Current writer: Jeff Parker
Current pencils: Kevin Walker
The Thunderbolts have had a lot of lineups over the years but the concept of the team has stayed the same. A group of super villains try to change their ways and become heroes. Some people on the Thunderbolts have achieved that goal. Mach-5, Songbird, Radioactive Man, and more have become true heroes. Others however never wanted to change; Bullseye, Venom, Crossbones. These issues of change and trust make the Thunderbolts unique from other super hero team books. Most teams just have to fight the bad guys. The Thunderbolts might be fighting alongside the bad guys.
The newest Thunderbolts lineup is one of my favorites. Most of the members are currently being held in the Raft, a special prison built to hold super powered beings. Juggernaut, Ghost, Songbird, Moonstone, Crossbones, Man-Thing and Luke Cage make up the team. This team offers up a lot of very different personalities and backgrounds. Luke Cage is their leader. He is a big deal in the current Marvel universe. He became one of Captain America’s biggest allies during the Marvel civil war. He leads one of the Avengers teams. He volunteered to lead the Thunderbolts because he believes people can change. Except for Crossbones.
Jeff Parker has really captured the voice of each character and creates a very fun and interesting team dynamic. My favorite character on the team is Ghost. Ghost isn’t really an evil person. He is a conspiracy theorist and his world view can lead him to do bad things. Jeff Parker makes him a character you want to like but could turn on the team for any number of reasons. So far, Ghost has been completely reliable and I hope that continues. Crossbones is great too but for the opposite reason. You forget what a horrible person he is while he’s helping the team, but every once in a while he reminds you what he’s capable of. I’m excited to see what Jeff Parker’s plan for Crossbones is as the series continues. I want to see how every team member takes advantage of the chance to be a Thunderbolt. Hopefully some redeem themselves.
The Thunderbolts have been on a lot of fun and varied missions like fighting SHIELD agents turned to monsters, undead ninjas, and trolls from Asgard (during which I hope they met a new team member named Troll). Their overall mission is to clean up messes that Norman Osborn made while he was in charge. This leaves a lot of room for cool missions in the future.
Kevin Walker’s art is fantastic. His style is unique and fun. Each Thunderbolt looks great, especially Juggernaut. If each issue was just a Kevin Walker drawing of Juggernaut I would still buy it. His action scenes are clear and frenetic. One particular scene had three different fights happening at once. The top of both pages had one fight, the middle another and the bottom the third. The result looks awesome. I hope Walker stays on Thunderbolts for a long time. If not, I will follow him to whatever other books he works on.
The Thunderbolts is one of the most interesting team books in the Marvel Universe. I don’t know which members will become heroes, if any. I do know the ride to find out is going to be great.