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Mar 27

House to Astonish Presents: The Lightning Round Episode 2

Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2021 by Al in Podcast

Come with us back to 1997, as Paul and I take our second dive into the history of Marvel’s foremost felonious faculty, the Thunderbolts!

This time round, we’re covering Spider-Man Team-Up #7, Thunderbolts #3 and 4, and Thunderbolts: Distant Rumblings (aka Thunderbolts #-1). You will note that we have not yet managed to get an episode of this down to the planned 40-45 minutes. We’re working on it!

It should go without saying, but this episode contains spoilers for the issues under discussion (though we’ve tried to avoid flagging things that will be important in later issues).

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or through our Facebook fan page. And, of course, our lush shirts are available over at our Redbubble store for the discerning consumer.

Bring on the comments

  1. Mark Coale says:

    Luckily, I’ve not reread these in years, so I only remember mostly the broad strokes of the story beats and not the finer details.

    I remember some of the plot twists involving the Crimson Cowl, but not all of them.

  2. Si says:

    I started reading Marvel Team Up last week, and I was surprised to read Man Killer’s origin story. I quite liked her character in Thunderbolts, at least later on when she was a barmaid and had more than one dimension. It’s important to point out that in MTU she was defeated by The Cat telling her that her super powers were given to her by AIM, who are all MEN. So she collapses screaming. Truly a great moment in feminism. Also, Spider-Man spends the entire time calling her things like Sweet-Cheeks, but he’s a complete arsehole to everyone all the time in that comic up to and including Captain America, just constantly belligerent, so it’s not that noteworthy.

    Interestingly, she gets her powers from an exoskeleton, but that doesn’t explain why she’s now seven foot tall, or why she clearly doesn’t have an exoskeleton in the 90s.

    I do kind of smirk at that one bit in a later issue of Thunderbolts where Man Killer is in her bar and in one single frame there’s a rainbow flag, a Lilith Fair poster, I think a double female symbol, everything short of a giant flashing neon sign with an arrow pointing at her with lesbian spelled out in it.

    Oh, and Mach 1’s origin story makes me glad Rodney Dangerfield wasn’t an engineer.

  3. Daibhid C says:

    Interesing(ish) fact: the TPB Thunderbolts Classic Vol 1 collects the prelude material, the first four issues, the MTU issue and … the annual. I assume the thinking was that the annual is a) told as flashback, so it can go where it goes without breaking the story, and b) that “how the band got together” is something new readers will want to know within the first book.

    So, logically, Thunderbolts Classic Vol 2 starts with the -1 issue as a sort of prologue, right? Nope! According to Thunderbolts Classic Vol 2 starts with #6. They don’t even have #5, let alone #-1. I have no idea what the thinking there is.

  4. Jim says:

    My copy of Thunderbolts Classic 1 has #1-5 and #-1, as well as the annual, Hulk and TU issues.

  5. Daibhid C says:

    Right, my mistake. It turns out I don’t have Thunderbolts Classic vol 1 from 2011, I have Thunderbolts Only vol 1 from 2001, which apparently made different decisions.

  6. JD DeMotte says:

    I’m reading this on Marvel Unlimited and I could have sworn #-1 wasn’t on there, but right around the time I listened to the podcast I checked again and there it was.

    Great episode guys. I do wish it came out more frequently, but I entirely understand that this was designed to create less work than the normal House to Astonish episodes, and coming out more often would defeat the purpose. Just keep up the great work.

  7. Omar Karindu says:

    My understanding is that the Annual follows relatively closely on issue #4, since the framing sequence is that Jolt has moved in with the team and started to ask lots of questions about who they are and how the team formed.

    If anything, it’s the Flashback issue, #-1, that can float around a little bit. The only framing there is the Stan Lee comedy sequence, and while it does need to come before some other issues because of plot setups, most of what’s shown there doesn’t start paying off until the early Heroes Return era.

  8. Martin Gray says:

    Thanks for giving us another great listen. I’m surprised to hear the Minus One issues weren’t a hit, I loved them.

    Presumably what twisted Helmut from being a nice engineer to a new-Nazi was having to share a bath with his proud poppa.

  9. Mark Coale says:

    There were some fun -1 issues. The Parkets as spies and a 1950s Atlas style monster issue featuring Reed vs Venom.are 2 i remember.

  10. David M says:

    I’m enjoying these. It’s prompted me to re-read T’bolts and Avengers by Busiek. Despite preferring Perez to Bagley, ‘bolts is the book with the momentum. It’s easier to just read another issue.
    You mention Steve Epting, when I first saw his work (Nexus?) I thought that John Buscema was his main influence and still do here.
    My favourite Flashback book was the Cable one. It was the point where I realised Ladronn was trying to synthesise 70s Kirby and Moebius into a coherent style. It was a mad ambition, a beautiful frankenstein of a dream. That by Hip Flask Ourobourous he’s basically succeeded is astonishing. There is the added Gimenez and years of hard work to take into account, but still amazing.

  11. Doesn’t Ferris Bueller claim to be the “anti-feminism mayor of Chicago” when he’s trying to get into a restaurant?

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