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Review: Thunderbolts #5

Thunderbolts #5

And thus ends the latest chapter for the Thunderbolts, a story far too short, and a team that begs to be explored even more. Thunderbolts #5 wraps up the miniseries with the team confronting the big bad and reflecting on their strengths and weaknesses.

Written by Jim Zub, this latest incarnation has been a fun ride. With Clint Barton at the helm, the team has been generally a group of screw ups, attempting to fill a role both difficult and near possible to do. Luke Cage has tasked them with not only fighting the superpowered crime in the city but also wage a public relations battle none of the members are prepared for. But, behind the scenes they’ve been manipulated and attacked by an unknown force who is finally revealed in this issue.

As it goes, Thunderbolts #5 is a fine conclusion to this story arc. Things come together nicely and set things up for the future. But, it’s that future that’s a hinderance. There’s so much left to explore with this team and group of characters. It’s unknown if we’ll get the chance. And there’s the problem. There’s a lot left hanging and questions to be answered. Hopefully we get more but with all of that out there, the finale is a little frustrating.

But, Zub does a solid job of focusing on the individual characters as much as the team. This a group of characters that have a lot of confidence issues and have experienced a lot of crap in the past. So, Nightmare using them makes a lot of sense. In their battle, and after, Zub explores a lot of that really emphasizing how messed up this team is. Which, only makes me want more of them. This is an imperfect team who are expected to be perfect for the public. There’s so much to explore there, so much left to do.

The art by Sean Izaakse and Netho Diaz is solid. With Izaakse on ink with Victor Nava, color by Java Tartaglia, and lettering by Joe Sabino, the art has bit of a throwback style to it all. The grit and gritty isn’t present, but there’s more than enough trauma and drama in the visuals to up the action. Panel layouts are very unique and interesting matching the disjointed fight Nightmare is waging against the team.

Thunderbolts #5 is a fine ending to the series. But, it leaves us wanting more. Gutsen Glory and Eegro deserve arcs of their own exploring their history and backgrounds. Hopefully we get more with Zub at the hub. The series has balanced mystery, action, humor, and a great team dynamic and deserves more to expand all of that and entertain readers more.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Sean Izaakse, Netho Diaz
Ink: Sean Izaakse, Victor Nava Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

New Spider-Verse Unlimited and Strange Tales: Ghost Rider comes to Marvel Unlimited

Marvel Unlimited readers can get ready for Halloween with two all-new spooky stories this week! First, a new Spider-Man story kicks off in Spider-Verse Unlimited Infinity Comic #21now available on the appThen, on Wednesday, October 26, follow a story about Johnny Blaze facing some of his worst fears in the new one-shot Strange Tales: Ghost Rider #1.

SPIDER-VERSE UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC #21

Writer, Artist, Colorist: Gustavo Duarte
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

Available Now!

Master storyteller Gustavo Duarte writes and draws a spook-tacular Spidey tale!

SPIDER-VERSE UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC #21

STRANGE TALES: GHOST RIDER #1

Writer: Rich Douek
Artist: Ramón F. Bachs
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Editor: Mark Basso

All-new one-shot launches Wednesday, October 26

On a lonely highway, Johnny Blaze faces some of his worst fears – the other Ghost Riders, Danny Ketch and Robbie Reyes! Who will come out on top in a knock-down, drag-out battle between Riders?

STRANGE TALES: GHOST RIDER #1

Exclusive Preview: Thunderbolts #2 (of 5)

Thunderbolts #2 (of 5)

(W) Jim Zub (A) Sean Izaakse
(C) Java Tartaglia (L) Joe Sabino
(CA) Sean Izaakse (VCA) Stefano Caselli, Betsy Cola, Mateus Manhanni
RATED T+
In Shops: Sep 28, 2022
SRP: $3.99

WHO IS EEGRO THE UNBREAKABLE?
• How will his strange power help New York’s only official super hero team battle their enemies and balance their budget?
• Read on and discover, True Believers!

Thunderbolts #2 (of 5)

Review: Thunderbolts #1

Thunderbolts #1

There are those time in your life where people may look to you to lead. Most of us try to avoid it, but unfortunately those situations we often fall into. My first instance of this was when I was still active duty military. I remembered  I had to take care of a small task, but they gave me five people to do it.

The rest of my career, I often found it to be effortless, because I mostly looked for consensus. Still being thrust into it, is never a pleasant experience at first. You doubt yourself more than those who are looking to you to lead them. In the debut issue of Thunderbolts, Hawkeye get asked to lead a new group of superheroes as they pick up the pieces in New York City.

We find Clint Barton as he hides out in New York City, being on the outs with most the Avengers, he is looking for a new purpose and it just so happens because Luke Cage became mayor, he needs someone to lead the Thunderbolts.  As the city is in disarray after Kingpin, leaving the city open to menaces like Taskmaster, who is trying to pull off a heist at the exact time  Clint leads the new crew on their rescue mission. Once Clint realizes who is in play, he knows exactly how to counter  Taskmaster’s crew: Electro, Whiplash, US Agent, and the Abomination. By issue’s end, the team saves the city, but the chinks their armor also show, leaving each of them, that much more flawed.

Overall, Thunderbolts #1 is a great debut issue, which will remind fans why people love Hawkeye. The story by Zub is hilarious. The art by the creative team is enthralling. Altogether, another great addition to the superhero team genre.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Sean Izaakse
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – comiXology/Kindle

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

Thor and Jane Foster join forces in Strange Tales: Thor & Jane Foster

The next story in the series of Strange Tales one-shots launches on Marvel Unlimited! The all-new Infinity Comic follows a team-up tale between Jane Foster and Thor in Strange Tales: Thor & Jane Foster #1.

Written by Tim Seeley, it features art by Ramon F. Bachs, color by Java Tartaglia, and edited by Jordon White.

The man behind the mirror presents a team-up tale between Jane Foster: Valkyrie and the God of Thunder, Thor! Mr. Hyde doesn’t stand a chance… 

Strange Tales: Thor & Jane Foster #1

Review: Devil’s Reign: Omega #1

Devil's Reign: Omega #1

One of the things I give the finale of Devil’s Reign credit with is that it didn’t attempt to do the teaser add on. There’s been a habit of events to not deliver a true finale but follow it up with kickers that show off what’s next and spinning out of it all. Some times it works, but that feels like the exception and not the rule. Instead, Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 has that honor featuring three stories that spin out of the event and tease more of what’s to come.

Fall and Rise” focuses on the funeral for “Matt Murdock”. The world thinks Matt is dead but we know it was really his brother. There’s a lot of interesting interactions between the characters and we get a better sense of who knows the truth and who does. Writer Chip Zdarsky uses the story to debate the moral and ethical aspects of all of that while also teasing the direction for the next volume of Daredevil. With art by Rafael De Latorre, color by Federico Blee, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the story looks great and gives a nice rollercoaster of emotion leaving things in an awkward place overall.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Devil’s Reign is where it left Luke Cage. He’s now the Mayor of New York City forced to pick up the pieces.

Mayor for Hire” has Luke thinking about all of that but focusing a lot on where he’s been and where he is now. Written by Rodney Barnes with art by Guillermo Sanna, color by Dijjo Lima, and lettering by Cowles, it’s a great reminder about the character’s history. It also leaves you realizing there’s a lot to tell as this grassroots hero must balance his careers as well as fix the mess left for him.

Cleaning House” by Jim Zub, art by Luciano Vecchio, color by Carlos Lopez and Java Tartaglia, and lettering by Joe Sabino is the introduction to the new Thunderbolts. Fisk used the classic team name to deputize villains to attack heroes. This issue lays out why they’re still around and Mayor Cage’s vision as to where he should take the team.

Like Devil’s Reign itself, this “Omega” issue does a fantastic job of just being entertaining while also being a sly reflection of our reality. At the core throughout the issue is a new elected official being left a mess of an office that he has to fix after it was run by a corrupt individual. Sound familiar? But, beyond that clear parallel, the comic is just entertaining and sets things up nicely for what’s to come. If you’re interested it’s well checking out and a nice coda to the event series.

Story: Chip Zdarsky, Rodney Barnes, Jim Zub Art: Rafael De LaTorre, Guillermo Sanna, Luciano Vecchio
Color: Federico Blee, Dijjo Lima, Carlos Lopez, Java Tartaglia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Joe Sabino
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Discover the Life of Wolverine with a New Infinity Comic

X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine, a pair of interlocking series will usher in The Second Krakoan Age of X-Men! Week after week, writer Benjamin Percy and artists Joshua Cassara, Federico Vicentini, and Adam Kubert will journey across Wolverine’s history and future to deliver a transformative epic packed with revelations and exciting developments not just for Logan but for all of mutantkind. Now, as a special bonus release, Marvel Unlimited subscribers can read the first issue of X Lives of Wolverine. 

As fans enjoy the weekly event series, they can catch up on Wolverine’s complete history in the all-new Life of Wolverine #1 Infinity Comic. For the first time ever, fans can explore the history of Wolverine in chronological order! The series launches on Wednesday, January 19 exclusively on Marvel Unlimited. New issues of the 10-part series will be available on the app every Thursday (starting with #2 on January 27).

X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 (OF 5)

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Cover by: Adam Kubert

Logan. James Howlett. Weapon X. The mutant best known as WOLVERINE has lived many lives under many identities and in many places, but never before has the fate of the future been so entwined with the past!  Fan-favorite eras of Wolverine’s saga are explored anew, along with never-before-seen episodes as Logan must travel to various points in time to prevent the death of a key figure in mutant history.  But these LIVES are only one side of the story… Be here for the start of the time-shredding saga across all of Wolverine’s history, and future yet to come!

LIFE OF WOLVERINE INFINITY COMIC #1

Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Ramon Bachs 
Colorist: Java Tartaglia 
Editor: Mark Basso 

Jean Grey scans Wolverine’s mind, bringing us along with her through the memories across the long life of the mutant known as Logan, James Howlett, Weapon X, Wolverine and more! For the first time ever, explore the history of Wolverine in chronological order! 

LIFE OF WOLVERINE INFINITY COMIC #1

Review: X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

I’ve been generally down on the X books since the Hickman relaunch. Gone were the stories of individuals who, despite hatred by so many, stood up to be heroes. They were flawed. They dealt with adversity and hate. And, they often sacrificed themselves to triumph (only to come back later). The new direction for the X-Men was one of nationalism, where death was overcome, and in that, any tension. Where was the excitement when you could throw in your heavy hitters, watch them die, then just bring them back in a religious fervor. These weren’t heroes fighting for equality, these were incredibly powerful individuals who saw themselves as something more, often saying they looked down on humanity. In their cheating of death, they lost their souls and became corrupted. X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 explores that corruption as Nightcrawler continues his search for a mutant “way”.

Written by Si Spurrier, X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is a continuation of Way of X. Nightcrawler is front and center as so many pieces of the puzzle laid out since the reboot come together. It takes what feels like it should have been an “event” and compacts it to a one-shot comic. That’s impressive in many ways but also creates a read that feels a bit rushed and whose reveals never quite deliver a punch.

Onslaught has corrupted Krakoa and its various processes, building its power and growing. Nightcrawler has gathered a team to stop it and while doing so, also come up with a vision for mutantkind. This isn’t one of supremacy, it’s one of improvement and defense. Nightcrawler has attempted to bring the X-books back to their roots, planting their foot in the side of equality and positivity.

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 in many ways feels like a repudiation of the X-books of late. It takes on the nationalism and religious fervor that has permeated the reboot. It squarely challenges the “death cult” attitude the series has taken. It admits that the X-Men have lost their “soul”. It’s an interesting build up and for those who felt something was “off” in the reboot, these last few months have played out that we were correct. There was something insidious at the root of it all. But, the shift has begun to return the X-Men to fight for everyone and do what’s right for all, not just their nation.

What’s really interesting about X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is how much it adds to Fabian Cortez who plays a key role. He’s a character who you could tell there was plans for since his return but always was the sad trombone. This issue puts him front and center in many ways and creates depth for the character that was missing. What was a spoiled rich brat has some pathos we can empathize with and understand his views and actions.

The art by Bob Quinn is interesting. There’s some truly amazing panels and pages are mixed with some just less so. Character designs which should inspire and be jaw-dropping feel like let downs. It’s an issue full of ups and downs visually and never quite hits the reader like it should. Java Tartaglia provides the color with lettering by Clayton Cowles and overall, the colors pop, the lettering adds an ominous feel, but the pencils and page layouts themselves never totally click. Scenes of what should feel like near carnality breaking out feels like a rave in Zion. The tension is built but never quite visually gets there. The designs within Legion’s mind are great but are never memorable.

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is the end of one chapter setting up the next. There’s some interesting concepts within and a meta take on the X-books up to this point. It charts a new series to come hinting at a potentially fun team throwing up a lot of question. It most importantly feels like a “you were right” for all who felt something was off about the current X-Men and direction.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Bob Quinn
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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