Jim Zub (W), Jon Malin (A), Matt Yackey (CA)
Cover by Jon Malin and Matt Yackey
Published by Marvel Comics
Thunderbolts vs. the Squadron Supreme
In the continuing line of the Thunderbolts vs. other super hero teams (which I gotta say, I’m a huge fan of that) we have our favorite rogues fighting the Squadron Supreme. That’s kinda scary from the outset, since I just wrote a review explaining how Hyperion is one of the biggest and baddest heroes in comic books.
Also, we finally have an Abner Jenkins-themed issue, which has been my one main critique of the series since it started. Glad to see someone finally started listening to me Mr. Zub, since I am obviously, totally, and completely responsible for that for real.
This issue picks up with Mach X contemplating his current position being a fugitive from the government and running around with the outlaw Thunderbolts once again. The team is called to the mission room to hear a report from Fixer. They are being called fugitives by the government for their recent actions.
Meanwhile, the Squadron Supreme are investigating the site where the Thunderbolts battled the Inhumans, and Doctor Spectrum manages to pick up a trail that leads to their base.
The Squadron Supreme shows up at the Thunderbolts’ base, and you can guess what happens next.
When I say this may be the least good issue in the series so far, please understand that this still makes Thunderbolts #4 better than most other comics. It was still an a great read, and I felt like a little kid again reading the battle between the Thunderbolts and the Squadron.
I liked the introspection on Abe, and it was nice to finally get his take on the events that have transpired for this new team of Thunderbolts. It also plays up his natural anxiety, a trait that has been with him since the Thunderbolts of old.
As a massive Thunderbolts fanatic, I also have to say it’s nice to see that this creative team has clearly done their homework. They are referencing old Thunderbolts stories, like their previous conflicts with a different Hyperion, left and right.
The art looks starker in this issue. There are a few scenes that feel really empty with not much detail or background objects. There’s also one frame of a couple of dumpy S.H.I.E.L.D agents getting clocked by Blur, and the face one of them makes is just—really weird. Characters in the distant look a bit undetailed, and some of the blood effects look off. Malin’s work is still good in most spots. There are just a few moments that don’t look as good as previous Thunderbolts issues.
The fight itself is awesome, with Malin focusing on the pivotal moments of the fight and not just random instances like some comics do. It’s a good, old-fashioned back and forth fight, and each side gets some good shots in. I won’t say who wins or how it ends though. Where’d be the fun in spoiling that?
I also like that this comic uses some of the old editorial tropes. The first page explains that this issue takes place before Squadron Supreme #8, and, when the Thunderbolts are commenting on meeting Hyperion again, there are footnotes about previous Thunderbolts adventures involving Hyperion.
This comic is just as good now as it was three months ago. It is still one of my most highly recommended books, and I still think everyone should read it. Pick it up next time you’re at a comic book store. You won’t be disappointed.
Final Score: 8/10