By Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Carlo Barberi, Carlos Cuevas & Israel Silva
A new writing team has joined Thunderbolts for this issue, and with new writers usually comes a new jumping on point. Bens Acker and Blacker fail to disappoint, delivering a read that feels fresh and energetic. The book begins the Punisher vs. The Thunderbolts story arc and whilst we don’t get to see fighting on a large scale yet, you can tell that it’s only going to be a matter of time. Right now the roster of Thunderbolts consists of Deadpool, Punisher, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Red Hulk and Red Leader, and all but the latter two also have their own ongoing series.
The Thunderbolts are a team that fight evil on their own terms in a way that the Avengers and the X-Men cannot. We open with them taking out a threat to the Avengers without their knowledge, and things progress from there. Thunderbolts #27 is laying the groundwork for the series to follow, and it should be interesting to see where Bens Acker and Blacker take this book from here because they have impressed so far with a handy jumping on point for newcomers.
It’s a great week to be a Punisher fan, so if you’re a fan of Frank Castle then you’ll want to pick up this book if you’re not already because he looks like he’s going to be the main focus of the book for the next arc at least, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens following that literally explosive cliffhanger. Punisher’s not just busy in this book – others that fans have to keep an eye out for are his teamup with Dr. Strange in Original Sin #4, but also his own solo ongoing, Punisher #7. It’s been fun to see the character with as much exposure lately and Punisher fans should really get something out of all three books.
It’s not just Frank Castle that gets all the page time. It’s great to see the rest of the cast in action as well – Deadpool steals the scene – when the group go to a High School he makes a reference to “21 Jump Street”, and uses blood to write “Punisher Sucks” on walls, much to the annoyance of the Punisher himself. So Deadpool fans will get something out of this book as well – and it’s got great appeal for fans of pretty much the entire roster – because Bens Acker and Blacker show that they’re confident writers and time will tell whether they will be able to sustain the good form that this book has gained so far.
Artistic wise, Carlo Barberi handles the pencils. And delivers some very solid artwork. He impresses with some great work on bringing the various members of the Thunderbolts to life, and like Bens Acker and Blacker, it’ll be great to see him stick around on the book for a while. The inks from Carlos Cuevas along with Israel Silva’s colours also help enhance Barberi’s artwork, making it look a lot better than it normally would. David Yardin handles the cover and it also looks amazing and further reinforces the fact that Thunderbolts is in the right hands even after the departure of Charles Soule.
In short then, Thunderbolts #27 is amazing. It’s an excellent stat from a new creative team with an arc that has the potential to be a lot of fun. How will Punisher fare against the Thunderbolts? We’ll find out the answer soon – and when things really kick into gear you won’t want to miss out. Recommended.