Thunderbolts #8 Review

Posted by Undeadpool (725 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

I’m going to try to be gentle about this: I don’t think Steve Dillon was a good fit for this book. I don’t think he did a terrible job or anything, but it’s a very action-heavy book, and his characters tend to be very stiff, so it’s good to see someone like Phil Noto, whose figures have a lot more dynamic motion to them, carrying on the artistic needs of the book. That’s absolutely critical in most cases, but particularly in a book like this that puts SO much of the emphasis on the two-fisted, guns-blazing action. Daniel Way’s writing has always seemed perfect, stylistically, for the book, and that continues to be the case here as the team realizes, and deals with, how unstable and embittered Deadpool has become over the new romance between Frank Castle and Elektra (who Wade had his eye on). Deadpool doesn’t come across as a particularly good person in this book, and I mean that in the best way: we’re reminded that while he might be the Merc with the Mouth, he’s also an absolutely merciless killer. Way’s recent Deadpool run is one of the best in recent memory, so seeing him continue to write the character is great, especially as he focuses on the characters’ pathos as much as his jokes.

This book could have been an also-ran Secret Avengers, but since the characters at play are much more discreet, it gives the book a very different tone. You get the feeling there is no “Nick Fury” or “SHIELD” reining this team in, and there’s a certain appeal to that since what they’re doing is pretty ugly at times, and the methods they use to get there are uglier still. This is like The Expendables of the Marvel Universe, but without the Seniors-only discount. It’s a lot of really great action, with everyone getting great one-liners, and just enough plot to hold the book together. Venom, in particular, has a great moment in the book.

The Bad

The book hasn’t done a great job of fully exploring nor explaining that plot. Leader’s role in this book is completely enigmatic to me, and it seems like it’s not SUPPOSED to be as mysterious as it is. He’s been robbed of his intelligence, but he has some kind of autonomic functions, and there’s a code word that he used to blow up someone’s head in previous issues, also he’s now red like General Ross, and I just have NO IDEA what’s going on with him. I was along for the ride in previous issues, but this one ends with his role as the main cliff-hanger, so having no idea what his role was or what was going on with him robbed it of a great deal of its dramatic flair.

The Verdict

Thunderbolts, as a title, has a difficult task in the Marvel Universe: a team of legitimate killers with really only one traditional "hero" (ironically Venom, of all people) in their ranks, but the book has to sustain likability of the characters, or it risks treading into Suicide Squad territory, which is a fine concept for a book, but not really what Thunderbolts is all about. What's even more impressive is Daniel Way giving the characters unexpected depth beyond what's expected of them: Punisher and Elektra finding something in each other beyond "the kill," Deadpool's surprisingly tragic heartbreak at that situation, General Ross actually back in a position of leadership, and Venom as the surprising moral center of the group. This issue's also a great jumping-on point as it's the start of a whole new story arc.

#1 Posted by k4tzm4n (39727 posts) - - Show Bio

This issue's also a great jumping-on point as it's the start of a whole new story arc. I'm somewhat tempted to give the book a second chance.

#3 Posted by Fenderxx (441 posts) - - Show Bio

I was at the comic store today, and I had this in my hand, I had dropped it 2 issues ago, but ... I may pick it up next time ... I just love deadpool and Venom

#4 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (10939 posts) - - Show Bio

Worst Marvel Book right now. Screw WAY and his terrible writing.

#5 Edited by tsaimelemoni (30 posts) - - Show Bio

7 was a huge improvement, but 8 has been near perfect. I wish we'd gotten this quality of writing from Way paired with Noto from the start.

#6 Posted by Mucklefluga (2651 posts) - - Show Bio

You can't go wrong with Noto on board.

#8 Posted by devourerofworlds (41 posts) - - Show Bio

Considering giving this book a shot now that Dillon is off it. His art was just too bulky, motionless and inexpressive for me, especially with such and an action based comic

#9 Edited by KingdomCome (19 posts) - - Show Bio

"This issue's also a great jumping-on point as it's the start of a whole new story arc."

Actually, that was last issue. You'd have known if you'd have been following/reviewing the series.

#10 Posted by The Stegman (30086 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope, not gonna give this series anymore tries, 7 strikes and you're out.

#11 Posted by tsaimelemoni (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope, not gonna give this series anymore tries, 7 strikes and you're out.

You didn't like 7? That's when it started to really improve, imo.

#12 Posted by TheBlackHood (546 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess I am in the minority that absolutely loves this book. I am down to reading only a handful of Marvel titles and my three must reads are all books that people seem to hate on: Avengers Arena, Thunderbolts, and Uncanny X-men (The one with Magneto). I am not sure why people seem to have such an issue with this series, but I love the idea of a bunch of loners stuck on a team together. To me this is a great cross between Defenders and Suicide Squad which I think works perfectly for this title.

#13 Posted by tsaimelemoni (30 posts) - - Show Bio

It does seem like most people have been pretty down on the book since the beginning, but it's not like they didn't have some cause. The book has been mediocre at best until issue 7, imo. It'll be interesting to see how good things get just before Way leaves the title.

#14 Edited by ogg927 (155 posts) - - Show Bio

Daniel Way is finally on track with this book. This story arc has been great so far. He created a complex and intriguing story leaving you on the edge of your seat. I agree with Corey, Steve Dillon isn't the right fit for this book. Phil Noto's art combined with GURU eFX's colors are fantastic. For those of you who have doubts, read Thunderbolts 7 and 8 and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

#15 Posted by sparty-dbq (923 posts) - - Show Bio

Phew! So glad to see this series bounce back after those first few turd burgers.

#16 Edited by Mezmero (999 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm with the general consensus that Dillon wasn't the best choice to start the series but there were points that Noto's art wasn't perfect either. Both Ross and The Punisher looked weird in a couple of spots. Other than that the art was great. I agree that we need to know more about Red Leader before I fully buy him as a protagonist but his presence is more indicative of the Thunderbolts namesake that the rest of the cast. Looking forward to more if this.

#19 Posted by Burns2k (15 posts) - - Show Bio

the guy is shocking at writing characters the correct way and seem's to know nothing about them! i.e venom!!! got every issue tried to like but man it's pretty stinky

#20 Posted by ogg927 (155 posts) - - Show Bio

@theacidskull: OK, I see your point. In the first story arc Daniel Way did a lot of things that were out-of-character and we all said WTF?!? This is the first time he is writing these characters other than Deadpool and I think Punisher. I imagine that he didn't do enough research and actually "read" previous stories? IMO he should have focused on the five main characters before bringing in the Leader and Mercy.

Starting with #7 Thunderbolts has become a much more engaging story then the first story arc. Our favorite characters seem more like themselves and the story has been great so far. Thunderbolts is finally living up to the expectations that fans had and the book now has the WOW-Factor!

#22 Posted by ogg927 (155 posts) - - Show Bio

@theacidskull: I hear you, I love Rulk. I was disappointed in the story at first. Everyone was out-of-character and I'm not a fan of Steve Dillon's pencils. Daniel Way's run ends after #10 and then Charles Soule takes over for two books. Marvel is says that they will announce the new team by the end of the month.

#23 Edited by tsaimelemoni (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Way is on until # 11. 12 and 13 are character issues about Punisher and Mercy respectively, and then 14 starts the Infinity tie ins under the new creative team.

Also, for those not liking Dillon, he is back for issue 12.

#25 Posted by redcordialman (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Best idea for a comic book you got punisher rulk and venom top pound out sum good stuff, Yet all I see is some CSI story line and bad bad bad art omg is venom gross.

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