The Thunderbolts are back in Marvel Comics in a totally new incarnation that almost exactly resembles the team's upcoming MCU incarnation. Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing - the duo sometimes known as Hivemind - with art from Geraldo Borges, the new Thunderbolts will pick up on threads from the Jackson and Lanzing's recent Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty run, which is about to come to an end in August 16's Captain America Finale one-shot.
In that story, Bucky Barnes became part of a secret terrorist ring that has manipulated world events for over a century, with the intent of destroying this so-called Inner Circle from within.
Now, he'll enact the next step of his plan by using the intel he gained from the Inner Circle to form a new team of black-ops superheroes to take down the Marvel Universe's most dangerous threats, including Kingpin, Red Skull, and Doctor Doom.
The new Thunderbolts team includes Black Widow, Sharon Carter (under her new Destroyer codename), Yelena Belova AKA White Widow, Red Guardian, US Agent and Shang-Chi. And along with Bucky, it's co-led by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who also plays a key role in organizing the MCU Thunderbolts - a team with a roster that's almost identical to its new comic book counterpart.
"Welcome to Operation: Worldstrike! The Hivemind is wildly excited to continue the saga we began with Carmen Carnero in Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty - while also starting anew with a dangerous and unpredictable cast from across the Marvel Universe," Kelly and Lanzing state in Marvel's announcement. "The call has gone out to all those who call the shadows their home; every spy, assassin, and renegade has a part to play in Bucky Barnes' all-encompassing and uncompromising hit on the singular, monstrous living symbol of fascism: the Red Skull."
"Alongside our old friend Geraldo Borges, we're taking this opportunity to tell a very different kind of team book," they continue. "This is a whole new era for the Thunderbolts and it starts with a four-part espionage epic, an ever-shifting cast and a single overarching goal: to tear down a century of Nazi evil with justice like lightning."
The newly announced Thunderbolts team is one of Marvel Comics' biggest recent swings toward matching what's going on in the MCU, with a comic book roster that is only a few characters off from their movie incarnation, swapping out the MCU's Taskmaster and Ghost for Sharon Carter, Shang-Chi, and Black Widow.
The new Thunderbolts title is also a total rework of the team's previous most recent concept, in which the name was used for the official superhero team of New York City, where superhero vigilantes were banned for sometime, leaving only the Thunderbolts allowed to operate within city limits.
Thunderbolts #1 goes on sale in December with a variant cover from Mahmud Asrar, seen above. The issue's main cover hasn't been unveiled.
Read all about the best Thunderbolts members from throughout the team's history.