His Soul is Crying: Warren Ellis Takes on ‘Thunderbolts’

Driving a stake into the heart of his dream of non-superhero creative freedom, Warren Ellis has been announced as the new writer of Thunderbolts, starting with issue #110. For years while railing against stupid superhero comics, he realizes his ultimate dream of finally really getting to know the real Venom and Green Goblin. He’s paired up with bubbly muscle drawer, Mike Deodato Jr.

I guess people are excited about this, but I think the best comics come from people who are really having fun with their work, and really have an affection for the characters they’re writing. Ellis has, for years expressed his distaste for typical superhero and supervillain comics, so I’m having trouble seeing how much love he’s going to throw into this. But I bet he’ll see a whole lot of comics.

Did anyone read Thunderbolts the first time it came out? Those were great days, for at least 20-30 issues. I think I left the book around the time Busiek did, but those were classic comics done right.

Here’s the press release by the way. Clearly, I’m a-tingle with anticipation.

Ellis and Deodato Introduce All-New, All-Deadly Thunderbolts

At the end of Civil War #4, the comics world saw the shocking formation of a brand-new team of Thunderbolts comprised of some of the most evil super-villains in the Marvel Universe. But these aren’t the only new members of the team.

Starting with Thunderbolts #110, Warren Ellis (Ultimate Extinction, Nextwave) and Mike Deodato (New Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man) will be coming on board to tell the story of this all-new, all-deadly squad.

Venom, lethal protector! The enigmatic Moonstone! Bullseye, the man who never misses! Songbird, mistress of sound! Chen Lu, the Radioactive Man! Swordsman, master of the blade! The mystery man called Penance! And Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin! They’re America’s newest celebrities, ready to take to the skies at a moment’s notice in pursuit of those secret, unregistered superhumans hiding among us!

They’re the All-New, All-Deadly Thunderbolts – making the world a safer place for ordinary people one would-be costumed hero at a time! In the wake of Civil War, Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato present a dark and disturbing take on Marvel’s most wanted, where the line between hero and villain is difficult to find—if it exists at all!

When New Avengers was launched, the first six issues had variant covers by each of the original Young Guns, leading to quick sellouts rarely seen in the industry. Now there is a new group of artists on the rise looking to make their mark on the next big thing: Thunderbolts! To commemorate this event, the first six issues of the Ellis/Deodato run will feature interlocking variant covers produced by the six Young Guns: Reloaded artists: Leinil Yu, Ariel Olivetti, Pasqual Ferry, Clayton Crain, Simone Bianchi & Billy Tan.

If you haven’t already jumped onboard the wild ride of redemption that is Thunderbolts, you cannot afford to miss the start of an all-era of the T-bolts starting in Thunderbolts #110 as the super-star team of Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato take the helm.

And for fans of the classic Thunderbolts, Baron Zemo’s story continues this February in an all-new limited series, Zemo: Born Better, written by Fabian Nicieza!


  1. Warren Ellis? Check.

    Mike Deodato? Check.

    I can’t believe I’m going to be buying Thunderbolts, a book I have derisively sneered at since college.

  2. Conor and I disagree on the worth of this book.

  3. I have been reading Thunderbolts since the beginning. In my opinion the original series never dipped. I never gave the Fight Club incarnation a chance. New Thunderbolts has been adequately good, not great. The postCW stuff has shown promise.

    Strangely, I am not broken up about this shift. The current series has been fair; it�s good to end it before it gets bad (of course I prefer it would get better). This new team is compelling. Obviously, they won’t be reforming Osborn, Venom, and Bullseye as they have other villains. It could be entertaining to see how that plays out. Radioactive Man has been one of the characters I like in the New team and Swordsman has potential.

    It seems like there is enough of the old associated with this new team for me to have hope that it will be good.

    I hope this Penance character doesn’t end up being a deaf woman. It’s been done

  4. I doubt they are going to be doing any “reforming” in this book. The characters would preclude that. I think this is about setting up a comparable counterpoint for the Avengers using the name of the most prominent super villain team out there.

  5. That makes sense because the New team has already been down that road with the Commission on Superhuman Affairs (or whatever Henry Gyrich�s group is called) . Given CW#4 and the Superhero Registration, I am assuming these villains are affiliated with the government. I am curious about how Radioactive Man plays into this team. He is a member of the Chinese diplomatic envoy, which I imagine would give him diplomatic immunity as far as registration is concerned. It would be his decision to be apart of this Dirty Dozen team. I wonder what his motives are.

    Also it would be lame if Penance turns out to be Tony Stark.

  6. Oh, that is hilarious! All that smug cluck-clucking about the long underwear fetishists, all that teasing me about my longboxes in “Nextwave,” and now he’s writing a book in which Venom is a main character. There’ll be a fair amount of cognitive dissonance in that next interview. I imagine it will work for him; after all, Bullseye and the Green Goblin hate superheroes, too. So it’s really quite consistent. If you think about it. Not especially hard.

    Of course, when I cluck-cluck for the next four months about this and then buy it, he will have passed the cognitive dissonance on to me.

    This reminds me of something I think Tom Breevort recently posted about Marvel ruining its villains. “Ruining” was not his word, I don’t think, but he was talking about the fact that any decent existing bad guy has either been killed or doofus-ified. “Stilt-Manned” if you will. Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth, Venom� are these characters being put to their best use by working in teams or as “heroes”? Do I really need to read about Bullseye: Lethal Protector and Norman Osborn fighting for good and getting kittens out of trees? Maybe I should read Busiek’s run or Suicide Squad and try to get an idea what the appeal of such a book is.

  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance for anyone else who is not blessed with Jimski’s impressive vocabulary.

    As far as Marvel’s villains. Stilt-Man is a doofus, he named himself “Stilt Man.” I have come to believe that Magneto is bi-polar (apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), because every time he shows up he is either trying to destroy or save humanity. When Venom was Eddie Brock, his evil was a personal thing against Peter and that he was a direct threat to Peter’s personal life. I think that kind of motivation has more realism than saying he is another guy with a bad attitude and powers. I never had a problem buying Venom not wanting to kill anyone other than Peter. Bullseye is the closest thing Marvel has to the Joker, so in the context of that universe putting him anywhere other than in a cell is insane. However it will make a fun story. I imagine at some point Bullseye, Green Goblin, and Venom will stop being apart of the team and they will be replaced with maybe Sabertooth and Mystique or even Stilt-Man.

    One more thing what happened to Jack O’ Lantern, Taskmaster, and the Jester?

    Penance better not be Zemo’s essence hiding out in someone else’s body.

  8. Penance is Hawkeye.


    Jimski…you don’t NEED to buy it. Just don’t. You’ll feel better.

    How many months in the future is this? I wish they’d announce something that was coming out this week instead of January.

  9. “The real Venom?” No, sir, that’s Scorpion.

  10. Yeah, I know. I don’t have to buy it at all. I just looked into my four-month crystal ball, and it showed me in the store saying, “Well… Ellis has such a great rep, and I liked that thing he did that time… I hate to prejudge something I never even read… whinge, waffle, kvetch,” and picking it up. Then whack-o-blam!, JMS FF all over again.

    Maybe I’ll preview #1 with the magic screen on my desk.

    Dumb question: if “Thunderbolts” is about the team of villains the government put together to hunt people down, doesn’t that pretty thoroughly give away the ending of Civil War? At least, it strongly suggests that the events of #5-6 do not make Stark and the president say, “My God… what fools we’ve been. This has to stop. Cap, give us a hug.”

  11. Why couldn’t Marvel let poor little DC had his Secret Six? just kidding, or am I?

    I really have no comments about Ellis on this book. I enjoy Nextwave a lot and liked Authority from the beginning (even though Millar’s run was the best for me). But I’m really not expecting big surprises, mainstream media tends to kill the tiger and get scared with the skin.

    Look at the Secret society of villains on DC, the concept that was highly (but not extremely) exploited during Crisis, now I think it’s totally underused.

    – NOTE *-
    1. Does anyone remeber Penance, the S&M girl from Generation X, this guys costume has a feel of hers.

    2. Does anyone remeber IDENTITY DISC?

  12. Newsarama just posted an interview with quesada about this and this particular exchange made mne laugh out loud so I share:

    NRAMA: Given that Ellis is coming in on issue #110 is it safe to assume that there was a discussion about restarting T-bolts with a new #1, and the restart side lost the fight?

    JQ: Actually, there was no discussion about doing this at all. I think much of this had to do with our mishandling of T-bolts back when it became a Mexican wrestling book. We wanted to keep a certain connection to the past and keeping the numbering going was a big part of that. T-bolt fans are a very loyal crew, I�m very afraid of them.

    Was it really a mexican wrestling book at one point? I missed that incarnation

  13. Of course, Penance is Hawkeye. How could I have missed that? That solves that.

    All this reveals about the end of Civil War is that we won’t be at the same place we were at the beginning of it. For the sake of story I am hoping government registration is still apart of post Civil War Marvel. It will give them new directions to take stories. Also it suggests Cap is going to have to come to some sort of compromise, which is interesting. It is a new direction for Norman Osborn, who has had nothing to contribute to the universe since his resurrection.

    I am taking this as a good sign of what is to come at Marvel. It is the first look at post-CW Marvel (I kept my eyes firmly closed tight when the Might Avengers preview was going around) and it isn’t terrible.

  14. It wasn’t a Mexican wrestling book, they are joking about when they axed the original series and turned it into a super human Fight Club book. No one liked that idea so they brought it back to New Thunderbolts, which is what we have now.

  15. seriously though. listen to antifanboy #2 we didn’t even mention ifanboy once. we actually tried to take it seriously (to an extent) this time.


  16. I’m happy about this. The book has been good during Civil War. I’ve been reading it and I actually picked up 106 too. I’m glad to see that they are committing top-tier talent to it. Hope it’s good and that it lasts.

    thanks dave

  17. Just shoot me now. I like T-Bolts. I use to love the series back when it first came out. I like what Nicieza’s been doing, but this… ugh!

    What’s going to really piss me off is that this is probably going to get 10 times the promotional push that the series did while being written by Nicieza.

  18. I may have to start buying Thunderbolts… if just to see how I like it. Aside from the original Heroes for Hire series (my first foray into comics), Thunderbolts were what got me into comics, so I’m pumped

  19. Penance (who was actually M. Yeah, I know, don’t ask) had an evil brother named “Emplate.” He looks just like one of the guys in the previews I’ve seen of The Loners.

    And how can this new Thunderbolts be ripping off of the Secret Six when the old Thunderbolts was the exact same concept with a different roster? Baron Zemo, Speed Demon, Blizzard…these guys were all villains. Ripping off of Suicide Squad, I can see, but not The Secret Six.