REVIEW: Thunderbolts #18

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Jefte Palo / Colours By: Guru eFX / Letters By: Joe Sabino
Price: $2.99

Next issue has a very road trip look to it, but before we get there, it’s time, despite the rather pointless Infinity banner  for the Thunderbolts to finish off their mission for the Punisher.

Alright, you guys know that I tend to be a bit harsh on this book, which is why when there is actually some payoff to what’s happening in the pages of Thunderbolts it makes me so very happy. The three threads of the Punisher arc; Punisher/Elektra/Venom vs. every criminal in New York, Red Hulk/Red Leader/Mercy vs. Thanos’ invasion, and Deadpool’s side adventure all continue this issue and in the end come together as the team reunites to prepare for their next mission. Last issue saw the release of the Terrigen Mists as Marvel heads towards Inhumanity, and while that plot point developed within the Punisher/Elektra/Venom portion of the story, it was very much off to the side. Normally that sort of distraction from a story that already has multiple plot threads going would be reason for me to gripe, but this one wa actually somewhat compelling and I’m interested in seeing how Gordon Nobili’s story plays out either in future issues of Thunderbolts or in Punisher’s upcoming solo series. While the Red Hulk/Red Leader/Mercy section of the story takes perhaps the most minor role in this particular issue, it may also prove to be the most important, at least in the short term, as finally dealing with Mercy appears as if it will be the Thunderbolts next goal. The highlight of the issue for me though, as it so often is  was Deadpool’s section of the story as his side adventure, finally coming to its conclusion steals the spotlight from everything else in the book in a men that literally made me laugh out loud.

I say it a lot, I know, but Charles Soule’s writing has worked wonders for this book. If not for him I probably would have given up on this title awhile ago. As it is though, I’m looking forward to seeing how things go now that we’re moving into a new story arc. I do have to warn you though, if you haven’t been reading this arc up to this point, while you may very well enjoy the issue, I don’t see Deadpool’s big moment in particular landing as solidly as if you’d already been following the series.

Score: 8.5

Michael Bowie

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