Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Tom Grummett(p), Gary Erskine(i), Chris Sotomayor(c)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
My biggest problem with The New Thunderbolts? I don't buy the Purple Man as anything but a lavender loser. So, I read the stupid setup, and I'm reminded that this Concord Cretin turned my least favorite female character into psychological guacamole. Now, I'm not going to get into the idea of the Marvel Max line supposedly being a separate Marvel continuity because honestly, I don't care. My point is, and to quote Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"
If you can't outwit the Purple Man, if you don't have the willpower to force This Wine-Colored Wimp out of your head, you shouldn't even be in a comic book. This guy comes off as zero threat. In fact, Batroc Ze Leaper is ten times more threatening. I'd even go as so far to say that Batroc can la savate this lamo's lilac lunkhead up his own laurels.
The Purple Man's bane is a projectile. Stay out of range; shoot him, and he's dead. It doesn't matter what you use. Gun, boomerang, bow and arrow, poison dart and blow gun, slingshot. He's dead. Sure some dimbulb decided to make him undead or pop-goes-the-weasel dead, but that doesn't fly one bit. That's contrived nonsense of the worst kind. It's like suggesting that twins could rapidly age due to Spider-Man's spider powers or Green Goblin's strength and regeneration formula. Neither one has anything to do with the other.
Examine Superman. The Man of Steel derives his powers from the yellow sun and traditionally the lighter gravity of earth. Thus, he originally gained increased strength, stamina and toughness. His ability to "leap tall buildings in a single bound" is a result of a Kryptonian musculature evolving in the presence of higher gravity. All of Superman's powers--and most of the extrapolations--derive from the basic groundwork.
Purple Man has the ability to control minds. This is really a lousy power to possess given that a mildly seasoned super-hero by definition has greater willpower than the average Joe and Jane and should be able to shake off his mental commands as easily as a puppy shakes off water, but I'm willing to accept as a rationalization that the Thunderbolts still have the weaker willpower of villains. Regardless. How does mind-control give Purple Man a Get Out of Death Free card? That's I-Man's power, damn it, and it doesn't play fair with the reader.
Things get worse with this issue when Marvel's latest hootenanny The House of M rears its ugly, pimple-covered, pock-marked rear-end. I have a question. If reality is reordering itself in a "what if?" fashion, why are we still stuck with Photon-Captain Marvel Jr-shiny-faced-Hal Jordan Genis? If reality is reordering itself, why not bring back the original Captain Marvel from Marvel Comics? I mean at least do something interesting. More proof that this year's Big Stupid Events are creatively bankrupt.
If not for the courage of Tom Grummett, Gary Erskine and Chris Sotomayor, "the minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost." I'm tempted though to give this book an even lower score. Although I recognize that I may be prejudiced against the Purple Pinbrain, but come on! This is Zebediah Killgrave! A total joke of a villain throughout his entire fictional life. Damn it, why couldn't Scourge have killed this Exasperating Eggplant!
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