Thunderbolts (1st series) #153

Issue Date: 
April 2011
Story Title: 

Jeff Parker (Writer), Kev Walker (Penciler), Jason Gorder (Inker), Frank Martin (Colour artist), Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), Dan Brown and Greg Land (Cover Artists), Damien Lucchese (Production), Rachel Pinnelas (Assistant Editor), Bill Rosemann and Brennan (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

In the Raft, Gunna is being propositioned by a bunch of male prisoners. After they are dealt with, US Agent says that something needs to be done with her. In Japan, the Thunderbolts continue their battle with the monsters. Hyperion grabs Songbird’s comm-link in a bid to deactivate his nanites. He tells Juggernaut that the two women are drowning and the others are being eaten. Juggernaut rescues Songbird and Moonstone and drags them to the shore, where Ghost gives them CPR. Cage and Mach IV manage to escape the mouth of one of the monsters and drive it back into the ocean. Just as Hyperion finally figures out which button does what on the comm-link, he is attacked by Juggernaut. Hyperion gets the upper hand and rips Cain’s helmet off and continues to beat him to a pulp. Songbird goes to help Cage take out the monsters whilst Moonstone goes to help Juggernaut. After Hyperion becomes angry, he tries to kill Juggernaut but Moonstone stops him. She takes him on directly whilst Ghost grabs the comm-link and uses it to subdue him. Once he has been taken down, the Thunderbolts beat him up. Ghost then tells Cage that the key to defeating the monsters is by using Songbird’s powers. The monsters have parasites on them that act in a similar way to the nanites in the Thunderbolts. The monsters are driven back into the sea and the team regroups. However, Hyperion is now a bloodied and bruised mess on the floor. To make matter worse, he shows fear, causing Man-Thing to attack him.

Full Summary: 

(The Raft)

Gunna is walking through the courtyard of the prison as a bunch of male prisoners are yelling sexual comments at her. She eventually loses her temper and lunges at them but they are protected by an energy barrier. Two female guards come to calm her down and take her back to the women’s section. One guard yells at the men and threatens to tranquilize them if they don’t move back.

As the prisoners start to taunt the guards, a voice comes from behind them and they turn to see John Walker aka US Agent. Still in his wheelchair, he tells the three prisoners that they have double duty for a week and in reply they hang their heads. He apologizes to the guards and tells them that he will see that the men’s courtyard supervisor is punished. One of the guards tells him that the prisoners were lucky the energy wall was up, because Gunna is quite strong. She continues and says that the situation bothers her, though, as Gunna is too young to be there. Walker agrees and says he has been meaning to give it some thought and he will talk it over with the Thunderbolts.


As an unconscious Songbird and Moonstone sink to the bottom of the ocean, Hyperion floats above them. He says that four Thunderbolts are now down, five if you include the plant, which he doesn’t. They really thought he was a candidate for redemption. He turns to leave but realizes he has forgotten something. He flies down and grabs the comm-link, which was attached to Songbird’s arm.

Elsewhere, Juggernaut recovers from being thrown around by one of the creatures they were sent to defeat. As he stands up and prepares to fight the monster again, he spots the desiccated body of Man-Thing. The swamp creature is slowly repairing itself but Juggernaut is distracted by Hyperion. He tells Cain that Songbird and Moonstone are in the ocean drowning, whilst Cage and Mach V were eaten by the “giant turtle monster.” And no one gives a toss where Ghost is.

As Hyperion floats off, trying to get the comm. link to work, Juggernaut jumps into the ocean to rescue the women. When he lands on the sea bed, he sees a pink glow in the distance and heads towards it. He finds Songbird and Moonstone floating lifelessly in the water and he swims towards the surface with them.

(Inside the giant turtle monster)

Luke Cage is struggling to breathe as he tries to stop the monster swallowing them. Mach V is using a laser to burn the monster’s flesh and he manages to release some oxygen for Cage. He finishes slicing through something in the monster’s mouth, which allows Cage to pry the giant jaw open slightly. Mach V joins him and they manage to open it enough for them to escape. Before they leave, Mach V decides to leave the monster something to eat, and so he releases a rocket off of his armor. He grabs Cage and they fly away from the monster as the rocket blasts down its throat. They manage to get clear as the rocket explodes and flames erupt out of the monsters mouth.

Juggernaut drags Moonstone and Songbird onto the beach and he spots Ghost floating next to the body of the lobster creature. Ghost is analyzing the parasites that are attacked to the behemoth and has registered that they are giving off a signal of some kind. Juggernaut asks if he knows CPR and Ghost floats down to him, whilst opening files on resuscitation. He leaves Ghost to work on the two women as he goes to straighten out their new team member. Ghost looks at the women and realizes that their breathing has stopped. Taking off his helmet, he says that he has to administer mouth-to-mouth.

Juggernaut walks up to Hyperion and asks what he is trying to pull. Hyperion, floating above Cain, feigns being scared and tells him he has finally figured out the controller. He says the “J” must refer to Juggernaut and so he presses it. Cain screams in pain as the nanites activate in his body. Hyperion says that the handlers must never use this setting, as they probably just make him pass out painlessly. He wants to see if he can disarm his own nanites before he gets a dose of argonite radiation down his spine. He hits J again and Cain writhes in pain on the ground. Not far off, the top half of Man-Thing slowly crawls along the beach.

As Mach V and Cage fly through the sky, they look at the monster they just escaped from and it has turned around and headed back into the deeper ocean. Mach V guesses it has gone to drink as much water as it can to put out the fire burning in its mouth. Cage tries to get a response from the other Thunderbolts but no one answers his radio calls. He looks out and sees one of the monsters crashing through the nearby city and gets Mach V to head towards it. They are suddenly ambushed by the flying creature with its energy breath. Mach V tells Cage he has to let him go if he wants to fight the monster. Cage agrees and gets him to drop him on the monster which is on the land.

On the shore, Ghost is giving Moonstone mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She regains consciousness and immediately throws up sea water. Ghost tells her she drowned but her internal moonstone kept her alive, despite her lungs being full of water. She wonders who revived her but sees that Ghost has his helmet partially off. He tells her he also brought Songbird back; whom he predicted would need oxygen before Moonstone.

Hyperion has finally figured out which button activates the nanites in his system. He says he can remove them later but for now they cannot be activated remotely. He thanks the Thunderbolts for putting an end to his miserable few weeks in the Raft. He will come back and destroy them one day. Before he can finish his thought, something grabs his ankles and pulls him down. Hyperion is incensed to see Juggernaut, who subsequently slams him into the ground. Hyperion stands up, angry that Cain almost ruined his hair. He’s just dealt with the only thing that could have stopped him but he has an extra minute for him.

He starts attacking Juggernaut but the unstoppable Thunderbolt gives as good as he gets. He head butts Hyperion and then slams him into a large boulder. Hyperion says that Juggernaut is the one who cannot be stopped once her starts running. There’s an easy solution to that and it would be to stop running. With that, he thrusts his foot into the side of Cain’s knee, causing it to snap. Cain drops to the floor in pain as Hyperion taunts him and says that he bets the rest of the guys at the Raft are afraid of him. Hyperion says that Cain will be his message to everyone else once he gets the ridiculous helmet off. He uses his heat vision to melt the metal of the helmet and finally rip it off. Everyone will see what happens when someone crosses the Hyperion.

A little way off, Cage radios to the rest of the team that two monsters are headed for the city. Songbird realizes her comm-link is gone but doesn’t have much time to think about it. She tells Cage she will deal with the flying creature as Moonstone says she will take the other one. She starts to walk off but Ghost yells for her to wait. Moonstone thanks him, assuming that’s what he wanted. But he tells her that he is reading that Songbird’s comm-link is with Hyperion and he is killing Juggernaut. Moonstone floats off, saying that Cain is a big boy and he can handle it. Ghost tells her that he is one of them, which stops Moonstone in her tracks.

Hyperion is beating Juggernaut senseless now that there isn’t a helmet to stop him. He tells Cain he bets everyone had a good laugh when the monster’s flame put him down. He continues to swing punches but as he slams his fist down on Cain’s head he holds his hand in pain. Cain tells him he is hard even without the helmet and punches him in the stomach. Cain pummels Hyperion into the ground until the twisted man uses his heat vision to blast Cain away. Even angrier than before, Hyperion rises up and tells Juggernaut that unless he can unleash the sun from his eyes he will die. He uses his heat vision again but the beams are stopped by another blast of energy.

Moonstone floats down and tells him she can shoot energy too. He tells her it’s early in the day and he has all the solar energy he needs to char them both. He yells that he tried to drown her in her sleep, the humane way. She should have taken it. He uses his heat vision again but Moonstone deflects it with her energy beams.

Suddenly, Ghost appears and tells him he will stop him. Hyperion mocks him and calls their entire team a glorified chain gang, but trails off when he sees that Ghost is holding Songbird’s comm-link. Ghost presses the button labeled “H” and Hyperion screams in agony. Realizing that he is being inflicted with aragonite, he yells for them to turn it off and he will do anything. He collapses to the floor as the other Thunderbolts stand over him.

Cage is kneeling on the head of the finned monster that is attacking the city. He radios for the Thunderbolts, getting irate when he doesn’t get any back-up. Finally, Ghost answers and tells him he knows how to stop the creatures. Ghost explains that the parasites on the creature’s backs are like nanites and they are part of a sophisticated bio-control system. They keep the monsters on task. He says that Songbird should use prolonged steady pulses of her energy and the barrage of signals should flip their switches. Songbird uses her powers and the creatures turn around and head back into the deeper ocean.

Cage jumps down to the ground and apologizes to Ghost for doubting him. He then asks if Hyperion ever woke up but Ghost replies that he didn’t. Hyperion is bloodied and bruised heap on the ground after being worked over by the other Thunderbolts. Moonstone calls him a coward and they can’t have cowards on the team. Whoever shows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing. The swamp creature walks up to them and, sensing the fear of Hyperion, attacks him with his burning touch.

Characters Involved: 

Ghost, Hyperion, Juggernaut, Man-Thing, Moonstone (all Thunderbolts)

Fixer, Luke Cage, Mach V, Songbird (all wardens)


US Agent

Raft Guards

Raft prisoners

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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