It’s been a long while since I’ve reviewed an issue of the new Marvel NOW incarnation of the Thunderbolts. In fact, my last review was for the first issue. As the first story arc progressed, I just got bored of this awesome team of The Punisher, Deadpool, Elektra, Venom, and Red Hulk dealing with fairly generic terrorists and ended up taking it off my pull list. But now this series from Charles Soule and Jefte Palo is tying into ‘Infinity’, so I thought now would be a good time to check in on some of my favorite anti-heroes in the Marvel Universe.
After wrapping up two full missions together, the Thunderbolts have had their share of internal and external problems. Love triangles, family member murders, and a whole lot of secrets would have torn apart a lesser team, but not this one. Now, it’s Frank Castle turn to choose their mission and he’s taken the team to New York City to take down a crime family that has eluded him for quite some time. However, as the events of ‘Infinity’ unfold, this team might be getting more than they bargained for by returning to this city.
One thing that I really like about this tie-in is that it gives us an interesting perspective that we haven’t gotten in this massive crossover yet. In ‘Thunderbolts’, it looks like we’ll be getting the street view of the conflict, unlike titles like ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avengers Assemble’ where we’re mostly getting the stuff going on in space. But now that the Avengers are off planet, some of these other heroes left on Earth will have to step up and fill some pretty big shoes that, in the case of these guys, they probably try to avoid filling.
In terms of artwork, Palo’s style almost looks like a caricature of a comic book. They feel more like doodles to me in many instances rather than finished products, especially in side profiles of characters. But despite my dislike of the artwork, I will say that the panel design is very good. I’m a big fan of the flashback sequence when the Punisher is sharing some background information with the team. The lines created by the scenes to carry your eye through the scenes are very cool touches. I’d go so far as to say that they’re the highlight of the issue.
Overall, my distaste for ‘Thunderbolts’ before could have been writer Daniel Way’s vision of the team. But under the leadership of Soule, I’m more interested in what’s going on. I’m definitely curious to see just how involved this team will be when Thanos and the Builders come into play, so I think I’ll have to temporarily add this title back to my list to see how things play out.
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Jefte Palo, Terry Pallot, & GURU eFX
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco