Archive for Thunderbolts

Fear Itself

Posted in Avengers, Avengers Academy, Comics, Fear Itself, Fearsome Four, Heroic Age, Iron Man, Marvel, Secret Avengers, She-Hulk, The Initiative, Thunderbolts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by pieman70

ok, so this was an event I was going to miss.  Serious event fatigue has been going on in my comic buying for some time.  How I long for a wee contained event restricted to a certain family of titles, preferable the X-men while say the Avengers are allowed to carry on regardless.  Seriously, another world-changing event just over a year after the New Heroic age started?  Can’t these titles be given a chance at more than a couple of arcs before “Everything Changes?” So it’s rather annoying that Fear Itself has turned out quite so well.

Just to clarify, I’ve not been picking up the Fear Itself book, but many of the books I do collect are now Fear Itself tie Ins, see unless you’re willing to just drop a title for a couple of months there’s no escaping the huge event.

The plot, from what I can ascertain, Sin, Daughter of the red Skull has found an old Asgaurdian fear god who was so bad he was banished and removed from all of history.  This god has given her a hammer like Thor’s and sent 7 others to earth where they have been picked up by several Heroes and Villains, turning them into evil gods.  Sin has also led an attack on Washington using Giant Nazi robots.  Odin is in fact so scared he has withdrawn Asgard from earth taking all his norse gods with him.  Confused, well for someone not reading the main book it can be.  This is wat I would classify as a “Bad” crossover.  Namely you do feel you’ve missed something if you just stick to your main titles.  So much so that it took several books for me to realise I hadn’t missed an issue in between.

This criticism aside, the event itself is great.  Obviously, some heavy hitters get their own big bad to fight, such as Iron Man fighting the Grey Gargoyle or the Avengers fighting a hammer possessed Thing.  Others are involved in general fighting, such as the Secret Avengers being on the vanguard defending Washington DC from Sin’s forces, The Thunderbolts trying to secure the raft after a hammer landed and was picked up by Juggernaut or the Avengers Academy pupils involved protecting civilians.  Either way, there is a real apocalyptic feel to this event.  Society is breaking down and the problems are as much rioting, looting and people being scared as they are nazi battlemechs or godlike super-villains.

Fear itself has even got me picking up some extra Limited series.  First, Youth in Revolt.

Youth in Revolt Features Prodigy, plus many of the heroes that appeared in the Initiative, who are re-activated as a volunteer force to try to help.  Sadly a situation in Atlanta develops when Thor Girl accidentally deflects some shots from a policeman with disastrous results.  I liked this on two fronts.  First, its more about stopping looters than fighting big bads, although there is a good moment with Crossbones nearly wiping out Gravity’s team.  It’s also great if you were, like me, keen on teh whole Initiative idea.  As well as featuring Prodigy, Thor Girl, Cloud 9 and Firestar, it is jam packed with guest appearances from Butterball, to some of The Order, and ist a good read.

Second is a bit odd but worth a look, Fearsome Four.  because of the high levels of fear, man thing has been drawn to New York.  Howard the Duck recruits She-Hulk, Nighthawk and Frankensteins monster to try to prevent his friend from killing too many people.  Its quirky, Nighthawk appears to have gone a bit ga-ga since I last saw him, think more along the lines of the “God Damned Batman” but its worth it if nothing else for some serious Quack-Fu from Howard.

So, I’m still not picking up the main book, but the story is worth the disruption its caused to my regular reads.  In fact, at this rate I’ll probably pick up the trade.

The New Heroic Age – As it stands Part 2

Posted in Atlas, Black Widow, Comics, Iron Man, Marvel, Thunderbolts, War Machine with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2010 by pieman70

In part 1 I dealt with the Avengers titles.  Here’s a look at some non-avengers titles which have me interested.

Thunderbolts.

A new Status quo and a new line-up for Thunderbolts, it’s practically tradition that the T-bolts get re-organised after every big event.  This one is pretty interesting, gone is the covert wetworks squad of Dark Reign and back is the idea of Villains possibly seeking redemption.  The Thunderbolts programme is now run as an official scheme from the Raft.  Luke Cage is leader with ex-thunderbolts Fixer, Mach V and Songbird all acting as handlers to what amounts to a super powered chain gang.  The nanite restrained convicts looking for time off their sentence or merely a chance to see the outside of a prison for 5 minutes are Ex-thunderbolts Moonstone and Ghost plus Juggernaut and Crossbones with Man Thing used as a form of transport.  While issue #1 was mostly set up we get an idea of how things will work by #2 and it is interesting to see who genuinely wants rehabilitation and release and who, like Crossbones still has no chance of release.  As a sub-plot we also have the Rafts director, John Walker aka US Agent, who we last saw loosing a couple of limbs in Siege.  The limbs are still gone which is good continuity if nothing else.  What I like is Walker’s reasoning in not accepting advanced prosthetics from Pym or fixer.  He saw a potential side of himself in Nuke/Scourge, The thunderbolt who removed said limbs, and Walker still fears becoming something like Nuke.  It was unexpected and some good progression on a character who hasn’t seen growth since Force Works.  Thunderbolts has also weathered its first crossover, well I say crossover, events in 2 comics happened in the same place at the same time.  Scared Straight featured the events of an Avengers Academy story from the Thunderbolts PoV.  It is what I would class as a good crossover, in that you didn’t have to be reading both books in order to understand the plot, but hopefully it will encourage some crossover reading.  Overall while I’m not hugely enamoured with the art Thunderbolts has had a strong first arc.

Atlas

Marvel and I have something in common, we both really like the Agents of Atlas, or at least Marvel’s commitment in the face of poor sales seems to show a certain amount of love from the team formed from the 1950s avengers concept.  Atlas sees 3D man join the agents to uncover a mysterious group who appear to be pursuing him.  Its interesting stuff and good work to cover some of the discrepancies between the 1950s Avengers and the Agents of Atlas.  Marvel seems very keen for Atlas to have its own title regardless.  The backup stories featuring origins of the 1950s Avengers are a nice touch as well and I like the retro art style in these flashbacks.  In the end, its Atlas, it’s worked for me since the Agents of Atlas mini and continues to work.  I am enjoying the progression of 3D man, formerly Triathlon.  I missed the Skrull Kill crew mini, but it’s a nice touch that after killing Crusader, a Skrull who changed sides during Secret invasion, everyone hates 3D man and his life is basically in the toilet.  They’re building up further mythology of his powers making this a very interesting title.  The enemy is also interesting, creatures from the space between dimensions with the power to temporarily take control of hosts, it’s had some interesting side effects meaning Atlas has had to battle its own.

Black Widow

Another title finished its first arc sees Natasha pursued by friend and foe alike after it is revealed she had a recording chip implanted in her body to record secrets of the Avengers.  This took a good few of the elements of Widows retconned WWII past and her general extreme age and ran with it.  The real power to this and most of the good Black Widow stories in my opinion focus on her abilities as a Spy and indeed the chequered history of that career.  For all her foe eventually revealed himself as old Avengers punch bag Imus Champion so essentially it was still her vs. supervillain the use of her past and the feel and pace of the story really made this more of an action/espionage read than standard super hero fare.  Two things stood out as things I particularly liked.  The first was how dangerous Black Widow is.  She bests various spies but also stands toe to toe with Elektra and her defeat of Lady bullseye is classic.  Second is how they focus on how many good friends she has in the MU.  We see Stark, Logan and Bucky all worried for her health at one point and she receives assistance from Wolverine and Cap on several occasions.  My only real problem is that it felt a lot like a mini, but for trade purposes thats no bad thing.  Overall a strong start for the Black Widow Solo.

Iron Man

Reilly 2040 has written a pretty good piece on the new Iron Man title and I don’t feel too much need to expand on it.  I agree, its overall good, but the two main niggles for me are the ignoring of Stark’s past (Never having to rebuild his company from scratch, unless you count the two other times he rebuilt his company from scratch) and the fact that until the end of the most recent issue all we see Iron Man do is open a box.  Still there is a lot to like.  My personal favourite is the feeling of an extended family, with Iron Man, War Machine and Rescue making up the armoured contingent and people like Maria Hill and Bambina Abrograst along with the new staff of Stark Badly Named making pretty good supporting characters.  If we can get a little more Iron man action this will be a very good title indeed.

So, overall impressions on the new Heroic Age.  What I really like is the amount of crossing over characters are doing, not as official crossovers, just as an idea of an extended community of super-heroes who help each other out.  It’s actually how I thought the MU should have been post Civil War.  We see Valkerie turn up in both Thunderbolts and Avengers academy which is the first to come to mind.  There have been references to asking Steve for clarification, so we also know that everyone accepts Steve Rogers as head arbiter.  It gives a feeling that if Iron Man has a problem you get the feeling he could call up 3 squads of avengers plus extra heroes if needed and it really lends itself to a greater “Community” feeling.  Thankfully the MU is still an interesting place.

The New Heroic Age

Posted in Atlas, Avengers, Captain Britain, Comics, Heroic Age, Iron Man, Marvel, Thunderbolts, War Machine, Young Avengers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by pieman70

What, no Dark Reign sum up?  No Siege speculation.  Have you seen how out of date my blogging has got these days, my only chance is to blog about things before they happen.

In all seriousness I might comment on Siege post event, but I’m interested at the moment on how the universe is going to unfold post-Siege.  Marvel have been releasing various things regarding the new shape of the MU and it looks brighter, sunnier and happier.  Some have said this could be a response to the Disney takeover but I reckon that with a probable Avengers movie coming out marvel want the universe back on a more approachable tack.

So, what do we know about this new age, lets look at the team books that have been revealed so far.

Avengers

Marvel has released the line-up of this new team in the wake of Siege.  Line-up Includes Iron Man, Captain America (Bucky Barnes Version), Spider Woman, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Thor and Hawkeye (Clint Barton).  Its kind of a half and half, half Bendis’s new avengers, half traditional Avengers.  I’m in two minds about this, on one hand it will be nice to see a more traditional Avengers Team, I’m very happy that we’re not loosing Bucky cap just yet and that Barton is back to being Hawkeye.  On the other hand I’ve never been thrilled with Bendis writing Avengers, his work on Mighty wasn’t bad but I think there are better avengers writers out there.  It does leave at least one question; Barton is taking back his “Hawkeye” identity, what will happen to the Young Avengers Hawkeye?

Secret Avengers

This has been secretive, unsurprisingly.  We know its written by Ed Brubraker which is exciting enough, we know what the team members look like as silhouettes,  we don’t know what the team is about, what their purpose is or indeed the identity of any members, although speculation includes Steve Rogers, War Machine, Moon Knight and Black panther.  Either way this will be one to watch.

Atlas

Another go at agents of atlas, I really enjoyed the previous Agents of Atlas series and like the commitment to keep trying to get them ingrained into the Marvel Universe, and I’m also keen to see the New 3D man meet the team.  Again another good sign.

Thunderbolts.

Another interesting looking title, going back to the concept of criminal rehabilitation that existed throughout Thunderbolts but in particular in “The Initiative” period.  Luke Cage leads a team based on the Raft, Currently looks like the team will include Moonstone, Crossbones, Ghost, Juggernaut and Man Thing with the theme of criminals doing heroic acts as part of their rehabilitation.

There is also an interesting looking title called Heroic Age, not sure if it’s just a one shot or a series but it’s more of an anthology book and will see the return of Captain Britain and MI13 in a short story.  Solo title wise Iron Man has new armour and solicits show that it will feature Jim Rhodes, possibly as War Machine.  And Captain America, at least for the next story will continue to show the adventures of Bucky Barnes which is good as I can still see mileage in that concept.

What are we loosing; to my mind so far it looks like we’ll loose two significant titles.  The first is confirmed axed, that is Ms Marvel.  It’s a real shame because this title has been holding on and with a bit more promotion she could have been Marvel’s Wonder Woman.  Marvel are doing a comic featuring female heroes, but I preferred a female solo book (and with She-Hulk gone as well I struggle to think of any Marvel female solo book).

Second is Avengers: The Initiative, and while I wasn’t enamoured by the “Disassembled” story it’s been consistently good.  I like the concept (Hero boot camp) and I liked the often personal approach to stories they took.  It was an interesting book, so far no announcements of what will become of the initiative but I hope it will survive in some shape or form as it’s really been too good an idea to drop.

Thunderbolts 137 Solicit

Posted in Comics, Marvel, Thunderbolts with tags , , on July 15, 2009 by pieman70

T-Bolts137Well, this image has me very excited.  Very excited indeed.  It is the solicit for Thunderbolts 137 and it looks like 3 of the original Thunderbolts are back.

I hope this is some sort of plot where Songbird recruits some old friends to help her in her current battle with the existing T-Bolts, and most improtantly, that it isn’t some dark avengers malarky where Thunderbolts have dressed up as Mach IV and Fixer as part of a plot.

Still, count me very interested

Deadpool/Thunderbolts – Magnum Opus

Posted in Comics, Dark Reign, Marvel with tags , , , , on June 23, 2009 by pieman70

Thought I’d post a few opinions regarding the recent Deadpool Thunderolts crossover. Now, I dislike this sort of crossover, as I pointed out in the post regarding the upcoming Dark Avengers/X-men crossover, I don’t like having to pick up titles that I don’t normally pick up to get a whole story. Put it in one title or the other. That said at least I currently pick up Deadpool and Thunderbolts.

The story is based around Deadpool trying to blackmail Norman Osbourne over the information Deadpool provided that was instrumental in allowing Osbourne to get the kill shot during Secret Invasion and hence how he cemented his position of power. Osbourne sends in his new Thunderbolts team to silence the Merc with a mouth.

This was actually a very good fun story, definitely helping me to warm to the new deadpool creative team who have been a little lukewarm of late. It has good art, everyone is recognisable and at no point do layouts become confused.

My main gripe, and its quite a big one, is that this is a Deadpool story, as in, Deadpool front and centre for 90% of the time. This isn’t a bad thing, but Thunderbolts has literally finished its first arc, in fact one of the team is still to be introduced and we still know very little about Headsman beyond he has a big axe. What gets to me as a Thunderbolts reader is that for two issues I learn nothing more than Black Widow II has a fairly odd taste in men (Although the romance between her and wade was brilliant) but really, if I didn’t read Deadpool I’d really be wondering why the team I’m paying good money to follow are sidelined so soon into their run for two issues. This is the main problem, it shows Magnum Opus for what it really is, a marketing ploy. It is being used to promote both titles when really what we should have had was 4 issues of deadpool guest starring the Thunderbolts, you could even put a little boxout in Thunderbolts to alert readers that the new team would feature in Deadpool. Instead T-Bolts is stalled before it gets started by an unnecessary crossover which I think is unfair to a title that when not involved in pointless marketing gimmicks is looking to be very interesting indeed.

So, to round up, if you buy this story in a trade, I reckon there is a lot to like and not much to dislike. Similarly if you’re a deadpool fan then you’re only real qualm will be forking over for 2 more issues than normal, however for Thunderbolts fans you will be left wondering hwy you had to read a Deadpool story rather than get on with the unfolding events in the title you’d paid for.