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Thunderbolts #1 [Marvel Comics] Review

By
Posted on December 5, 2012 AT 07:04pm

Daniel Way has gotten a team book, and all is right with the world once again. The much-criticized former Deadpool writer has jumped into brand new territory with the Marvel NOW! re-branding of the iconic Thunderbolts squad. He and artist Steve Dillon are taking the helm on a brand new team of super-powered individuals (many of them not exactly heroes), and so far, it’s classic Way throughout.

General Thunderbolt Ross (better known as the Red Hulk, or Rulk, to some) is gathering a team of volunteers for a special, as of yet unannounced crusade, and his stable of recruits will definitely turn some heads. The likes of Flash Thompson (Special Agent Venom), Deadpool (Yes, Way is technically writing Deadpool again), Elektra and a not-quite-announced character(Spoiler: Judging from interior art, it’s Psylocke)are joining Ross and a reluctant Frank Castle (The Punisher) on Ross’ secret mission. While Way didn’t spill the beans on what this mission is just yet, so far, it’s looking like it’s going to be a fun and wild ride that only Daniel Way can guide readers on.

Way’s work is top notch in this inaugural issue, making quick, concise segues from character to character and centering it around the interactions of Ross and Castle. Way’s always been good at that sort of plot development, wrapping several smaller but integral plot points into the larger web of the story. He also seems to already have a good feel for the characters, especially his old pal Wade, who is looking as ridiculous and crazy as ever in the short time he was featured in the issue.  Castle is rough and brooding, Elektra is mysterious and Thompson is a good man with a bad symbiote on his side. While Way hasn’t had a lot of experience with team books, he’s looking as though he’s going to be just fine at handling this team of loose cannons. The only flaw is basically nothing was established during the issue, leaving a lack of direction after the first issue. That could be for the sake of introductions, however, but it is still a bit of a problem.

Steve Dillon’s artwork looks great as well, only falling into one minor trap during the issue(Spoiler: Lots of mafia guys). A large group of mob members appear in a few panels, with many of them looking the same, with very few distinguishable characteristics. While this is minor, having a few hundred cannon fodder characters that look vaguely like Frank Castle is a bit of a disappointment, though not by much. Other than that, Dillon does a great job capturing the individuality of the new Thunderbolts crew while still making them look almost as though they’re a unit. Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover, on the other hand, is a different story. The copious amount of red is fitting, given their leadership, but the oil painted styling of the cover is a contrast to the sleek interior work, which makes the cover look a bit sloppy.

SUMMARY: Overall, Daniel Way’s first issue of Thunderbolts is great introduction into a new generation of T-Bolts, and while very little was established in the first issue, it looks great and is an exciting foray into the new line for the book. Steve Dillon did a great job on artwork as well, and while Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover isn’t terrific, more issues such as this will make this a formidable book in the Marvel Universe.

  • THE GOOD: Great Artwork, Fun Writing
  • THE BAD: Too Many Punisher Look-Alikes
  • THE UGLY: Sloppy-Looking Cover

Score: 9.0

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.


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