- You've already reviewed our capabilities, figured out complimentary skill-sets. Most importantly, how to keep each of us in check -- nanites or otherwise. Please don't be upset with me. My intellect and problem-solving nature are what make of value for this endeavor. I wouldn't make a very good genius if I couldn't figure out when you're gaming the system now, would I?
- -- Centurius
Appearing in 1st story
- Ghosts of WWI German soldiers
- Mandrill (Jerome Beechman)
- Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton)
- Super-Skrull (Kl'rt)
- Black Mamba (Tanya Sealy)
- Blizzard (Donny Gill)
- Blood Brother
- Mister Hyde (Calvin Zabo)
- Shocker (Herman Schultz)
- Troll (Gunna Sijurvald)
- Boomerang (Fred Myers)
- Centurius (Noah Black)
Synopsis for 1st story
Back from securing Satana as team member, Cage is upset to learn that John Walker has already begun selecting an entirely new squad of Thunderbolts operatives, but he realizes they are all seen as expendable. As the current team assesses various potential recruits, Cage receives a call summoning the Thunderbolts on a new mission. Since it will involve magic, Satana will be advising the team. He finds Satana seducing not only Man-Thing but every other member of the team as well, and clangs a special bell given to him by Strange to keep her in line.
Cage’s team is teleported outside of Gothenvald Castle in Stuttgart, Germany, a century-old edifice that has just recently reappeared. They are attacked by screeching beings identified by Satana as Dirae. They flee inside the castle, where they are met by aged werewolves, vampires, and Nazis who fires cannons at them. They are soon overwhelmed by magical attacks, and Satana seems unwilling to help them.
The Thunderbolts hold interviews with Shocker, Troll, Boomerang, Centurious, and other inmates to see who is a good fit for the Thunderbolts. Songbird interviews Calvin Zabo, and gives him a potion to transform him into Mr Hyde. He becomes larger and more terrifying than ever before and grabs up Songbird threateningly in one hand.
Lines are drawn and secrets are revealed as the dark PROVING GROUND sets off. The Raft is full of action as candidates vie for selection on the second squad of Thunderbolts, BETA TEAM! The main team isn't too happy about Warden Walker's initiative to expand their ranks, but even they are curious: out of the Marvel Universe vast pool of powerhouse criminals, who will make the cut? Many are called, but in this issue few are chosen!
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