Punisher, Deadpool, Venom and More in ‘Thunderbolts #1’

Well, the first teaser from Marvel seemed to indicate that former Deadpool writer Daniel Way and former Punisher artist Steve Dillon were going to be teaming up for a new Thunderbolts series in the Marvel NOW era, and it seems that guess was correct. And surprise, surprise, both Deadpool and Punisher are going to be on the new team.

Here’s the freshly revealed cover of Thunderbolts #1.


Thunderbolt Ross, aka The Red Hulk, is going to be leading this new team of T-Bolts, featuring Punisher, Deadpool, Venom and Elektra. That’s right. Punisher is going to be taking orders from the Red Hulk. Punisher is going to be on a team.

One supposes there’s some sense made here, as Frank Castle, Wade Wilson and Flash Thompson are all ex-military, so MAYBE they’d consider answering to a former general, but there’s no telling how Elektra fits in beyond Red Hulk’s history of “Code Red,” a team he put together in his bad days of which Frank and Wade were also a part.

“How many times have we said to ourselves, ‘If only I had the power…’? Well, Thunderbolt Ross has that power and this series will show what he does with it,” explains Daniel Way.  “Really, it all boils down to the most ‘Marvel’ of our medium’s go-to ideologies: With great power comes great responsibility.”

“I dare any Super Hero fan to look at that cover and not smile—the Thunderbolts line up is a true dream team” added Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor in Chief.  “Daniel and Steve are both incredibly talented creators redefining one of our most enduring franchises into something that will surprise a lot of readers—this is a series about violence, war and the consequences of both….along with more action than you can handle!”

Well, I’m not so certain. Normally, I’d be completely stoked with this team. Deadpool was one of my favorite characters, but that really waned in the Way era. I’m a fan of Punisher, Red Hulk and the new Venom, but I have no really encouraging reason to believe that I will like Way’s take on those guys any more than I liked his Deadpool – which will still be a part of this. I just can’t get excited about Way taking over Red Hulk and Thunderbolts from Jeff Parker, whose takes on both of them I’ve been enjoying quite a bit, and he’ll have a really hard time following Greg Rucka’s great run on Punisher. And Steve Dillon? Well, we’ve discussed our problems with him at length on last week’s Book Report. My colleague Iann Robinson is a lot more passionate about it than I am, but honestly, outside of Preacher, I’ve not really enjoyed his work.

Parker, at least, will be continuing with Red She-Hulk. Hopefully, he gets another good gig as well.


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