Thunderbolts #18: Infinity Conclusion
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Jefte Palo
Colorist: Guru eFx
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Julian Tedesco
Editors: Jordan White & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Our Team of Thunderbolts: Frank Castle (The Punisher), Elektra Natchios (Elektra), Flash Thompson (Venom), Wade Wilson (Deadpool), Thunderbolt Ross (Red Hulk), Samuel Sterns (The Leader), Mercy (Mercy)
Wait, they’re in the Battle Van: After the conversion of the Nobili family into Inhumans, the youngest son is killed by the gangsters and they help the Thunderbolts take down the mobsters. The Paguros manage to escape, but not before Flash gets a Venom-Tracer on them. The second son (of two) of the Nobili family kills himself because of the freak he has became and their father learns that his mutation allows him to communicate with his ancestors, who remind him that The Punisher is behind all his pain.
Meanwhile, Wade is eating his pizza, in a diner that the Paguros just happened to own; Wade was aware of this though and when they show up, he kills them before the others can get there. Frank is happy and takes Elektra out to the Battle Van to… “Celebrate” while Flash bonds with Wade over a slice of pizza.
Ross is able to convince Mercy to attack the alien invaders and spare the humans by promising her an unlimited source of misery to feed off. We never learn what it is, but when the Thunderbolts pick him and Sterns up, he says they need to talk on how to stop Mercy immediately…. over a 16 hour car ride. Wade kills himself and tells Frank to kill him again if he heals up in the next 16 hours.
If I heal up before we get there, shoot me again: This was a great conclusion to the Infinity arc of Thunderbolts, which also means it is the wrap up of the first team mission under Charles Soule’s pen. We had some great action, some great character interactions, wonderful jokes, and some nice set-up for both the immediate and far flung future; I hope Soule stays on this book for a while, even if it features a revolving roster (He may be losing Venom to the Guardians of the Galaxy soon.) And there was some genuine emotion at the beginning when a new found Inhuman discovered his beautiful ability and was executed for being a freak in front of his family. This one scene lent a lot to the introduction of a new Inhuman nemesis for Frank and I’m excited for when the Nobili ‘family’ shows up again.
Once again, this arc was out to prove that Wade Wilson, The Merc with the Mouth, is the hero of this story this time around, allowing him to make the game winning play by executing the Paguros. I love Soule’s Deadpool and the final line of the issue left me with a good chuckle and a desire to continue reading on. Wade’s tale has easily been the strongest out of this storyline, but that’s not a slight to the others. We saw Frank’s ability to adapt to increasingly worse situations, we saw Elektra serve as the cool head on the team when fights broke out amongst members, we saw Flash try to be the moral compass and then revert back to a killer, we saw what lengths Ross would go to win, and we had The Leader develop a new power (or rather get a clear clarification on what it is). Everyone on the the team had a nice little tale within the larger story and I felt like the characters grew through this event.
There’s not much I can say about the art I haven’t said before. It felt like there was more polish to this issue than the last couple, especially when it came to the Inhumans. One thing I really liked in this storyline is the long pauses characters have when something takes awhile to click, it translates well from script to panel.
Verdict: I laughed, I got invested, I got a bit emotional, and I got excited for what’s to come; this comic took me through everything I expect from a single issue. It wasn’t perfect, but it came pretty damn close. And in the coming months, we have Johnny Blaze joining the team as Ross pulls them together to take on Mercy in No Mercy. But first, ROAD TRIP!
- Tragic Origin for new villain
- Nice Set-Up for No Mercy
- I laughed quite a bit
- Deadpool the Hero
- Nice little arcs for each character
- Art could have been stronger
(Issue 18) A-