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February 10th, 2005 - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
I continue to get a giddy kick out of New Thunderbolts (#5 hit stores this week), though every time I try to explain it I wind up feeling like I'm not doing it justice. I guess--it just feels like Nicieza and Busiek are having outrageous fun grabbing every toy they can get ahold of, throwing it in the mix, then breaking it as quickly as they can.

The previous series was about redemption in a very earnest way. This time out, while that's mulling about in places, Nicieza and Busiek seem to be taking (and I am probably going to have my head handed to me for suggesting this) a Morrisonesque hand to the premise.

Mostly, it's like this: Yeah, yeah. They were villains. They want a second chance. You know the drill. You also know they aren't going to get there if the writers can help it, since then there's no point. So let's not dwell, but instead have fun bringing the walls down around these people. That's really what you're here for. If you wanted heroes who were going to triumph against adversity and find the noble core of humanity, you'd be reading Fantastic Four or JSA.

Plus, I find this book genuinely funny. Not in that "take five pages and seven hundred word balloons to get to the punchline" Bendis way (which I do appreciate on USM, but that's not this book). The funny here happens faster and has a mean-spirited edge to it that works in a book about criminals. Whether they want to be "good guys" or not, it's hard to shrug off the jaded worldview that had you doing the "bad guy" shtick for so long.

New Thunderbolts is turning out to be a far more frantic and engrossing read than I ever would have expected. If online attention is any indication, there should be back issues floating around your local shop. Or just be brave and jump right into the middle of the chaotic fun with the latest offering.

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