Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Publisher: Marvel Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A new group of Thunderbolts aim to redeem themselves, serving as the only super hero team allowed to operate in New York under Mayor Luke Cage. Think Marvel Civil War but with the new Thunderbolts vs Wilson Fisk's Thunderbolts.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
(Minor spoilers) Taking place after the events in Devil's Reign: Omega, a group of Villians for Hire (aka Wilson Fisk's Thunderbolts) have taken three hostages, but will Project Thunderbolts be able to officially become New York's Finest? It's time for justice, like lightning! Clint Barton is itching for a new team and while trying to convince Simon Williams about bringing back the West Coast Avengers he gets an incoming call. The Mayor of New York, Luke Cage, has an interesting proposition, although it's not quite what he hoped for. Before Wilson Fisk left office he implemented a new law that banned Super Heroes from operating in New York outside of his team of Thunderbolts. With Clint Barton at the helm, can this newly appointed team successfully rebrand the image that was tarnished by Fisk's team of villains or will they end up causing just as much damage?
Jim Zub's use of exposition was constructed in a way that was engaging while providing the back story for the newly rebranded Thunderbolts.
Sean Izaakse's pencils provided highly detailed fight sequences and the destruction that follows.
Java Tartagila's colors were absolutely gorgeous and brought Izaakse's pencils to life with stunning vibrancy.
Joe Sabino's lettering brought uniqueness to each character's speech bubble with his varying designs and styles.
The balance of maintaining the story between Luke Cage and Clint while showing the Thunderbolts in action kept the pace going while building the foundation of Cage's new Super Hero Team.
The first battle of the new Thunderbolts was a heavy hitter featuring U.S. Agent, Taskmaster, Whiplash, Electro, Agony, and the Abomination.
The symmetry of self-doubt and excitement within Clint was executed well. From wanting to get the West Coast Avengers together to questioning if getting a new team was the Barton Luck or Curse.
There are multiple layers of story going on at once. On the surface, you have the new members of the Thunderbolts going up against the Villians for Hire. Underneath that Luke Cage is trying to rebrand the image of the Thunderbolts while his mistrust of Clint as the leader grows.
The ending pages with America Chavez, Gusten Glory, and Clint offer an interesting cliffhanger outside of the damages The Thunderbolts caused to the city during their recent fight.
The diversity of powers among the members offers unique combinations of fighting as seen with Gutsen Glory going up again the Abomination and nearly losing while Persuasion (newly renamed from Purple Girl) is able to gain complete control of him with a simple glance.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
The introduction of the team was rushed. It felt that the back story of the members was brief in an effort to keep the momentum moving forward.
The conflict of Luke Cage calling Clint Barton in as the leader at the beginning of the issue to second-guessing him at the end was confusing. Why spend so much time building him up only to have someone else as the top pick all along?
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Thunderbolts Vol 4 #1 shines an interesting light on the once infamous Thunderbolts. Seeing the political aspect of the rebranding of a super hero team is something not often explored. Seeing the spotlight on Clint Barton really gives him time to shine as a leader as opposed to a side character. While there is a lot going on at once, it is written and lettered in a way that keeps the pacing consistently engaging. Seeing the Villians for Hire as the new Thunderbolts' antagonist was a nice twist. The fight scenes were incredibly detailed, with an array of powers and abilities filling each panel in a memorizing manner. That isn't the only twist as we see America Chavez, Gutsen Glory and Clint Barton himself begin to experience something darker beneath the surface.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Carnage #5 by Ram V and Francesco Manna
Task Force Z #11 by Matthew Rosenberg and Eddy Barrows
Defenders: Beyond #2 by Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez
If you like the art:
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Jim Zub (@JimZub) – Writer
Jim Zub has worked for the likes of Marvel, DC, Disney, Capcom, Hasbro, Cartoon Network and Bandai-Namco
Outside of being a freelance comic writer, Zub is also a Professor that teaches drawing and storytelling courses in an award-winning Animation Program at Seneca College
Zub was nominated for an Eisners Award for Best Graphic Album-Reprint for his work with Rick and Morty VS D&D Deluxe
Sean Izaakse (@SeanIzaakse) – Artist
Sean Izaakse hails from Johannesburg, South Africa
Izaakse has credits in 122+ issues to date
Outside of Thunderbolts, Izaakse is currently working on the Fantastic Four Series for Marvel
Java Tartaglia (@javatartaglia) – Colorist
Java Tartaglia has done work for the likes of Marvel, Image, IDW Publishing, and DC Comics
Tartaglia has been credited in over 271+ issues to date
Tartaglia hails from Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joe Sabino (@JoeSabino) – Letterer
Joe Sabino is credited with lettering over 1,000 comics
Sabino won a GLAAD Media Award in 2019 for his work on World of Wakanda
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