Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thunderbolts #137

Rick Remender doesn't capture the voices of the Tbolts exactly right in this fill-in. Ant-Man is a little stupider than he is normally, Paladin is a little more evil, and the Ghost isn't as hard to pin down; they're all pretty much bad guys. That said, I like the idea for the story here. Osborn is so mad at Luke Cage for betraying him that he has captured Iron Fist and has successfully brainwashed him into joining the Thunderbolts. After sending the team after Cage, there's a nice little sequence where Iron Fist has to cast off his programming to side with his best friend once again. Remender does a great job with the banter during the battles, his jargon-spouting Scourge was very enjoyable. I liked Ant-Man's predicament too. We don't see villains stuck in a heroes gut for most of an issue very often. I really dug how powerful Remender's Heroes for Hire were. Iron Fist kicked the crap out of just about everyone and Cage was unstoppable. They really came across as pillars of the Marvel U, which was fun to see.

The gore factor is pretty high here. When Osborn snatches Iron Fist, he kills a bunch of Rand employees and orders the death of even more. I understand the plot reasons these folks needed to be taken out, but man, I do question the need for such a high body count. I think the point could have come across without so much death. I think Remender and I have very different views on how much collateral damage is necessary to get a dramatic point across.

Mahmud Asrar did a good job keeping things looking consistent with the normal art in Thunderbolts. Ghost, Headsman, Scourge, and the Heroes for Hire looked exactly on model. Paladin's modern suit looked a bit off, but that seems to be difficult for a lot of artists.


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