Thunderbolts #117


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Thunderbolts #117


  • Words: Warren Ellis
  • Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
  • Inks: Mike Deodato Jr.
  • Colors: Rain Beredo
  • Story Title: Caged Angels - Part 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 24, 2007

Penance begins therapy, a prisoner rebellion looms, and what’s this? The Return of the Green Goblin!?

Of all the titles to receive a post-Civil War relaunch, none have been as successful as Warren Ellis’ Thunderbolts , a team consisting of homicidal monsters like Venom and Bullseye led by perennial favorite Norman Osborn. Eight issues into Ellis’ run and few can deny that these pages hum with a manic glee. Readers can’t help but grin at such highlights as Venom biting the arm of yet another unregistered D-list superhero, or Bullseye paralyzing Jack Flagg from the neck down.

Unfortunately, the book’s been plagued by delays as of late, and Marvel’s plan to satiate Thunderbolts hunger is to simply release mediocre one off specials and the concurrently running Penance: Relentless miniseries. This may be simple bad timing but it seems quite dubious on Marvel’s part as both books basically follow Penance, formerly Speedball, on his quest towards sanity or possibly even redemption.

And since both titles concentrate not only on Robbie Baldwin but on Osborn as well, you’d be hard pressed not to feel a sense of déjà vu when scanning these pages. However, Ellis seems to realize this potential problem. Much like the initial arc, it looks as though the focus of the book might shift as early as the next issue.

The first two issues of "Caged Angels" have served more as an epilogue to the Thunderbolts’ previous mission, but here Ellis begins laying the groundwork for a potentially explosive batch of upcoming issues. A group of unregistered psychics have willingly placed themselves in the custody of the Thunderbolts Mountain prison and it appears as though a mass rebellion is on its way.

Also, the dangling plot thread of Moonstone tampering with Osborn’s medication is finally touched on again with a shocking final page that’s sure to please the legions of Green Goblin fans clamoring for Spidey’s greatest foe to suit up once again. Another nice addition is the arrival of Doc Samson as acting therapist to Penance. Housing an actual good guy in the Thunderbolts’ midst should turn out to be very interesting with the prison rebellion looming and Songbird and Moonstone’s gambits to take over the team lurking in the distance.

Deodato’s pencils are pure gold once again. His sense of gritty realism fits perfectly with this book’s dark overtones. And his page layouts are simply amazing and seem to improve with each subsequent issue. He quite possibly might have been born to draw this book.

Thunderbolts is one of the few titles to take the momentum earned from Civil War and the Initiative and really capitalize on it. Despite not really tying into the Marvel Universe at large, Thunderbolts has quickly become one of the guiltiest pleasures in the comic industry and one of the most consistently enjoyable reads.

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