Home > Marvel Comics > New Thunderbolts #4

New Thunderbolts #4

January 14, 2005

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Sword and Claw (Enemy of the State Tie-In)

While the Thunderbolts lick their wounds, the Swordsman faces a crazed Wolverine.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Co-Plotter: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Tom Grummet
Inks: Gary Erkine
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Tom Grummet
Publisher: Marvel Comics

While I do applaud any effort to keep a tighter continuity in Marvel Comics these days, I have to admit that any enjoyment I may have had of this issue was somewhat tempered by the fact that I’m not reading Wolverine these days and all I know of that storyline is what I’m reading in reviews, which frankly, does not impress me. Evidently, he has been brainwashed and made a pawn in a Civil War among different factions of Hydra, and this issue he’s targeting the Thunderbolts’s benefactor, Baron Von Strucker. A unique little twist about Stucker, though, winds up putting the mysterious new Swordsman in the unique position of trying to save him.

Back at camp, the ‘Bolts are still recovering from their battle with Fathom Five. The newer members, Speed Demon, Joystick and Blizzard, want to take it easy, but Mach-IV isn’t keen on their plans to hit the town, since at least two of them are still wanted criminals. Meanwhile, Atlas finds himself answering some uncomfortable questions about the missing Captain Marvel.

As continuity-heavy as this series usually is, it’s even thicker this issue, between the ties to Wolverine’s solo title and the storylines harkening back to literally dozens of earlier Marvel titles. We do get a nice surprise regarding the Swordsman, and I find myself with a suspicion as to his true identity (which I’m hesitant to divulge because I’m really not sure where that particular character was when last we saw him).

Tom Grummet and Gary Erkine’s artwork is top-notch as usual. Although our heroes really take a backseat this issue to some of the various side plots, there’s an awful lot of action – first Swordsman versus Strucker, then a three-way battle once Wolverine is thrown in. The book gets a little bloodier than I expected, but with two blade-wielding combatants, that’s really to be expected.

While I wasn’t too pleased that this issue took a side track to patch in to the “Enemy of the State” fiasco, that didn’t limit my understanding much, just my enjoyment of it. The progress that the real plot of the title is good, and as always, I’m anxious to see where it will go next.

Rating: 7/10

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