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Here's the deal. The Thunderbolts are a government-sponsored team of villains. Norman Osborn is (though the public doesn't realize it) the Green Goblin, who you might remember a version of from the first Spider-Man movie. He can't be trusted. Neither can Moonstone (the psychiatrist), who leads the team in the field, though never well. Venom and Bullseye just like killing people - Bullseye's M.O. is throwing a common object at the precise point in someone's body where it'll do the most damage (hence the medical knowledge), and Venom just eats them. Penance (Robbie) isn't a bad guy at all, but thinks he's a villain because he feels guilty for the deaths of 600 people at Stamford. He's a bit nuts. Swordsman only lived for the hope of bringing his dead sister back, and paid for a clone to be made, but the timing was lousy- it was around Secret Invasion, so everyone assumed she was a Skrull and they killed her. Radioactive Man isn't bad, but he's only really loyal to China. Songbird (Melissa)'s the one to root for, the only real hero on the team. She's been trying to take power away from Moonstone and Norman Osborn, not because she's manipulative but because she knows how terrible they are. Obviously she's been outmaneuvered here.

So, basically: Songbird's good. Everyone else is either evil, crazy, or untrustworthy. And the media supports them, so the public loves them. It's the reverse of the usual "protecting a world that hates them" Marvel story.

Thank you, Mory! That's awesome. That's exactly the explanation of things that I needed.
I think YOU should write the synopses that occur at the beginning of the issues. ;)

Nina, I only read the book back when Warren Ellis was writing it, but I think the premise holds true - the Thunderbolts book is for people who always wondered "What if the bad guys teamed up and won a few?" It's a very plausible premise, I just think some knowledge of who the villains are and how they operate is needed to really get the most out of the book.

The most fun element for me was seeing just how much of a dick Norman Osborn was to everyone. I also liked the Penance redemption story, but apparently I was the only one because it's been ignored.

Anyway, excellent job as always, Nina!

"people lying, crying, maybe sort of dying. "

You should start setting these things to music.

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