Friday, December 3, 2010

Buy This Right Now #1: Thunderstrike #1

Welcome to a new (mostly) weekly column here at Take the Helm with a simple concept: to tell you something cool out there that is worth buying. We open with something this week from a company I rarely recommend in these pages, but will do so today. Yes, it’s Marvel and it’s awesome.

This scene does not happen in the comic.

Here’s the gist of the story: Eric Masterson a.k.a. Thunderstrike died many years ago at the end of his own title. But now the character is returning in the form of his son, now teenager Kevin Masterson. Kevin has been a troubled kid since his father’s death and, well, is more Flash Thompson than Peter Parker. In other words, he’s a bully.

Steve Rogers knows that the world still needs heroes (a play on a tagline from the old book, “the world needs heroes”) so he gives Kevin his father’s old mace, also named Thunderstrike. It has been unusable since Eric died, but when Kevin stumbles upon an attack by Rhino it invariably comes back to life and transforms him in to... Thunderstrike. The exact same (in appearance) Thunderstrike last seen over a decade ago.

And that’s awesome.

Thunderstrike was one of the most underrated titles in the entire history of comics. While many of the Marvel spin-off books of the early to mid-nineties were produced by bland talent (and I use that term loosely), Thunderstrike took the team that was on Thor and moved them to the spin-off. Together, DeFalco and Frenz grafted a very strong 24 issues of story that unfortunately remain uncollected to this day.

That same creative team, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, are back for the new book and they haven’t missed a step. Plus if you never read the last book, DeFalco and Todd Nauck even get together for a nifty 8 page back-up recapping the original Thunderstrike’s life.

So yeah, if you haven’t got your issue, go to your local comic shop and shell out the $3.99. Then prepare to enjoy superhero goodness.

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