Thunderbolts #1

by Vannary Sok on December 08, 2012


     Writer Daniel Way and artist Steve Dillon are teaming up for Marvel NOW’s new title Thunderbolts. And by the looks of it, it’s going to be a title that kicks down your front door with a hulk size engineer boot instead of politely knocking and waiting for you to open it. The cover says it all and I’ve been anticipating this one since issue one’s cover preview, which showcases the new team. The roster consists of The Punisher, Deadpool, Venom, Elektra and a rather mysterious lady, with The Red Hulk/General Thunderbolt Ross as their front man – a no-brainer since the team does share the former general’s name and it’s about time he finally leads it too.


     Being the first issue, Way focuses on introductory and set-up, making it easily accessible for new readers. General Thunderbolt Ross spends the first issue recruiting and building a team with one main goal in mind: to permanently put down menacing threats with matched force and ruthlessness. And he doesn’t plan on doing it quietly either, especially with the Red Hulk leading. Plus, with a team like this joining him, how could he?


     We have yet to see everyone working together but I am definitely intrigued and looking forward for the dynamics to come into play. Despite having their own solo endeavors and appearing to be very different from each other, Way seems to recognize that these characters do share some similarities that makes bringing them together for the team a clear choice. These are highly trained, exceptionally motivated individuals with the crucial combination of competency, lethality and will required to walk the walk because they understand the necessity to do so. I was partial to Way's portrayal of Deadpool when he was writing for Deadpool, but maybe writing him in a team rather than solo will be different. It's still too early and not enough exposure to tell just yet.


     I’m fairly new to the Red Hulk and haven’t read a lot of his stories, nor do I know much about General Ross either but I found that Way did a good job of portraying General Ross as always being well composed. This is a man who uses his soundly gained experience to execute what needs to be done, like when he carefully selects and recruits for his team.


     Dillon’s art matches Way’s writing and expectations. It’s clear these two are familiar with each other. Way is providing Dillon with big material and he’s giving back with promises of action and explosions of blood, which is already plenty so far. As someone who’s drawn fantastic work for Preacher and The Punisher, I don’t expect any less from him. He’s definitely perfected Frank Castle’s hard-lined face. The eyes on his people are notably expressive, though I can’t help but feel that everyone shares the same facial bone structure. And Elektra has an uncanny resemblance to Cher… at least from a profile view. I love the art for the cover and variant covers.


     Thunderbolts might sound like Uncanny X-Force but when the X-Force does their dirty work, they do it covertly. Not the Thunderbolts. It’s going to be loud and proud like a Michael Bay movie. If the Thunderbolts were to come kicking down my door, I wouldn’t be too upset. I’m optimistic to read more as this was all just set-up so hopefully Way can give us a great story with a memorable team.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Wombatapult's picture

This issue was actually really disappointing to me. I was really looking forward to a comic with Deadpool and Venom in it, but it looks like it's going to be a Red Hulk/Punisher fanfic with Deadpool and Venom cameos. I had faith that Daniel Way was going to (A) solidly introduce everyone and (B) set out a clear direction for the series. He did neither. 

Also, if Marvel forces Way to write his Deadpool in accordance with Posehn's, without any internal dialogue, I'm going to rampage. 

Vannary Sok's picture

"I'm going to rampage" Haha Marvel best be careful then!

Issue 1 didn't blow me away but it's still got my curiousity peaked. I feel the reason why the first issue had a bigger focus on Punisher and General Ross is because out of all of the players, Punisher would prove the most difficult to persuade into joining. But now that he's got his final player on board, I have faith that it will pick up in the next issue where we actually get to see the team interact and develop. Way's got a great set of characters to work with so I'm hopeful.

My favourite part though? (Tiny spoiler?) Deadpool and the mimes. I hate mimes. :)