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Thunderbolts #20 - .NOW No Mercy Part 1 Review

5

The Thunderbolts have a massive problem. And for once it isn’t Leader nor Deadpoo shaped. Here’s a hint: it’s the bottomlessly powerful alien death near-god.

The Good

With Infinity, and the Paguro family, in the rearview, Thunderbolt Ross (hilariously NOT the original founder of the ever-shifting team) can focus on internal problems. Internal problems like Mercy, originally intended as his ace-in-the-hole, has become an unstoppable instrument of uncontrollable mass-murder. Their solution is decidedly old-school: send her to Hell where she’ll have a limitless supply of souls begging for death. And who better to be her ferryman than the Ghost Rider? Charles Soule knows exactly where the comedic line is and when to not cross it. The reference to Johnny Blaze making “two crappy movies” was that line, but it falls perfectly in with the general tone of the book, a tone of hilarity and satire. Every single team member, besides Deadpool of course, wrote the book on stoic anti-heroism, but in this book their self-seriousness is turned perfectly against them and played for just the right amount and kind of laughs. The book isn’t purely funny, though, and the humor does a great job of juxtaposing some very legitimate drama and an absolutely amazing storyline that all centers on a character who, until now, had been all but forgotten by Marvel.

Carlo Barberi brings his beautifully detailed, cartoonishly stylized linework to this issue, and it’s a seamless transition from the wild, jagged lines of Jefte Palo, bringing a more structured tone to a more down-to-Earth issue (that’s right, an issue involving a bottomlessly powerful alien deathseeker and a vengeance-obsessed hellbiker IS comparitively down-to-Earth…) I’ve been a big fan of Barberi on Scarlet Spider, so having him switch to a DIFFERENT underappreciated title is all good news in my book. Isreal Silva handles colors and handles them gorgeously. The use of shadow in this book can’t be downplayed and the ways they compare to how much color is popping out of even the darkest panels is a thing of beauty. Their work on the smooth, kinetic action is equally great to behold, everything being kept in its place and with a clear progression from one action to the next. Deadpool’s hat returns, which is always a cause to celebrate.

The Bad

There’s very little to not like about this issue and the only thing I can come up with is that it’s a little weird seeing Johnny Blaze go back to stunt-biking. Do people REALLY not know that he’s the Ghost Rider? Even if they don’t, does he really need to resort to things like ridiculous stunts to make ends meet? I get the notion of superheroes still needing to eat, and I love the opportunities afforded to poke fun at the character, but the whole thing feels a little contrived.

The Verdict

This book remains one of pure, violent fun. It’s not so vicious as to need warnings, other than for those who can’t handle any kind of humor with their dead serious characters. The art is over-the-top enough to suit the satirical nature of the book, and anytime this team travels in a van, it perfectly communicates the kind of team they are. They don’t have a Quinjet, they don’t even have a super-practical Quinjetta, they have a van. They’re the antihero supergroup and if they were a band, they’d be playing amazing fairground shows.

27 Comments
Posted by MadeinBangladesh

i liked it. Not stars but good.

Posted by cyberchop979
Edited by micah

Glad to see the series back on track after those horrible infinity tie ins

Posted by The Stegman

Well..I guess I gotta read this now...

Posted by Jake Fury

Decided to pick this up...glad it sounds good.

Posted by Maddpanda531
Posted by murderpool

Soule is a jewel. Came in the right time to save the right book.

Edited by micah
Posted by bladewolf
Edited by daredevil21134

I will pick this up for Johnny Blaze but I still don't like the Punisher and Elektra pairing

Posted by personz

I miss Agent Venom. I liked him more than Punisher and Elektra.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice. Can't wait to read it.

Edited by TheFirstLantern

This came out this week? Darn

Posted by MasterBelmont

Heard bad things about this series and had no intention in reading it (except maybe for Deadpool), but now with the inclusion of Ghost Rider and a good review, it looks like it could really be something. I'll consider reading it.

Posted by Nightwing_Beyond

I hope Ghost Rider is here to stay. If he does, him and Deadpool would finally make up my Marvel: Ultimate Alliance tag-team in an actual comic!

Edited by LSROTJ

Still calling it a pairing even though nothing has been shown or stated that they are when all there doing is just screwing each other... for god sakes daredevil21134, you just don't get it do you. But when the facts doesn't fit your argument, exaggerate or lie as much as you can about it...

At least Elektra brought up the question as to why this team is still needed. But I fail to see why this team was necessary in the first place.

Posted by TheManInTheShoe

Ha, the shape of a dead poo

Posted by redhood21

i like blaze, but am i the only one who prefers danny?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Don't have a problem with Blaze being a stunt biker, I mean that's his job, it's what he loves. It's like saying 'I don't know why Clark Kent is a journalists'

Online
Posted by X927

Thunderbolts is awesome, Charles Soule is writing a great story and Carlo Barberi's art is fantastic. I love the new base, lots of gadgets lying around. I saw Iron-man's suit by the gamma reactor.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Solid issue guys. I really love seeing GR again.

Posted by Kid_Nacho

Soule is a jewel. Came in the right time to save the right book.

Gotta agree with you there. I stopped reading for a while, but decided to pick up no. 20 based on this review. Definitely need to catch up because the writing has definitely improved. Plus this beautiful moment

Edited by GrenadeFlow

2 bad movies

Edited by daredevil21134

i like blaze, but am i the only one who prefers danny?To me Danny is better hands down

Posted by tomlikesfries

This was pretty cool, loved the "two bad movies" line.