And the Marvel Now #1’s keep comin’ !
When Marvel relaunched most of their books under the Marvel Now! banner, I decided to look at it positively; as a jumping on point rather than a jumping on point. So I’ve been trying out each of the new books regardless of whether I really had any interest in them. This is one of the books I probably would have passed on otherwise, despite the fact that I’m a big fan of Steve Dillon’s art. It seemed like a forced team book trying to cash in with edgy anti-hero characters. But I suppose that’s in keeping with the Thunderbolts of the past: Originally they were villains looking to redeem themselves. Then in what was probably the most successful incarnation they were imprisoned super villains earning a pardon by working for the government.
This time around, the Thunderbolts are being run by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who moonlights as the Red Hulk. His motives aren’t entirely clear yet, but he’s trotting around the globe recruiting for the team. First, we see him essentially blackmailing the Punisher into joining up, and the issue is framed by this scene. While Ross lays the plan out for Frank Castle, we see flashbacks to him snatching up the rest of the team. He finds Venom (now being worn for black ops work by Flash Thompson) in Somalia, Deadpool fighting mimes in France, a once-again alive Elektra fulfilling a contract in Afghanistan, and a fifth as-yet-unrevealed member is also glimpsed having fought the Hulk some time ago. Judging by the track records of those involved, Ross is getting ready to do some filthy dirty work. However, while all the characters have, in their own books, had a reputation for violence, they are very different people. I’s have to imagine that Flash Thompson’s conscience will eventually come into play, and hell hath no fury like a double-amputee in an alien symbiote scorned. The Punisher might be able to handle that, though… one time I saw him punch a polar bear.
I enjoyed the first issue, but still have some doubts about the book. Daniel Way is hit or miss with me, with the majority of his hits being mini-series rather than his ongoing work. Also, I’m a big fan of Steve Dillon’s art (one of the few pieces of comic art I keep on my walls is a sketch of Herr Starr from Preacher that some friends sommissioned for me), and I love his fight scenes when it’s two dudes beating the hell out of one another, but I’m worried that a scene of Venom and the Hulk going hog wild might not work as well when drawn by Dillon as it might by a more dynamic artist. Still, though… I’m interested in seeing how this plays out and I encourage them to prove me wrong about my concerns.
At ease, Geeks!
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