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Thunderbolts #14 [Marvel Comics] Review

Posted on August 21, 2013 AT 08:41pm

As the “Infinity” events takes off, the T-Bolts storm New York as part of their newest mission. While this is labeled a tie-in to the big event, it seems that this ragtag group of killers is more of a benefactor than a participant, at least during the course of this issue. With things dying down after the couple of one-shots that have happened in the last few entries of the series, a new mission is kicked off, featuring, once again, Frank Castle. With Castle putting some major members of the New York mob on his kill list, and set his sights on them, with the Thunderbolts as his back-up.

This issue sees the team embarking on a brand new plan: picking names out of a hat to see who gets a mission, with the order so far going: Ross, Castle, Ross, then someone unknown who will be picked out of a hat once more. This new set-up will give some variety to the books, but it may be too late, as this title, in only fourteen issues, has gotten pretty stale. While yes, there has been a lot of great comic book violence, there is really nothing in this book that is making any major waves as far as placing impact to the reader.

Charles Soule is only a few issues into his run on this series, but unfortunately, it might be too late for some of the readers who have been on this book throughout its run. The book has gotten a bit stale, and with no end in sight along that line of logic. It may be to a point where this series begins to flat-line, or it might get a book with a further storyline, but thus far, it’s already run its course.

That art on this one takes a major step down, going from the bright and colorful style of Phil Noto and instead bringing in a fill-in artist Jefte Palo whose work is not at all the correct fit for a book like this. The style is very blocky and stretched, with none of the characters looking quite like themselves in any traditional way. Elektra looks like her torso had been in an iron maiden, Castle looks like his jaw was chiseled out of brick, and the Leader’s forehead is actually closer to a nine or ten-head. The colors by Guru eFX and the ink work by Terry Pallot are great, with a style fitting the book as it’s always been, but the style of artwork here is pretty unflattering.

Summary: After just over a dozen issues, the Thunderbolts have just about lost their luster. With abysmal artwork and a less than engrossing story, this “Infinity” tie-in issue is something that changes the normal pace, but doesn’t understand the pulse of the book. While this will hopefully change down the line, it wouldn’t be surprising to see readers dropping this book relatively soon, and for good reason.

Pros: Strong Colors and Inking

Cons: Poor Penciling, Boring Story

Grade: C-

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for 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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