Thunderbolts #161 Review

Thunderbolts #161 Review

Sometimes this title can be one of the most frustrating published by Marvel Comics, and this issue serves as a stark reminder of this.There are some great ideas at play here by Jeff Parker, and Shalvey is supplying quirky artwork that does a great job of capturing the feel and tone that was originally set by Kev Walker prior to his arrival.And yet despite these good elements, month after month I find myself only marginally entertained by this book, and not all that interested, despite the book being one that I should enjoy, at least on paper.The execution can at times be a bit muddy, with the script being a tad overly complicated in its quest to be merely complex, and the artwork lacks cohesioin and solid detail on numerous particular pages, which is a major detriment.

An element which definitely isn’t helping this title is the fact that there really isn’t much in terms of long-term storylines or storybuilding going on between the action, despite everything else going on, and that limits how much of a connection your reader might be able to forge with the characters.The desperation call to Zemo here is definitely intriguing, and yet it is handled with very little grace and subtlety, and the ending to the issue (or rather the cliffhanger on the penultimate page of the book) reeks of being very general, and not at all being refinded and more simplified.

With Fear Itself in the homestretch, I’ve been giving some serious thought to abandoning this series altogether, despite my long history of having purchased it, simply because there is no longer as much weight for the stories and characters, not to mention consistency and a good bit of characterization mixed with logic.I’ll definitely miss some of these characters and ideas, but hopefully Daisy will be back within the pages of Fear Itself before you know it.

Thunderbolts #159 Review

Thunderbolts #159 Review

With Juggernaut now wielding a new Asgardian hammer, the Raft has been heavily damaged causing villains to escape en masse.The Thunderbolts take on damage control duty, as they try to restore order and apprehend the escaping prisoners.

To Jeff Parker’s credit, he takes what happened to Juggernaut and spins a great story of how the new Thunderbolts Beta team, the Underbolts, respond to the breakout and consider the possibility of escaping.This is a double-sized issue, with additional stories focusing on Ghost/John Walker, Moonstone and some prisoners, and Crossbones.

The most enjoyable stories are the lead story and the Crossbones back-up, as they are by far the best illustrated/written.Unfortunately, the additional back-ups aren’t anything special, with art that is substantial, and with scripts that feel rushed.

For the price of $4.99 , you’re getting an inconsistent book which starts strong, falters with two average-at-best stories in the middle, and then closes out with the solid Crossbones-centric story.