Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 2

thunderbolts classic volume 2 cover kurt busiek
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Good character development

The big reveals is a bit jumbled

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Thunderbolts (Volume 1)/Heroes for Hire (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Kurt Busiek/Roger Stern/John Ostrander

Artist:  Mark Bagley/Jeff Johnson/Pascual Ferry/Ron Frez

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2012


Thunderbolts (1) #10

Reprints Thunderbolts (1) #6-14 and Heroes for Hire (1) #7 (September 1997-May 1998).  Baron Zemo’s plans are coming to fruition.  The Thunderbolts have gained the world’s trust, but Zemo also realizes that some of the members are no longer playing heroes…they are becoming them.  With Jolt rallying the Thunderbolts to be something more and the return of the Avengers and Fantastic Four, it is time for Zemo to hatch his plan…and the Thunderbolts might not know what they really signed up for.

Written by primarily by Kurt Busiek with help from Roger Stern and John Ostrander, Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 2 collects the “big reveal” of the popular series.  Featuring art by Mark Bagley, Jeff Johnson, Pascual Ferry, and Ron Frez, the collection features a crossover with Heroes for Hire and a summation of what was occurring in that book at the time of the crossover.

I loved the Thunderbolts at the time of these comics and was a reader of the series.  This collection has what readers all were waiting for…what would happen with the villains were found out.  I was rather surprised that it happened so quickly, but it was a smart decision.


Thunderbolts (1) #12

Busiek could have easily dragged out the “who are the Thunderbolts” a lot longer after Heroes Return limited series which ended the Heroes Reborn timeline.  Instead, he decided to jump the gun a bit and have the secret come out in Thunderbolts (1) #10 (January 1998) with the world (and Jolt) learning the Thunderbolts real identities.  I like the previous issue with Black Widow uncovering the truth and offering a warning to Songbird and Mach-1 and this was a good follow-up…though I did find Zemo being the spoiler a bit weak since it seems that regardless of the Thunderbolts loyalties, remaining incognito would have been more advantageous to his plans.

The reveal takes the comic into a whole different direction.  The first little Kosmos storyline after Zemo’s plot is resolved does give a hint to the future of the team and how the book becomes an even bigger game of chess with Meteorite/Moonstone continuing to manipulate the team who doesn’t know what to do…plus, you have Zemo and Techno as lurkers in the background.

Thunderbolts was a fun series under Busiek’s helm.  The comic continued to evolve and change and wasn’t just a one trick pony like it could have been.  The Thunderbolts have been interesting characters throughout the series (and following series) so it is worth checking out this collection.  Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 2 was followed by Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 3.

Related Links:

Thunderbolts Classic—Volume 1

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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