Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis—Volume 2: Caged Angels

thunderbolts by warren ellis volume 2 cage angel cover
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Creative take on the team

Feels unfinished

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Thunderbolts (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Warren Ellis

Artist:  Mike Deodato Jr.

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2008

thunderbolts #117 cover penance

Thunderbolts (1) #117

Reprints Thunderbolts (1) #116-121 (October 2007-August 2008).  The Thunderbolts are finding that bringing vigilante heroes to justice seems to be getting easier.  When a number of heroes surrender, the Thunderbolts begin to realize that something is not right with the team.  As all their faults begin to magnify, a visit by Doc Samson to assess Penance’s mental state puts added pressure on Norman Osborn’s plans.  Thunderbolts are close to cracking…and they are all trapped together.

Written by Warren Ellis, Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis—Volume 2:  Caged Angels is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  Following Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis—Volume 1:  Faith in Monsters, the collection features art by Mike Deodato Jr.  The issues in the collection were also collected as Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis & Mike Deodato—Ultimate Collection.

Warren Ellis’s run on Thunderbolts was short but sweet.  It felt like it was really picking up…then it ended.  The second volume of Thunderbolts by Ellis is a nice follow-up to his first volume, but it feels like Ellis left it unfinished.

The Thunderbolts actually come off as pretty stupid in this volume.  They easily capture three people who refuse to register and don’t realize it is part of a plot to infiltrate the compound.  When the plan is sprung, the “team” aspect of the book really falls apart.  No one got alone since the Thunderbolts were reformed, but here, they spend most of the volume trying to kill each other.

thunderbolts #119 cover songbird swordsman moonstone radioactive man

Thunderbolts (1) #119

The problem with the book (in general) is that Osborn is totally unhinged the whole time.  I never bought him as even a realistic fake hero (like Lex Luthor as President).  Here his issues are amplified by the prisoners in the jail, and he’s completely insane.  It continues to not make sense.

One of the better aspects of this volume is the inclusion of resident Marvel psychiatrist Doc Samson.  Speedball as “Penance” was a horrible idea, and curing him begins here.  Samson also is a good foil for fellow psychiatrist Dr. Karla Sofen aka Moonstone, and the Thunderbolts in general are so screwed up that I wish Samson had stuck around.

While it is fun, Thunderbolts is so unbalanced and almost feels like it is a What If? Story at times.  The Ellis’s run on the series also abruptly ends with a lot of threads not tied up by Ellis.  If Ellis had run another two or three arcs, I think that this run would have even been better.  It was nice (and weird) while it lasted, but Ellis’s Thunderbolts doesn’t hold up in the bigger picture.  Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis—Volume 2:  Caged Angels was followed by Thunderbolts:  Secret Invasion.

Related Links:

Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 1

Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 2

Civil War:  Thunderbolts

Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis—Volume 1:  Faith in Monsters

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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