Thunderbolts #131

Diggle's "Thunderbolts" run got off to a good start, clearing the decks and introducing the new characters and concept without too much fuss. We haven't yet spent much time with the new cast members and things were just starting to hit their stride -- until Deadpool showed up.

It's hard to say how much Diggle is being constrained by the plot of "Magnum Opus," but this and the previous issue -- the fourth and second parts of the crossover respectively -- have both been a considerable step down from his opening issues. Way's version of Deadpool has been puerile at best, and although Diggle expertly replicates that personality here, consistency is a small consolation to those of us with no affection for the character.

That said, there are a few comedic turns that work -- Deadpool getting money out from an ATM to pay the Taskmaster, for example, and a scene where Deadpool repeatedly shoots himself to try and stop Ant-Man tickling him -- but generally speaking, the menace that routinely soaks that pages of "Thunderbolts" has been entirely absent during this crossover, and what replaced it was so far from recognizable that it might as well have been another book entirely.

On the plus side, Dazo's art has been quite a nice discovery. Dazo adequately matches the cartoonish, exaggerated tone of Deadpool's series, if not the dark, brooding air that Thunderbolts has been known for of late. Dazo's panels are original and dynamic, though occasionally go a little overboard -- on some pages, it seems as though every panel is skewed for no obvious reason.

I can't speak for fans of Deadpool, but to someone only interested in the Thunderbolts, the crossover as a whole has been an unwanted interruption that has negatively affected the quality of the title. Even though Diggle has given his best shot at giving each of the Thunderbolts characters their turn in the spotlight, "Magnum Opus" always felt like a Deadpool story with the Thunderbolts shoe-horned in, rather than a genuine crossover. The best thing I can say about it is that, well, at least the diversion was a short one and things can get back to normal next issue.

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