Lines are drawn and secrets are revealed as the darkl
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!
The issue begins with the Thunderbolts watching the "cattle call" line of supervillains being called in to interview for spots on the new reserve Thunderbolts team. The interviews are being conducted by Songbird, MACH-V, Fixer and warden Walker. Moonstone, Juggernaut and Ghost argue and make predictions about who in attendance might make the cut.. The team is soon called away for their first mission with their new team mystic, Satana. Fixer indicates interest in joining the team as he's still feeling jilted by Songbird being given the leader role for the new team, but Cage declines to bring him along, clearly making him feel unwanted and undervalued. The interviews continue throughout the issue; the two stories interspersed.
Villains interviewed throughout the issue include The Shocker, Boomerang, Centurius, Troll and Mr. Hyde. The issue's cover is a total red herring as the only villain on the cover to actually appear in the issue is Mr. Hyde.
The active team meets Satana for the first time and she immediately sets to working her seductive, witchy magic on all of them (including Man-Thing), until Cage activates her nannites to put her in line. Man-Thing brings then brings them to their destination, a castle in Europe that vanished into thin air about 100 years before. The place is haunted by a variety of nasty creatures: Fury offshoots and nazi ghouls among other nasty things. Long story short, the battle is not going well and Satana sits back and allows most of the team to be taken down, smirking all the while.
Of special note is two of the new Thunderbolts members were voted for by fans via an online poll. Mr. Hyde and Shocker were the top voted candidates who received the most votes.