Thunderbolts is currently in the middle of a crossover with Deadpool called “Magnum Opus,” and this particular issue is the second of four, two in each book. Now, I understand with the this sort of mini event, both series are bound to compromise, but this issue feels its doing all the compromising, and the sudden and massive shift in tone and style is jarring. But despite this, I still find this series interesting, even if it hasn’t been the most consistent caliber book since Warren Ellis’ departure.
I think the overall tone of the book is what is the most obvious and difficult part of this issue. For some time now, Thunderbolts has been a dark series filled with lots of drama between characters who really, really want to kill each other. But now, the team is united against Deadpool in an almost light-hearted and very silly extended fight sequence. The first half is narrated by Deadpool himself and as such, it’s supposed to be funny, a little silly, and certainly very aware of itself. But unfortunately, the entire book never fully recovers from this shift, and the book becomes a Deadpool book. Even the scenes with the Thunderbolts are very over the top, emphasizing a level of incompetence within the team. Widow has a line about being “crazy as a badger,” only to be corrected by Norman Osbourne to crazy like a fox, and even the language is overly colloquial, using lots of “fer” and “hadda” and “woulda” types of expression. However, the story is still entertaining in it’s own light hearted way. A highlight for me would have to be the clever penis joke hidden in the first fight scene, which is just plain funny to see Andy Diggle get away with. But really, the entire issue was a bunch of fighting with very little room for any intrigue or depth, which is disappointing considering those are the qualities which really makes Thunderbolts worth reading.
As for the art, as soon as I saw the first page I cringed, remembering the art switch during the Secret Invasion tie-in, which was overly, well, comic book like. It was a flashback to the nineties and the story matched it. Now this series is experiencing the same thing again, a big change in order to do some internal promotion. So the art really didn’t sit well. But Bogo Dazo can make action sequences full of explosions and guns, his pencils have tons of energy. The characters are flying all over the place and the fighting is very chaotic. Dazo is a great choice for an issue that is a fight and no flavour.
5/10 Drastic shift in tone and art to have some internal promotions. Diggle has some funny parts.