Home > Marvel Comics > Avengers/Thunderbolts #6

Avengers/Thunderbolts #6

August 13, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Blood Will Tell

The Avengers and Thunderbolts have one last chance to save the world from Moonstone… but what will be the cost?

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

With this issue the epic miniseries drawing to a close, I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed. The ending fizzles a bit, but the way the various character storylines are resolved is very, very good. Moonstone is juiced up on too much power and has, in essence, gone mad. The Avengers and Thunderbolts, frequently at odd with one another, have come together and have to stop her before the holes she’s tearing in reality destroy the world.

The problem is, the solution kind of feels like a Star Trek ending – let’s say a lot of really technical words and hope the audience swallows enough of it to accept that there’s a way to solve the problem in there somewhere. That sort of climax never really works for me. On the other hand, Busiek and Nicieza are too smart to rely entirely on the technobabble, and instead fall back on the incredibly well-established personal relationships they’ve crafted among the characters so supply the rest of the conclusion.

We now know that this miniseries is serving as a launching point for a new Thunderbolts ongoing series this fall, and I couldn’t be happier about that. That’s a double-edged sword, though, as the epilogue segments of the book are very, very clearly an attempt to lay the groundwork to begin rebuilding when the new series begins. For fans who intend to read the new title, that’s a great thing, but people who were merely sampling the series or who got it just to follow the Avengers may be slightly disappointed.

This was originally solicited as a Barry Kitson miniseries, but he faded away after issue two and Tom Grummet has really owned this book ever since. Together with the ink work of Gary Erskine, he does some of the best old-fashioned superhero comic books I’ve seen in a long time – which makes sense, he’s been doing it a long time. Too many artists these days follow the “Image” approach – excessive detail, sketchy figures, muddy faces. Grummett knows just how to tell a story, and that’s the most important thing any comic book artist can do. I’ve heard that much of the creative team from this mini will carry over to the ongoing – I don’t know if Grummett will join them, but I certainly hope so. He’s earned it with his work here.

Overall, this really isn’t a stellar conclusion to the Avengers/Thunderbolts miniseries… but it’s a very good prologue to Thunderbolts Vol. 2. People who intend to follow along to that new series won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 7/10

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