Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thunderbolts #144

Hey all, it's just going to be this one review tonight, as I've been struck down with a severe case of the “mehs”... What exactly is a case of the mehs you ask? That's when you're on vacation and you just don't really feel like doing anything... So yeah, it's just a case of the vacation doldrums. Vacation doldrums or not, I will have a new installment of Flashback Friday up tomorrow, but let me tell you in advance, it's probably going to be a brief post, since this week has been rather busy for me. With all of the activity at the beginning of this week, I just haven't had many opportunities to lounge around and read copious amounts of comic book back issues. But that's tomorrow, let's get to tonight's review first.

Thunderbolts #144: Writer: Jeff Parker. Pencils: Kev Walker.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Review: We start this new era of the T Bolts off with Steve Rogers asking Luke Cage to take over the Thunderbolts program, since Luke knew what it was like to go from prison to super-heroics. After some hesitation, Luke agrees to do it... But come on, if the original Captain America asked me to leap off a cliff, I'd be looking for the nearest mountain! From there, Luke heads to the Raft, which is the primary prison for super-powered offenders. Luke meets up with original T Bolt Fixer, who introduces Luke to the Ghost, who is the first of Luke's new T Bolts. After talking to Ghost, Luke heads inside and meets up with Songbird(another former original T Bolt), and the two recruit another original T Bolt, Moonstone, to join Luke's team. Luke next heads down to the Ultra-Block, where the REAL powerful villains are held, and meets up with the Juggernaut. Luke isn't exactly keen about putting Juggy on the team, but after an impassioned plea from Prof. Xavier, Luke relents and offers Juggy a chance to make amends. Next up Luke heads to the cell of Crossbones(?!!?)and offers him a chance at being a T Bolt, which Crossbones gladly takes. Why Crossbones? Luke's advisors figured that Crossbones would be such a heinous person to place on the T Bolts, that most of the new T Bolts would gravitate away from Crossbones and towards Luke, which is what Luke's advisors wanted to see happen. From there, Luke meets up with original T Bolt Mach V, who takes Luke to Hank Pym. Pym then leads Luke to a room in the sub-basement of the Raft, where the Man-Thing was being held. Pym explains that Man-Thing would serve as the team's transportation, opening portals to wherever the T Bolts needed to go. After a quick meet and greet with Man-Thing, Luke gathers all of the other T Bolts and takes them outside of the Raft to run through some maneuvers. However, while Luke was mid-way through a speech to his new team, he is struck down by a large undersea craft. All of the new T Bolts watch surprised as the door to the craft opens up and former T Bolt's leader, Baron Zemo emerges and tells the T Bolts that he was offering them a chance to escape the Raft, so long as they pledged allegiance to him!

What I Thought: Not bad, not bad at all! This issue was going to go a LONG way in deciding whether or not I'd bother continuing with this series, or whether I'd be dropping it. After reading this comic, I can firmly state that I'll be sticking with T Bolts for the foreseeable future. I was... unsure about Luke Cage becoming the leader of this team, but thankfully Jeff seems like he'll be writing Luke more as the character from the old “Heroes for Hire” series(which I really liked), and not like the BENDIS-ized version of the character from “New Avengers”(which I didn't like). Being a huge fan of Juggernaut(maybe the ONLY good thing to come out of Chuck Austen's Uncanny X-Men run was the way he wrote Juggy), I was very pleased to see him join this team, and I REALLY hope this leads to Juggy returning to the side of the angels, because much like Riddler in the DCU, Juggy is a way more effective/interesting character as a hero type, as opposed to a common, ineffective villain. As for the other characters, I don't really like the addition of Crossbones, he's the type of character that could never reform, so why bother putting him on the T Bolts, although his inclusion WAS adequately explained. I like Moonstone, so she's a plus, and I have no feelings one way or the other for the Ghost or Man-Thing, so for the most part, I'm pretty happy with this version of the T Bolts. My one real gripe was with the end of this issue, with Baron Zemo... Now I KNOW Zemo switches sides more then just about any other comic book character, but I was under the impression that he was currently a hero(or at least an anti-hero), not a villain... Hopefully he's actually working with Luke and is only trying to see which of the new T Bolts would be willing to betray Luke, if not, I'm going to be a wee bit annoyed...

Score: 8 out of 10.Well, if nothing else, adding Crossbones to the mix will make things very interesting!


  1. That's funny, on The Arl's blog he said he hated Juggernaut as a hero and wants him to go back to a villain... how about that. :)

  2. HA!!! Damn, that IS funny! He's got to be the Bizarro version of me! That would explain EVERYTHING!

  3. Lol I'm waiting for the big showdown, I'll bring some blue Kryptonite :P

  4. I have a major case of the "mehs" right now too. I've been planning to do some review-writing all day, but when I finally sat down to do it tonight...meh.

    Oh well, we'll see what tomorrow brings!

  5. Ah JT... You'll have my back, right? :P

    Yeah Marc, I REALLY didn't feel like doing this review at all... I was originally going to post this, Thor #610 and Deadpool #22 tonight, but when I put the computer on, I was like, "Um, that's NOT gonna happen..."

  6. Cool, I'll be looking forward to both of those. I'm feeling especially interested in Deadpool at the moment since I just read a whole trade's worth of him. Probably will be next week's review, unless I change my mind (which is entirely possible!).

    I HATED Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny. God, just thinking about it gets my blood boiling. I'll admit, though, that Juggernaut turning good guy was an interesting idea, even if it wasn't executed as well as it should have been.

    I was reading an issue of X-Men Legacy maybe a year ago, and I was really disappointed to see Juggernaut being a bad guy again and talking about how he'd just been faking before, which is totally ridiculous. The character simply isn't smart enough to pull off that kind of a hoax, and I find it hard to believe that his connection to Squidboy wasn't real to at least some extent.

    Oh, and which Heroes for Hire series are you talking about? The one from the '70s with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, or the one from a few years ago that tied into Civil War, WWH, etc.? (I'm not even sure if that recent one had Cage in it, since I never read it.)

  7. You know it X, if I can tell you guys apart :P

    Marc you being on a Deadpool kick is awesome, I'm looking forward to that review. And Also seeing what X gives Deadpool 22, I think I gave it a 8 or something.

  8. Yeah, I kind of go into and out of Deadpool moods(sort of like the FF). I'm currently on a DP kick because of Daniel Way and JT actually. I'll second JT's looking forward to the DP review Marc.

    Ahh, Chuck Austen's Uncanny run... Talking about that run can seemingly turn the most mind-mannered X-fan into a snarling, furious beast! It wasn't great, there's no doubt about that(the Draco storyline is one of the worst X-stories, nay, comic stories I've EVER read, and that's really saying something!), but I hold it in slightly higher regard then most X-fans since it was during Chuck's run when I got back into comics. I did like a few things such as Juggernaut's turn(although I never really took to Squidboy), the sheer stupidity that was the Havok/Polaris wedding, and even some of the hokie Guthrie storyline, but yeah, looking back at things, Grant's New X run was SO much better then Chuck's Uncanny run it's almost unbelievable. Still(and I take lots of flak from X-fans for saying this), it wasn't as bad as some other runs on Uncanny... Compared to Chris Claremont's last Uncanny run, Chuck's Uncanny run looks good! Now please, don't throw things at me! :P

    If I'm thinking of the Legacy comic you're talking about Marc, I hated it so much I think I basically reviewed the entire thing using slang and horrible humor... Man did I hate that comic...

    The first one(the 70's one)but even more so there was a(VERY)short-lived Heroes for Hire series from the mid 90's or so which I really enjoyed. As for the most recent HfH, I think I have a few issues that x-over with Civil War or Secret Invasion or WWH or something, but it was so bad, I dropped it once the x-over ended...

    I won't give away my Deadpool score here, but I will say that it was an even number(and a half!)... We were a bit off score-wise with that comic I think JT.

  9. Being put in the same sentence as Deadpool and Daniel Way may be one of my proudest blogging moments, and I actually mean that haha.

    Uh oh, I'm guessing you didn't care for the return of our former Deadpool Alumni. And I checked, I gave it a 7.

  10. I actually re-read the first two arcs of Austen's Uncanny about a year or year and a half ago, and they weren't as bad as I remembered. They were still bad, for sure, but not horrendous. Taken about five issues at a time, I guess it's not such a hard pill to swallow. I have yet to revisit trash like The Draco though, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to.

    Also, my guess for X's Deadpool score: 10.5!!! :)

  11. Was the Juggernaut as a good guy the same time he did/didn't/totally did/absolutely didn't/turns out it was a clone who did it/no it was the real deal/nah, wasn't/completely was slept with She-Hulk?

  12. She-Hulk was the "clone," not Juggernaut. And actually she was supposedly a She-Hulk from an alternate universe where people entertain themselves by going to other universes and posing as their "doubles." Yeah, it was really dumb.

  13. I think the main reason Austen's Uncanny run has such a bad name(besides the fact that it was only mediocre at best, is the fact that it was coming out at the same time as Grant Morrison's New X-Men. I mean, if looking back, Uncanny was going to look like trash compared to New X! Grant was def doing some of his best work on that series. I'd wager that if you gave a comic fan who wasn't collecting at the time one of those Austen's Uncanny trades, while they wouldn't be blown away, they'd probably be... um, less then satisfied, but more then disgusted!

    Ugh, the She-Hulk/Juggernaut thing... So far as I'm concerned, that WAS She-Hulk, and that WAS Juggernaut! Yeah, I get that it was a HORRIBLE idea and all, and that Dan Slott(I think he was the She-Hulk writer at the time...)didn't like it, but it happened, and the explanation was prob worse then the act(but only by a little bit)!

  14. The funny thing is that I think it actually took a few years to retcon it, mostly because fans kept talking about it and Slott wanted to shut them up. I'm pretty sure the reason he dreamed up such a stupid explanation was to show fans he thought the whole topic itself was stupid.

    One X-Men run that got the short end of the stick thanks to Morrison's being so great was Joe Casey. He was the writer before Austen, and other than Stacy X (who was fairly stupid, but not yet as stupid as Austen ultimately made her), I thought his run was really, really good.

  15. Peter David had some fun with the She-Hulk/Juggy situation during his run as She-Hulk writer I think. Man, that's one of those things that I bet Marvel wishes they could just sweep under the rug, where it would never see the light of day again!

    Mmm yes, Joe Casey's run(what little there was...)WAS quite good! I recall thoroughly enjoying the X-Corp storyline(I think it ran right after Uncanny #400)but that's really all I remember about Joe's run... I think he was the guy who called Chamber up to the X-Men, so I def appreciated that.