Based on the cover, love is in the air and it involves Thunderbolts vet Songbird and Mach-X. This issue precedes the big 20th anniversary special, so can it get its ducks in a row before the big celebration? Is it good?
Thunderbolts #9 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the summary and see the preview to find out more.
Why does this book matter?
Ever since Jim Zub and Jon Malin took on this new series I’ve loved it from the start, from the 90’s look and feel of the art, to the ever dramatic situation of a team babysitting a living cosmic cube. The team dynamic is interesting and so far Zub has mined it for entertaining stories.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Who doesn’t love upgrades?
This is very much a table setting issue which seems to be focused more on biding its time for the next issue than actually delivering a whole story. That’s okay though, as Winter Soldier getting new arm features, Songbird settling in, and setting things up so new readers can enjoy it are all finely done. There’s some great humor too, for instance a montage as the characters get ready for battle, and there’s a bit of action as well. Zub has the team come out by the end feeling strong and ready for anything, which is a good place to be for things to fall apart next issue (presuming they do!).
Malin has some strong panels and pages in this one, from a cool full page spread of a weird alien gang (note the panties one is wearing, ha!) to a badass page of Atlas tearing a force field in two. There’s also a well rendered two panel flashback that perfectly explains how we got here. All in all the art manages to sell the humor too, which is not an easy feat.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I can’t help but feel this issue wasn’t entirely necessary as the characters aren’t very different at the end from the start. Winter Soldier getting a new arm with gadgets is fine and good, but spending three pages on it seemed too much. The opening page, which foreshadows the fight in this issue, didn’t seem all that necessary either.
The art does have its hiccups in this one, particularly early on where it looks a tad unfinished. Malin’s style is certainly basic when it comes to backgrounds, which becomes extremely evident when the Thunderbolts are chilling in their rather boring looking base. Scenes later on have plenty of detail though, so it’s obvious some panels get more attention than others.
I guess he’ll be doing a lot of killing.
Is It Good?
This is a well done table setting issue if I ever saw one. There’s humor, action, and a good recap of who these characters are and the dynamics between them. It doesn’t feel entirely necessary though and portions feel very much like filler.