THUNDERBOLTS #54-59 (2001-2002): Angar and Arabian Knight die

The “Redemers” fight the Humus Sapien, a villain named after a dip.

Ogre, back when he was a bad guy, and Vanisher kidnapped him as a kid after his mutant potential was identified. He was later put into stasis by SHIELD because he was too powerful to remain free.

He escapes in this story (which is his first appearance), after being freed from SHIELD custody by Fixer, and fights the Redeemers and SHIELD.

There’s three full pages of text explaining who he is, and how he was created by fans.

Then issue #55 has a blurb on the cover as well.

He drains life forces. And in a “blink and you’ll miss it” panel, we see that he has killed Arabian Knight.

I mean, it’s no great loss. He’s a very minor, stereotyped character. But if a hear is going to die, I expect a little more than that.

Then at the end of #55, Graviton finally attacks. He’s been plotting and scheming for almost a year. Moonstone is now with him. There’s a big, big fight and during it, we finally get a return to this comic, which is called Thunderbolts, of a team called Thunderbolts.

And yeah, those are the original four–updated.

We also get a picture of Fixer that Heroclix used to create their model of him.

Graviton kills Charcoal, Jolt (she’s not really dead), Meteorite, and Smuggler.

He kills Smuggler by throwing him into the sun, which is cool. He kills Leila by compressing her into a small box.

(She returns later–and I don’t recall there being any explanation of how she survived that.)

Then they all–except Songbird–seem to die to stop Graviton.

So much death. Meanwhile, Erik Josten is trying to come back to life. Whatevs.

Honestly, these stories all flow together without a break–it’s relentless and boring. Issue #59 is the ‘Nuff Said crossover, in which somehow Angar’s powers go out of control and nobody can make any sounds.

Angar dies–overloaded by Songbird.

But, again, you really wouldn’t know it just from reading.

That issue ends with the first panel of the “Heroes Return” arc, which involves yet another Thunderbolts iteration led by Baron Zemo. They consist of Zemo, Iron Cross, Solarr, Chain Lightning, Phantom Eagle, and Makeshift–all versions from the Heroes Reborn universe. Because this book wasn’t confusing or annoying enough without bringing back guys from the failed experiment of the Franklin Richards pocket universe.

Because the team didn’t die in the fight against Graviton. They just went to the pocket universe.

I’ve gone from finding this book frustratingly obtuse to just flat out hating it.

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