Saturday, July 03, 2010

Thunderbolts #144-145

Jeff Parker & Kev Walker

The Thunderbolts have been reinvented once again, the latest incarnation trying to fit this team of criminals into Marvel's new Heroic Age.  Two issues have come out so far, introducing the team as veterans Moonstone and Ghost, with Juggernaut and Crossbones.  Luke Cage is in charge of reforming the team and aiding them in carrying out their missions, and has help from a support staff that consists of former-Thunderbolt Songbird, who has recently redeemed herself, Hank Pym, Mach V and Fixer.  Man-Thing is also along for the ride as the team uses the monster's teleportation abilities for instantaneous transportation to wherever trouble may call them.  USAgent rounds out this hodge-podge book of heroes and villains as the warden of The Raft, having just been injured during Siege.

I have to say that I'm pretty disappointed with the new direction of this title.  Warren Ellis had a real vision for the team as he made them a really dark force during Civil War and Dark Reign.  While I get that Jeff Parker is tasked with fitting them into a new brighter state in the Marvel Universe, it seems to just lack that vision, which is too bad because I think Parker has done some pretty amazing things with Agents of Atlas and the X-Men.  Gone is the natural catty banter between teammates that made the dynamic beween its members so fun.  They still joke around, sure, but it's just a bit stiff and is used to help move the plot along more than to have fun with the characters and this great situation.  And Ghost, who's been a mysterious, paranoid figure, is reduced to a pretty uninteresting pale version of himself.  Juggernaut and Crossbones haven't really done much to make the team more interesting, aside from Crossbones being perhaps more evil and ready to turn his back on the team than anyone in the team's past, although Man-Thing's eerie presence is a welcome addition to the book.  Even the art seems much less exciting than past issues of the book.  I've liked Kev Walker in the past on Annihilation: Nova and the recent Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard mini-series, but I've been pretty underwhelmed on this title thus far, especially with the looks he gives to USAgent (bulky and just odd-looking) and Moonstone (never graceful or very feminine, as her personality demands).  Overall, I just think this creative team isn't a good fit for this book, unfortunately.  The Thunderbolts are going to need another facelift much sooner this time around.

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