Marvel's Thunderbolts are ditching the villainous undercurrents the team has had these past 25 years and going legit with a new team of bonafide superheroes led by Hawkeye.
The 2016 Thunderbolts creative team of writer Jim Zub and artist Sean Izaakse are reuniting here in 2022 with an all-new team created in the wake of the Kingpin's takeover of New York City in Devil's Reign.
After a few months delay, the new Thunderbolts will debut in August and perhaps be buoyed by interest in the property now that Marvel Studios has officially confirmed a 2024 Thunderbolts movie.
The 2022-era Thunderbolts - "carefully selected by Mayor Luke Cage" - will be Hawkeye, Spectrum (Monica Rambeau), America Chavez, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Persuasion (the former Purple Girl, Kara Killgrave), and two new characters. One is Gutsen Glory, a mystery man and "an experienced cyber-supersoldier seeking new glory" (Get it? Gutsen Glory. Guts and glory?)
In Thunderbolts #2, the last member of the new team - a strange creature known as Eegro the Unbreakable - will debut.
"I am so pumped to put Clint Barton, Monica Rambeau, America Chavez, and a host of others through trials and tribulations aplenty as New York's only official superhero team," says Zub in the announcement. "A lot of the ideas being unleashed in this series are things I've been wanting to do for years. Big action and big fun, drama, comedy, and, of course, a few twists befitting the team that always keeps readers on their toes."
This new Thunderbolts incarnation will be New York City's first official, authorized superhero team in the wake of former NYC mayor Wilson Fisk (AKA Kingpin) pushing a law across that banned superheroes in the city limits and their first mission will be to take down Kingpin's corrupt Thunderbolts.
This 2022 Thunderbolts series will be its fourth iteration, picking up after the aforementioned 2016-2017 run by Zub, Isaakse, and others.
"Writing Thunderbolts was my first in-universe work for Marvel and Sean Izaakse's first Marvel project as well, so getting to launch a new version of the team here with him on the team's 25th anniversary year is an absolute honor," Zub says. "Sean's artwork has never looked better and he's bringing his incredible skills to bear on stunning comic pages and eye-catching designs for new characters we're adding to the mighty Marvel Universe. Our creative team is firing on all cylinders, so get ready for 'Justice, Like Lightning' to strike every single issue!"
Thunderbolts #1 (of 5) goes on sale on August 31.
Check out a first look at some interior pages from Thunderbolts #1 (including an appearance by USAgent) along with more variant covers below.
"Something something Like Lighting!" What does that mean? Well, we're not sure, as half the phrase on Marvel's newest teaser image is redacted. But there's no question that what's being set up is a new incarnation of the Thunderbolts - and Marvel seems to be aiming to somewhat re-create the surprise reveal of the original team's secret identities.
How will the new Thunderbolts stack up against the best superhero teams of all time?