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New Thunderbolts #2

Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"Games People Play"

Writer: Fabien Nicieza
Artists: Tom Grummett(p), Gary Erskine(i), Chris Sotomayor(c)
Publisher: Marvel

There's so much to like about The New Thunderbolts which are really the old Thunderbolts until Marvel hijacked their name. The particularly Marvelian theme of villains becoming heroes is reinforced; it's been around at least since Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver became Avengers. The connectivity of the burgeoning Marvel Universe is explored and also emphasized. Really, DC should be ashamed. The book also celebrates loser villains. Really powerful villains crippled by their near complete idiocy.

In the opening, the Thunderbolts are trying to stop the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew are a marvelous group of yo-yos who have fought just about everybody and lost to just about everybody. It's nice to see the T-Bolts get their turn. The action easily displayed by Tom Grummett, Gary Erskine and Chris Sotomayor ripples on the pages and kicks off the story with unabashed excitement.

During the battle yet another loser villain--and we're talking a really obscure, low-rent loser villain from late eighties Spider-Man--throws his mask in with the T-Bolts. His reasoning is hilarious and just the kind of off-kilter rationale you expect.

Nicieza follows through with the logical repercussions of last issue's Fathom Five attack. Early on in the book, Nicieza through the anchorperson's mouth refers to Fathom Five as terrorists, and while the classification rankled me, Nicieza demonstrates that Fathom Five indeed fit the criteria needed for a terrorist designation. Furthermore, it foreshadows the cliffhanger.

While I didn't need a reminder of Waid's dismal Dr. Doom storyarc, I could not fault Nicieza's use of Reed Richards and Namor in appropriate cameo at the U.N. They also make good background use for the second group of loser villains that decide to attack. Abe's courting of Namor may also be exhibiting some long term financial planning given the historically untrustworthy nature of Baron von Strucker. In short, there's a lot going on in The New Thunderbolts and every bit of it is fun.



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