Thunderbolts #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jim Zub, art by Sean Izaakse, colours by Java Tartaglia and letters by Joe Sabino. Hawkeye is brought in by Luke cage to lead a new Thunderbolts team, the only superheroes sanctioned to be active in New York. Fighting to rebuild the brand’s reputation, Clint Barton has to balance leading the team whilst also dealing with the politics of being part of the government.
The comic is set up well, structured in a way so that all of the information is eeked out slowly. The opening is rather humorous and filled with references and backstory before Clint is called to the new Mayor’s office. The book then jumps between the team’s new premise being explained as the Thunderbolts themselves deal with an old threat. There is a great transition between eras as their first foes are the old Thunderbolts that Kingpin employed. Many of the problems Hawkeye will have to deal with as also introduced quickly, from the bureaucracy right down to actually leading a team of new heroes. The fight is really enjoyable in itself as there is a huge variety of enemies to deal with. The foundations are rocky from the start, meaning that it will be easy for the team to crumble. The ending features many surprises, especially when the characters are involved, showing the potential for multiple story threads to unravel from this beginning.
Thunderbolts #1 is a new lineup and a new idea for this group. Gone is the rehabilitating villain, and in is the licensed heroes on a salary. That setup has been done before and although it isn’t as gripping on its own, it is the team members that will power it. Hawkeye is quite unpredictable as a leader and doesn’t always command respect, as shown early in the comic. There are also multiple unknowns and brand-new heroes. America Chavez and Power Man are great inclusions, but maybe the group is still slightly weak in power. There is another entrance by the end of the issue that will provide stability and a power imbalance against Hawkeye. Having Luke Cage as the authority figure is also very new, especially with as high a position as he’s got. Zub bringing so much unknown to the book is a risk, but it means the dynamics are largely unknown and exciting.
The art is fantastic. These heroes all look incredible. The Thunderbolts are illustrated really well. Izaakse implements a clever notion, giving some of the villains rudimentary getups. Some of them may not have been able to get to their own costumes so have improvised, leading to dynamic and unique looks inside this issue. Each hit is felt when the punches start being thrown and all of the powers are represented well. Even mind control powers from one of the heroes are depicted in an interesting and physical manner
The colours are magnificent. The abilities and energy involved are vibrant and intense, but the rich shades are prevalent throughout the first issue. Luke Cage’s yellow suit jacket is incredible and matches his iconic tone. Even when characters like America and Power Man, who have very different tones, are altered so they fit in the panel. The lettering is dynamic and easy to read.
Thunderbolts #1 is a fresh start, putting a new team to the test. Humorous dialogue and delightful art is blended with a story with heaps of potential in an opening issue that doesn’t like slowing down. It’s a team that feels different from others and that is ultimately a good thing. Whilst it is purposefully arranged to fit certain criteria, it has a refreshing lineup that carries questions with them. And the ship is unsteady before it sets off, meaning that anything could go wrong for the new Thunderbolts.
Thunderbolts #1 is available where comics are sold.
Thunderbolts #1 is a fresh start, putting a new team to the test. Humorous dialogue and delightful art is blended with a story with heaps of potential in an opening issue that doesn’t like slowing down. It’s a team that feels different from others and that is ultimately a good thing.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”