Bucky vs Miles and Abe References SCTV
Jim Zub (W), Jon Malin (A), Matt Yackey (CA)
Cover by Jon Malin and Matt Yackey
*Ties in to Civil War II
Jim Zub (W), Sean Izaakse (A), Matt Yackey (CA)
Cover by Jon Malin and Matt Yackey
Both Published by Marvel Comics
Both Priced at $3.99
I try my best to avoid having to go back and review comics (outside of the Barely Retro Reviews of course). I prefer to stay up-to-date, plus I want to be able to recommend comics when they are fresh on the shelves and easy to find. Sometimes things happen though, like forgetfulness and missed orders. So, here we are. We’re going for another double review with the past two issues of Jim Zub’s Thunderbolts.
Issue Five picks up with Bucky Barnes discovering from Fixer’s surveillance station that Ulysses had a vision of Miles Morales the Ultimate Spider-Man killing Steve Rogers. Naturally, this greatly upsets the Winter Soldier, and he decides that he’s going to keep Steve from dying, remembering the last time it happened at the end of the first Civil War.
He loads up, heads out, and attempts to capture Morales. The spider sense foils his plans, and the two enter a brawl. Bucky seems to have the upper hand when S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and overwhelms him. He ends up being captured, and the comic ends with the Winter Soldier in a cell.
Issue Six opens up with a relatively smaller dilemma: the Thunderbolts are out of food, and Atlas is hungry. Kobik can’t fix it because Bucky told her not to use her powers. So Atlas and Mach X decide to go out on a food run to stock up on supplies. Meanwhile, Moonstone and Fixer decide now is as good a time as any to solve the Kobik problem.
Moonstone and Fixer try to accomplish this by reverting her back to her Cosmic Cube state. This fails, and Kobik pacifies them and reveals to Fixer that she brought him back from the time loop he was previously trapped in (way back in Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts). She dissolves all of his technology, including a signal jammer he gave to Erik and Abe when they went on the food run.
This allows S.H.I.E.L.D. to get a reading on Mach X’s armor, and they go out to arrest him and Atlas. They find them at a convenience store, and the two manage to escape with some supplies. The return to their secret base unfollowed and find Moonstone and Fixer having a tea party with Kobik. The comic ends with Fixer discovering that Bucky has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Both of these issues were fantastic for very different reasons. We’ll go at this chronologically for simplicity’s sake.
Issue Five provides a really dramatic story that, along with the Power Man and Iron Fist Civil War II tie-in, is among the best things to come out of the current big crossover. It’s simple, straightforward, and lasts only one issue. Miles Morales may kill Steve Rogers in the future. Steve is Bucky’s closest friend. Bucky will do anything to save him.
The pacing is fast: Bucky is tracking Miles in first few pages. He has some heartfelt flashbacks to Steve’s death as well as his own time dating Black Widow. He has to force himself to be cold and focused. The ensuing fight is intense and kinetic. Jon Malin and Matt Yackey depict it all to perfection
The personal stakes are clear. We are put right inside Bucky’s head as he does all of this. It’s emotional for him, and the reader can feel it. I think it’s the best issue of the series so far, and I can recommend it to anyone, even if they haven’t been following Thunderbolts or Civil War II.
Issue Six is almost an “X-Men playing softball” issue, and I really dig that. The Thunderbolts are out of food. This is the only catalyst for what happens next, even Moonstone and Fixer going after Kobik. Mach X and Atlas are allowed to have a great bromance moment while referencing Bob and Doug McKenzie, and Moonstone and Fixer get to continue being shady. The characters act like themselves, and you get to connect with Abe and Erik for a bit. The comic is also just really funny too. It plays a good light-hearted follow up to the heavy drama of Issue Five.
I also really like that they explain how Fixer is back given his endless cycle of killing himself that Jeff Parker set up way back during his run on Thunderbolts. It shows Jim Zub’s love for the series and that he really has read up on his comic’s history. Plus, all of this serves to make Kobik kind of intimidating as she browbeats Fixer for trying to change her.
The art change was unexpected, but it wasn’t bad. I like Malin’s 90’s callback style, but I also enjoyed the clean and sleeker look of Sean Izaakse. As usual, Matt Yackey keeps the colors bright, and I continue to enjoy the hell out of it.
Both comics are self-contained too, and, as you well know by now, I really like that. The stories feel complete, and I highly recommend both of these comics.
Thunderbolts #5: 10/10
Thunderbolts #6: 9/10