Who Are Thunderbolts And What Do They Mean For the MCU's Future?

Who Are Thunderbolts And What Do They Mean For the MCU's Future?
Image credit: Legion-Media

It's time to delve into that comic book canon.

Marvel has blessed its fans with a handful of announcements at San Diego Comic-Con. Among the newly-announced projects is the 'Thunderbolts ' movie, which is set to conclude the upcoming Phase 5.

For many non-comic lovers, Thunderbolts might not seem instantly familiar. The team, believed by many to be "Marvel's version of the Suicide Squad", does not have an official line-up yet, and it has been diverse throughout different times in the comics.

Basically, Thunderbolts pose themselves as a decent alternative to the Avengers, but with a twist: in fact, they are all supervillains in disguise. Citizen V, for instance, is Captain America's arch enemy Baron Zemo, while many of his teammates are ex-members of Masters of Evil. Among the notable members of Thunderbolts were Norman Osborn, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, and even Winter Soldier and Hawkeye at one point.

It's likely that the MCU will take a slightly different path, offering a new line-up of supervillains-turned-heroes. Among the most popular candidates are John Walker, a controversial alternative for Captain America who proved to not really fit the role in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier', as well as Yelena Belova, who we know from 'Hawkeye' and 'Black Widow'. Also, fans do hope to see Daniel Brühl's Baron Zemo alongside Thunderbolts in the upcoming movie.

It's interesting how Phase 5 – which notably features no 'Avengers' movies – is concluded with 'Thunderbolts', only to evolve into the next phase of Marvel's storytelling which is staffed with not one but two movies about Earth's mightiest heroes.

It's likely that 'Thunderbolts' are going to be a big milestone for the MCU, potentially setting the stage for a possible confrontation with the Avengers or even leading up to 'Secret Wars '.

The movie is coming to theaters on July 26, 2024.