The Thunderbolts are at home watching the news about how they foiled a bank robbery. Eyewitnesses however are not convinced that they are not still criminals who may have either been in league with said robbers or have had a skirmish over the stolen money. Disheartened the team contemplates whether being heroes will ever work out for them or if they should return to a life of crime as members of the masters of evil. Jolt the youngest member has an emotional outburst as a result.
They are interrupted by some teens whose town has been taken over by a monster and the Imperial forces. The team goes to check it and run afoul of the monster; charcoal the burning man. His powers make him more than a match for the team, teamwork eventually turns the tide but on the cusp of victory the masters of evil arrive, allowing charcoal to escape. They warn the team that they have two choices join the masters or die. After they leave the team rallies and decides it’s time to push back against the masters.
Moral dilemma- Even today this same moral dilemma still haunts the thunderbolts one way or another; to reform or remain villains. At this point the team has be ousted as villains who tried to take over the world and the press is having a field day picking everything they do apart. Life as a hero is also proving an uphill battle for the team since they are all but poor. Life as villains as offered by the masters of evil have certain perks for one they get paid handsomely, live a life they are used to and don’t have to ever worry about what the press or the masses think of them. One life is happy and easy the other plagued with trials and tribulations. Always good to see the internal conflict of a team.
Interesting Villain– Charcoal made for a great battle. His powers were mysterious enough and executed well enough for him to be a very engaging villain.
Art- That cover was gorgeous, Showcasing our villain in all his intimidating glory! The interior art while not stellar portrayed the action well and characters adequately.
Female characters looked generic and the interior art lacked polish. Story had so much exposition and dialogue that modern readers may find reading it a choir.