Review - Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Interesting...but what's the got to do with me?"

The old superhero adage goes "with great power comes great responsibility." There are some superheroes like Spider-Man who align themselves with that statement, whereas others like Peter Cannon Thunderbolt in Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 from Dynamite Comics tend to the do the opposite. The issue is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard, colored by Mary Safro and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

His level of genius is matched only by his heroics, and in humanity's darkest hour, he's the hero they need the most-alas, poor humanity. Peter Cannon-the man known as Thunderbolt-is only too happy to leave civilization to face its end.

Gillen opens up the issue by dropping the reader smackdab in the middle of a planetary crisis as it's being invaded by an alien race. That's par for the course for quite a few stories, but Gillen capitalizes on Peter Cannon Thunderbolt's reputation as a cocky savior of sorts whose narcissism borders perilously close to a full-on god complex. That alone makes the pleas of other heroes feel more like groveling, yet Gillen still manages to up the ante with the reveal at the end that only reinforces that characterization. As a whole, the issue moves incredibly fast and feels short; that's not knock against Gillen though as the pacing still affords the reader ample time to get a handle on what's going on. And Gillen even manages to make the aforementioned surprise ending feel both expected and ludicrous at the same time which is something that's pretty difficult to pull off.

Wijngaard illustrates the issue very much like a superhero book with an emphasis on the physiques of the characters as a reflection of their abilities. There's a sharpness to the linework that bolsters their superhero look; this also helps contribute to the overall mayhem that ensues when the aliens invade Earth. The entire book is also very organized by clean panel layouts and Wijngaard moves the action across the panels just as cleanly and easy to follow. The action scenes are very detailed compared to the calmer scenes as Wijngaard emphasizes the abilities of the characters. Safro's colors are done well, effectively setting the various scenes that the characters end playing in.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 is an issue that looks at the concept of superhero ego and really runs with it. Peter Cannon Thunderbolt is something of an enigma in that he helps people, but he also knows that people need his help. Gillen's script is brisk and fast-paced, effectively demonstrating the brash personality that makes the lead character so easy to dislike. Wijngaard's illustrations are appropriate for the tone of the book and capture the superhero essence well. Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 is a strong first issue that could play out much stronger as the series progresses.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #1 is available now.