spankymac314's Thunderbolts #156 - Proving Ground review

Too much for one issue.

This issue of Thunderbolts covers a topic that's very interesting to me: Picking the backup T-Bolts team. We get to see a lot of great cameos between some forgotten or obscure villains, and it works really well. Unfortunately, it's also wedged into a story about the A-team going to Germany on a really vague, occult based mission, for the convenience of letting the audience get used to Satana. This story really would have worked better as separate issues. The B-team selection process is fun, if not entirely thrilling, with Shocker being absolutely my favorite new candidate. He's a villain I've always been a fan of, so I hope to see more of him in the book. The story with the A-team.......kinda feels flat, to me. I dunno, adding Satana to the team seems to have shifted the attention ratio away from the other members of the team, and directly onto her, at least for this issue. You get Moonstone, Ghost, and Juggernaut quipping a bit early on, but once we get to Man-Thing's pen, the main story becomes the Satana show. That said, the B-team antics are more than enough to balance it out. Although I will say, I was disappointed that the cover is a little misleading. Only one of the 7 villains on the cover is actually IN the book. Which is a shame, because I was looking forward to seeing Batroc(a favorite of mine), Dark Beast(ditto), and Absorbing Man(Hat trick!) in this book. That said, though, it's a solid issue. It's just  a shame that the A-team's story seems to be a tacked on way to get us used to Satana, rather than letting it happen organically. The art, as always, was fantastic. Kev Walker is great, and I'm FINALLY used to Songbird's new look. So all around aces there. Knocking one star off for the tacked on plot the A-team's going through, but otherwise, fantastic stuff.

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