King in Black: Thunderbolts #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 03, 2021

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

Matthew Rosenberg likes to inject plenty of humour into his Marvel work, his recent run on Hawkeye: Freefall had moments of being absolutely hilarious, which is what makes him the perfect writer to be taking on the Thunderbolts. A dysfunctional crackpot team of villains is a great opportunity to tell stories which are both funny and entertaining. There is a particularly funny line early on in this issue which is a direct reference to DC’s Suicide Squad. Another reason that teams of mostly B and C listers work is that potentially any of them could die. This isn’t the Avengers, where it’s a safe bet that no real harm is going to come to our heroes, and when it does it’s not going to be long before things get put back to normal. No, with a team like this not everybody is going to make it out, and how the team looks at the beginning is no indication of what it’ll look like at the end.

Across the three issues the team have really grown and evolved. Initially they were a group thrown together unwillingly by Fisk, forced to work together, but as team has passed a kinship has grown between them all. And the story, while initially it looks straightforward, has plenty of twists and turns as it goes on to keep it entertaining and the reader guessing.

Big events usually end up giving a mixed bag of comics. There are the ones which are essential reading for the main event, and there are invariably dozens more which feel tacked on for the sake of making this latest event even bigger and, probably more importantly, bringing in extra money for the publisher. Most of the King in Black tie-ins have managed to avoid falling into that particular trap, instead continuing characters current storylines and showing readers how Knulls invasion has impacted them. Not essential reading for the event but essential reading for the series in question. Thunderbolts doesn’t fall into that category, being that this particular iteration of them team has been put in place specifically to combat Knull. Where it works however is by telling such an excellent, entertaining story, it doesn’t matter that it’s not essential reading for the event. It’s fun reading for the event and further fleshes out the event. But the biggest strength of the series is it doesn’t feel like a mini-series at all, it feels like the start of the Thunderbolts next adventure. Hopefully Marvel has plenty of plans for them in future.

Juan Ferreyra’s art has been a highlight of the event, watching him bring the entire roster of villains to life has been great fun, and he manages to set the tone for the various scenes brilliantly. He switches from funny banter between the Thunderbolts to the horror filled streets of New York, to full on fight scenes. He uses colours to great effect as well, Star’s powers contrast nicely with the reds and blacks which have defined this event.

Across all the various King in Black tie-ins different artists have had vastly different takes on Knulls symbiote army, and it’s been a real highlight getting to see all the differing and unique designs. Ferreyra’s symbiotes have real Xenomorph vibes to them, the black goo covering everything is reminiscent of the Aliens hive, and that’s really added to the horror element in the story. Even beyond that though it looks great, his team of Thunderbolts look excellent, and is generally a good looking comic.

Thunderbolts has been one of the best of the King in Black tie-ins. It’s been funny from beginning to end, while it may have come together as a response to Knull this reads more like an introduction to a brand new iteration of the Thunderbolts with an exciting future ahead of them. Rosenberg keeps the laughs coming even while the odds are stacked against our heroes (villains) and it’s been one of the best mini-series to come out of King in Black.

Our Score:


A Look Inside