Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Jon Malin
Colours: Matt Yackey
Letters: Joe Sabino
Review by Gregory Brothers
The Thunderbolts made their first appearance in their own comic back in 1997. The Avengers had been declared dead after they helped the X-men and other heroes defeat Onslaught. As the world adjusted to this world without the Avengers a new team of heroes named the Thunderbolts appeared to help protect the citizens of Earth. In what was a highly guarded secret it was revealed at the end of issue one that the “heroes” were actually the supervillian team known as The Masters of Evil and their leader was none other that longtime adversary of Captain America, Baron Zemo. The series continue until about 2003 when the team was changed. Since then, there have been several different versions of the team and series but none have reached the critical acclaim of the first series.
Coming out of the events of the mini event Avengers Standoff this new version of the team consists of many of the original cast but lead this time by “The Winter Solider” Bucky Barnes. The reader is dropped right in the middle of the action as the team is in the midst of raiding a S.H.I.E.L.D facility to both gather and destroy information that has been collected by the government organization. Atlas, Moonstone, The Fixer, and Mach-X are all seen moving with precision, with team leader Winter Solider, through the facility on the way to their goal. Just as quickly, as the group has moved in they are out the door with their mission completed. Once back in their underground headquarters we meet the final member of the group in Kobik, who is the cosmic cube in the form of a 4-year old girl. During the down time after the first mission we get to see some of the characters interact with each other, and see the tension that exists between some of the members. During the start of the second mission the tension between some of the members begins to boil over, which leads to a cliffhanger as to what will happen next for this team. The setup in this issue is good in that it shows that even though they are a team and have set goals, not everyone is on the same page as to how to handle those goals and who should lead them. This issue is shallow on major plot points but it sets up the future well, I think if they would have given the writer a chance at a double issue some feeling of a lacking plot point could have been addressed, but it is not enough to make the issue feel like a throw away. Addressing the issue that much of the marvel Universe thinks that the members of the team are dead or missing will provide the writers with some interesting stories later on.
The Art through the issue is very much a 90’s style art. When I say 90’s style I mean that everything is drawn to the extreme, and it doesn’t get much more 90’s than the opening splash panel of the team being introduced with big muscles and guns blazing. Another example is when Winter Solider and Moonstone are having a disagreement we get a literal close-up on their mouths bearing teeth and snarling at each other. It is bright with lots of exaggerated expressions and reactions throughout. Every panel has some kind of movement in it be it in the background or on a character even during the most mundane conversation. That being said the details throughout the panels are good and when used correctly gives you a feeling of how big some of the things that this group is dealing with are.
Buy It. I think that this comic has some major potential with it. They have two separate missions within the group one being stopping S.H.E.I.L.D. from abusing its powers and the second being to follow up on possible leads that arise from Bucky’s findings as the protector as TheMan in the Wall. Not having Baron Zemo or Songbird in this group also sets up the potential for meetups that could go very well or very bad in the future, as Zemo could remind the original members that he created them, while a run in with Songbird could results in questions as to why she was able to move up to a regular Avengers team and leave her former teammates behind. If you did not read Standoff do not keep that from picking up this book as they do a good job of highlighting the major plot points of that crossover event.