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Thunderbolts #11 [Marvel Comics] Review

Posted on June 20, 2013 AT 08:33pm

Here it is, the last issue of Daniel Way’s run on Thunderbolts, and it’s definitely a good note to go out on. The last chapter of the “Red Menace” arc has arrived, and with it comes the wrapping up of several major plot points,a s well as the opening of several others for new writer Charles Soule, who will take over the book starting in the next issue. The Crimson Dynamo armors, powered by gamma radiation, are being taken over by the brother of T-Bolts member Elektra, and so far, things have not gone well as the rest of the team, aside from not really enjoying the mission too much, are beginning to resent the leadership of the Red Hulk, Thunderbolt Ross. This ends with a surprise twist and the appearance of an almost forgotten character, who will likely be a much bigger factor as time goes on.

So far, this series has been a fun, if not a bit bland of a ride. There is lots going on, but the book as a whole has gotten a bit flat is its delivery. The writing is solid and the artwork is bright and beautiful, but there doesn’t seem to be anything substantial going on in the book. The first two arcs have served as a way to get a fun, mindless read out of a comic, which unfortunately, with so many terrific books out on the market, isn’t exactly cutting it as much. The book is good, but it’s a very muted good, and not anywhere near as exciting as it once felt.

Writer Daniel Way does his best to go out with a bang, leaving the team book he helped reincarnate and moving on to another project. This lead the charge for Way to wrap up much of the story that he’s gone through thus far, tying up the last two arcs neatly, while still leaving new writer Charles Soule some room to pick up from. Way did a great job with this book, it just doesn’t contain the proper elements for a book to be exciting. The teams did the mission, had some trouble but came out on top, all while a preview of the next obstacle came into play. Always a great way to keep the book progressing, but not enough of a variation from the norm to keep it from being anything other than a standard comic.

Artist Phil Noto and colorist Guru eFX have done the same stellar job that they have through the first ten issues, and will likely to continue that pace should they keep going on with the new writer. The colors are bright, the characters look great, there’s a lot of red and just about everything is as it’s always been, continuing on the bland and predictable way that this book has gone. There are little in the way of action scenes or anything visually out of the ordinary, making this a visually pleasing, but not visually stimulating title.

Summary: It took eleven issues, but the verdict is now official with this title, just as it might finally be becoming something more. This book is predictable and boring, and while it looks really good, there doesn’t seem to be anything more than the standard team book dynamics to it. Way’s run was a good one, just not anything that will make him anything more than one of the many talented writers in the Marvel stable. With no disrespect meant to the creative team, who have done everything they could, the T-Bolts are running out of steam, and fast.

Pros: Strong Artwork, Good Pacing

Cons: Boring plot developments and structure.

Grade: C

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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