With the symbiote god Knull’s horde of dragons swarming Earth and New York City on the frontline, a desperate Mayor Wilson Fisk devises his most dangerous plan yet: assemble the Thunderbolts. Will this collection of mercenaries, killers, and various other evildoers be able to kill Knull and save the city? Or will the entire world become ensnared by the sinister sludge as they die trying?
“Question. How are we supposed to stop an alien invasion?”
A large part of this introductory issue’s success is due to Matthew Rosenberg’s excellent script work. Rosenberg’s use of humor to provide levity in such dire circumstances is perfect. Even with the world coming to a slimy end, I found myself smiling from ear to ear throughout the entire issue. However, even with Rosenberg’s entertaining script, Ferreyra’s artwork is worth the price of admission alone. In addition to expertly rendering the fallout of Knull’s invasion and each action sequence, Ferreyra’s work enhances the humor.
Although these interactions do not necessarily familiarize you with each character’s power set, they provide insight into their personalities. I was extremely appreciative of this as I was unfamiliar with Star and Mr. Fear. Understanding their personalities is ultimately more important to me as a reader as it allows me to connect with the characters. More importantly, it enables Rosenberg to reveal Star’s powers later in the issue to humorous effect. The creative team’s show-don’t-tell approach works so well because this reveal left my jaw open until the next punchline.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that I could tell you much about Mr. Fear’s abilities after reading this issue. However, this is not necessarily a negative aspect of King in Black: Thunderbolts #1. Rosenberg’s script does an excellent job telling me everything that I need to know about the character.
After the team agrees to join Fisk’s Thunderbolts, they embark on a mission to find an unrevealed person who might help them find and kill the symbiote god, Knull. From this point on, the narrative is relatively straightforward. However, Rosenberg’s use of humorous character interactions adds depth to the story as the team’s values and priorities clash. Moreover, each action sequence’s punctuation with witty dialogue is perfect and provides levity to a dire situation. Additionally, it is not hard to believe that the characters would behave in the manner Rosenberg depicts, given their criminal backgrounds.
From a narrative standpoint, the reveal of the character that the team seeks to rescue makes perfect sense. Although I can only imagine how this character will help at this point, their inclusion in the story has me excited for the next issue. I am especially intrigued by this character’s response to meeting the team at King in Black: Thunderbolts #1’s end.
“Your definition of good news and mine are a bit different.”
Although Rosenberg’s script left me smiling from ear to ear during a symbiote invasion, it is Juan E. Ferreyra’s artwork that truly sells King in Black: Thunderbolts #1. With such a large cast, Ferreyra does an excellent job giving each character a distinctive look. Moreover, Juan does an excellent job conveying each of the character’s expressions. The deranged look that characters like Mr. Fear take during specific sequences is perfect. Without Rosenberg’s script, you would still be able to tell what each character is thinking just by the looks on their faces.
However, I would be remiss if I did not mention how perfectly Ferreyra’s artwork conveys the story’s dark nature despite Rosenberg’s humor. Characters are colored in darker tones, representing the dire situation each of them faces. Additionally, I love how Ferreyra renders the symbiote covered city, the symbiote-possessed citizens, and, most importantly, the dragons. Without spoilers, Rosenberg and Ferreyra’s introduction of the dragon into the story is both horrifying and hilarious. It stands out as one of my favorite sequences in a book that is overflowing with funny moments.
Oozing with thrilling action, humor, and gorgeous artwork, King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 is pure fun. Rosenberg’s use of humor to provide levity during a symbiote invasion is perfect. However, Ferreyra’s artwork is worth the price of admission alone.
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