In the upcoming Marvel series King in Black: Thunderbolts, New York City mayor Kingpin (you read that right) has required a new team of Thunderbolts to fight off the invasion of Earth by Knull as seen in the King in Black event.
It's all explained in this four-page preview of the first issue, here:
"An army of evil space dragons have come to attack Earth and are starting with New York. Mayor Fisk has a plan for that," reads Marvel's solicitation for this issue.
"Assembling a group of killers, mercenaries, and just generally pretty horrible people like Taskmaster, Rhino, Star, Mr. Fear, and Batroc the Leaper, Mayor Fisk tasks them with saving the city or die trying...or die right then and there. The fate of the entire world may rest in the hands of the absolute worst people in the Marvel Universe. What could go wrong?"
Writer Matthew Rosenberg and former Suicide Squad artist Juan Ferreyra are behind this three-issue series, which ties into the overarching King in Black event and the core limited series of the same name by writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stgman.
If you're looking at this new Thunderbolts series and are confused by the lack of former Thunderbolts characters… that's kind of the point. Since 2007, each relaunch of the team has featured a mostly new cast, and even different bosses - ranging from Norman Osborn, H.A.M.M.E.R., Luke Cage, the Red Hulk, Winter Soldier, and then briefly again the original leader, Baron Zemo.
What's stayed the same with the Thunderbolts is generally that its villains and/or anti-heroes being compelled into doing good - even if, sometimes, it's still for sinister intentions (like Kingpin lays out in this King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 preview above).
Children of the Atom artist Bernard Chang has drawn the first issue's cover, with Ron Lim and Israel Silva drawing a variant.
King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) goes on sale on January 13. A collected edition of all three King in Black: Thunderbolts issues goes on sale on August 3.
This will be available simultaneously in print and digitally. Check out Newsarama's list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.