Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Carlo Barberi, Kim Jancinto, and Paco Diaz
Editor: Jordan D. White
Genre: Superhero Action
Cover Price: 19.99 (US)/ 21.99 (Can)
This, the most recent version of superhero team Thunderbolts, was formed and is led by General Ross, the Red Hulk and former Hulk nemesis, consists of Earth's superheroes who are willing to cross the line for the greater good. They consist of Deadpool, Elektra, Punisher, the Red Leader, and Agent Venom. Together they do the jobs others heroes can't or won't.
This trade collects issues #20-26. In the first group of stories they go to hell to try and get rid of their newest and most bloodthirsty member, the deadly female known as Mercy. To accomplish this they hire Johnny Blaze, the first Marvel Ghost Rider (who officially joins the team at this point) and make a deal with the Marvel equivalent of the devil himself, Mesphito! In the next story, a one shot, Agent Venom wants to leave the team and unleashes an uncontrolled version of the symbiont on the team! Finally, the team travels to South America to investigate an ancient cosmic power.
Soule has a fun writing style that is both wonderfully humorous and totally over the top in violence. Which is the perfect mix and what you want for this book. He keeps things always moving at a fast paced, but it is never completely mindless and lets all of the character's shine. With such an over the top, quirky, and violent group of heroes in lesser hands this could have been just mindless gore. But, it ain't. It's really funny, but also remains respectful to all the characters and never hits the level of self parody.
The writing is complemented by wonderful and lively art by all involved. Barden, Jancinto, and Diaz all deliver really solid and great looking art. The pages come alive as the blood and bullets fly. I like everyone involved here, with each person adding their own cool take on these immensely popular characters.
While, this title recently ended, it's great to read these stories and see these loners work together, albeit begrudgingly. Which quite frankly is what makes this title such a hoot to read. For fans who like dark humor and superheroes who don't pull any punches, this book gets my highest possible recommendation.
**** out of ****