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    Review: Thunderbolts #165

    By | November 18th, 2011
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Written by Jeff Parker
    Illustrated by Kev Walker

    WILL THE THUNDERBOLTS ONCE AGAIN FALL UNDER THE POWER OF ZEMO? Captain America and Namor have fallen before an army lead by the corrupted Human Torch. Now the only chance to keep the forces of the Red Skull from tipping the balance of war is The Thunderbolts! But for the Bolts to exist in the future, Zemo must not fall- will they switch sides once more? Jeff Parker and Kev Walker bring you the conclusion of the GOLDEN AGE THUNDERBOLTS!

    Welcome to my review of Thunderbolts, or, as I like to call it, the “please god Marvel don’t cancel this book because I really enjoy it” review.

    Let’s get to that, okay?

    Thunderbolts is a series that has had actually a surprisingly deep and successful legacy when you look at it. I’d wager when most think of it, they don’t think of it as being one of the most consistently good Marvel books, but that’s where I’d stop them. Since Busiek’s heyday at the start to Ellis’ madhouse run to Diggle’s solid follow-up, this book has been a blast to read for its entirety.

    But I have to say, I’m enjoying Jeff Parker’s run as much, if not more, than any of them.

    People always say that there simply aren’t original ideas anymore, especially in the arena of serialized fiction, but Parker has routinely taken the T’Bolts off to places (and times) they haven’t been, and this arc has been no different.

    Pairing up the runaway bad boys (and girls) of the Thunderbolts with the Invaders – particularly Namor and Captain America – has been an ingenious move by Parker, especially in this issue when you have Cap and Namor’s direct interactions with them. Such as, Satana taking Namor off to “heal” him (those aren’t normal methods for a doctor, I don’t believe) or Cap commenting as Troll cuts Human Torch-bots in half and Hyde rips their arms off, saying “if I didn’t know better, I’d think the Thunderbolts were enjoying this.” The T’Bolts by themselves are great, but with these old fashioned classic editions of heroes we know and love around, they have a great foil to make their actions stand out all the more.

    I love the way this arc is headed though, and I love that, like X-Factor in the X-Men universe, this book feels free to kind of do its own thing. Parker can tell his own story that doesn’t seem set to just move from event to event, rather, it seems to be telling a living, breathing tapestry of events. That…you know…features a small girl in an animal suit screaming “FIRE!” while carrying a huge axe.

    By the time you get to the end with the terrible “demise” of the American Thunderbolts, with the Invaders watching, pouring one out for their homies at a distance, it all just feels right. Evidently these Thunderbolts slowly make their way back through time, and with the entertainment Parker has brought so far on this arc, I’m all for it.

    I don’t want to leave out praise for the art. Kev Walker is effectively one half of the art team of this book – with the very talented Declan Shalvey as the other part of the duo – and Walker’s art is predictably energetic and powerful here. Not only that, but he pulls out his standard of nailing comedic moments as well. In particular, I loved when the T’Bolts were leaping into action and you see Hyde carrying Troll with him. There was something about that image that just made me laugh, mostly out of awesome. Walker has been killing it on this book since he joined up, and he continues to do so here.

    This book is a joy to read month in and month out. It has been great for a long time, and it is as good as ever now, bringing a lot of fun to my monthly comic reads. I know some don’t like the term “fun” when involved with comics, but come on, what else can you use to explain the awesome that is Troll. Well done Team Thunderbolts.

    Continued below

    Final Verdict: 8.5 – Buy

    David Harper

    David Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).