Justlice LIke Marekting
As a long-time Marvel reader, I can honestly say that the 'Thunderbolts' title has rarely blown my proverbial skirt up. The initial incarnation? Rad. Every team since? Insert copious amounts of "meh" here. Which is why I'm glad they've summarily abandoned the standard T-bolts tropes. A team full of my favorite anti-heroes? Yes, please. Now, the sensible adult in me (I promise, he's in there somewhere) calmly reminded me that this team of Thunderbolts has been compiled less out of a stroke of pure creative genius, and rather a combination of an inexpensive to print color scheme and characters who generate who huge fan appeal. The thirteen year old nerd in me(less hard to find) simply does not care. Almost. To dispense with the bad early and succintly, the Red Hulk lead Thunderbolts come together in a style that can barely be considered anything other than forced. I mean, come on. A guy named THUNDERBOLT in charge of this team? Plus, the cast of this latest go at the title seems incongruous at best. Elektra's a paid assassin, so why does she suddenly care about righting global wrongs? And Frank Castle is going to join a team with not just one, but TWO death-dealing mercs? It seems as though these T-bolts weren't drawn together by a menace that only they could handle, unless of course you count driving up Marvel's monthly sales. But for all the overt fan-pandering from the Mighty Marvel Marketeers, I honestly enjoyed the ever living expletive out of this issue. Mostly, in the same way that I love the first act of Ocean's 11, the Magnificent Seven, and The A-Team. The storytelling was worthy of Way's caliber given the scope of issue one. The back and forth between various memebers being recruited while Rulk Ross persuaded the Punisher to join was paced excellently. And Way didn't sell us short on action throughout the issue, all the while making an un-hulked-out Thaddeus seem like a boss (which is a welcome contrast to the usual one-Banner-laden-tirade-away-from-a-stroke Ross that I'm used to). Dillon's artwork was spot on...sort of. It's not Dillon from Preacher or even The Punisher, but I guess it's really not supposed to be. There isn't much time this issue for Dillon to properly sink his teeth into the characters yet and show us what he can do with Thunderbolts. Needless to say, though, I have high expectations. We'll have to watch the series develop before any concrete conclusions can be drawn. Overall, I am digging the new direction the team is heading in. I would never call any of these team members villains, and they would never call themselves heroes (maybe Deadpool would, but c'mon...the guy's insane). But that's what makes these Thunderbolts so promising. At this point, I'm forecasting this Thunderbolts book elevating the title beyond merely "Avengers-Lite" or "Super Parole." And even if this is Marvel's impossibly obvious ploy to sink their hooks into my piggy bank, so far I'm willing to take that risk.