By Andy Diggle (Writer), Robert De La Torre (Art), and Frank Martin (Colorist)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: The Thunderbolts: Secret Invasion arc, while definitely (and surprisingly) entertaining, put the series in a perfect spot for a new creative team to take the ball and run with it. Now the question is whether Andy Diggle and Robert De La Torre can capture the same manic energy that made the Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato Jr. run such a success. I have high hopes.

The Story: While Norman Osborne plays politics and soaks up some post-Secret Invasion praise in Washington, the rest of the team tries to sort out what the future holds in store. To say much more would really ruin the issue, as most of it consists of short segments that go a long way towards establishing the new status quo that Andy Diggle will be working from. However, I will say that it looks as though the team is in for one hell of a shakeup.

What’s Good: I really like the position of the team in this issue. Each character is given time to shine (Norman Osborn in particular) and, for the most part, prove why he or she was placed on the Thunderbolts in the first place. Writer Andy Diggle clearly understands the dark, conflicting nature of team and uses it to great effect. As such, the issue is almost as unpredictable as the team, itself and that, readers, is a good thing.

What’s Not So Good: My biggest complaint is that a few of the characterizations just feel a bit off. The Radioactive Man segment is slightly confusing and I feel that Songbird comes across as a bit too vulnerable. Also, the artwork seems to be in need of an extra layer of polish. Everything looks nice enough, but there is an inconsistency to the work in regards to the level of detail used in each panel.

Conclusion: The new creative team is off to a good, yet slightly flawed start. That said, I am really looking forward to where they’re planning to take the Thunderbolts in the near future. If you have been waiting for a chance to check out Marvel’s team of anti-heroes, now’s the time to jump aboard. It looks like this is going to be a crazy ride!

Grade: B-

-Kyle Posluszny

A Second Opinion

I largely agree with what Kyle’s saying here.  As Thunderbolts picks up a new creative team, this is the perfect spot for new readers to check out what is easily Marvel’s most mean-spirited and vicious team to date.  I was disappointed to learn that Warren Ellis was leaving the title, but having enjoyed his work on The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One, I remained optimistic when I read that Andy Diggle would take over.  I’m pleased to say that he does not disappoint.  I was not as bothered by Diggle’s characterizations of Radioactive Man and Songbird, feeling that the focus of the issue was to introduce the cast to readers who would not have been familiar with Ellis’ take on them.

Also, I loved Robert De La Torre’s art;  although I would agree that the quality of his inks seemed inconsistent.  Like Kyle, I’m excited to see where Diggle and De La Torre go from here.  I felt this was a solid start from a worthy creative team, and would strongly encourage any undecided Thunderbolts readers to pick up this issue and give it a try!

Grade: B

-Tony Rakittke