The Revolution has arrived, and his name is James Buchanan Barnes. Your Major Spoilers review of Thunderbolts #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Artist: Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Arthur Hesli
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Alanna Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 6, 2023
Previously in Thunderbolts: Bucky Barnes, the Revolution, just inherited a mountain of covert intel, and he has one objective: justice. Like lightning. He’s going after the establishment, the people no one else is willing or able to take down, and he’ll do whatever it takes to win. Teaming with the mysterious Contessa Valentina Allegra De Fontaine, Bucky assembles a team of black-ops heavy hitters to pursue high-profile targets like the Red Skull, Kingpin, and even Doctor Doom himself. No one is safe from the Thunderbolts!
THE CENTURY GAME IS OVER
After the recent madness in the pages of Captain America, Bucky Barnes has inherited all the intelligence and data from a conspiracy that was literally ruling the world. Having broken The Century Game, he has been back and forth, around the globe, pulling up the roots of their fascist networks. That’s how he ends up on a yacht in Italy, face to face (and gun to gun) with Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, the ex-main-squeeze of Nick Fury, the ex-Madame Hydra, and the current head honcho of OXE, a giant multinational conglomerate that serves as the tentacles of the now dead Century Game octopus. But he hasn’t come to kill her, he’s come with a proposition: Combine his intel with her resources and wipe out their foes once and for all.
First order of business: The Death of The Red Skull.
AS (SOON TO BE) SEEN ON THE BIG SCREEN
I was quite surprised when Bucky revealed that as his endgame, but even more so to see that Marvel Comics is, for once, ahead of the curve, creating a story with the players of the upcoming Thunderbolts movie. Bucky, The Contessa, and Red Guardian are here, along with Sharon Carter, the new Destroyer, and the next issue promises Yelena Belova, the White Widow. The mission in this issue features several big surprises, including Contessa’s new status quo, The Red Skull revelation(s), and a really strong entrance for The Red Guardian, but I’m most surprised by Borges’ art. There’s an expert use of shadows throughout the issue (a must for a team like this), and a badass power walk away from a burning building that will stick with you.
BOTTOM LINE: NOW THAT’S AN OPENER
In short, Thunderbolts #1 opens with a successful swerve, pulls some ill-served and underserved characters into the spotlight, and gives the team a check in the W column with explosive results, setting things off with a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. It’s even got an ominous “after-credits sequence,” making it not only a strong first issue, but a satisfying single-issue reading experience.
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Bucky gathers his new team, all of whom have been through some changes, and makes a shocking play as his first salvo. It's an impressive number one.