Friday, April 21, 2017



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

ARTIST: Jon Malin
COLORS: Matt Yackey
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino
COVER: Jon Malin with Matt Yackey
VARIANT COVERS: Mark Bagley with Sonia Oback; John Tyler Christopher; Anthony Piper; Chris Stevens with Frank Martin
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2016)

Parental Advisory

There is No High Road: Part One “Power and Control”

The Thunderbolts are a Marvel Comics superhero team.  Over the years, the team has mostly consisted of supervillains, reformed and otherwise.  The Thunderbolts first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #449 (cover dated: January 1997) and were created by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Mark Bagley.

Marvel Comics recently launched a new ongoing comic book series featuring the team, entitled Thunderbolts, of course.  It is written by Jim Zub; drawn by Jon Malin; colored by Matt Yackey; and lettered by Joe Sabino.

Thunderbolts #1 (“Power and Control”) introduces a version of the Thunderbolts that is known as “Winter Soldier's Team.”  Coming out of the Avengers: Standoff! story line, the team consists of Winter Soldier (James “Bucky” Barnes); The Fixer (Paul Norbert Ebersol); Moonstone (Karla Sofen); and Atlas (Erik Josten); Mach-X (Abner Jenkins), and maybe Kobik.  Winter Soldier has decided to take up Nick Fury's mandate of protecting Earth from all threats, but things are complicated.

First, let me say that I am getting a kick out of the art of Jon Malin.  He seems like a third generation disciple or maybe even clone of Rob Liefeld.  If you took Liefeld's back-in-the-day work on New Mutants, X-Force, and Youngblood and made the compositions stronger or more polished, you would get Jon Malin.

I am a fan of the work of Jim Zub, especially for his work on his creator-owned series, Wayward (Image Comics), and for Samurai Jack (IDW Publishing), a continuation of the former Cartoon Network animated series.  For the past few years, I have been hoping that Zub would take over an ongoing comic book series for either Marvel or DC Comics.

That said, I am disappointed in Thunderbolts.  Not that I ever expected much of this comic book from the time I heard about it, but I had hoped that Zub would get to write a series that took advantage of his imagination and inventiveness.  I don't think this is it.  Thunderbolts is mere filler material, the also also-ran of the Marvel Comics line-up of Avengers-related team books.  I am not even going to say that if anyone can save this book, it is Jim Zub.  I don't plan on finding out.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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