Thunderbolts #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jim Zub, art by Sean Izaakse, colours by Java Tartaglia, and letters by Joe Sabino. Hawkeye returns to his second day on the job leading the Thunderbolts. As he deals with politics and press, the team is summoned for a new mission.
With the original premise of the series established, this comic only amplifies the humour and chaos. There is a brilliant sitcom feel to the story as the plot opens on a new day with a new set of parameters. With each chapter, more burdens are placed on Hawkeye from those running the department. But there are also multiple character arcs happening that affect the line-up and the mood of the series. The tone of Thunderbolts #2 is actively hilarious, but these subplots are intriguing and taken seriously by those suffering from them. Then comes this mission featuring a bizarre monster. It is lively and fits the madness that Zub has instilled in the comic. The fight is energetic and contains brilliant set pieces, giving each team member a moment to step in and throw a punch.
Whilst the ‘rehabilitated criminals’ concept of past Thunderbolts teams is diverted in this run, being essentially a media-centric superhero group connects the present with the past. It has often been about the press and politics and creating an outside image that may not be entirely accurate on the inside.
The team is completed by the end of this issue, with a group photo to confirm. The different personalities are still meshing together, both old figures and new. Hawkeye is the centre point and the one most capable of making a mistake. He struggles with being in charge whilst not actually being in charge, constantly having to answer to someone too. Then, in the field, his authority is questioned. When he gets his moments he is a great tactician and coach, but he struggles to read the room as well. He is the perfect lead for an incredibly comedic comic. The team fills up more, and the idea of filling the right roles is brilliantly satirised. The group is large now and filled with insecurities. America Chavez has a secret that could spell disaster. The new characters have all got promise, especially the comic relief of the new addition introduced in this issue. Luke Cage is largely a cameo character, appearing at times as an overlord, and his grumpy attitude has a brilliant charm.
The art is superb. One of the most notable parts of Izaakse’s art is the extreme emotions. The facial expressions don’t stretch proportions but they are brilliantly specific and creative. This is noticeable at first from Luke Cage, whose anger radiates from his features. But Hawkeye’s press conference is filled with some brilliant reactions from him. One of the best designs is the monster that appears in this issue. He is filled with details and the blend of adorable and attempted scariness is fantastic. The action scenes are magnificent and epic. Izaakse balances perspective as there are often characters in the background and the foreground. The sense of speed and movement from characters such as America is exhilarating, allowing her to slam into the panel carrying that sensation of moving quickly. Both the costumes and the locations are stunning in their details, bringing depth to the city at large and small scales.
The colours brilliantly bring comic book chaos into a natural-looking world. The lighting is realistic for much of the comic but the costumes are enhanced in their vibrancy. This looks especially brilliant on the purple-skinned Persuasion, which isn’t overpowering as a shade. There is also a great blend of bright tones when the art does get cartoonish. This doesn’t happen often but can be seen when a character flies at speed or throws a powerful punch, boosting the energy of the comic even further. The lettering could be considered slightly small but it is still easy to read.
Thunderbolts #2 is a delight. The funniest parts of the first issue, from Hawkeye’s ineptitude to the rules and regulations chats around superheroes are even funnier when seen in practice. Zub is an excellent storyteller and controlling many story threads at the same time takes immense talent, especially one where the pace can be so intense. The characters are beginning to shine, even the ones that didn’t initially land are growing on me, and the art is an incredible bundle of fun. This second issue hooked me into the series much quicker than the first chapter, and now I’m in love.
Thunderbolts #2 is available where comics are sold.
Thunderbolts #2 is a delight. The funniest parts of the first issue, from Hawkeye’s ineptitude to the rules and regulations chats around superheroes are even funnier when seen in practice. Zub is an excellent storyteller and controlling many story threads at the same time takes immense talent, especially one where the pace can be so intense.