His level of genius is matched only by his heroics, and in humanity’s darkest hour, he’s the hero they need the most – alas, poor humanity. Peter Cannon – the man known as Thunderbolt – is only too happy to leave civilization to face its end. Kieron Gillen teams up with powerhouse artist Caspar Wijngaard as he returns to the superhero genre with a dark, humorous and relentless love song to the genre.
Well, “Love Song” in a Leonard Cohen Love Song kind of way. Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt: saving a world he hates.
I assume that by clicking on this review, your primary question is whether you should read this book. I won’t beat around the bush; you should. Not because it’s really good (although it is) nor because the art is visceral (it is), but because it will take your expectations and knowledge of comic book tropes and laugh at them. And then, gloriously, it will honour them.
In Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 Kieron Gillen has written a really interesting comic that plays with the “Super Smart Man With All The Answers” trope wonderfully. If you’ve read Watchmen or are aware of how Batman plans for everything then you’re going to think you know how this ends (and you could be right, but you probably won’t be), but I won’t lie to you; this book caught me several times. Gillen brilliantly toys with your expectations and comic book knowledge to deliver a really fascinating and original story.
But don’t think that that if you have read, or aren’t aware of, the previously mentioned series or character that you’ll be lost. You won’t. There’s still a really good story here for you to enjoy.
Caspar Wijngaard and Mary Safro are a solid combination on art duties, and are a match for Gillen’s story. This book is visually dynamic, the darker tones matching the threat presented without ever obscuring the events depicted on page (and I’m saying that with a watermarked review copy – in print it’ll be so much better). Wijngaard’s grasp of emotion and body language here adds a level of depth to the story; Peter Cannon’s slightly stooped shoulders and his constant apathetic expression tells you as much about this man as any text will. It’s subtle and brilliant.
Much like the conclusion to the issue.
If you’re looking for something new to read that has a unique twist on the superhero story, then you can do a lot worse that Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1. This book is easily my pick of the week, and has been added to my pull list going forward.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Caspar Wijngaard
Colourist: Mary Safro Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-lhaou
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy
Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review