Out of all the Marvel NOW titles, Thunderbolts might just be the most disliked. Why? It’s not properly using the characters. This book has perhaps the most interesting team to grace comic pages, Venom and Deadpool? Electra?! Yet they aren’t being used in the best way. Another reason why no one is liking this series? The story sucks. From the opening issue we’ve really had almost no idea what the heck is happening. Still, I never thought it was a bad series, and despite popular opinion thinking otherwise, I thought the previous issue was actually pretty good. I was hoping from there it would get better. I was wrong.
Here’s the official description from Marvel:
• The return of the gamma-powered MADMAN!
• The Thunderbolts first mission is going off the rails!
• Can the team trust the Red Hulk to lead them?
It starts out with Punisher on the ground from being pummeled by Red Hulk. The former had shot the Leader in the previous issue, so Ross was pretty mad. He grabs the shot-in-the-head Leader and jumps away. Now the team, led by…Venom in a way, is now on a mission to rescue Electra, and then that’s that. Of course, they’ll have to deal with Madman first. Daniel Way is a good writer, but he’s really striking out here. A good majority of it is flashbacks. There’s nothing wrong with flashbacks in theory, except here the longest one is about Jalek Awa. The problem? Nobody cares. Not the characters, not the readers…it’s just a waste of time. Another problem is Madman. I will say that it was pretty cool when he was revealed in the previous issue, a great scene. Here he’s thrown away. There are few good things about this issue. The only thing I can really think of is that Deadpool is funny.
Maybe it would have been better with good art, because it’s not that great here. The faces look really awful, cringe worthy even. There’s virtually no fights, so the art didn’t get the chance to showcase what it could really do.The main cover is very good, gives you the impression this Madman will give the team trouble. (Hint: he doesn’t.) The variant continues the red background tradition, this time starring Deadpool. Generic, the main cover is far superior.
Overall, Thunderbolts may just be the worst Marvel NOW title. This issue wasn’t good or fun, it’s filled with stuff nobody cares about. I will say the fact that the team no longer trusts Red Hulk will make for an interesting plot point in the coming issues, but at this point this book is going to end by Issue #8.