Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Netho Diaz, Victor Olazaba
Colors by: Java Tartaglia
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit, Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Sean Izaakse, Nolan Woodard
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: October 26, 2022
Thunderbolts #3 finds Hawkeye gathering the team for team-building exercises when a group of superpowered apes runs amok in nearby Central Park Zoo. Can the new Thunderbolts get their act together to defeat a simian scourge?
Is It Good?
No, they don’t get their act together, but that appears to be part of Zub’s plan… maybe. I was cautiously optimistic about Thunderbolts #1, and issue #2 held that optimism in a cautious state. Thunderbolts #3 is a little more cautious and a little less optimistic because you get more of what readers liked in the first two issues but not enough progress toward a goal and way too much Hawkeye belittlement.
Hawkeye is an Avenger. He’s saved countless people and the Earth countless times. To see Hawkeye continually treated like an immature, feckless chump is disheartening. Marvel can’t seem to let go of the criminally OVERrated version of Hawkeye from the Fraction/Aja run, and it’s long past time to give this hero his dignity and respect back. Soapbox speech over.
Now, Hawkeye gathers the team in Central Park for a “Think Fast”-style training to get the team to work together and strengthen their responsiveness. No sooner are the fun and games underway when they receive a call that the Russian-speaking Super Apes have taken over the Central Park Zoo as the first step toward an animal revolution. The Thunderbolts arrive and settle the takeover but make an embarrassing show of it.
Sound familiar? To be fair, the pacing is good, the dialog is excellent, and Zub successfully makes the team’s failures awkwardly amusing. However, the general plot of the issue is a repeat of issues #1 and #2. Clint wrestles with professional/personal drama, Thunderbolts get an assignment, mission accomplished (badly), and Clint is left to face damage control and self-doubt. Rinse and repeat.
If Zub has a story to tell, he’s not telling it, or he’s taking a slow road that feels like the series is spinning in place.
On the plus side, the art by Diaz and Olazaba is excellent. The action moments are packed with energy, and the small, dramatic moments hit with emotion.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Thunderbolts #3 is a solid story that feels like a repeat of the plot from issues #1 and #2. The issue is well-constructed in its pacing, plotting, dialog, and excellent art, but the series feels like it’s not going anywhere.