Jail House Rock
Jim Zub (W), Jon Malin (A), Matt Yackey (CA)
Cover by Jon Malin and Matt Yackey
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Another late review, but, dammit, I’m going to review all the issues of this series because Winter Soldier+Thunderbolts=Happy B-List Defender.
When we last left our beleaguered anti-heroes, the Thunderbolts were breaking into a S.H.I.E.L.D prison to bust out their leader, Bucky Barnes. This issue picks up with the team incapacitating a number of Guardsmen. After this, they swiftly search out the facility for the Winter Soldier. Moonstone and Mach X find Maria Hill and gas her to put her out of commission for a bit. Atlas, Fixer, and Songbird find Steve Rogers still on-site and are forced to do battle with Captain America.
We briefly cut back to Kobik floating around Thunderbolts HQ while pondering who she will choose between Bucky Barnes and the Red Skull. We briefly see none other than Ghost spying on the girl (yes, Ghost! I’m so excited).
We then return to Atlas and Songbird trying to subdue Captain Rogers. Steve manages to pacify Atlas, and then he tries to appeal to former S.H.I.E.L.D agent and Avenger Songbird. She decides to stick with her old team and literally shouts down Captain America. Fixer then returns to the scene with the Winter Soldier, who convinces Steve to stand down.
We next cut to the Thunderbolts preparing to leave the scene in their jet, and Songbird decides to stay with the team. Bucky has to ditch his bionic arm because Fixer informs him that S.H.I.E.L.D planted tracking devices within it. The comic ends with Captain America finding the arm.
Once again, the Thunderbolts creative team knock it out of the park. This is an exciting and action-packed issue. It’s a crowd-pleaser, with the Thunderbolts themselves barreling through droves of S.H.I.E.L.D agents in a manner that spoke to the anti-establishment hippy inside me. The fight between Atlas, Fixer, Songbird, and Captain America was great, and it is just as balanced as it should be given that their foe was Captain Rogers himself.
Malin makes his Thunderbolts return in this issue, and his art stylistically fits the book perfectly. That being said, there are a couple of panels where Captain America and the Winter Soldier look oddly shaped. Steve Rogers looks a little too bulgy when he first shows up. It didn’t look as bad as Liefeld, but it reminded me of him a little too much (I’m so sorry Jon, you are still infinitely more talented than he is). Bucky looks a little to slender when he first makes his appearance in the issue. However, these moments are sparse and don’t interfere with the comic too much.
I was so happy to see Thunderbolts-veteran Ghost make a brief appearance, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the series in issues to come.
We are eight issues in now, and this book has yet to deliver a weak issue. I love it through-and-through, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys good super her fair. As always, I can’t wait for next month.
Final Score: 9.5/10