By Matthew Rosenberg and Juan Ferreyra
King in Black is taking over almost every Marvel book at this point with the arrival of Knull. Some tie-ins are good, others are not so impressive. This week Thunderbolts came out with a new cast of characters. One of the things that interested me most about this title is that Star would be appearing in it. Star has been missing in action since the end of her solo series, but she’s back and on the Thunderbolts.
Matthew Rosenberg is a writer that I like to follow. He’s worked on Uncanny X-Men, bringing Cyclops back to life in one of my favorite story arcs. His work on Hawkeye Freefall was also great. Rosenberg has a way of taking characters and making them likable and relatable. Taskmaster makes sense as the leader of this group. He’s sensible and level headed and commands respect from the other members. If this book has a Suicide Squad feel to it, it’s because it lines up very similar to the DC series. Batroc acts as the comic relief in this issue, lightening the serious tone of the mission. Rosenberg does a good job of outlining why characters were chosen by Wilson Fisk. Rosenberg also uses Marvel continuity by making the villains remove their masks. This is something that Fisk has been for in Outlawed. This first issue of Thunderbolts has been a fun and unpredictable ride.
The art is handled by Juan Ferreyra for this issue. With a storyline like King in Black, the one thing that needs to be done with the art is that it needs to be dark. Ferreyra definitely delivers on that in this issue. From the opening pages, as the team meets in Wilson Fisk’s office, it’s dimly lit with little light shining in from the window. Another cool thing that Ferreyra does in this issue is that he shows the reader how big Rhino is in regards to the other characters. As the team travels on their mission, all the members are lined up and Rhino is towering behind them. He’s almost double the size of Taskmaster. The creatures in this book look cool too. Ferreyra draws them in an interesting way, and they look and feel different from other books. There is a cool panel where Taskmaster beheads a creature and Ferreyra uses all red and black to silhouetted images.
Thunderbolts #1 is a very good tie-in to the bigger King in Black event. Matthew Rosenberg takes us into the event without being bogged down by everything going on. We’re able to focus on the characters, which is what Rosenberg is best at. The pencils and colors by Juan Ferretra are unique and fitting to this story. Thunderbolts #1 is one of the better event tie-ins so far.