Marvel NOW!: Daniel Way and Steve Dillon to Relaunch THUNDERBOLTS

Marvel’s teaser for a new Daniel Way and Steve Dillon book featured the word Lighting, which comes before Thunder. Or maybe after. I can never remember. Either way, they’re doing a Thunderbolts book, relaunching the “bad guys as good guys or maybe not” super team once again. This time, the team will be lead by Red Hulk, and isn’t affiliated with the government. But then, Red Hulk is an Army man, so we’ll have to see.

Anyone else feel like this team has been rebooted a whole lot of times in the last few years? Around Secret Invasion, Warren Ellis took it for a spin, and then it just became a Norman Osborn affair, like every other Marvel book at the time. Then Jeff Parker took it over, and it was fantastic (as was his Red Hulk), and then they did a soft reboot, changing it to Dark Avengers, which I can’t ever remember to buy for some reason. I know that almost everything is getting rebooted with Marvel NOW! (except that they say it isn’t), but man, you just want to say, “let the book be,” which they’re obviously not going to do if not enough people are buying it.

So this incarnation of the Thunderbolts will reunite the team of Way and Dillon who did Wolverine: Origins for a good long while. The book starts up in December, and in an attempt to bring people in, it’ll be a big hitter team with Elektra, The Punisher, Venom, and of course, Deadpool, in addition to Red Hulk. I suspect that some will find this “wicked awesome,” which is kind of a bummer, because Parker’s version featured characters I didn’t know all that well, and it made me smile every time. This is the mainstream comics industry today. They’re trying to sell t-shirts too, I guess.

I’m giving good odds to Wolverine showing up by issue #3. What do you say?


  1. As a Massachusettsian, I don’t know if this would be called “wicked awesome”, ha but yes I agree with your criticisms.

  2. this is my early front-runner for worst book of Marvel Now

  3. If they add X-23 and Ghost Rider they will have the whole Circle of Four team! Lol

  4. Wasn’t it around Civil War when Ellis came on? But yes they’ve rebooted this book a lot. Each time, it’s been critically acclaimed but not selling well…

    • Avatar photo aurgail (@aurelgaillard) says:

      It was right after Civil War, ran for a year and then basically took over the Marvel Universe after Secret Invasion with Dark Reign.

  5. Elektra and Punisher seem so out of place in a team book. They look totally out of place to me on the #1 cover. This book needs an exceptionally well written premise to make this team work.

  6. So does that mean I can take that off of my list or do we know if Dark Avengers is ending?

  7. Replacing one of my favorite books on the stands with one of my least favorite creative teams in memory writing some of my least favorite characters. Putting the Punisher on a team with criminals, no less.

    Okay, I’ll give it 30 issues, but no more.

    (I get the sense reading comics is gonna get a lot cheaper come November or so.)

    • I really do enjoy the Punisher and Red Hulk, at least the last two years of Re Hulk stuff, but I’m with you. They couldn’t have picked a creative team more likely to turn me off. Oh well, someone out there will like it and hey, that’s fine I guess

  8. I LOVE Parker’s Thunderbolts (and Red Hulk). I doubt I will love this.

    • Have to agree, guess that’s another Marvel book that I’m gonna be ending with!

      So far it looks like Hickmans foray with the Avengers is all I’m getting with these Marvel NOW! titles.

    • Third-ed, Parker brought the Thunderbolts back to the crazy/awesome/anything could happen C-list villian fiesta that it used to be in the Busiek/Nicieza days (sorry, Ellis, your stories were good, but they were not Thunderbolts). Now it looks like Way and Dillion are gonna go more the “Dark Avengers” route. Yup, I’ll pass..

  9. I will probably be dropping Thunderbolts after Parker wraps up his impressive run. I do like this new team they put together, but I’m not a huge fan of Way. I tried some of Wolverine Origins as well as Deadpool and was unimpressed with the overall stories. I hate to be such a downer but I really loved what Parker was doing on the book.

  10. Terrible. Marvel cancels one of their best books in the Punisher so that he could be in a team book…

  11. i want this a strong 3 dollar book that give me a bunch of good characters.My problem with marvel now is two many 4 dollar books and double shiping,but even if this comes twice it’s only 6 dollars that’s not that bad,hope we get more like this.

    • Yeah, I refuse to buy any Marvel $3.99 books. I get 3 in DC but they all have extra content: Batman, Detective Comics and Justice League. The only Marvel titles I get are Scarlet Spider, Hawkeye and Daredevil. All $2.99 and non double ship. Well, Daredevil is once in a while but that is it. The other 14 titles I get are all DC and all once a month and $2.99. I would like to get into more Marvel but I just can’t afford it with their prices. Unless I drop DC titles to add 1 Marvel title. I would rather have more variety.

    • Should have said ‘Unless I drop 3 DC titles to add 1 Marvel title.’

  12. So I like Venom, Punisher and Deadpool. Neutral on Elektra and Red Hulk. I get Deadpool and Venom and Punisher solo books. Do I have to get this as well? Not 100% convinced on this. Punisher is ending after War Zone? Venom ending?

    It’s in my “pass” column right now.


    • You should try the pull list. Then somebody else can remember for you. 😉

    • My eyes just skip right over it. That’s how much I didn’t like Dark Avengers the first time.

    • I was damn close to dropping Thunderbolts when the title switched but stuck with it. There was one issue that was only about the Dark Avengers where I kept thinking, “let’s get back to the good team.” But after that it became clear that the core of the book was still about the rag tag squad Parker has assembled and he wove the extra characters into the story nicely.

      So, if you’ve enjoyed Parker’s T-Bolts try to read the Dark Avengers through November because it feels like we are going to get a satisfying ending point for those characters.

      On the other hand, this new T-Bolts book sounds exactly the opposite of what I want to read.

    • It’s just freaking invisible on the stands.

  14. I really hope DA doesn’t get cancelled for this, but I sure won’t be surprised.

    Not really interested.

  15. I’m actually interested in this. I like all the characters but Red Hulk, who I also don’t DISlike. I like Steve Dillan. I’ve been mostly OK with Way’s Deadpool work. Also, I had many of the same reactions the people above are about Uncanny X-Force before that started, and I loved that. I’ll give it a shot.

  16. I think I read an interview with Greg Rucka that one the reason his The Punisher was being cancelled was because it wasn’t performing phenomenally well and Marvel wanted to use Frank in another series. If this is there plan, man… it just doesn’t seem fair that we lose a Rucka series for this.

    From what I have heard Parker is going to keep on Dark Avengers but the Time-Bolts story is going to be wrapping up in the next couple months, and the focus is going to remain on the DA team. Sounds like a bummer, but I trust Parker enough to make it worthwhile. Similar with his switch from Red Hulk to Red She-Hulk. He’ll find an angle that makes it worthwhile.

    Hey, maybe Rucka can do She-Punisher! Red She-Punisher?

  17. I am incredibly conflicted over this. I love the entire roster, but I don’t really like Daniel Way, and I know nothing about Steve Dillon.
    Marvel, why must you make me feel this way?

  18. I already stopped buying T-Bolts when the title switched to Dark Avengers since I didn’t like the new team members. I don’t like the new lineup either. Even though I buy Venom, I think it’s stupid that he’ll be on two teams including this and Secret Avengers.

    Basically, like most others here I liked what Jeff Parker & Co were doing with the C-listers pre title change, but I guess not enough other people were buying it to keep it status quo. I wonder what Parker will be writing next? Maybe I should check that book out…

  19. Really? This is why Punisher and Red Hulk were cancelled? Why can’t they exist as well? And don’t tell me it’s for continuity, because then you’re going to have to reduce the number of titles Wolverine appears in to just a few. If it’s sales, why not just give it a few months, see if maybe people pick up Thunderbolts, like the characters and decide to give their solo titles a try? It couldn’t hurt, could it? This is like having your filet mignon taken away and being given a McDonalds hamburger instead. The latter sells better, but the former is so much better in all other ways.

  20. That creative team…does not make this book any more appealing. And Punisher on a team book? Wtf is Marvel thinking.

    • They handled this very well in Civil War when Punisher just started capping people and the heroes were like “WTF” and had to deal with that.

  21. Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers under Parker’s care has been a blast. I’m not sure if he’s attached to any of the Marvel NOW! titles, but this creative team doesn’t do much for me. I like some of the characters on the team, but I just don’t find the whole team together all that interesting. I might feel compelled with a different creative team to give it a shot, but I think I’ll pass on this one.

  22. Contrary to most comments here, this lineup intrigues me.

  23. So, does this mean that Venom’s not going to be a Secret Avenger anymore? Or is this gonna be a double-duty sort of thing, like how Luke led and was still a New Avenger?

    • Well, Rick Remender’s run on Secret Avengers is ending soon (December, I think?) so who knows what’ll happen with that team. But yeah, I would expect Venom to leave SA.

    • Eh, I dunno. It could be a double duty thing. I think I read in the article about Flash moving to Philly that he was going to be in a relationship with “fellow Secret Avenger Valkyrie.” Besides, when has T-Bolts membership excluded one from Avengers membership?

    • You could be right, there’s no reason he couldn’t do both. I guess I just don’t want Flash to become the next Wolverine, that’s all. People tend to dislike characters who start popping up everywhere.

  24. I just don’t like Steve Dillon’s art, but that cover is sick.

  25. Deadpool along side Flash Thompson with Red Hulk in charge of the team sign me up for the first arch. This is clearly the bad boys of the Marvel Universe but none are “bad” guys. they should have named this the Anti-Avengers. Marvel is always looking to make new Avengers books anyway…

  26. Well I’m a bit annoyed.

    Why not just reboot Thunderbolts but keep Parker and Walker/Shalvey? Oh well. Hopefully these guys get much more work as time goes on.

    Not sure if this is a ‘must buy’ for me. But I can’t deny the line up in the team is intriguing enough for me. It’s like the little kid in me, who loved Punisher/Venom much more back then, is telling me to try it. That and Way is still writing Deadpool so that’s a plus.

    I dunno. Probably like Deadpool, I’ll give the first issue a shot and see if I like it to warrant an ongoing read.

  27. Call me old fashioned, but Punisher shouldn’t be on a team.

  28. I think I’m done with Marvel. For now at least. Every book is just another Avengers or X-Men title and everyone is on every team. It’s all their highest-profile characters and all of their third or fourth tier ones are just gone. There’s no diversity. I may not like the quality of many DC titles, but at least they are all distinct and separate. Love the level of writer and artist talent they have. Just don’t want these books. Too bad, too since I can afford to buy them all each Wednesday quite easily.

  29. Ugh. Punisher on a team…me no like. Me no read.

    No write good, either.

  30. Based on Josh’s post and a lot of the comments here, I’d say the biggest mistake Marvel made was branding this team the Thunderbolts.

    I get that Thunderbolts may have been the longest running monthly series launched after 1995 but sales have never been that stellar and they’ve received hardly any cross-media promotion (i.e. No sign of the Thunderbolts in an episode of the Avengers cartoon). What is it about the Thunderbolts as a brand does Marvel see worth keeping?

  31. Well, that’s me out. I’ve read every issue of every version, bar the Fight Club mob, but there’s not a single character I like here. I’d rather the Thunderbolts name were retired for a few years until someone else gets the go-ahead for a series featuring Melissa, Abe and co.

  32. For me, this team is incredibly interesting.
    This writer, on the other hand, is not. Probably I’ll give it a shot.