REVIEW: ‘King in Black: Thunderbolts,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Thunderbolts #2

Thunderbolts #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Matthew Rosenberg, art by Juan Ferreyra, and letters by Joe Sabino. Having arrived at Ravencroft, the Thunderbolts discover a surprisingly lucid Norman Osborn waiting to help them. As he is expecting them, he has a plan ready to deliver to the team, per Wilson Fisk’s request. The only questions now are whether they will live long enough to pull it off and, if it will actually work.

Everyone loves it when a team comes together. The more dysfunctional they start out, the better it is when they finally start clicking. And they sure don’t get much more dysfunctional than the Thunderbolts. With the standard witty team banter replaced by cutting remarks, these villains are more likely to defeat each other than Knull. At least for now. Whether or not they can manage to come together as a team remains to be seen, but from what we see in Thunderbolts #2, it will be a rough ride to get there.

As we join our villains, they are conversing with Norman Osborn within the walls of Ravencroft. As Norman soon takes Taskmaster aside to inform him of his master plan, the other three are left idle to get on each other’s nerves. This sequence delivers my favorite moment in this book. Delivered by the least likely character to be my favorite here, and yet he is: Batroc.

As Star alludes to at one point in Thunderbolts #2, it’s hard to take a guy codenamed The Leaper seriously. But lest we forget, this is a man that has gone more than one round with Captain America. Any guy that can hang with Cap isn’t someone you should necessarily take lightly, which is made painfully clear to Mister Fear.

The planning session is cut short however as one of Knull’s symbiotic space dragons crashes the party. Soon, numerous inmates have become the thralls of Knull’s influence, and the Thunderbolts are required to beat a hasty retreat. Though not before Star can have a moment to shine a little light in a mostly negative situation. Once clear of Ravencroft’s walls, it’s time for the Thunderbolts to see about enacting Osborn’s brilliant plan. I won’t spoil what exactly the objective is, but you wouldn’t guess it in a million years.

The art in Thunderbolts #2 captures the darkness of both its locale and its cast perfectly. Much of this sense of dark foreboding is delivered through Ferrerya’s gorgeous colors. Striking reds and ominous blacks prevail over much of the story. This both creates general negativity to the story’s mood, as well as making the presence of Knull feel inescapable even though his minions are given little time in the actual story.

While the book’s mood is the most striking aspect of the story, the art also does a great job delivering on its action. Each character is shown fighting in their unique style. This variety helps the combat deliver a lot of punch, despite its brief time within the panels.

Rounding out the story’s presentation is Sabino’s lettering. While several panels comprise of multiple characters having back and forth conversations within them, Sabino keeps everything crystal clear and easy to follow.

When all is said and done, Thunderbolts #2 brings an enjoyably dysfunctional tale to its readers. With a truly surprising ending, it will be interesting to see how the team attempts to pull off Osborn’s plan.

Thunderbolts #2 is available on February 10th, wherever comics are sold.

Thunderbolts #2
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Thunderbolts #2 brings an enjoyably dysfunctional tale to its readers. With a truly surprising ending, it will be interesting to see how the team attempts to pull off Osborn’s plan.