Reviews

Review – King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 (Marvel Comics)

King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 (Marvel Comics) main cover (detail) by Kyle Hotz
  • Writing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
    8.3/10

King in Black: Thunderbolts #2

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Release Date: February 10, 2021

Norman Osborne is here to help the Thunderbolts, because you know that always works out super-well!

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
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“Back in Black” King in Black: Thunderbolts #2

Our team has made it to their destination in King in Black: Thunderbolts #2. Well, what’s left of the team, that is. Most of them died or just left right out of the gate. Taskmaster, Mister Fear, Batroc the Leaper, and Star are all that remains of Kingpin’s new version of the Thunderbolts. What is the plan, exactly? Not really sure, but Star maybe able to help stop Knull. Why are they at Ravencroft Institute? Not really sure. But, hey Norman Osborne, the Green Goblin, should be able to help, right? Old Gobby has a long history with versions of the Thunderbolts. Nothing can possibly go wrong in King in Black: Thunderbolts #2.

Writing

King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Marco Checchetto
King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Marco Checchetto

Matthew Rosenberg is penning a strange little three-issue mini-series here. From the cover, you would think this a high-octane thriller action book. On one part, it is very high action. Rosenberg brings the chaos of Knull’s takeover straight o the reader. But the story and characters are just a bunch of silly fun. From scenarios to character interactions, Thunderbolts #2 is a lighthearted jaunt through a horrific world which Knull controls.

I do like this more comedic take on the King in Black storyline. We have enough books dealing with the seriousness of the situation. In that regard, it is fun just to relax with some characters as they crack jokes and laugh about the absurdity of what is happening on the pages. But also, at the same time, it is hard to take the book seriously or be overly invested in what, exactly, is happening on the pages.

Matthew Rosenberg does do fantastic dialogue for all the characters. He keeps the jokes and quips coming at a fast pace and, remarkably, most of them land pretty well. I do find myself wishing it had a small tinge of seriousness to it, though. While it is a fun read, it is hard to really care about anything that is happening when everything is a joke.

Art

We know I love Juan Ferreyra‘s art. It is no secret I fanboy out every time he is on something. Hey, he even reached out on Twitter and explained a bit of his coloring process! Which, again, love the look and feel of Ferreyra’s coloring. It is something that makes his art stand out in a tremendous way. 

I think one thing I did not talk about in my review of issue #1 that we can discuss here for Thunderbolts #2 is Ferreyra’s fantastic panel layouts and the visual structure of the issue. Wonderful layouts and scene setups, from some truly exciting and exhilarating action sequencing to nailing the comedic timing. Great all-around visual display. Scenes bounce from one to another with an elegant display. Violence and mayhem erupt, while still bolstering the fun, lackadaisical attitude of the series. 

There is a delightful panel of a Knull dragon breaking into Ravencroft. From the “goo” dragon almost seeming like it is dripping into the building, to the shot of Star flying up to it with the other team members below, Ferreyra shows good size scale, while also creating an interesting visual. 

Conclusion

The hard thing about rating something like King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 is that it is a good book. I enjoy reading it and it is fun. But at the same time, do I really care what is going on in it? The answer is “no, not really”. The characters are fun and I get a nice laugh out of it, but at the same time, I don’t really honestly care about anything happening in it.

Again, it has a killer creative team. Matthew Rosenberg is a wonderful writer; I just wish maybe the series had a little more substance to it. I am reminded a lot of another tie-in event mini-series from War of the Realms in The Punisher: Kill Krew. Kill Krew was all sorts of wacky fun. But it had a tinge of heart and self-seriousness. Not a lot, but just enough to get you invested and feel that the story was, in some way, sincere. I believe that is what this series is missing to make it great. With a little pinch of that, Thunderbolts #2 would be most excellent.


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