Thunderbolts #1
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Thunderbolts #1

Writer: Daniel Way Artist: Steve Dillon Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: December 5, 2012 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 28 User Reviews: 3
5.5Critic Rating
6.8User Rating

Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system - this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General "Thunderbolt" Ross, AKA the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better all means necessary.

  • 9.0
    Digitl Noob - Russ Pirozek Dec 5, 2012

    Overall, Daniel Way's first issue of Thunderbolts is great introduction into a new generation of T-Bolts, and while very little was established in the first issue, it looks great and is an exciting foray into the new line for the book. Steve Dillon did a great job on artwork as well, and while Julian Totino Tedesco's cover isn't terrific, more issues such as this will make this a formidable book in the Marvel Universe. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    Midnight Logic - Atlee Greene Dec 11, 2012

    You might be wondering, “why does Ross need help with any objective?” I mean, he is Red Hulk for crying out loud! Rest assured, Dillondoesn'tleave us hanging as bread crumbs towards that answer have been placed. I cant wait until next month to see what happens when Ross gets all of them in the same room! Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Dec 3, 2012

    Get ready for a new incarnation of the Thunderbolts. Having Red Hulk lead this team may seem like an odd choice but the fact that General Ross' nickname is "Thunderbolt" is a brilliant twist. Ross is gathering up a group of very unlikely non-team playing individuals. It will definitely make an interesting dynamic but also brings a little hesitation over how this book will be executed. We get a bit of set up here as the team is slowly brought together. Steve Dillon comfortably slides into the art duties and you know you can expect a bit of carnage and mayhem with him and these characters involved. The big question will be how this title will fit in with the other titles such as VENOM and the Avengers comics. Daniel Way is off to a good start and it's going to be a blast when the action fully begins. We'll be seeing poop and likely assorted body parts hitting the fan once the team is fully together. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Dec 8, 2012

    Weirdness aside, it was still an entertaining issue. I have spent zero time with Red Hulk, so I have no clue what kind of character growth Ross has gone through in the past years. But he comes off as a pretty cool guy in this issue. The other characters are also handled mostly OK. Though the book cannot shake the feeling that Marvel picked the characters first and then came up with reasons for why they would joint he team second. None of the reasoning is very strong. Especially not why an esteemed general like Ross would bring together these specific people. I also would have preferred a more military focus. So we'll see if Daniel Way can have this team make any sense, because after the first issue, it still doesn't. At least Dillon's art didn't bug me as much as I thought it would. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Super Hero Hype - Spencer Perry Dec 5, 2012

    Thunderbolts is a solid debut issue. The writing is very good, but the direction of the story isn't there, so it might lose only half-interested readers quickly. Dillon's art has never looked better, but that's because the colorist does a lot of the heavy lifting. If you like any of the characters on this team, this is almost a must read. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Booked - Kelly Cassidy Dec 5, 2012

    Even though this issue was more of a “team-coming-together-but-never-meeting” kind of intro, it is needed to set the tone for the series. Ross' words show his regret in his actions well and where he wants to go to begin to make up for his years of disappointment. I'm looking forward to what else this book can bring to the table. It's definitely going to be a tad darker than previous Thunderbolts, but I'm kind of hoping the old and the new meet up at some point. What a clash that will be. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    X-Man's Comic Blog - x-man75 Dec 8, 2012

    I think this book could be a HUGE sleeper title, and I look forward to seeing how long it takes before Punisher is trying to kill his teammates. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comics: The Gathering - vannarysok Dec 8, 2012

    Thunderbolts might sound like Uncanny X-Force but when the X-Force does their dirty work, they do it covertly. Not the Thunderbolts. It’s going to be loud and proud like a Michael Bay movie. If the Thunderbolts were to come kicking down my door, I wouldn’t be too upset. I’m optimistic to read more as this was all just set-up so hopefully Way can give us a great story with a memorable team. Read Full Review

  • 6.5
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Dec 6, 2012

    Overall, crossing my fingers the second issue is an improvement, but really, it's kind of hard not to be. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    CHUD - Jeb Delia Dec 7, 2012

    In addition to slightly resenting this series for sundering Rucka's relationship with the Punisher, it's also tough to see the character back in Steve Dillon's hands and not pine for more of his collaboration with Ennis on the character. Dillon always gives good gore, and having a cast of characters that don't all have the same nose (given that we have both masked and female characters featured) will add a bit of visual variety. There's the usual stiffness to some of his paneling and postures, but his aggressively bleak work is certainly appropriate for what Way has set out for him; the question is whether we really need another black-hearted book about psychotic superheroes, even one executed as efficiently as this one. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Read Comic Books - Tommy Lutz Dec 5, 2012

    Thunderbolts #1 is nothing overly special, especially up against some of the heavy hitters Marvel NOW! has been churning out. This issue was bland and boring, but gives the reader enough intrigue to pick up the next issue. Hopefully Way and Dillon can pick up the pace and present us with something amazing, because this issue basically went nowhere. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    IGN - Benjamin Bailey Dec 5, 2012

    So, it comes down to this: Marvel NOW! features tons of great books with more launching every week. Thunderbolts has launched with an okay first issue that is nothing to get excited about. Against all those other books, it's hard to argue Thunderbolts deserves a place on your pull list. Maybe it'll get better and the second issue will blow us out of the water? We'll have to wait and see. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    The Comic Book Revue - Jay Mattson Dec 5, 2012

    As I mentioned earlier, if Punisher were out of the picture, Thunderbolts could be an amazing series. As it stands, there's obviously going to be a lot of focus on Frank Castle and frankly, that's not very interesting. Plus, this should really have been Thunderbolts #0 due to the origin story-like feel of the narrative. I'm excited to see the rest of these anti-heroes hanging out together, but if Punisher gets an inordinate amount of panel space, I'm out. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comics Bulletin - Jamil Scalese Dec 11, 2012

    Anyone who buys Thunderbolts should understand what they are getting. Big names and big action. The flaw of the first issue is that it features a shit ton of preamble but no real reason for the reader to come back. Compare this to Avengers #1 which basically lays out the entire next year for you in the prologue. All that's set up here is a tone and a cast. We'll have to wait for plot and theme. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Book Resources - Doug Zawisza Dec 4, 2012

    Another good offering from the Marvel NOW! collection, "Thunderbolts" #1 is most likely to find an audience in fans of Punisher, Deadpool or "Uncanny X-Force." The collection of characters is not my usual band of favorites, but I'm interested enough to see what motivation Way feeds this team through Ross in order to get them to cooperate. The combination of mystery and good art in a book that brings together characters I wouldn't regularly pay to read about in their solo adventures has me intrigued. The fact that Marvel has elected to make "Thunderbolts" one of their more affordable Marvel NOW! titles is enough to encourage me to come back for the second issue at the very least. Bang for the buck right there. It's also worth pointing out that "Thunderbolts" shares the moniker of the team's apparent leader, a gimmick that's every bit as fun as it is silly. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Punisher Central - Neil Byce Dec 27, 2012

    The book seems entertaining enough. That could be mostly due to the cast that isassembled and with the highly volatile style of the group. I just hope thatthis doesn't end up being one of the Marvel Now! Titles that end up stinking sobadly that it will be the first to be cancelled. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Crave Online - Andy Hunsaker Dec 5, 2012

    Guess I'll have to be if I'm going to try to enjoy this new Thunderbolts. It's easy to buy, considering all the big names on the team, but it's hard to buy any of their reasons for being on that team in the first place. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Matt Sargeson Dec 9, 2012

    For feeling a bit listless and uninspired, and for failing to establish a distinct sense of purpose or direction in its opening issue, Thunderbolts is hard to recommend. Full of characters who've mostly had their main books cancelled or who've been given the boot from their respective Avenger or X-teams, Thunderbolts has somehow managed to instantly feel like a dumping ground for troubled properties with none of the charm of the Baron Zemo, Norman Osborn or Luke Cage eras to counter the air of desperation. It's early days, sure, but as far as first impressions go this #1 is a bad one. Read Full Review

  • 4.0 - Ben Silverio Dec 10, 2012

    I'm very confident that once we get these characters together on a mission, we're going to get some things that are worth talking about. Daniel Way is a talented writer, so once this series really gets into it, we should get some awesome stories with these troubled and complex characters, but this first one was just meh. I know that it's supposed to establish the universe of the book and introduce the key players in it, but it would have been nice to get a little bit more in the first issue than just that. It's very possible that reading ‘Thunderbolts' #1 after reading ‘Avengers' #1 hurt Rulk's new team book, but I still have hope for it. I'm not dropping it just yet because I love the cast, but we'll see how things progress when the next issue comes out. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Dec 15, 2012

    The script is incredibly disappointing because it offers no more than information than what's already available to the reader on the cover. Taking the entire issue to show us Gen. Ross recruiting the anti-heroes of the Marvel Universe for a team that will attack evil in a brutal way was a waste of time. We know all of these characters are going to sign on. How they're convinced, why they choose to participate... it's all pointless. The premise requires it of the characters, so dwelling on it and trying to bring some kind of logic to it is an exercise in futility. Other than seeing Deadpool kill a gang of homicidal mimes, this issue wasn't all that much fun to read, as the gathering-of-the-troops approach felt like Marvel was just going through the motions. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comics Are Not Dead - Comics Are Not Dead Dec 7, 2012

    Thunderbolts #1 is everything that you DON'T want from a debut issue. I'd pass on it. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Marvel Disassembled - Kyle Mc Dec 5, 2012

    The art is awesome and when I say that I am talking about the cover because the interior is just plain horrible. My first experience with Dillon was in the 50th anniversary tribute in Avenging Spider-Man and he managed to ruin what was actually a pretty sweet story by the inability to convey any emotions. All the characters look the same. However if they managed to at least not look completely bland I could potentially find some way to excuse it. Is it possible that the quality of the story itself isn't as bad as I think it is? Sure but if I have to look at something that I don't like throughout then it will always leave a sour taste in my mouth regardless. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Major Spoilers - Thomas J. Angelo Dec 11, 2012

    I just didn't find myself enjoying Thunderbolts at any time. The characters don't seem to have a lot in common, and we saw absolutely no team interplay this issue. The team isn't assembling for any reason or motivation, just General Ross' promise that they will all get to kill a lot of people. The problem with a group of killers like this is that the Marvel Bullpen isn't going to let them kill any important villains. Hopefully Issue #2 will have a knockdown, drag-out, exciting moment that will make up for this debut, because right now, Thunderbolts is not something I can recommend. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Comicosity - Aaron Long Dec 5, 2012

    I wanted to enjoy this book, I was fully prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt considering the random characters being throw together, but at this point I have no reason to read another issue to find out if this storyline is going anywhere. Read Full Review

  • 2.8
    Multiversity Comics - Brian Salvatore Dec 6, 2012

    And at some point, they stopped caring. I advise you to reach that moment of clarity before the next issue is released. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Comics Crux - Wesley Messer May 12, 2012

    Outside of Steve Dillons art, which is the best thing about Thunderbolts #1, I cannot recommend this comic. I know this will appeal to a segment of the audience; this has that detached kind of cool factor all over the title. There is nothing cool about this new incarnation of Thunderbolts. Its a soulless attempt at reinventing the team and Thunderbolts #1 is a massive misfire for Marvel NOW! Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Newsarama - George Marston Dec 3, 2012

    There's a place for a book like this take on Thunderbolts in the Marvel Universe. A series about a hero uniting cold-blooded killers to do the jobs that most heroes can't is a concept with a lot of room for deep characterization, harrowing action, and emotional paydirt, as shown in books like Uncanny X-Force. Unfortunately, all of that slips immediately away from Thunderbolts like so much sand through fingers. There's an element of moral quandary and looming threat that has to exist to justify a team like this existing, and to make them compelling, but there's not much more here than an excuse to bring together Marvel's "Expendables" and let them run wild in every panel. And unlike the kind of popcorn-gobbling, cheap thrill action flicks this book aims to emulate, it just isn't much fun. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Dec 7, 2012

    I really enjoyed the last series of Thunderbolts, even throughout its ups and downs it was a consistently good series that was very different from the previous incarnations that came before it. This series is different from its processor, but really it’s just a return to what it was before. I hope that you haven’t read a team book before, because if so you’re likely to hate it. Maybe the next issue will be good as we’ll see all of these different personalities mingling together, but I have the strong feeling that it will just end up as a bunch of talking heads that all sound the same. This was the first twenty-two page issue that I was glad didn't exceed that number count because I couldn’t take it anymore. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    hatmasta Dec 5, 2012

    Daniel Way is one of the most divisive writers in the industry. Most either hate him or love him. I'm a victim of Daniel Way, and by that I mean that despite the fact that I know what I'm reading is completely ridiculous and off the wall, I actually enjoy it. I'll be the first to say that this is a bad comic. But there's just something so addicting about it that makes me want to read more. His Deadpool series was the exact same way. In this issue, we see every member of the team having a "calm" recruiting conversation with Ross while casually killing people with extreme prejudice and violence. That would never happen. Ever. It's ludicrous. Why do I like this then? I don't know. But I want to know what happens next. I'm a victim.

  • 7.5
    fivexfive Dec 17, 2013

  • 6.0
    Adsun22 Aug 28, 2019

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