Thunderbolts #3 Review

Thunderbolts has been one of the most disappointing comic series I’ve ever read. I say disappointing because it has so much potential. It features what might be one of the most interesting rosters from Marvel, you get Deadpool and Venom on the same team. Sadly the main reason why everyone was interested, (seeing the characters work together and how their dialogue clashes with one another) has been lacking. The first issue wasn’t a bad setup, but #2 wasn’t really that engaging. It fast forwarded the whole thing of the team meeting, which I don’t think was the wisest of moves. I didn’t go into #3 with high expectations, but surprisingly it was pretty good, definitely the best issue yet. While it still has somethings to do before becoming a recommended read, this issue is a step in the right direction.

Here’s the official description from Marvel:

The Thunderbolts are tearing their way through a bloody mission!

But will even this crew approve of the team’s NEWEST MEMBER?

Yeah, that’s right-the RED LEADER.

This one starts out with Red Hulk running into Deadpool. The latter wants to know what’s in the red package but Ross wants to know if he looked in the green package…which is housing an unconscious Leader. Meanwhile in Kata Jaya, Punisher leads an assault, Venom goes undercover, and Electra meets the big bad. Everything kinda goes out the window during the unexpected ending, now that was interesting. Daniel Way is a great writer, he wrote one of my favorite comic book arcs of all time, the Ghost Rider story ‘Vicious Cycle.’ He also wrote the rather unique (well besides being a Thing rip-off in the beginning) Venom series. He’s been handling the characters well here, but the story has been lacking severely. The truth of the matter is that we’re reading this title for the characters, so if the story is bland and the characters don’t really get any cool scenes together, the whole point of putting together a team like this is lost. The story definitely picks up here. I’ve called Deadpool a Spidey rip before, but in this issue he was definitely the highlight. The dialogue between him and Ross was really good, and what he says in the ending is sure to get a few smirks.

The most interesting thing about the previous issue was the final page, showing the Leader. He’s basically the Joker of Hulk, his main adversary and polar opposite. No one knew what his role in this series would be, so it would be interesting. Red Hulk wants to get some information from this guy then he’s going to kill him. It’s a good plot point and by the cover and description you get a sense that the Leader might actually emerge from this a main villain or an ongoing character. Well (Spoiler) the whole thing is rendered mute in the end, when Punisher shoots him dead. It’s quite a shock as we the readers and Red Hulk look down at the deceased Leader. It kinda makes his last page inclusion in #2 meaningless, but at the same time it makes you really intrigued for the next installment. We’re also introduced to what looks to be the main antagonist of the arc, which is good, since the book is lacking one. Whether or not he proves to be a good villain remains to be seen, but so far he isn’t bad. Steve Dillon can draw a really intense symbiote and everything else, but the faces, they look extremely off. Punisher has the same exact expression for every panel, and some of the other faces are just cringe worthy. The cover showcases a very nice shot of the ‘Red Leader.’ Sadly for fans of the character he doesn’t look as intense in the comic. The variant is a good one featuring Electra, her face is a little off, but still a good one.

Overall, Thunderbolts #3 is an intriguing comic. It’s definitely an improvement, in both writing and story. It’s still not the ‘great’ series it should be, but I think it’s getting there. I’m looking forward to every character’s reaction to the crazy ending next issue.


My name is Daniel (@Destroyer_199), the main guy for comic reviews here at Unleash the Fanboy. I was born in 1995 in the Big Apple, spent my formative years in Staten Island, and currently reside in the awesome state that is New Jersey.

S#!T Talking Central

  • IndigoMX9

    I agree, this book has a lot of potential but so far has just been so so. Madman should have been introduced in the first book. I really want this book to succeed, I hope things improve when Phil Noto takes over the art.