Home > Marvel Comics > Avengers/Thunderbolts #5

Avengers/Thunderbolts #5

July 24, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Truth and Consequences

Moonstone has gone mad – can the Avengers and Thunderbolts put aside their differences to save the world?

Writers: Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colors: Brian Reber
Letters: Richard Starkings
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Barry Kitson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The second-to-last issue of this slam-bang miniseries gives me more hope than ever that this will lead into a new beginning for the Thunderbolts, which was hands-down the best concept to come out of Marvel Comics in the second half of the 90s, after clones, onslaughts and rebirths nearly ruined the entire line. This issue, with Baron Zemo’s energy-collecting scheme thwarted, Moonstone has internalized the power and is going berserk. The Avengers, the Thunderbolts and her ex-lover, Hawkeye, have to find a way to bring her back to reality before she destroys the world… and it will take another former Thunderbolt to do it.

Busiek and Nicieza do a great job pulling all of the elements of the story together, showing the two teams grudgingly form a sort of truce (as we all knew would happen). They go a step further, however, and bring in more elements from the old Thunderbolts series, showcasing a couple of former members and showing what they’re capable of. This bit may be a tad daunting for new readers, since there’s not much buildup or explanation, but this is a book playing mainly to fans of the original series, so there shouldn’t be too much of a learning curve there.

The most surprising, and best-done, aspect of this miniseries for me has been the characterization of Baron Zemo. Once a despotic mastermind and sworn enemy of Captain America, towards the end of the old series we saw him begin to move into a gray area, not becoming an outright hero, but shifting his motivation to more altruistic, if still misguided, ends. He does something in this issue that I never in a million years would have expected to see him do, but the action stems perfectly from the slow development he’s had, and it sets up an interesting new status quo for the character.

Tom Grummett… well, I’m an unabashed fan of Tom Grummett, and since Barry Kitson seemed to bow out of this miniseries just two issues in, he’s a fine replacement. He’s one of the most underrated artists out there, with clean, straightforward storytelling, dynamic poses and good facial expressions. If Marvel is in the market for a penciler for the new series, since Mark Bagley and Patrick Zircher are busy these days, you’ve got your man right here.

With just one issue left, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea how this miniseries is going to end… that’s not a complaint though. It’s clearly going to be setup for the return of one of my favorite comics, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Rating: 8/10

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