Hey, we’re back to the present day! And back to Atlas and Jolt! Bucky’s decision in the past means that there is one enraged, little all-powerful being in Thunderbolts #12. Is it good?
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Jon Malin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Go ahead, try out compassion and see where it’ll get you, Atlas. Things didn’t go so well for Man-Killer.
The rest of the villains are having a grand old time, though, wailing on our heroes, and some of the ‘Bolts themselves can’t help but join in the fun. When Baron Zemo has a plan to control a cosmic cube, the easily-influenced reconsider their loyalties.
A returning guest not-so-altruistically saves what he can of the remaining team’s bacon, but things look bleak. Captain America to the rescue?
Is It Good?
In Thunderbolts #12, writer Jim Zub does a nice job of picking up where original series scribe Kurt Busiek left off with the Jolt and Atlas story. There’s no clear disconnect in the characters’ speech and personalities, which is not an easy thing to smooth over. The personae of all the team members are distinct and each feels whole, as Zub has been honing them over the last year, but as good as his Thunderbolts are, his treatment of this issue’s villains is just as poor. You can buy everyone’s motivations, but the dialogue really breaks down when Thunderball talks like a dummy and Baron Zemo uses sexual euphemisms to describe Steve Rogers.
The art by penciller Jon Malin and colorist Matt Yackey is about par for the series, with everything that statement entails; i.e. poor facial expressions and jagged lines. The colors on the supervillains are still vibrant and striking, as they should be, and the blues of crazed Kobik accomplish what they need to, but the overall package still leaves something to be desired. The team seems to have regressed from their best effort in issue #10.
Thunderbolts #12 is an average issue in a series that started slow, amped up, and is ending somewhere in the middle. The creative team of Zub and Malin have made definite strides and improvements over the last year, though the title still needs to be tied to developments in other stories to maintain relevance. If nothing else, Thunderbolts has allowed Zub to get better acquainted at Marvel as he prepares to take on a higher profile assignment in Uncanny Avengers. That book will be better for him getting the jitters out earlier.