The first of those three comic reviews I promised by the end of the weekend is now done. The Civil War checklist now has a few more titles added. I’ll keep updating the list as needed.
Title: Thunderbolts #103-105
Author: Fabian Nicieza
Illustrator(s): Tom Grummett (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), SotoColor’s J. Brown (colours) and RS
& Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letters)
Original Publication Date: June, July and August 2006
Cover Price: All issues are $2.99 US. Canadian prices are $4.25 for the first two issues, and $3.75
for the third. (This August marks the second time that Marvel has reduced Canadian prices on regular
issue to keep up with the changing exchange rate without changing the prices on trade paperbacks.)
Past comic reviews can be found here.
Given the general preoccupation of most heroes, the Thunderbolts are asked to help round up the
villains that are now running rampant.
“He was crazy enough to challenge me.”
Cap is being presented as more stubborn than I’d have expected, particularly given that I’ve
recently reread The Avengers #16, in which he is proud to lead a team with not one but three
former villains on the path to redemption.
This does feel nicely original. It’s one of those “deal with
the devil” ideas, but perhaps this devil is no longer a devil. Moreover, it feels right for the
characters and for use as a cross-over: Zemo is played as a schemer, and he sees an opportunity to use
the current events in the Marvel universe to further his own plans. This is the right kind of cross-
over, with the big event impacting this, and with this impacting the big event. I give it 5 out of 6.
The artwork is the way I like it: consistent models, dynamic poses, and
colours that fit the tone. Great work from the entire team on this one. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story is well played, as I’ve said, naturally integrating
events from the big picture into this title, and allowing this title to impact the big picture in a
very natural way. It’s well plotted, with my only gripe being the omnipresence of Doctor Octopus in
not one, but three places in the span of two weeks. (He was captured by the Thunderbolts, irritating
Peter Parker at work, and captured by Cap’s team one after the other.) I give it 5 out of 6.
The whole thrust of this title is the characterization of the
Thunderbolts, who are all villains seeking redemption. Those villains were handled very well, though
I’m not convinced by the way some of the heroes are handled. I give it 4 out of 6.
The emotional response this produces tends to be mild
during the issue, and then spikes when the issue ends. There are some very good cliffhangers, but not
a great deal in between. I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow works fairly well. Because this depends so naturally on the normal
course of the title, there are a few elements that stopped me due to my own unfamiliarity with any but
the broadest details of the title. Once reading all three issues, most of those gaps are filled in.
Collecting this title on a regular basis would probably work very well, since the flow from one issue
to the next, and one panel to the next, is very smooth. Still, reviewing this as a piece of Civil War,
it’s a little bit shaky. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, this seems to be one of the more significant cross-overs
so far. I don’t know how the trade paperback collection will be packaged, but it may well be
worthwhile. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, Thunderbolts #103-105 receives 31 out of 42.
Civil War Review Checklist
- New Avengers:
- Amazing Spider-Man
- Fantastic Four
- Civil War 1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7, complete
- Civil War: Frontline #1-11
- Amazing Spider-Man #532-537
- Black Panther #18
- Black Panther #23-25
- Cable/Deadpool #30-32
- Captain America #22-24
- Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #1-4
- Civil War: X-Men #1-4
- Daily Bugle: Civil War Edition
- Fantastic Four #538-543
- Heroes for Hire #1-3
- Iron Man #13-14
- Ms. Marvel #6-8
- New Avengers #21-25
- Punisher: War Journal #1-3
- She-Hulk #8
- Thunderbolts #103-105
- Wolverine #42-47
- X-Factor #8-9
- Blade #5
- Captain America: Winter Soldier Special
- Iron Man / Captain America Special
- Moon Knight #7-9