After the Civil War event-comic Marvel did the world had changed. Super-heroes had to register their identities or be breaking the law, and it led to various conflicts. The problem with this idea of putting super-heroes on a government payroll is it also meant that the crazy villains could hop on the gravy train too, and warp public opinion so as to think they were heroes. Hence, the concept of Warren Ellis' short but amazing twelve-issue run of Thunderbolts. Separated into two volumes, the first is about the dynamics of this dysfunctional team. You have Bullseye, Venom, Penance, Swordsman, Moonstone, Songbird, and The Radioactive Man (although the last two weren't all bad) and leading this team you have one of the craziest men around, Norman Osborn. How could this comic have been anything but a masterpiece?
As mentioned, the first volume focuses on the dynamic of the team and the way the media has been fooled into viewing the Thunderbolts as heroes, with various panels of television screens featuring a variety of programs discussing the Thunderbolts or super-hero registration in general. This allows Ellis to insert some biting commentary on the role the media plays in our culture when it comes to misinforming people. There even is fake toy ad where the team takes on the terrorist Captain America:
I have discussed on my blog before. There is plenty of action and other great introspective scenes in the first volume, but stuff doesn't get really crazy until the second.
|Osborn be crazzzy.|
5 out of 5 stars (for the overall series).
Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis, Vol. 1: Faith in Monsters (v. 1) for the great start.
Thunderbolts, Vol. 2: Caged Angels (v. 2) for the incredible finish.
Please Note: Volume 1 includes some other comic material like a one-shot focusing on Penance and Bullseye, or Venom being recruited to the Thunderbolts, but other than a short piece written by Ellis these are pretty unimportant and none too impressive so I just ignored them.