Evil Geek Book Report – Thunderbolts By Warren Ellis & Mike Deodato Ultimate Collection

Thunderbolts Cover

There’s still a huge chunk of “recent” Marvel history that I need to catch up on. I’m familiar with the idea of the Civil War event and its overarching concepts, but I had yet to read anything that took place during those events or in the immediate aftermath. When I heard about the Thunderbolts it was hard to not want to read more. A team of government sanctioned villains whose job was to be sent out and capture non registered super heroes very publicly and to top it off, it was run by Norman Osborn. Seriously, what’s not to like here?

The team roster was filled out by mostly lesser known villains or at least people I wasn’t familiar with.



A man who can let out power blasts that is activated by pain inflicted on him.

Radioactive Man

Radioactive Man

From China, he can emit radiation (not portrayed by Rainier Wolfcastle unfortunately).



The son of Baron Von Strucker whose dead sister’s skin covers his sword that garners him power.



Former Thunderbolts leader than has Banshee esque powers.



Who was Mac Gargan at the time (the former Scorpion) whom bonded with the symbiote during Mark Millar’s Spider-Man run.

The team is rounded out by their field leader, Moonstone 


She has a whole bunch of powers but can basically fly, had super strength and can shoot photon blasts.

And Bullseye 


Yes batshit crazy Daredevil villain and all around Marvel Universe psychopath, Bullseye. So brutal he has to stay under wraps and not appear in the public eye. I’m not gonna lie, it was great to see him in a monthly book and not have to wait for him to occasionally show up in other people’s books.

Going into this I thought a lot of the series would be the Thunderbolts being dispatched each issue to bring in an unregistered superhero. I was pleased to find out it wasn’t. In fact, in the 11 issue run (#110-121) the team is only sent out twice. Warren Ellis does an excellent job slowly revealing motivations for each member of the group. In some cases it’s redemption, in other’s it’s the chance to make some money and be able to disappear from the grid without the help of the government. Moonstone, Songbird and Radioactive Man are all former members of the team (pre Civil War) and to boot, Songbird was the team leader. As Norman Osborn put it in a conversation with Moonstone, “She’s demoted. I didn’t like her. She was moralistic and ethically confused. You on the other hand have neither morals or ethics”. So this presents an interesting dynamic with different allegiances and moral ambiguity.

Ellis shines building and highlighting these characters inter personal relationships with each other as well as the teams relationship with both Osborn as well as the media and general public. Most of the conflict throughout the book is internal throughout the team which appeals more to my sensibility and I think makes it more interesting because the team is always teetering on collapse.


I always like the idea of villain books and villain spotlights but it’s hard to do them right, but Ellis succeeds here. The arc is self-contained and does what it needs to; I just wish it was longer so that I could have more. Next stop the first arc of The Dark Avengers…

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on June 24, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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