Thunderbolts #3 review

It’s training day for the new Thunderbolts and if leader Hawkeye, Clint Barton, has his way, it won’t be a walk in the park.

The playful session is soon supplanted by real danger as New York’s latest official super-team is called away across Central Park to address a problem at the zoo. A very hairy problem.

With an array of mental and physical powers, and years on the Thunderbolts in terms of working as a unit, the Super Apes gain the upper hand.

Until, that is, the newest Thunderbolt steps forward.

Eegro doesn’t kill anyone but they do save the day. You’d think the Thunderbolts would have a party, but there’s tension between Clint and deputy leader Monica Rambeau, Spectrum.

I like Gutsen Glory, the Cable-like mystery man. I also like Eegro, the immigrant from Monster Isle. Heck, I like everyone on this team, though as an old Monica fan it’s a shame to see her being a real jerk.

Writer Jim Zub is doing a wonderful job of delivering a story that’s steeped in old Marvel lore – the Super-Apes debuted in Fantastic Four #13, Monster Isle goes back even further, to FF #1 – while feeling as fresh as an irradiated daisy. Zub’s old school approach goes so far as to include subplots, such as the question of just who Clint has been texting, and America Chavez’s power problems. Seriously, how many Marvel and DC comic books these days have actual subplots? If this mini-series becomes an ongoing, I could see Zub going full on with an A plot. B plot and C plot, the classic Bronze Age approach.

Incidental delights this time include young Power Man’s trick for keeping his strength flowing and Clint in his classic outfit. Zub is doing everything right.

Also worthy of loads of praise are guest penciller Netho Diaz and inker Victor Olazaba. I don’t know if they’ve worked together previously but here they produce wonderfully clear, open artwork with naturalistic body language where needed, and dynamic posing as the action arrives. They do an especially nice job with Eegro, who as of this issue is a marketing sensation… I’ll have an Eegro plush, please.

Credit to colourist Java Tartaglia for bright and breezy tones… New York mayor Luke Cage is still dressing in his trademark yellow and black, and looks pretty dapper. Ariana Maher and Cory Petit share the lettering assignment and I can’t see the join, the work is sharp throughout.

Regular series artist Sean Izaakse brings us the excellent cover illo, which Nolan Woodard colours with vim… the only thing I dislike is the return to the 2010s logo, which is hideous. Let’s have the original back or something entirely new.

Titchy quibble aside, I love this comic. If you’re an Olde Time fan – or a whippersnapper with taste – give this Thunderbolts return a go. I think you’ll be glad you did.

2 thoughts on “Thunderbolts #3 review

  1. I’m giving it one more issue. Comically bad teams aren’t my thing. The idiot civilian putting marketing above heroics is an annoyance as well. I’d either like t see that character either do something to actually help the team or be exposed as a Kingpin operative and intentionally hindering them. Persuasion also needs to go if they’re so superfluous they just get a panel or twwo as if the creatives were told they forgot to include her. I wouldn’t mind them jettisoning Chavez too because once again it feels like they’re failing at making her A Thing. She’s barely worked once (not her debut, oh god, that series was horrible all around) and they keep propping her up like there’s blackmail involved. Mockingbird in charge with Monica gone and Clint as her second would please me most, to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve also been hoping the marketing people are evil, surely they are! Meanwhile, there’s enough fun stuff in here that I’m putting the comic firmly in the positive column.


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