No Thanks: Marvel Announces a New Thunderbolts Team Comic


 

There’s no need for more Thunderbolts from Marvel, and yet, that’s what questionable writer Jim Zub has in store for readers, according to this interview, which announces a very PC creation is part of the cast:

 

The Thunderbolts are roaring back better than ever with a familiar name helping to guide their new adventures. Spinning out of the Daredevil event Devil’s Reign, Marvel’s new volume of Thunderbolts comes from writer Jim Zub and artist Sean Izaakse. Zub previously penned a Thunderbolts series from 2016-2017 featuring many of the team’s original members. However, this time the Thunderbolts will feature an all-new lineup, with longtime Avenger Hawkeye taking up a leadership role. Clint Barton will be joined by familiar heroes like Spectrum and America Chavez, along with new characters ready to leave their mark on the Marvel Universe.

 

Aside from glossing over Chavez’s diversity checkbox creation, the assertion the team is back “better than ever” is so hilarious, it’s practically sad. Mainly because they’re obviously all in for this before it’s even out. Here’s more:

 

Comicbook.com: This is an interesting roster for the Thunderbolts. What was the decision-making process like when choosing who would be selected, and what does each member bring to the team?

Jim Zub: It’s definitely not the kind of team line-up that readers might expect for Thunderbolts, and that’s intentional. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original team line-up and had a blast writing back in 2016-2017, but this iteration is operating differently by design.

Our new Thunderbolts team arrive thanks to things that happen at the end of Devil’s Reign. Without spoiling that, the idea here is that Luke Cage and Hawkeye want to reform the Thunderbolts team name after it’s been dragged through the mud by Wilson Fisk’s blatantly criminal crew.

This new team is centered around New York City, so the list of heroes I put together is NYC-centered and each member is also meant to fill a specific team role model. In the series we talk a bit about these team roles as specific titles – the Leader, the Brick, the Mentalist, the Energy Slinger, titles like that. These are core roles we’ve seen countless times in superhero team line-ups, we’re just calling them out specifically as part of the team building process. In terms of why the team is being put into place this way, all will be explained in issue #1.

 

Seeing Luke Cage is part of this tale, I wonder if he’ll still be bald and bearded in this rendition, or if Zub and artist Sean Izaakse will finally restore Cage with hair on his head and no beard? At least that’d be a step towards improvement after 2 decades. (And then, you could wonder if Carol Danvers will finally one day be restored to her black one-piece costume with a light streak on the front?) But setting the tale in the Big Apple? Unless Zub intends to write a convincing metaphor for the dire state the burg’s in, after Bill de Blasio brought it down to such horrific subterranean levels, what’s the use of setting it in such an obvious region? Say, and if I notice correctly, is Sam Sterns, one of the most notable adversaries of the Hulk, turning up in this? If he’s part of the Thunderbolts, that’s going to raise serious questions, if the Peter David storyline where the Leader wiped out a whole village in 1988 is still canon.

 

You and Sean Izaakse have worked together on your previous volume of Thunderbolts and also Champions. What’s it like to have that instant chemistry when relaunching a popular franchise like Thunderbolts?

Sean’s a stellar collaborator and a dear friend. I’ve worked on so many amazing projects with him over the years – Pathfinder, Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers MU, Avengers: No Surrender, Avengers: No Road Home, and Champions. We know each other’s strengths, we’ve got a lot of the same storytelling roots and sensibilities.

Getting to write superhero stories is a joy and getting to do that with someone as incredible as Sean takes it to a whole other level of greatness. Hawkeye is one of Sean’s favorite characters, Spectrum and America Chavez are both incredible and are seeing their profile level up in the public eye with their MCU arrival in Wandavision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Power Man and Persuasion are characters full of potential we can take in unexpected directions and, on top of that, we get to make two brand new Marvel characters with Gutsen Glory and Eegro. What else can I say? It’s the best.

When CB Cebulski and Tom Brevoort gave me the opportunity to pitch this Thunderbolts concept, I tried to take everything I’ve learned writing at Marvel over the past 7 years and build a book I would love to read. Against the odds, lightning strikes twice and I’m trying to make the most of it.

 

 

Here’s a fascinating query: will Chavez be built along any of the PC components she came with earlier, such as her being lesbian for the sake of it? If Zub keeps that in place, then the PC farce remains, though it’s definitely worse if nobody’s allowed to characterize DC’s Obsidian and his dad Alan Scott as heterosexual anymore. It’s unclear from the interview if Zub will continue with that forced PC, but then, I can’t figure out so far if he’s remaining faithful to the vision of Cage set up by Brian Bendis two decades back either. Zub’s sugary allusion to Brevoort, who went from one of Marvel’s best editors to the worst due to his far-left politics, is another galling moment. And as for lighting striking, I don’t think it ever really did so at all, if sales are dismal, which refutes whatever’s claimed.

Zub also posted the following, unearned praise for somebody who crafted another PC propaganda creation:

 

 

Well if that’s the kind of people he’s going to tip his hat to, it’s just one more reason why there’s no need to read the Thunderbolts book he’s got in store, or assume it’s much better than what previous writers of the past decade or so have done with the team, if he’s going to gloss over another propaganda vehicle that’s been one of the worst jokes of the past decade, sugarcoated as it was by the MSM within that time, no matter how poorly it actually sold, yet no clear sales figures were ever given in the wider press. And all coming at Carol Danvers’ expense. IIRC, Zub even included Khan in his Champions rendition, one more reason why this isn’t such a shock.

 

Gabby Rivera’s Version of ‘America Chavez’ is Problematic

Interestingly, since the new TV show was brought up, Pajiba, which has sugarcoated this too, said:

 

There are also people who feel she isn’t Muslim enough … ?

 

Which seems to be a confirmation the Islamic component is put to use in this new TV show, which seems to be what the new Marvel Studios is all about – social justice propaganda, ever since Kevin Feige indicated they’d go in that direction. The above addressed complaints by Islamists who surely decided it wasn’t faithful enough to their narrow vision, so of course, they otherwise detest it. But then, doesn’t that make clear why this kind of pandering is bad for the market?

It remains to be seen how well it’ll actually do in the long run, but regardless, that Marvel/Disney would go ahead with this is bad news, as it presents yet another example of politically motivated products in the most forced, contrived ways possible. All that aside, Zub’s Thunderbolts is decidedly another volume that’s merely pointless by now, long after Marvel’s output should’ve been retired.

 

Originally published here.


Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON