Thunderbolts #3 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jim Zub, pencils by Netho Diaz, inks by Victor Olazaba, colours by Java Tartaglia, and letters by Ariana Maher and Cory Petit. After Hawkeye holds an impromptu training session, the Thunderbolts are dragged across Central Park to an encounter with the Super-Apes.
This a brilliant continuation of an extremely entertaining story. There is a tension to the comic that wasn’t there before, pressurising what was a largely comedic plot before this issue. Multiple plot threads are overlapping and causing problems, as shown from the disastrous training session. But then comes the fight, which matches the madness of the series with many of the ongoing conflicts. It demonstrates the singular nature of the members of the team as well as the political struggles within. As the cast has increased it has created more strands to the story, but their main plot of having to be this team that focuses on trends and brands and image remains a troublesome aspect. The drama is fantastic.
The cast is superb in this comic. The Thunderbolts are not a cohesive unit at all yet and that is largely due to the personalities involved. They are all strong and have large egos, especially America Chaves, Hawkeye, and Spectrum. It is the latter two that are some of the causes of tension in Thunderbolts #3 as they learn to work with each other again. Hawkeye is not a natural leader but has been put there whilst Monica is having to play by the rules and appearing to want Clint to fail. Then there is Helen, the PR manager and woman controlling so much of the team. Zub has intentionally made her irritating and has done a superb job at doing so. It is a comic where tensions can be felt.
A guest art team arrives in this issue and it is superb. This is a group of heroes that has complex costumes, yet Diaz and Olazaba seem unphased by that. The level of detail is remarkable, from the stubble on Hawkeye’s chin to the holes in America’s jeans. The costumes change as the book goes on, too, with Clint using his classic uniform and Spectrum wearing Blue Marvel’s vest. It gives the series mobility and a real sense of it having a day-by-day progression. However, there are a small number of moments where facial proportions seem off, but these are just a few instances. The battle is huge and exciting, with so much variety in the superpowers and matchups. Olazaba’s inking deserves special mention during this fight scene as the different line weights are incredible and provide fantastic depth perception.
The colours are absolutely sensational. There is phenomenal lighting as different tones are used within the same panel. For example, blue and red are often paired together despite the contrast, with yellows thrown in between. The smorgasbord of colours ramps up the energy in the panels and increases the chaos. The lettering is really dynamic with so many custom word balloons whilst still being easy to read.
Thunderbolts #3 is a comic that knows how to have fun. The cast may have been fully formed but it is nowhere near settled, with so much tension threatening to bubble over. No one in the book is comfortable and it leads to unpredictability among the characters. The enemies they face are new and rarely seen in other comics with magnificent fight scenes.
Thunderbolts #3 is available where comics are sold.
Thunderbolts #3 is a comic that knows how to have fun. The cast may have been fully formed but it is nowhere near settled, with so much tension threatening to bubble over.