghost was the leader, based on him "observing and disappearing"
4. Satana saying that combat magic is not her forte, AND Fixer referencing her using the flame spell against the zombies (and the Nazis?)
5. BARON ZEMO: Trouble with temporal mechanics, Norbert? I admit, it's not something I ever thought you would attempt.
6. BOOMERANG: PART-TAY!
7. SATANA: Rarely does anything good come from knowing the future, Atlas. Nor does anything change. Every seer I've ever met says it's a terrible burden. A burden that leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.
8. MOONSTONE: They'll learn nothing from me. Hahahaha... LIAR!!!
An incredible issue! Probably one of my favourite issues of Parker's run. Despite this issue being mostly a "fighting" issue, sooooooooooooo much happened. We learn about Doctor Doom's time machine (linking into what we know of the next arc... which makes me wonder, will the founding Thunderbolts still be with them?), the Thunderbolts and the Underbolts join forces, and then... there is the cliffhanger! I was on the edge of my seat, page to page, TERRIFIED Songbird was about to die. Goddess, I can now breadth a sigh of relief! *phew* AND... oddly, one of my favourite things... last issue's cliffhanger was not referenced! CLEARLY Moonstone is in cahoots with herself, clearly they are planning something, but it's covered up with a "staged fight" and Karla saying she would never say anything to herself. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to see where this all leads. AND wondering if my theory was right (that Fixer will willingly "become" himself and head to his death in issue #8, knowing what is to come). We will see... BEST. ISSUE. YET!!!
~ rating: 5 out of 5 [grade: A+]