Thunderbolts (1st series) #149

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 

Jeff Parker (Writer), Declan Shalvey (Artist), Frank Martin (Colour artist), Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), Frank Martin (Cover Artist), Mayela Gutierrez (Production), Rachel Pinnelas (Assistant Editor), Bill Rosemann (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

In the sewers, the team is attacked by ninjas. Songbird is pinned down and Fixer is injured, but Moonstone and Juggernaut manage to fight back and kill a number of them. Songbird loses her temper and blasts a bunch more down a tunnel to Crossbones, who incinerates them with a flamethrower. The remaining ninjas teleport away. After Songbird reluctantly leaves the team alone so she can take Fixer to the hospital, Ghost identifies the direction the ninjas went and Juggernaut smashes his way through the bedrock until they get to the ninja’s lair. They find a great building with hundreds of ninjas running towards them. Juggernaut and Moonstone take them head on so that Crossbones and Ghost can sneak in and find the prisoners they were sent to save. Ghost decides to phase up to where he is picking heat signatures, leaving Crossbones to make his own way there. Ghost finds the prisoners and gives them weapons. When he is spotted by a guard, the prisoners kill the ninja. Meanwhile, Crossbones starts running out of ammo and, when the fuel lines on his flamethrower are cut, he resorts to hand to hand combat. However thanks to the Terrigen Mists he breathed in a while back, he develops a portal in front of his face. Fire spews out of the portal and kills the ninjas. Crossbones has fun with his new power and kills dozens of ninjas. Officer Kimbro, one of the prisoners who they were sent to save, comes across Crossbones. He asks if he is a ninja but Crossbones just uses his power to kill the officer. The rest of the Thunderbolt and prisoners find them and Crossbones lies and says that a ninja killed the officer. Later on, Songbird gives her thoughts on the events. She will most likely get reprimanded by the board for leaving the Thunderbolts alone but, since they saved a bunch of people, it shouldn’t be too bad.

Full Summary: 

Songbird says she can only speak about what happened while she was there. She and Fixer had taken the Thunderbolts into the sewer system to find a missing cop who was a friend of Luke Cage’s. In the wake of Daredevil’s takeover of Hell’s Kitchen, they found a lot of ninjas with strange abilities that made them even more lethal.


Songbird is being attacked by numerous ninjas and she uses her powers to create a shield. The ninjas have her on her back on the floor and they continuously stab at her shield. She yells to Fixer but he has been injured and he is bleeding. A little way off, Moonstone blasts a bunch of ninjas and smiles as she pretends she can’t make out what Songbird is saying.

Man Thing is being attacked by a ninja with a blade on the end of a chain. Man Thing already has dozens of blades sticking out of him but when the ninja slashes at him he rips apart into little pieces. Moonstone is infuriated that someone cut down her garden and she flies at the ninja, slamming him into a wall with force. Juggernaut has been knocked to the floor and a ninja is sitting on his chest. He says that he is not as fast as them but he can take some stabbing to let them get close. He grabs the ninja’s head and squeezes it, spraying blood everywhere. He says it’s a neat trick the way they all joined bodies but it means he’s now getting twenty of them at once.

Songbird says she didn’t know why a hero like Daredevil would let this evil into New York. She didn’t know if Luke and the others could get through to their old friend above ground to make this insanity stop. All she knew was what she had to do.

Songbird tries to get to the dismembered corpse of Man Thing in a bid to help Fixer. The ninjas are too strong so she lets out a huge scream and blasts them all away. She continues to scream and knocks them back down a tunnel towards Crossbones. As the ninjas head his way, he lights his flamethrower and sends a wall of fire at them. Juggernaut is inundated with ninjas but they are running past him instead of fighting. Moonstone notes they are on the run and Ghost says that there must be a secret door somewhere. When they go to investigate where the ninjas went, they find a blank wall. When Moonstone asks where they went, Ghost says he believes it’s the practice of shadowporting.

Songbird gets to Fixer, who is clutching his bleeding stomach. She tells him to keep pressure on the wound as he wearily leans against the sewer wall. He smiles and says that that wasn’t a Songbird that blasted them out; it was Screaming Mimi. Songbird tells him to save his strength and then yells for Ghost. She asks where the nearest hospital is and he tells her it’s back out the access point they came in. She uses her powers to pick up Fixer and tells the rest of the team she has to get him to hospital. She will update Luke on the way. Crossbones asks if she expects them to just sit there. She tells him yes and that when she gets back they will find out where the ninjas are coming from and then they will wipe them out.

As Songbird flies away with Fixer, Moonstone tells the rest that that’s not how it will go down. She says that when the feds get word that Fixer is critical and Luke sent them down there without following procedure then they will pull the plug on the program. No one will care that Songbird had good reason. They will just see that she left a group of dangerous cons alone in the city. Juggernaut says they need to get results. They need to finish the mission and bring back the missing guy. Crossbones says it’s fine with him, as he’ll burn more of the “Jap zombies.” Moonstone says, since he doesn’t talk much, she forgot he was a crazy racist. He replies that everyone is; he’s just honest about it.

Ghost starts scanning the wall where the ninjas disappeared and Juggernaut asks what he’s doing. Ghost replies that he cannot quantify the magical means the ninjas use but their shadow travel leaves a brief signature. He says they went lower than the sewer system. He is picking up an open pocket within the bedrock 1.3 km and 33 degrees downwards. The team scatters as Juggernaut rushes forwards and slams into the sewer wall. Ghost struggles to pick up Man Thing’s head. He says he can re-grow from it with sunlight and nutrients. Moonstone takes the head off him and holds it with one hand. She tells him to eat a vitamin once in a while and says to get into the hole as it may be the only idea Juggernaut has ever had and they shouldn’t waste it.

Eventually, Juggernaut finds the open pocket in the bedrock. As the rest of the team exit the tunnel he made, he asks how that got down there. They look out from a ledge to a huge Japanese building made out of the bedrock. As large braziers light up the area hundred of ninjas pour out of the building and run towards the team. Ghost says an army of tireless workers can achieve much in a short time. Crossbones says that thanks to lead-head’s entrance their cover is blown. Moonstone asks who knew that ninjas didn’t like people sneaking up on them.

Ghost says there are thermal readings of the living inside the structure. Any prisoners must be found within. Juggernaut says he will clear a path to the front door whilst Ghost and Crossbones go in and find the guy. He and Moonstone will deal with the masses. Crossbones says that he doesn’t remember anyone appointing Juggernaut leader. Ghost chips in and says his logic is sound, to which Moonstone agrees. She says her and Marko are the heavyweights whilst the other two are the infiltrators. Even a Juggernaut is right twice a day. Crossbones relents and tells her to start throwing her power around as the welcome wagon is coming.

Juggernaut and Moonstone rush down the cave wall into the hoards of ninjas running towards them. Moonstone flies to the giant stone doors of the building and pries them open with her strength. Crossbones and Ghost stand outside the doors as ninjas pour out from the doorway. Moonstone doesn’t notice a big stone dragon statue coming to life behind her, though. The dragon turns and grabs her in its jaws. As she struggles with it, the other two enter the building.

Ghost says the life signs are coming from above them and so he will take a direct route. Crossbones asks if he can make him intangible too but Ghost replies he can’t. As Ghost flies off, Crossbones says he will make his own way up the hard way. As a bunch of ninjas spot him, he lights up his flamethrower and incinerates them. He looks up to see more of them coming from the ceiling but he says he will take them on too.

Outside, Moonstone struggles in the jaws of the stone dragon. She shouts down to Juggernaut and asks what she was saying about them being heavyweights. Juggernaut replies they must have been saving the dragon for someone like her. Moonstone says she is honored and begins to pry the jaws open. She manages to break off the lower jaw and then uses her strength to flip the dragon over onto the dozens of ninjas Juggernaut was fighting.

Inside the building, Ghost phases up through the floor of the prison area. A bunch of ninjas run off and order one of the others to stay there and bar the door. Ghost floats to the prison bars and finds the hostages inside. They are startled by him and wonder what he is doing. Ghost picks up a bunch of ninja weapons and approaches the bars. The prisoners think he is going to stab them but instead he puts his index finger to his mask in a hush signal. He hands the weapons over to them and they realize that he is there to help.

The ninja made to guard them is a little way off. Ghost phases the keys to the cells off him and starts to free the prisoners. He tells them to deal with their oppressors in kind. The ninja suddenly spots what’s going on and starts to slash at Ghost, but he remains intangible. Ghost tells the prisoners that the ninjas do not live, they approximate life. And like the one attacking him, they can be overcome. The ninja doesn’t realize the prisoners have weapons and is stabbed when he turns his back to them.

Elsewhere, Crossbones is working his way through the building, killing every ninja he sees. When he runs out of bullets, he turns to using his flamethrower again. He doesn’t spot one of them hanging from the ceiling though. The ninja cuts through the fuel line causing the flamethrower to go out. He chucks away the weapon and prepares to fight them hand to hand. As he yells for them to end it, a small red portal opens up in front of his face. A fiery energy spews out of the portal and blasts the ninjas. Crossbones is shocked at first but then realizes it must have been caused when he fell into the Terrigen Mists. He gets excited about his new power and then continues to blast the various ninjas with it. He asks who’s a heavyweight now and tells the ninjas not to run as they are witness to a great day.

He says he’s not just more competent than the others, now he’s more powerful too. He focuses the blast down to a fine beam and then fires it as a line of ninjas. It punches through them all with ease. As the ninjas scream, he yells that his good days are over. Brock Rumlow stops taking everyone else’s s***. He grabs a ninja and gets up close to him. He says next time Luke Cage tries to push him against a wall, this is what he will do to him. He forces the ninjas head into the portal and burns his face off.

As the prisoners make their escape, they hear the screams from the ninjas. Officer Kimbro tells the others to stay back and he will go and make sure the way is clear. He finds Crossbones and asks if he is one of the ninjas. Crossbones replies he isn’t and then fires the energy beam through Kimbro’s chest. Kimbro falls down dead as Ghost watches the events. The portal suddenly disappears and Crossbones begs it to come back.

Juggernaut and Moonstone suddenly smash through the wall and say they are done out there. They ask if he found the officer and Crossbones says he did, but not before this guy. He picks up a ninja and tells them that that’s the last cop he’ll be killing at least. The rest of the prisoners round the corner to discover that Kimbro is dead. Moonstone says that at least they’ll go back. Juggernaut says that a whole load of ninjas ain’t going back up, as they burned their building down.

Characters Involved: 

Crossbones, Ghost, Juggernaut, Man Thing, Moonstone (all Thunderbolts)

Luke Cage

Fixer, Songbird (both Thunderbolt handlers)

Numerous ninjas

Darris Kimbro


Lacy Kimbro


Story Notes: 

This is a tie-in to the Shadowland event.

Songbird narrates some sections of the issue as if she is reflecting on the events after they have happened.

Songbird’s villainous identity before she became a hero was Screaming Mimi.

Crossbones breathed in some corrupted Terrigen Mists in Thunderbolts (1st series) #147

Issue Information: 
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