A Look at Marvel’s Thunderbolts through the years
With Marvel Studios officially announcing a Thunderbolts movie, its time to do revisit this weird superteam and see how much has changed and how much stayed the same.
Whatever the iteration is, the main point of the Thunderbolts is that its a super team made up of mostly supervillains controlled by either good guys or morally ambiguous characters like Norman Osborn. Think of this as Marvel’s version of the Suicide Squad.
This team still holds big balls back when it was published for the sheer reveal that they were actually the Masters of Evil in disguise led by Baron Zemo who calls himself Citizen V
Later in the first volume, the team added in Hawkeye who left the Avengers to do his own thing which led him to the team which was leaderless after Citizen V aka Baron Zemo went rogue.
They went on through so many adventures with Hawkeye and Citizen V until they were effectively dismantled and replaced by a new team led by Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin around the same time that the superhero “Civil War” was happening with a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.
This team consisted of:
Green Goblin (leader)
Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker)
While this should be treated as its own thing, the next version of the Thunderbolts were cleverly disguised as the Avengers or rather the “Dark Avengers”, villains disguised as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes who have been on the run after Civil War and Secret Invasion.
Osborn also joined the team as a combatant with his Iron Patriot armor, hoping to elicit the same feels that Tony Stark working with the Avengers was like.
Osborn also created a new Thunderbolts team working side by side with his Dark Avengers, this team featured:
- Black Widow (Yelena Belova)
- Mister X
- Scourge (formerly Nuke)
The Thunderbolts team went on several missions including a convoluted story arc which saw betrayal after betrayal. The team formally ended around the same time Norman Osborn’s campaign against Asgard fell which was during Siege.
The next version of the Thunderbolts came up during the Heroic Age with Commander Steve Rogers creating a new team based on The Raft and headed by Luke Cage.
This team / era consists of:
- Luke Cage
- Mister Hyde
- Barney Barton
- Ai Apaec
- June Covington
Marvel Now Thunderbolts
The next version of the Thunderbolts was the team created by Thunderbolt Ross. This team consists of:
- Red Hulk
- The Punisher
- Flash Thompson Venom
- Ghost Rider
- Leader (Samuel Sterns)
The team went on various missions that the members choose if they got lucky during a draw. This team disbands after a fight between Ross and Frank Castle finally manifests and Ross decides to disbands the team.
Winter Soldier’s Thunderbolts Team
After the events of Avengers: Standoff, Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier reforms the Thunderbolts with the following team members:
- Winter Soldier
The team’s goal was to prevent SHIELD from using Kobik’s powers and fight a bunch of super teams along the way. The team effectively disbands during the Secret Empire storyline (the one with evil Captain America leading HYDRA). In that story, Baron Zemo returns to the fold with the goal of recruiting his original Thunderbolts team and force them to leave Barnes. In the end, Zemo succeeds netting a number of the original team to join HYDRA.
Wilson Fisk’s Thunderbolts
During Knull’s invasion of Earth and attack on New York City, NYC mayor Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk brings out his new Thunderbolts team. This team consists of:
Batroc the Leaper
Star (Ripley Ryan)
This team went through a roster shake-up during the Devil’s Reign crossover storyline with Mayor Luke Cage deciding to deal with the team and rooting out members who are loyal to the Kingpin.
Another Avenger takes over leadership of the Thunderbolts as Hawkeye will be leading a new team sponsored by NYC and its new mayor Luke Cage. This team will consist of:
- Spectrum (Monica Rambeau)
- America Chavez
- Power Man
- Persuasion (Kara Killgrave)
Hopefully Marvel Studios gets to announce the lineup for the Thunderbolts movie which they have been quietly building since Phase 5 began with characters strongly believed to be popping up there namely US Agent and Yelena Belova aka Black Widow.
So there you have it, a look at Marvel’s Thunderbolts through the years and here’s to hoping Marvel Studios does the team right when they are finally introduced in the big screen! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more comics news and updates!