New Thunderbolts #14

Issue Date: 
December 2005
Story Title: 
Made Perfect

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Tom Grummett (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), SotoColor’s J. Brown (colors), AS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letters), Tom Valente (production), Schmidt, Lazer & Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Avengers try to figure out why they are being attacked by the Thunderbolts but fail to get any information out of them. Photon even teleports himself, the Sentry and Cap temporarily to the Microverse, so they can battle in private. Iron Man and Spider-Man quickly find themselves surrounded by the remaining Thunderbolts members but still manage to defend themselves. Photon sends him and his adversaries back home, ending the battle with a giant blast which knocks all of the Avengers out. As Luke finally makes it back to shore after having been tossed into the ocean by Atlas earlier, the Thunderbolts leave the message that this battle was just a warning and that they can do it any time. Could the government be blackmailing the Thunderbolts? Elsewhere, Blizzard gets recruited by Mach IV and the Fixer, who want his help into saving the world. The Thunderbolts themselves go pick up a badly injured Joystick, who mentions that she won from her battle from Spider-Woman, as she managed to humiliate her, as was agreed in the plan. At the CSA headquarters in Washington, Carol, Hank and Gyrich have witnessed the entire battle. Though neither Carol nor Hank like the plan because of their former membership in the Avengers, they realize their plan has to go on. On that very moment, Baron Zemo steps out of the shadows, claiming that his help is needed because he will be the one saving the world!

Full Summary: 

Sandy Hook, New Jersey, 10:34 PM yesterday…

The Thunderbolts and Avengers are still fighting each other. Sentry’s unfathomable energies escalate, all safely dissipated into a pocket universe by Photon. Radioactive Man extends his glowing aura to search for atomic energies in Iron Man’s near-impenetrable armor. Having flung Luke Cage several miles into the ocean, Atlas looks for someone to step on. Spider-Man barely evades Speed Demon, realizing his old opponent is now much faster. Songbird throws hard-sound constructs at Captain America, keeping him off-balance, knowing that they will keep the Avengers out of synch. And she silently prays he’ll keep his mouth shut. Not question her. Not make her defend their indefensible actions. Not make her feel any worse than she already does.

But Cap does talk, wanting to know why Songbird and her team are doing this. Melissa jokes that that didn’t take long. Cap doesn’t understand the remark, but Melissa doesn’t want to go any deeper into it. Her abilities, her tactics, they are all so improved. While they seem to grab him, Cap silently condemns his old friend Hawkeye for training many of them, while being secretly proud of what he has accomplished.

While fighting in the skies, Sentry seems to find Photon’s powers feeling familiar to him, thinking he knew his father. Photon jokes that would at least make one of them. Sentry remembers that Captain Mar-Vell was a great and noble man, unlike his son apparently. Photon heard it all before. Sentry mentions to Photon that his father would never jeopardize the entire planet over some grudge match! Photon wants to know who said anything about fighting on Earth. While Photon uses his powers and dust clouds appear into the sky, Spider-Man continues to face Speed Demon.

Spidey shoots some of his webs. Speed Demon wonders what he’s up to since they are on a beach, and what could Spidey possibly trying to snag? Spidey snags onto Atlas’ finger, wanting to know if perhaps the Thunderbolts want to tell them why they are fighting each other. Atlas doesn’t like being used like a building, so he shrinks back down to normal size, causing Spidey to fall. Speed Demon uses Spidey’s confusion to his advantage and knocks him several times, rather hard.

Iron Man has noticed that Speed Demon is faster than ever, Atlas more confident, Photon in control of his powers, but he doesn’t think his adversary, Dr. Chen, has any new tricks to show him. Chen admits that he doesn’t have any new powers, but does admit that Tony’s new armor is much improved, but remarks that, in his arrogance, Tony failed to take one vital into account. Tony wonders what that might be.


Radioactive Man remembers angrily telling Songbird that he doesn’t need any help handling Iron Man. Songbird tried to explain to Dr. Chen that he’s missing the point, namely that this isn’t about them winning the fight: the Avengers need to be shown why they are losing!


Dr. Chen tightly grabs Iron Man, smiling that he’s now part of a team. On that very moment, Atlas’ giant foot steps on Iron Man, knocking him out!

Cap wants to know from Songbird how they could have planned this so well, know exactly which members of the Avengers would be available currently, and received access to Red Ronin so he could be used as bait.


Songbird explains to the team that, once the Avengers see their strategy, they’ll just try to switch opponents. So the Thunderbolts will plan for that as well.


Cap shouts at his teammates that they have to take the advantage of the Thunderbolt’s hands and suggests they switch opponents right now. Photon jokes that he could have set his watch on that, and snaps himself away from the Sentry towards Cap’s direction. He attacks Cap, worrying Iron Man.

Atlas is surprised Tony can even still get up. Chen remembers that Tony has always been incredibly tenacious. Tony gets up but his armor is almost out of fuel. Spider-Man hopes they’ve got the Hulk as a secret weapon somewhere, because they could surely use some help.


Speed Demon dares betting that Iron Man tries buying them off. Joystick wonders how much the guy would offer. But Atlas believes Stark will show them more respect than that.


The Thunderbolts have Spider-Man and Iron Man cornered. Speed Demon jokes that Eric doesn’t have to pay up, as the looks in his eyes are payment enough for him. Chen believes that this is exactly why his foes must be shown hubris. Atlas wonders what Joystick is doing right now.

Avengers Tower, Manhattan. Last night, 11:52 AM…

Joystick tries to hit Spider-Woman using her powers, but Jessica easily dodges all of her blast using her great speed. Olivia recalls that Jessica got her powers from Hydra but doesn’t really care that she’s playing the holier-than-though act. But actually, Jessica likes it dirty just fine. She quickly jumps towards Joystick and causes her sticks to hit a wall. She uses Olivia’s confusion to hit her. Joystick wonders what the difference is between her and Spider-Woman. What makes her better? Jessica jokes probably no difference at all, except for the actions and choices she makes in life.

CSA, Washington DC. This morning, 12:01 AM…

While eavesdropping on Joystick’s battle against Spider-Woman, Hank believes that flies are on the wall. Carol doesn’t understand, as the vision and sound from their viewing monitors are perfectly clear. Hank corrects that’s because Nugent Technologies built the screens to be perfect. Gyrich believes that they dodged a bullet because Hank’s miniaturized surveillance microbes seem to be working. Carol adds that they didn’t plan for Spider-Woman to be at the Tower. Hank believes that if Joystick can survive another thirty minutes or so in the battle, and keep releasing the probes through her Truncheon weapons, they will be close to maximum saturation.

Avengers Tower, Manhattan. Last night, 12:01 AM…

Jessice realizes that this can’t be a solo operation, thinking that not even Joystick can be that stupid. Olivia smiles that she could be. Jessica wonders if her foe came to steal something, or if it’s a grudge-thing against Spider-Man. Joystick jokes that she just made a bet with Speed Demon to see if she could break inside the Tower and pulled it off. Hearing this statement coming from Joystick, Jessica actually believes that and punches her in the face! Jessica warns Olivia not to get up again, but she explains that she has to.

Interlude. Brooklyn, earlier yesterday night…

Abe and Norbert arrive at a nightclub, looking for Blizzard. Abe mentions that Donny has been hanging and drinking at this club almost every night since Songbird fired him off the team. They find Donny drinking at the bar, and he is surprised to see them both. Norbert warns Blizzard to be nice to them, as he’ll even upgrade Donny’s Freon suit if he stays that way, because they need him to help save the world!

The Microverse. This morning, 1:43 AM (relative time)…

Photon sends both himself, Captain America and the Sentry to this sub-atomic dimension that exists between the folds of all matter. Sentry is disoriented at first, but regains his equilibrium. Now, an irresistible force meets an immovable object. Sentry can draw energy from anywhere and everywhere, while Photon can shunt it anywhere and everywhere. And though the power both men spit out is enough to shred entire worlds, below them, a trying-to-find-some-cover Captain America knows that they are both actually holding back!

An entire mesa collapses towards Cap. Luckily, his shield can absorb the kinetic impact. But he’d still be buried beneath the rubble. Photon notices Cap in danger and panics, making Sentry wonder why. Photon teleports Cap into safety using his powers, explaining that the Thunderbolts don’t want any of the Avengers dead. Sentry gets upset and wants to know where Cap has been send to this time. Photon claims that the Sentry will find out later, while Cap is putting ice over all his bruises, and will be wishing that he had him on the team instead of Sentry. The two powerhouses continue to battle each other.

Sandy Hook…

Iron Man and Spider-Man are still fighting their opponents, glad that they are still alive. Tony decides to fire off one of his blasts, but as he fires he accidentally hits a materializing Cap! Spidey realizes they made a mistake and tries to help Cap, but Speed Demon runs towards the webslinger and hits him again, making Spidey wonder when Demon got so fast. Dr. Chen thinks that maybe the abilities were always there in Speed Demon’s body and he just didn’t use them. For example, Chen continues, he himself only needs time to isolate the wavelength of Spider-Man’s irradiated blood so he can now start drain his powers.

Tony refuses to believe that the Thunderbolts are fighting them just to show off their powers. He suspects that perhaps they are being mind-controlled again by Purple Man, or perhaps blackmailed? He demands an explanation so they can help each other out. Cap, almost without breath, agrees with Tony telling Melissa he won’t make the same mistakes with the Thunderbolts he used to make. If it’s blackmail they are dealing with, Cap mentions they’ve got sources who can help them out. Iron Man realizes something: he now believes that it’s the government who’s doing the blackmailing!

On that very moment, Photon emerges again hitting all of the Avengers with a huge blast and dropping the Sentry down. Sentry refuses to hold back anymore. Photon heard that and sends him back to the Microverse, thinking that, by the time Sentry finds his way out of it, they will be long gone. Speed Demon thinks that Photon would sure make a good super-villain. All of the Avengers are unconscious. The Thunderbolts feel great, though Atlas had suspected another feeling. He notices that Luke finally made it back to shore. He wants to continue the battle, but Melissa corrects that it’s over. He wants Luke to warn Cap that this was all just a warning and that they can do it over any time they want. The Thunderbolts teleport away, leaving the Avengers behind.

Avengers Tower. This morning, 2:32 AM…

Jessica and Joystick are still fighting each other, though Olivia is badly injured and even bleeds, but refusing to give up. Jessica thinks she’s dealing with a true nut-job. She doesn’t want to hit Joystick again unless she has no other choice. Joystick gets up and laughs, joking that she has won the battle. She walks towards the balcony and jumps off the building! Jessica follows her down, but notices the other Thunderbolts having arrived and taking Joystick with them, mentioning that they’ve all won their side of the battle. Spider-Woman reports back to her Avenger teammates, wondering what just happened.

CSA, this morning, same time…

Hank noticed that Joystick really hung in there, and thinks that with his visit to the Baxter Building and Dallas meeting the Thunderbolts the other day, they are in good shape. Carol notices that Hank still doesn’t feel good about this, seeing that as Ant-Man he is a founding member of the Avengers. Carol admits she dislikes the plan as well but knows it had to be done, if the story they heard is a true one.

On that very moment, Baron Zemo steps out of the shadows! Zemo realizes that admitting him is a difficult matter, but mentions that the CSA’s decision to enact the Guardian Protocols will be vindicated. Gyrich warns that, if they aren’t, Zemo better not underestimate what they can do to him. Zemo explains to Gyrich that mutually assured destruction is the very reason why they are all gathered here. He thinks it’s in their own best interests that he can proceed without interference. Given continued resources, they all know that… Zemo is going to save the world!

Characters Involved: 

Atlas, Joystick, Photon, Radioactive Man, Speed Demon (all Thunderbolts)

Baron Zemo, Blizzard, Fixer, Mach IV (former Thunderbolts)

Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (all Avengers)

Director Carol Danvers, Hank Pym/Ant-Man I, Henry Peter Gyrich (all CSA employees)

several night club visitors & security guards (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Purple Man controlling the Thunderbolts can be found throughout New Thunderbolts #9-12.

Hawkeye was once the leader of the Thunderbolts, until he eventually rejoined the Avengers.

Photon’s father is the original Captain Marvel, whom Photon has never really known. Sentry knowing him only happened off-panel at this point.

Red Ronin was used as bait last issue. Baron Zemo hadn’t been seen since the ending of Avengers/Thunderbolts #6 but began with his plan in New Thunderbolts #12.

Issue Information: 
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