THUNDERBOLTS #60-62 (2002): Heroes Return

I know Nicieza’s run on T-Bolts has a lot of fans and admirers, but at this point it’s hard to see why. All I see are are all of his excesses that ruined his run on the X-Men titles–a run that had a lot of really good ideas but that was overcome by way too many plotlines and unresolved questions, an overwhelming number of underdeveloped characters, and constant “twists” that never went anywhere. It’s like the TV show Lost: You can only bait and switch so many times before you really have to deliver a pay-off.

Hawkeye escapes prison with several criminals (Headlok, Cottonmouth, and Plant-man) to try to stop Justin Hammer’s evil plans to kill everyone and everything. To escape and stay on the run, Hawkeye has to allow a Guardsman to die–so now he’s on the run for murder. But it’s all for the greater good.

The rest of the team are stuck in the Heroes Return dimension but get home during this arc. It doesn’t matter how they get back because these comics are, in my opinion, virtually unreadable.

Songbird returns. Another reason this arc is called “Heroes Return.”

I’m stumped why anyone would want to use a title that reminds readers of one of the worst “epics” in ’90s Marvel (and that’s saying something). Or why anyone would shunt their team into that Heroes Return dimension.

Meanwhile, Dallas Riordan goes from being Citizen V to the new Atlas.

Zemo needs a new body.

And he gets one:

See, when I read that, I thought it was Hawkeye. Speaking of whom…

Songbird tracks him down and gives him his gear.

This is the launch (or re-launch) of the newest Thunderbolts team.

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