June 19, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Thunderbolts #1 (December, 2023)

The Winter Soldier puts a team together.

Huh.  This Thunderbolts team doesn’t have any of the classic members.

I mean, it’s clearly connecting closer to the upcoming live action movie, but the point stands.  This isn’t the reformed Masters of Evil version of the team.

Issue:  Thunderbolts #1, December 2023

Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing

Artist:  Geraldo Borges

The Plot:  Bucky Barnes wants to bring justice like lightning.

Commentary:  I’m not going to question too much why this Thunderbolts team, by the end of the issue, is the Winter Soldier, Countess Valentina Allegra De Fontaine, Sharon Carter (the new Destroyer), and the Red Guardian.  Yeah, I don’t think most of these characters were even Thunderbolts before, but the Thunderbolts may be Marvel’s most malleable team.  Originally the Masters of Evil faking reform under new names, this is a team that has always just been “the rough heroes working together.”

So, having the Winter Soldier approach the Countess with a plan to use intelligence he got to finally bring certain bad guys to justice, it fits the Thunderbolt brand.  It’s not the weirdest team.  I think there was a time the series suddenly became about a supervillain underground fight club or something.  I’d rather read more about the Red Hulk’s team before I go to those guys.

As it is, this issue has the heroes take on a particularly big target in the form of the Red Skull, or one of the Skull’s bodies anyway.  That tracks, and the Skull is the sort of baddie who won’t stay dead and all…but how many times have I seen the old “we’re gonna be more proactive as we fight evil!” cliche?  I know I have seen this premise before, but it is a good first issue despite the cliched premise.  In the meantime, I will wait for White Widow and the Ghost to join up.  I mean, this line-up is just for the upcoming movie, right?

Grade:  B