While the cast of the book has gotten too big to keep track of, it’s still an incredibly fun read. The core characters are delightful, particularly the rather weird relationship between Moonstone and Man Thing. The art, and the influx of new characters that have joined the book in recent issues make it a bit hard to follow who beyond the original cast of Jeff Parker’s run, is doing what. There’s a conspiracy going on, but I’m not quite sure whose involved or what they’re hoping to achieve. Still there’s enough awesomeness going on to keep me interested including a Giant Size Man-Thing.
This issue is all about Jeff Parker playing the long game. He’s taking plots from various points in his run and smashing them into one another in the most inconvenient way possible. And it’s consistently fun, which is a feat. And as a bonus, we get a splash-page-sized joke that Parker has to have been sitting on for the better part of a year.
I’m not sure what it says about me that Thunderbolts and Secret Six are two of my favorite comics from Marvel and DC — but I don’t think I’m alone in my love of these anti-hero books. I don’t know, maybe now that I’m older, there’s something about actual bad guys being bad (or maybe even trying to be good) as opposed to good guys being bad, since, let’s face it, how the Thunderbolts act and how a lot of “heroes” act in superhero books isn’t always that different. With youthful rebelliousness behind me, I may be more drawn to stories about evil striving to be good than about good constantly faltering into evil. Hmm. Well, more specific to this issue, while the reptile critter storyline isn’t doing much for me, the machinations of the various Thunderbolts always makes for a good read and the whole subplot with the Man-Thing and Satanna has me intrigued.