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Thunderbolts #3 [Marvel Comics] Review

Posted on January 10, 2013 AT 08:40pm

The newest edition of the legendary Thunderbolts team is back again, with the red-themed anti-heroes taking center stage. Frank Castle (The Punisher), “Thunderbolt Ross (Red Hulk), Elektra Natchios (Elektra), Flash Thompson (Agent Venom) and Wade Wilson (Deadpool) are the newest iteration of the team, and thus far, this group of loners who have banded together are having some definite complications. While Ross leads the team, many of the members go by their own protocols, and when Ross shows the team that he has possession of the comatose body of Samuel Sterns a.k.a. The Leader, the team is none too happy. When Ross begins to show signs of ulterior motive, things really begin to get complicated.

In this issue, the Kata Jaya mission (which sees the Thunderbolts attempting to overthrow a tyrannical regime) seems to be nearly finished, up until the point where some major questions begin to pop up. With Elektra captured  after she and Deadpool were ambushed (Deadpool was shot in the head, something that doesn’t affect him nearly as much as most), Castle and Venom begin to train the troops. When Deadpool returns to meet with Ross, things really begin to get complex for this team, as Ross may not be revealing the entirety of his plan to the rest of the team.

Daniel Way, a writer who hasn’t had a ton of team book experience before this one, really shines writing this series. He’s looking comfortable with each character, though having his old buddy Deadpool on this team (Way wrote 63 issues of Deadpool before taking on this book) is likely helping him get into a groove. While Wade isn’t quite the character Way developed him to be in his solo title, the chemistry is certainly there, as Deadpool seems to be the one most comfortably written. He’s not as crazy or reckless as usual (maybe the team tactics shining through), but he’s one of the most well done, likely due to past experience. While more Wade is always on order for many, a better balance of time for each character (Elektra especially, whose barely been featured thus far) would be welcomed.

Artist Steve Dillon is also enjoying some success on this title, with the series taking amore simplistic (in terms of lighting effects and shading) but equally beautiful view. His forms and locales are very well done, with each character looking very similar to the way they are most well known, though Dillon’s own unique touch is added. The coloring by Guru eFX is smooth and vibrant, though the obvious theme of red throughout the team can make it a bit more grating on the eye, especially in scenes with Ross and Deadpool, who wear almost completely red all the time. The color becomes too much at time, but more often than not, the environments and characters look terrific.

Summary: Thunderboltsis off to a great start thus far, with an interesting introductory mission to a team that is sure to be full of surprises. Each team member is looking to play a major role at some point, though thus far, not all members are featured equally. While this, and the overuse of red in the costumes and tinting are a detraction, they are not enough to stray away from this title, which so far has been action-packed, with a bit of the old Wilson humor shining through. Dillon is showing great control with his artwork, and Way is showing that he doesn’t need the Merc With A Mouth to run a great book (though his presence is helping), as he takes on several major Marvel characters and makes them his own in a fun way. This is a book that will look to make a major impact in the near future, and these Thunderbolts will do so in a way that only they can.

The Good: Fun, Well Done Writing, Vibrant Artwork

The Bad: Characters Aren’t Equally Featured

The Ugly: Too Much Red At Some Points

Score: 8.5

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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