I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got two new comics plus three hard cover collections (they had a buy two get one free sale):

  • Echo – 8
  • Savage Dragon – 142
  • The Runaways Volumes 1-3
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Thunderbolts Volume 2: Caged Angels” by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato Jr.
  • It is amazing to me that this is a Marvel comic. Y’see all throughout the late Nineties there were a lot of comics from Image and Wildstorm that subverted the classic Marvel/DC super hero paradigm. Instead of super heroes being virtuous and true but flawed human beings who could make mistakes a lot of Image/Wildstorm heroes were saddled with a single flaw. They were assholes not to be trusted. A lot of Image/Wildstorm super heroes were also thinly disguised versions of Marvel and DC heroes. Hence the subversion. They would take Marvel and DC heroes and make them assholes. This wasn’t the sole characterization of Image/Wildstorm super heroes but it showed up a lot.

    Government and police organizations were also not to be trusted in the Image/Wildstorm universe. Everybody was corrupt and hiding something. I think there was a higher percentage of assholes in whatever Image/Wildstorm’s version of S.H.I.E.L.D. was then even on one of their big superhero teams. And black ops groups were everywhere. I’m not saying any of this was bad. But it was different from and subversive of the Marvel and DC universes.

    Warren Ellis was one of the founding writers of that dark “don’t trust anyone with power or authority they’re all jerks” type of writing at Image/Wildstorm. And here he is, all these years later, writing for Marvel as he and other writers have made the Marvel Universe turn into a dark, foreboding place where no one can be trusted. Truly a strange turn of events.

    All that being said I liked Thunderbolts Volume 2. The Thunderbolts are a team of ex-villains who are lead by ex-villain Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) who are in the employ of the US government tasked with the job of apprehending unregistered super people. Yes, this story takes place after “Civil War” (which I never read) in which it was established that all super heroes must register with the US government or be arrested.

    The Thunderbolts barley stay together as a team. They are all assholes after all and to get them to do the right thing is a chore. This story takes place in their headquarters. A top secret base filled with lots of technical equipment, security grunts with guns, and holding cells for the supers that they catch. But something has gone wrong and things inside the fort go to hell. That’s about all you need to know about the plot.

    I enjoyed Mike Deodato Jr.’s art. I never liked his stuff much in the 90’s when he was drawing in the style of the day. Endless little noodling lines everywhere. He uses a lot more blacks, shapes, and photo reference these days and overall I think it looks a lot nicer. He’s a better story teller now too. The art was a positive.

    So if you want a pretty good tale about asshole super heroes give this book a read. It’s just weird to me we’re at a point where the inmates run the asylum.