Covering Issues #1-#6
This comic showed just how little of the craziness in the primary Marvel universe I was caught up on. While Thunderbolts does a good job of filling in the info, prepare to have a lot of Marvel history thrown out there. In fact, I'd say Thunderbolts relies on too much on past Marvel events for its major plot points, especially for this introductory arc, and tries to tell a far more complicated story than it needed to.
The core concept of Thunderbolts is solid. Take Marvel's most notorious antiheroes, throw them on a team together, and watch antics and violence ensue. If I'm going to make a comparison (and I'm going to) Thunderbolts is Marvel's less charming equivalent of DC's Secret Six. The characters all have their time in the limelight and give fans exactly what they want from them, but I wasn't as pleased with the way they interact with one another. Though animosity and infighting are to be expected, at this point, I haven't even felt the potential for camaraderie from anyone in the group. How Elektra is handled in particular frustrated me and felt cliché and insulting to the Thunderbolts' very own Smurfette. This book also starts to suffer from a bloated cast by Issue #6. It's as if the creative team is throwing toys in the sandbox and trying to see which ones go together to tell the best stories, instead of focusing on their core five characters and making fans care about them as a unit.
What Thunderbolts does have is action, and lots of it. With so many gun and blade-wielding characters with no concerns about killing, it's unsurprising that the team would rely on those tools so often. Fans just looking for plenty of violence will not be disappointed in this title. When this book isn't filled with explosions and a mounting body count, it's busy telling jokes. Deadpool steals the show in many of the issues with his bizarre view of the world and offputting humor. Hopefully, Deadpool won't remain the only funny guy in the group for long, and some real chemistry will start to form between these characters who are willing to end lives in order to set the world right once again.