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DF Interview: Jim Zub ushers the Thunderbolts into the All-New, All-Different Marvel U.
By Byron Brewer
Dark clouds gather. Lightning flashes. Electricity cracks! And just like that, the Thunderbolts have returned, shepherded back to the forefront of the Marvel Universe by writer Jim Zub and artist Jon Malin.
Moonstone, the Fixer, Atlas and MACH-X stand together once more. But one should not confuse the familiar for the same. For one thing, the team finds itself with a mysterious added member, plus a new leader, the Winter Soldier.
That said, the creators remain very committed to what they characterize as the heart of what makes the team and the book work: super-villains seeking redemption. Zub tells us just that in this DF interview.
Dynamic Forces: Jim, how fun is it that you will be helming the new Thunderbolts book spinning out of the “Standoff” event?
Jim Zub: It’s incredibly fun! Thunderbolts is a really good fit for my action-comedy sensibilities and I can’t wait for people to read what I’m putting together for the series.
DF: For those not in the know, some who may only know Marvel’s characters from the cinema, tell us the most unique quality of the Thunderbolts as a team, and how that will work into this new iteration.
Jim Zub: Thunderbolts has gone through several different roster/mission changes but, at the heart of it, it’s about villains doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Villains trying to reform their wicked ways or figure out if they can redeem themselves for the evil things they’ve done, packed to the brim with big action and lots of unexpected twists.
DF: So tell us who will be returning and maybe for the valued “new reader,” a little about them please.
Jim Zub: The majority of the new Thunderbolts are actually the old Thunderbolts. Out of our six team members, four of them are from the original team.
Atlas is the muscle, able to increase his size and strength.
MACH-X is a pilot and engineer wearing high-tech armor festooned with weaponry galore.
The Fixer is a machinesmith genius who has an ever-adapting set of tech under his control.
Moonstone is an energy powerhouse imbued with cosmic power from a Kree relic buried within her.
DF: And – AND – any new members?
Jim Zub: Bucky, better known now as the Winter Solider, is now leading the Thunderbolts. He’s a highly trained soldier-assassin with a bionic arm and a smoldering gaze that lights fangirl (and fanboy) hearts on fire.
There’s also a sixth member, but she’s new and arrives directly from Avengers Standoff so I don’t want to spoil her involvement just yet. Suffice to say that she’s a focal point for the team and the villains they’ll face.
DF: It seems like poor Bucky has been tossed around into many roles since returning from the Great Beyond. As writer, Jim, who is the Winter Solder going to be in Thunderbolts?
Jim Zub: Bucky is trying to keep this team focused on the greater good, but he knows they’re not exactly on the straight and narrow. They’re willing to do things most heroes wouldn’t dream of in order to complete their mission. The kinds of threats they’re up against require them to get their hands dirty and won’t exactly sit well with Bucky’s other friends and allies.
DF: What kind of threats will these villains seeking redemption be facing?
Jim Zub: The Thunderbolts will be feeling a lot of pressure from both heroes and villains as they carry out their covert missions. Aliens, interdimensional threats, super-villains, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Avengers will all be on the hunt for them for various reasons. Nowhere is safe.
DF: What impresses you about Jon Malin’s art?
Jim Zub: Jon balances the excitement and energy of the early 90’s along with more modern comic storytelling techniques. The scripts I’m sending him are densely packed with big action and dramatic character moments and he’s been able to juggle both really well.
DF: What other Zub-tastic things are you producing right now or in the near-future you might want to discuss?
Jim Zub: Wayward, my creator-owned supernatural action-teen-drama series at Image, is on a hiatus between story arcs right now but it will be continuing later this year, the new Dungeons & Dragons comic series from IDW launches later this month, the Street Fighter Legends: Cammy mini-series begins in July, and I have another project in the hopper that should be announced quite soon. Lots of Zub Comics in 2016.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Jim Zub for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Thunderbolts #1 from Marvel hits stores May 4th!
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