Shocking Reunions (Get it? Shocking. Thunderbolts.)
Jim Zub (W), Sean Izaakse (A), Matt Yackey (CA)
Cover by Kris Anka
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Let’s finish this weekend of reviews with, of course, Thunderbolts. Yes, I know this comic is a week old, but I can’t leave an issue of this book unreviewed. I won’t do it.
As you might remember from Thunderbolts #5, Bucky was arrested and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D after trying to incapacitate and capture new Spider-Man Miles Morales. At the end of #6, Fixer figures this out from hacked S.H.I.E.L.D intel.
This issue begins with Maria Hill visiting Bucky in a holding facility in New York called Obfirmo-4. She is extremely agitated and interrogates Bucky on the location of Kobik.
From there, we return to the Thunderbolts headquarters where Fixer is filling the team in on Bucky’s predicament and Obfirmo-4. After convincing Moonstone, the team decide to contact Songbird to help them get into the prison.
Steve Rogers visits Bucky next, and the two have a shouting match over the actions that led Bucky to being arrested. The conversation ends with Steve pleading with Bucky to tell him where Kobik is.
Back with the Thunderbolts, Songbird has met up with Mach-X and tells him that she will do this one job with them and then she is completely retired. After the two join the rest of the team, Songbird fills them in on the logistics of the prison. They come up with a plan and enter Obfirmo-4.
Songbird is able to fool the voice recognition security protocol, but they are scanned by a full-body device afterwards which she did not expect. The machine identifies them as intruders, and the comic ends with the facility going on alert.
This comic manages to hit it out of the park again with another great issue. The pacing remains appropriately quick, the plot moves forward to a satisfying degree, and it has crowd-pleasing moments with Songbird rejoining the Thunderbolts and Bucky and Steve reuniting.
The conversation between Steve and Bucky is cathartic. The two haven’t spoken in a while, Bucky has made himself an enemy of the state again, and, as a result, there is a lot to talk about that they don’t want to talk about. The friction is palpable, and Zub and Izaakse display that they understand the power of silence and visual emotion in addition to verbal.
Kobik remains endearing, and she is the driving force behind the team going to rescue the Winter Soldier. It’s also a little heartwarming when Mach-X, Atlas, and Fixer tell Moonstone that Bucky is “one of us.”
The comic isn’t exactly action-packed, but the rising tension and preamble to the break-in provide energy and excitement. It’s the calm before the war, and the next issue promises to provide it. This comic is another one of those “breather” issues that I taut so much.
The return of Songbird and the awkwardness between she and Mach X as well as she and Moonstone displays once again that Mr. Zub is well-versed in Thunderbolts history. This is such a pleasing thing to a diehard Thunderbolts fan like myself.
Izaakse and Yackey put together another gorgeous comic with popping colors, stunning figures, and emotional body language. These two are a great artistic team.
What can I say about this comic that I haven’t already? It’s great. The series never disappoints and often manages to surprise me with just how well-crafted it is. Zub always manages to up the ante, and I hope he stays on Thunderbolts for a long time to come.
Final Score: 9.5/10