Review: Thunderbolts #1

Thunderbolts #1

The Thunderbolts feels like a “team brand” that hasn’t really ever had a negative run. Some have been better than others but overall, it’s generally positive. Since the reveal from the first volume, each take has delivered it’s own spin. They’ve been villains playing heroes, a “work release” program, deputized villains, and now it’s a team on mission. During “Devil’s Reign”, Wilson Fisk banned heroes from New York City and in its place created his own Thunderbolts featuring deputized villains. With Luke Cage now Mayor, he must decide what to do. Not just the law but the Thunderbolts themselves. Enter, Thunderbolts #1 the newest volume which feels like something a little new and a little old at the same time.

Written by Jim Zub, Thunderbolts #1 is a fun take on the team dynamic. There’s a lot that’s nailed right in the debut that has the introduction to the team, the first mission, it’s vision, and a lot of hints and the strife to come. Zub keeps the comic moving with a nice pacing that feels almost musical in the beats it hits. Bouncing around the past and present we get to see how the team formed, the proposal Luke gives to Clint, the thoughts about the team in general, and more. It’s all done with a fun attitude and delivers laughs never taking itself too seriously.

Much like the team itself, the comic feels like it picks and chooses some of what has worked so well in past volumes. The crisis at the center of the team according to one group is its perception. Having just been deputized villains the “brand” needs to be rehabbed and this new team has been picked for their abilities and how well they go over with demographics in New York City. There’s a question of leadership and whether Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is the right choice. He’s not the first, is he even the best? There’s a new mysterious member who feels like a throwback to the 90s. Overall, the comic keeps the team’s dynamic front and center which has made what’s come before work so well.

The art by Sean Izaakse is good. With color by Java Tartaglia and lettering by Joe Sabino, the style fits the tone of the series really well. This isn’t some hardcore, all-action comic, it’s more an action comedy. The art reflects that. There’s a slight retro look to the comic, reminding me a bit of the original Thunderbolts, during the first volume. Some of that is due to new characters like Gutsen Glory who looks like Cable meets Garrison Kane. What the visuals do really well is capture those humorous moments. As I said, the comic is more action comedy so those visual punchlines are key and the art team does that all well.

Thunderbolts #1 is a fun start. The comic is fresh while also the best of what has come before. It sets up an interesting team dynamic, and team in general, and delivers enough mysteries to come to keep readers on their toes. It’s a solid buy for long time fans of the characters and property and those new to the Thunderbolts.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Sean Izaakse
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle