In 2019 Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. From their choices we counted down the top fifty entries, which you can find here! But we’re not leaving it there. Now the list is over and we know which comics made the list, we’ve invited critic and podcaster Matt Lune to host a weekly show right here on Shelfdust! Each week Matt will be sitting down with a different comic critic to look at every comic which charted into the top fifty, one issue at a time.

Our first comic in the list is Thunderbolts #1 by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Vince Russell, Joe Rosas and Comicraft, which charted at position 50 in our master list.

Wait, but isn’t that really low down for such an important and well-regarded first issue? Matt spoke with critic, podcaster, and Thunderbolts-appreciator Al Kennedy (House to Astonish; Desert Island Discworld) to take a closer look at the issue; if it should’ve ranked higher up in the list; and how that twist hits readers today.

You can listen to the episode:

Come back next week….. as Matt will be talking to Kayleigh Hearn about Sailor Moon #1!


Al Kennedy is the host of podcasts House to Astonish and Desert Island Discworld, in which he sits down with special guests to talk about their favourite Terry Pratchett novels. He’s also been a featured writer for Shelfdust, and you can find his byline here! For more from Al, you can follow him on Twitter here.

Matt Lune is a critic and podcaster best known for hosting “That’s The Issue” on Multiversity. You can find him on Twitter here!

This podcast is made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon page! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!