King in Black: Thunderbolts #1

by Nick Devonald on January 12, 2021

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

The Thunderbolts are one of those teams of villains who’ve been around for a while, with regular changes to their line-up. Familiarity with previous teams is not required, since in this issue Fisk recruits a brand-new team to combat the threat of Knull. What’s always fun with new line ups of teams like the Thunderbolts is the way we have a few of the bigger name villains mixed in with some of the more obscure villains from Marvel history. And by using smaller names it means not everyone is guaranteed to come out of this in one piece, which is always refreshing in comics. There are even a few cameo’s in this issue which lets readers know how some of the other Marvel heroes are faring in their fight against Knull.

Matthew Rosenberg understands that one of the joys in bringing together a seemingly random team of villains is the banter between the different characters, which is something that Matthew Rosenberg does really well, managing to get a few laughs from the reader in between all of the horror. This tie in doesn’t feel like it’ll be especially important to the overall King in Black event, but it’s nice to see some of the corners of the event which wouldn’t otherwise be covered, and never feels unnecessary. Then there’s the reveal at the end, which will take readers by surprise. It leaves more questions than it answers, and it’ll be sure to bring readers back for the next part.

Juan Ferreyra does a great job with the art, bringing to life incredible action scenes and really showing us how completely Knull has managed to cover the Earth already. He leans a little more into the Cthulhu elements of the symbiotes than some of the other art teams do and it works excellently, really emphasising the horror of the story. He brings the team of Thunderbolts to life with a style that really captures their expressions and works really well. The colours are really well done, with Knulls signature reds and blacks making up most of the issue to great atmospheric effect.

Another good fun tie in to the King in Black event, while not essential readings it’s a fun, energetic read that will appeal to more than just completists. Fans of the Thunderbolts, in any of their iterations, will be sure to enjoy it, as will fans of Cates’ run on Venom and the King in Black event. Good writing expertly fuses horror and comedy, with art that fits perfectly in with the style of the story to produce a good, fun tie in.

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