Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 1

thunderbolts classic volume 1 cover trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Great concept for the time

Others have duplicated the format since, Jolt is too much

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Thunderbolts (Volume 1)/Incredible Hulk (Volume 2)/Spider-Man Team-Up/Tales of the Marvel Universe

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Ken Busiek/Peter David

Artist:  Mark Bagley/Mike Deodato Jr./Sal Buscema/Steve Epting/Jeff Rebnar/Bob McLeod/Tom Grummett/Ron Randall/Gene Colan/Darick Robertson/George Perez/Chris Marrinan

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2011


Incredible Hulk (2) #449

Reprints Incredible Hulk (2) #449, Thunderbolts (1) #-1, 1-5, Annual ’97, Tales from the Marvel Universe #1, and Spider-Man Team-Up #7 (January 1997-August 1997).  Meet the Thunderbolts!  After the death of the world’s heroes in the battle with the superhuman Onslaught, the Thunderbolts rose up to fill the void left by the superheroes.  Meteorite, Mach-1, Citizen V, Techno, Atlas, and Songbird appear to the perfect team…but appearances are deceiving.  The Thunderbolts are actually the Masters of Evil and Citizen V (aka Baron Zemo) has a plan to conquer the world.  Playing heroes and being heroes are two different things and the Thunderbolts try to win the public, they find being heroes isn’t always easy.  The problem is further compounded by the arrival of Jolt…a teenager who isn’t privy to the Thunderbolts true motives.

Written by Kurt Busiek (with Peter David), Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 1 collects the first appearance of the characters in Incredible Hulk (2) #449 (January 1997) and their subsequent appearances in their own title, Tales of the Marvel Universe, and Spider-Man Team-Up.  Featuring art by Mark Bagley, Mike Deodato Jr., Sal Buscema, Steve Epting, Jeff Rebnar, Bob McLeod, Tom Grummett, Ron Randall, Gene Colan, Darick Robertson, George Perez, and Chris Marrinan, the series was an instant success and the first four issues were previously collected as Thunderbolts:  Justice Like Lightning.

I thought the Thunderbolts were a great concept.  It wasn’t about villains trying to turn over a new leaf, it was about villains actually plotting against the world who happen to begin to change.  The fact that not all the characters feel this change really adds an interesting dynamic to the story.


Thunderbolts (1) #4

This story is mostly a building story.  I even remember while reading the comic that I could figure out how a storyline could be remained past the world knowing the Thunderbolts’ identity.  Here the identities are protected, but events are already building that indicate that identities will be discovered.  Be it Hulk’s recognition of Meteorite (Moonstone), Spider-Man’s questioning of Mach-1 (the Beetle), Black Widow’s suspicion, or a slip-up by Techno (the Fixer), the Thunderbolts plan are already sliding.

Jolt is a problem.  Not only for the Thunderbolts but for the comic.  Jolt is kind of the Jason Todd of the group…I really just don’t like her.  She’s too peppy and too gun-ho to the cause.  I think the idea of adding a character to a team that has a secret plot is genius, but I wish that it had been an established character and not a hip teen sidekick.

Thunderbolts is a fun series.  It is smart and feels like a comic book.  I didn’t always love Busiek’s run on Avengers, but I did love him here.  It is nice to see that the series is remembered in a great Classic collection.  Thunderbolt Classic—Volume 1 is followed by Thunderbolt Classic—Volume 2.

Related Links:

Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 2

Civil War:  Thunderbolts

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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