Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Cover Artists: Kyle Hotz & Dan Brown
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: March 3, 2021
Last time we left the Suicide Squa- sorry, the Kingpin’s Thunderbolts on their mission to find a solution to defeat Knull and his Symbiote invasion of Earth. They lost two members in the first issue, no big loss. Then went to Ravencroft, recruited some inmates and had a bus ride. Now we’ll see what King In Black: Thunderbolts #3 has in store for these unlucky rogues.
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The story starts with the Thunderbolts going over the admittedly weird plan concocted by Norman Osborn and the Kingpin to fight the Knull. It involves using the torn remains of The Sentry discarded by Knull in the very first issue of King In Black. Matthew Rosenberg does not hide his direct influences for this comic, he even has several of the team members say the name of the film they’re copying.
The comic art continues to be a strength for this book as everyone looks distinguished with and without their masks on. However, the plot is essentially unimportant by the comic’s own admission. On multiple points does the book allude to how the team doesn’t really have it in them to beat Knull or if the plan will actually work. Honestly, some parts of the plan made sense until the comic actually shows it in action.
What does work for this comic is the character interactions, some working better than others. The Thunderbolts bicker and whine, complaining about each other left and right but they stick their necks out for each other. Why? The comic certainly wants readers to believe it’s out of a warped camaraderie between them. The comic does know how to make use out of plenty of the characters, with some having more special uses than the comic initially let on.
There are a few good moments with Taskmaster that certainly feel in-character for him in both this series and in his own. But then it goes around and has him do something that’s contradictory to what he just did. By the end, the comic concludes on a somewhat predictable ending that leaves room for Marvel Comics to continuing exploring this iteration of the Thunderbolts.
Matthew Rosenberg really pushes the angle further on this team of the Thunderbolts being Marvel’s version of the Suicide Squad. He even has Mister Fear say a joke reminiscent of the line by Will Smith’s Deadshot from the live-action Suicide Squad film when he says, “We’re some kind of Suicide Squad.” In the comic, Mister Fear says, “The whole squad….It’s suicide….We’re a Suicide Team!” Clearly, Rosenberg is having fun with this lineup for the Thunderbolts.
Considering how the book ends, it seems like Rosenberg is really shaping this team to be Marvel Comic’s Suicide Squad. From the way the team walks in unison through the ruined streets of Manhattan like the Squad did in their film. They report to a ruthless, manipulative, no-nonsense leader who would kill them for disobeying orders in the form of Kingpin same as Amanda Waller. Even with all these comparisons, this tie-in can be entertaining with some good crude humor here and there. Admittedly, the jokes and constant swearing get old real fast, so the good ones are buried under a lot of the bad ones.
This finale delivers exactly what it began from the first issue. The characters, the tone, and the story are written like something ripped from the current era of DC’s Suicide Squad but with lesser-known Marvel villains. Despite this, the tie-in has been consistent with what it is from start to finish and doesn’t try to be anymore than that.