Marvel Comics 2016
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Jon Malin
Coloured by Matt Yackey
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
The Thunderbolts were bad guys pretending to be good guys...until some of them realized that they actually liked being good guys. But their checkered pasts landed them in Pleasant HIll, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s reality-bending super-prison. Bucky broke them out on the condition that they protect Kobik (the sentient Cosmic Cube that created Pleasant Hill) and help him with his mission. But the mission isn’t going so well: Kobik almost killed Moonstone as part of a game, and then the team was forced to torch a warehouse full of alien pods that resembled Inhuman Terrigen cocoons to prevent a hostile invasion. Naturally that didn’t go over so well with the Inhumans…..
So far this whole team building exercise by Jim is going great. With the exception of Moonstone who let’s face it has always been the most extreme opportunist around the rest are basically willing to be good guys. So this newest incarnation while used to working together have a whole new set of complications to deal with and with Bucky in charge added to the whole Pleasant Hill experience so there’s a whole new set of challenges to face.
With the events of last issue and the arrival of Crystal and the Inhumans well things just went from bad to worse. Though I have to wonder when did the Inhumans go so far off the reservation? I mean of all people Crystal shouldn’t be the shoot first ask questions later kind of girl. Is this all part of Marvel’s larger plan to really use the Inhumans as the next big threat to the universe or at least a catalyst.
While majority of this issue is a fight it’s what happens afterward that really should grab the attention. By leaving Crystal and her people alive and unharmed after saying his piece Bucky just takes the team and goes. Then with Maria’s assessment of things well let’s just say she continues to have cloudy judgment and leave it at that. Then there’s her conversation with Steve Rogers and well yeah. This is why I like Jim’s storytelling he can weave things into the story that really has the potential for something bigger and it’s just interesting.
I do like that Norbert is the one who realizes the danger that Kobik represents. The personalities on display here are fantastic. Between him and Karla and the rest it’s a veritable smorgasbord of conflict of interest here. While i’m still of mixed feelings of the sentient four year old cosmic cube being around at all she does make a nice catalyst for things moving forward. I don’t know if I want her being around for good yet so i’ll let Jim play this out to it’s natural conclusion in the first arc and then we’ll see how things go.
I hate to say i’m not really a fan of the work Jon’s doing here. It seems body proportions are not in synch like they should be, it’s very old image with too many lines, padding and boxiness to the work. Plus the hair for me it just looks stringy, greasy and wrong I can’t look past it. If this were an early 90’s Image book it’d be the norm but nowadays it’s just a reminder of the past and what didn’t work for me.
The potential is here for a great book and that’s all due to Jim’s writing. I look forward to seeing this evolve and grow.