THUNDERBOLTS #24-25 (1999)

For almost a year we’ve had build-up to the big showdown with the new Masters of Evil, and the whole thing ends in these two issues.

The T-Bolts find themselves in competition with Citizen V to take on the villain team.

But while they are tracking down the MoE and bickering with Citizen V, the new Masters are creating weather events around the globe, which enables cameos by heroes from all over the world.

Over the last couple issues, we saw the Thunderbolts re-form under Hawkeye’s leadership. In these issues, the Master of Evil go on a recruiting spree as well–leading to 25 villains in the story! The team finds the expanded MoEs as they ponder reclaiming what they believed was their abandoned base…

This enables Busiek to do one of the things he does best: Cram a bunch of esoteric characters into his story.

There’s also one new bad guy:


Big fight.

Of course the T-Bolts win, and the new Masters of Evil disbands.

In the end, we find out that Crimson Cowl was really Dallas Riordan, who was Eric Josten’s ex-GF.

Much later, we will learn that she was being coerced by the real Crimson Cowl, Justine Hammer, to take the fall. We’ll also learn that she was the same Citizen V who took on Hawkeye in this very story.

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