Comic: "Thunderbolts #128-129"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Andy Diggle
Artist: Roberto De La Torre

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 3/2/2009

Plot: The President is attacked on Air Force One by the Thunderbolts and it's up to Norman Osborn and his Thunderbolts to stop...themselves. But it's okay, because it's all part of a clever (and logistically impossible) ruse to make Norman Osborn look like he shits rose petals.

Review: After Warren Ellis's enjoyable run on the book (which I had never read prior to that), Andy Diggle takes over. I've enjoyed his work on Vertigo books The Losers and Hellblazer, so I decided to stick with it long enough to see the new Thunderbolts team in action. And I have to be honest, apart from Ant-Man and Black Widow, I don't know who in the hell any of the rest of them are (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

Headsman, Paladin, Ghost, and Mister X are complete unknowns to me, and so far most of them don't appear to be terribly interesting, though I will concede that introducing lots of characters in one fell swoop can make them difficult to flesh out right out the gate. My main problem with the book so far is a simple matter of logistics: their first operation under Norman Osborn's watchful eye could not possibly have been executed in the way we've seen here, and Diggle insults the reader's intelligence by suggesting that we simply accept something so incredibly stupid. The operation itself is fairly fun to see in action--but the fact that it happens at all is just overwhelmingly dumb, dumb, dumb.

See, it goes like this: Norman Osborn, director of the new H.A.M.M.E.R. organization, has what is supposed to be a brief tarmac meeting with the new President before he goes overseas. The President catches Norman off guard by asking him to fly to Russia with him on Air Force One, so that they may discuss H.A.M.M.E.R.'s future initiatives in great detail. Unbeknownst to Norman, Dr. Leonard Samson, who just happened to witness Norm's crazy romp through Thunderbolts Mountain as the Green Goblin during which he killed several government employed guards, is on board, and he wishes to show the President security camera footage proving that Osborne is a psychopath.

Knowing that this will get him hastily removed from his new position of power, Norman cannot allow this. But fortunately, he has either planned for it, and is thus capable now of predicting the future, or he has somehow managed to get his people in position for the whole "attack the plane and during the distraction the security footage gets misplaced" op in an amazingly short time, especially considering that he had no time to communicate with any of them. Not only are his people in position on board the most secure aircraft on the planet with absolutely no time to prepare, but the fucking co-pilot has been replaced by the Black Widow, which nobody thinks is suspicious. I'm sure Air Force One has back-up pilots, and I'm just as sure that those pilots' identities are very well known. None of this "Oh, the usual back-up was sick today, so I, a total stranger, will be filling in. On transporting the fucking President."

So of course, Norman "saves" the President from his own trap, comes out looking like a hero, and begins to earn the President's trust. It's pretty much as hamfisted and sloppy as it sounds. I really want to like this book, considering that I enjoyed Ellis's run and I was hoping the quality would continue, but if things carry on like this, I won't be able to stomach reading any more of it. Fortunately the setup for the next issue shows us that Deadpool is up next--and if he can't save this book from a slump, I don't know what can.

Overall rating: WholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Mar 4th, 2009, 05:12 AM
Ah, Proto, I loved these comics in the way a pervert loves his fetish. It's total pandering, dude. I know it's all shenanigans, but that just makes me enjoy it all the more.

Paladin is an old fave of mine - we're both purple sleazebags who have regularly annoyed Daredevil. I've focused a character-based collection on him for years. He had a great turn recently in the sadly short-lived revamp of Heroes For Hire. Ghost has a fine pedigree, albeit an obscure one. The new Ant-Man is good for a laugh. Belova shows you just can't keep a good girl down; despite being killed twice (and becoming an Adaptoid too) she hasn't missed a beat. I must note, however, that the Headsman can only claim six appearances and doesn't even have a OHOTMU entry.

So I like the mix of old/new school faces and the sitcom results. As I said, pandering.

Have you checked out Deadpool's latest run? It's had some great moments - his single-handed demolishment of a Skrull army, for one. That set him up to play a significant role in Dark Reign - the deus ex machina. He's the big bailout button, I think. Seriously, how could not LOL reading the last two pages of 'Bolts #129?
Mar 4th, 2009, 08:38 AM
Deadpool should be capable of rescuing anything that is aobut to be labeled as a pile of steaming shite.
Mar 4th, 2009, 09:35 AM
They still haven't explained what H.A.M.M.E.R. stands for, have they?
Fookin' up planets!
Mar 4th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Marvel is just shitting out silly story after silly story...
kinda like their newest films.

Oh Marvel what have you become?

... to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.

Mar 4th, 2009, 10:07 AM
Let's just put Deadpool in all the Marvel titles. They would sell like hotcakes!
hanging out
Mar 4th, 2009, 10:49 AM
wouldn't that make Deadpool the new Wolverine?
is hopped up on goofballs
Mar 4th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Yep, just like the rest of the leadup to Dark Reign, stupid stupid stupid.
Mar 4th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Ugh... the plague of Norman Osbourne must be stopped! I'm not talking about the nefarious deeds of the character himself, I'm talking about the shitty writing that follows in his wake. I've been following thor v 3 since the beginning and I've found it very enjoyable, mainly because it never gets into the horrible stuff that is happening in the MU. Well I recently read the anniversary issue and the bad writing really hit the fan on this one.

At risk of spoiling the issue Thor is in new york in a battle with his Granddad (yeah I know, just follow with me here) and he's getting his ass handed to him, even though thor now has odin's powers. Thor is desperate and he says "I didn't want to involve them but I have no choice" to which I think "Is he going to call the other gods or what?" only to have him scream "Avengers Assemble!" Just as the thought "they can't possibly hear that much less come..." the dark avengers show up on the next frikkin panel! Say what you want about Normie's crew but apparently they sit around in full costume 24/7 waiting for some idiot to yell for them and then magically appear in a split second. That's quicker than the pizza dude!

Now as insaine and badly written as that is it gets worse as apparently thor didn't have a clue about the dark avengers even though they HAD A FRIKKIN WOLRDWIDE TV PRESS CONFERENCE! I know the guys been busy but damn! Oh but wait it gets stupider... even though he didn't know about them, he instantly realizes they are false avengers, even though all of the members are in masks and have a pretty reasonable resembalance to the real people they are trying to portray! The logical response would have been "hey stark what's with the paint job?" But no, at first glance thor rants on about how much of an insult it is, ect... ect.. Beats the crap out of all of them and throws them away (literally). And then he single handedly kills the guy that was giving him all the trouble to begin with. Even if it was the real avengers, what exactly were they supposed to do anyway?

And then it started me thinking about how gramps should have really had the odin power all along seeing as how he didn't really die and the whole plot, which had been pretty cleverly laid-out over the last few issues fell apart for me.

So even a brief cameo by the green goblin can ruin an otherwise decent series. Something must be done before he starts interacting with other decent books and the whole marvel universe implodes!
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 4th, 2009, 06:15 PM
Wolverine's famous for his giant arm tattoos. Thor knows these people, despite the fact that the artists typically don't do much to make one incredibly well-endowed woman stand apart from the next, there would be distinct differences between one such woman in a costume, and another in the exact same costume, and if nothing else, Spider-Man isn't typically made out of grape jelly.

I haven't left my house since the late 90's, all I do with my days is play on the internet and watch television, and I didn't know about 9/11 until nine days later, when I saw an advert with the then-cast of ER talking about it. It actually isn't that implausible that an otherworldly superhero could miss a little bit of news. Now, I haven't read the issue, and won't, because I don't like Thor at all, but isn't it just a little bit possible that he used mystical mumbo jumbo to communicate his distress?

From everything I've seen, the Dark Avengers are based in Manhattan, it wouldn't exactly be a long trip for people with access to S.H.I.E.L.D technology.
Mar 5th, 2009, 02:13 AM
You'd have to read it. They didn't arrive quickly, they arrived INSTANTLY. And you've gotta understand, thor didn't call them and then they all stood around and had a nice chat, they were in the middle of battle and thor never looks directly at any of them. There isn't a moment of pause before he starts chewing them out either, he starts immediately! You've gotta remember something here, Thor isn't exactly smart, he's pretty dense. Also remember that spiderman is currently wearing his black costume and norman gave him some magic pill that makes him actually LOOK like spiderman. I'm not saying that if they had all been standing around and they slowly walked up to him he wouldn't have instantly noticed, but under the circumstances, it's farily crazy.

I don't mean to be insulting at all, but if you live in america I find it pretty impossible that it took you 9 days to learn about 9/ll considering they had 24/7 news coverage on all the major networks for at least the first week or so.

In this pretend instance, thor had been in his human form and hanging around new york for a while so it would have been pretty impossible him not to have heard.

Regardless, my point wasn't that all the things could have happened that way if you really streatched your imagination, but that prior to osbourne showing up you didn't have to because the book was pretty well written, he makes one cameo and now things are all wonkey. Thankfully thor has other issues atm so there probably won't be any cross-over for a while.