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Thunderbolts #9 [Marvel Comics] Review

Posted on May 23, 2013 AT 08:58pm

Things are getting a bit complicated in the world of the T-Bolts in the latest issue of their series. With Deadpool all head-shot, the rest of the team are facing off with some gamma powered villains in some very familiar armor. There is a couple of surprising people showing their hands as being a part of not only the Kata Jaya incident, but the skirmish with these armored powerhouses as well. Rivalries still run deep inside the team, with Venom and Red Hulk having verbal sparring matches, Deadpool, Elektra and Punisher still having some weird love triangle and the rest of the supporting cast (The Leader and Mercy) still doing their thing, which usually means dialing phones for Red Hulk or messing with Venom’s head.

Daniel Way’s run on the series is nearly up, but he’s looking to give the book a great send-off. While the action was high and the plot progression pretty low on this installment, it’s still a fun ride, as it’s always been. The dynamic of the team is shaky at best, and that is when team books are at their most interesting. This arc and the last, which blend together a bit, seems to be running a bit long, though. Might be for that very reason. Linking the first and second arcs so tightly is causing the plot to feel like one big plot point, which, while interesting, is getting a bit tired. This arc will be wrapping soon, however, with Charles Soule taking over the title in the near future. Way, however, puts up another great issue here, showing he knows how to run the team dynamic.

Phil Noto seems to be having a great run on this title, as well. The pencil work is clean and defined, with the colors by Guru eFX popping as they always have. The colors are a bit brighter than they should be, but that’s become the norm for this title, so it’s much more tolerable. The entire interior of the title looks good, though. Each character is well done, unique and recognizable from their previous incarnations (though there is a penchant for high cheekbones). The painted covers, however, have yet to impress. While obviously skilled, Julian Totino Todesco isn’t being given great direction as far as design goes. While this is a subjective view, there is still way too much red to go around in each cover, which is not something appealing to the eye.

Summary: While the original excitement of the series has faded a bit, this remains to be a well done title. The plot is running a bit long between the first and second arc’s, and the impending departure of Daniel Way looms like a cloud of the title, but this book has enjoyed some great success thus far. The artwork by Noto and Guru eFX is gorgeous, and despite the visually unappealing covers, the inside of this book is terrific. Still definitely worth a pick up.

The Good: Solid Writing, Stellar Artwork.

The Bad: Plot Beginning To Drag, Unappealing Cover

Grade: B

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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