THUNDERBOLTS #34-37 (2000): Jolt dies and Beetle is a black man now

Fabian Nicieza starts his run by having the team try to rehabilitate their image by hunting down Hulk.

Note the credits: Kurt Busiek “reading nervously.” He should be. Fabian Nicieza is capable of writing some great comics, but this isn’t one of them. It’s not bad, but it’s a big step down from the greatness of Busiek’s run.

They fail and flee, and on the last panel we Jolt and her “secret identity” friends being hunted by a sniper.

Spoiler alert for a 30-year-old comic: The sniper is Jack Monroe, who has taken on a new identity as the newest Scourge.

That “Ka-Pow” is easy to miss–it’s actually the shot being fired, and Jolt is dead. It’s confusing as hell. Issue #35 opens with her funeral.

The team then tries to discover who assassinated her.

Hawkeye blames himself because in Marvel Comics, leaders always feel responsible for stuff they didn’t do.

Beetle attacks Justin Hammer’s new team at their base.

And the T-Bolts think Beetle’s the one who killed Jolt.

The battle is melodramatic.

And Beetle is a robot.

Meanwhile, Citizen V is being hunted.

And Gayle Rogers is assassinated by the same person who shot Jolt.

And Ogre offers the team a new member.

It’s Beetle. He needs to take on yet another identity to be an undercover good guy.

Oh, and he’s a black guy now.

Well, that should help him hide his identity!

Yeah, these issues are all over the place. There are too many subplots. Nicieza is bringing all his bad X-writing habits into the fore.


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