Robot 6

New writing team gives ‘Thunderbolts’ a shot in the arm


[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of Ben Acker and Ben Blacker; they’ve been wowing me with their incredible old-time radio podcast, The Thrilling Adventure Hour. This isn’t their first comic book either, as they both brought The Thrilling Adventure Hour to graphic novel life, wrote Wolverine: Season One and were also tapped to write Deadpool Annual #1.. There’s really nothing new about this title, as they don’t even start with a #1; instead, we pick up mid-shenanigans with Thunderbolts #27.

And yet there’s something about this new writing team that feels really exciting. Charles Soule had worked miracles on the title since they decided “Thunderbolts” was a better team name for a Red Hulk strike team and really brought the disparity between all these traditionally loner heroes working some darker adventures. Acker and Blacker keep that theme running, reintroducing us to “not the Avengers” in a direct manner.


It’s an unusual book for sure that didn’t get off to the best of starts, but has now settled into a steady groove of violence, secrets and dirty deeds. This team has no reason to stick together (thus their first story arc seems to pit Punisher vs. the rest of them), and Acker and Blacker — along with artist Carlo Barberi — relish in that friction enough to start their run off with a bang. Or a boom, as the case maybe.

There’s nothing to tell you that this is an incredible comic, just a solid issue with highly entertaining characters, drawn expertly to tell a fun, action packed tale. No bells, no whistles, no ad campaign, no #1 on the cover. Thunderbolts #27 is a diamond among the holofoil covers, a dependable comic that does exactly what it says on the cover and promises to entertain you every step of the way.






Damn, if they don’t title at least one issue “Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap” it will be a real missed opportunity.

Aw man, gonna miss Soule on this book – I’ve been enjoying the absolute hell out of his run on it. These preview pages look promising, though!

This was a great beginning to the new story arc. Lots of twists and turns and many questions raised. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Great, every marvel character i despise in one team…

Before this article, I never bput together how great a team name this was for the Red Hulk, ala General “Thunderbolt” Ross.

Rollo Tomassi

June 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm

When Dan Way originally pitched the book, he jokingly said he wanted to call it Thunderbolts’ with the apostrophe at the end, so it was possessive.

The article mentions Deadpool Annual 1 and suggests it’s coming out in the future, when it actually shipped last year. Acker/Blacker also wrote last years Thunderbolts Annual 1, which is how they got the job for the ongoing.
Both annuals are hilarious and they’re the reason I’m giving Thunderbolts a third shot.

Thanks Rollo; I edited the article to reflect that.

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