Thunderbolts 150 (January 2011)

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Seeing Kev Walker draw Iron Man is frightening. I think he based the armor off a toaster.

But, once again, Walker’s able to integrate Parker’s odd fantasy elements—this issue, the majority of the action takes place in some idyllic countryside with talking frogs and such—and the issue works.

Parker shows his cards here—he plots well in advance, since Crossbones’s arc comes to an end here, with him facing off against Steve Rogers and apparently burning his face down to something akin to the “Pink Skull.” That duel isn’t particularly good; far better are Juggernaut versus Luke and Thor and Iron Man versus Ghost. Those fights develop into something. The Crossbones thing is just resolving what happens to the character (and prepping him for whatever next event he appears in).

It’s probably the best Thunderbolts issue I’ve read, but it barely stars any Thunderbolts. It’s an Avengers comic.

CREDITS

Old Scores; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Kev Walker; colorists, Frank Martin and Fabio D’Auria; letterers, Albert Deschesne and Richard Starkings; editors, Rachel Pinnelas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Thunderbolts 149 (December 2010)

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I see what Parker’s trying to do overall but it doesn’t work.

He’s even left with a confusing end narration. The rest of the issue doesn’t have any narration so I’m not even sure who’s point of view the last page’s narration is from. I suppose I could have given it some thought, but Thunderbolts doesn’t encourage much thought and I didn’t want to give it.

Parker’s apparently realized he’s been too nice to Crossbones this issue. First he has a character commenting on him being a racist nut, then he has him kill a cop for fun and frame a dead zombie ninja. But the Ghost saw, so we’ll see how long that revelation takes to come out.

Regardless, Parker still makes Crossbones the issue’s primary character in a lot of ways.

Shalvey’s art continues to disappoint. Maybe if it were bad in an interesting way….

Still, not terrible.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Declan Shalvey; colorist, Frank Martin; letterer, Albert Deschesne; editors, Rachel Pinnelas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Thunderbolts 148 (November 2010)

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I can’t believe it… I miss Kev Walker. Not for the whole issue, of course. Declan Shalvey does a fine job with all the lead-up stuff—Luke’s in New York because of the “Shadowland” crossover (which seems like it’s really lame). He calls in the team—in an abuse of his authority—to go look for a friend’s son. Parker does a good job not tying it too much to the crossover; he takes a lot of time on the Thunderbolts too, which is nice.

Although he makes Crossbones so sympathetic I’m wondering if Marvel’s going to have a white supremacist line of titles… “Tea Party Comics” maybe.

But then it gets to the action stuff and Shalvey just flops. It isn’t only about Walker establishing an action tone for the series, Shalvey just doesn’t do well. He’s got a main character apparently dying and it’s way too subtle.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Declan Shalvey; colorists, Frank Martin and Fabio d’Aurea; letterer, Albert Deschesne; editors, Rachel Pinnelas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Thunderbolts 147 (October 2010)

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Poor Parker… they stuck him with an Avengers Academy crossover. It’s set up like a “scared straight” thing for superheroes and it’s an idiotic idea. The story shows all the reasons it’s totally unbelievable anyone would willy-nilly stroll around the Raft.

And having Hank Pym as a tour guide doesn’t sound safe.

Parker uses John Walker’s situational report as the narration and it kind of works… Parker can’t do the badass Luke Cage scenes though. He has one here and it flops.

The cliffhanger gets a quick resolution (at least it feels quick) and there’s some hints Crossbones will be in for some trouble soon. But the Thunderbolts really aren’t part of this issue after that resolution. Instead, it’s Luke and Walker. Maybe one other guy, but I don’t even remember who… Juggernaut?

It’s like Parker surrendered the issue to the crossover without even trying to make it work.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Kev Walker; colorist, Frank Martin; letterer, Albert Deschesne; editors, Rachel Pinnelas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Thunderbolts 146 (September 2010)

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Once again with the Walker art… he does fine during the battle scene, but when he’s doing anything else, it’s absolutely rancid. I’m not sure why, but during regular scenes, he draws Luke as mildly deformed, like one of the Un-Men.

This issue again has the Thunderbolts fighting monsters. I wasn’t aware they were the Ghostbusters of the Marvel Universe, but so far… it seems like it. Probably because putting them up again human villains, one might have to consider Crossbones is a neo-Nazi. It makes it a little hard to believe he’s taking orders from Luke Cage. I guess the Marvel Universe is post-racial.

Parker does all right—the fight scene is better than the rest of the book. It often reads like Man-Thing is the only character Parker really enjoys writing. Maybe if it were a MAX title (it should be), it’d be better.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Kev Walker; colorist, Frank Martin; letterer, Albert Deschesne; editors, Rachel Pinnelas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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