I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but “T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents” #6 was the first issue of the series that I found to just be all right, rather than great. It’s a testament to the first five issues that ok ends up feeling like a disappointment, rather than par for the course or even a big improvement. But ok is exactly what we get, here.
“T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents” #6 is an epilogue to the story that ran through the first five issues; we get the aftermath of the attack, and glimpses into the psychological profiles of the new team members and how they’re dealing with their first mission. All of these moments are well done. They help build on the previous issues and their focuses on each of these characters, and it’s nice to see writer Nick Spencer still building on what we’ve seen to date. But there’s no spark here, no oomph that pushes the comic forward. Not even the arrival of the Iron Maiden (who will feature heavily in the next storyline) could get my attention here, which is a shame. It feels like a comic trying to somehow tackle too much and end up losing momentum in each of its stories.
The one good thing here is that CAFU and Bit continue to deliver jaw-droppingly beautiful art. From the helicopter pulling the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents out of a mission gone badly, to the glimpses of the different members trying to comprehend what just happened, everyone’s drawn with care and real emotion. CAFU’s pencils bring to life what the words don’t, making a routine medical exam a scene worth dwelling over. I keep bracing myself for the word that CAFU and Bit are moving onto a higher profile comic, but right now I just delight in the fact that they’re knocking the ball out of the park over here every month.
“T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents” #6 isn’t a bad book, but it isn’t quite up to the high standards that Spencer, CAFU, Bit, and all the flashback story artists set with the previous issues. “T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents” is a great book and well worth your time. But I can’t help but think that if you aren’t reading the comic yet, that perhaps it would be better to wait until next month to finally give it a try.