By Jim Beard
The time-tumbling Thunderbolts may finally be heading home this coming March, but not before a significant stop-over that pits them against the original Thunderbolts team. It begins in THUNDERBOLTS #171, by writer Jeff Parker and artist Declan Shalvey, and sports covers by Thunderbolts co-creator Mark Bagley.
“The Bolts have been trying mightily to return to the 21st century, but each attempt sends them back further into the past,” explains Parker. “Even with the brilliant Centurius, tech savvy Fixer, and accomplished sorceress Satana, they can't seem to pull it off. Then a powerful figure helps them make the connection back in the right direction, but to a point about a decade ago, publishing time-wise.
“Of course, there were Thunderbolts then, too!”
The writer promises that the meeting between the modern team and classic originals will play out as both a physical clash and a mental struggle of wills. He also notes an emphasis on a historically-accurate portrayal of the infamous first Bolts.
“I'm starting THUNDERBOLTS #171 from the perspective of that time and characters, for long-time readers and for the sake of readers who never followed the book then,” Parker promises. “I want you to see what it would be like for those wolves in sheep’s super hero uniforms to see the arrival of Satana, Mr. Hyde, Troll and so on.
The current team will run headlong into the question of altering history and the long-ranging schemes and dreams of Baron Zemo, the founder of the Thunderbolts concept.
“This will be the riskiest venture yet as far as possibly altering their present selves,” reports Parker. “And I'm going to go ahead and say at least one of the characters will be affected profoundly.”
He also hints that the “Moonstone vs. Moonstone” battle may be worth the price of admission alone.
The new arc also proudly continues the existing THUNDERBOLTS creative team with artist Shalvey on-board for more action and adventure.
“Declan gets into this material so much because he was an original reader of the book; when he needed reference for the past Thunderbolts on the first issue, he just raided his old comics from his teenage days,” Parker says. “Plus, he's just a brilliant artist any way you look at it. And a great guy to work with.”
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