Marvel’s unusual superteam—The Thunderbolts—is coming back in May!
RETURN OF THE THUNDERBOLTS
Here’s what’s happening now: Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse are creating a new Thunderbolts comic, spinning out of Devil’s Reign from Marvel in May.
Mr. Zub tweeted out that “My elevator pitch for this series was essentially ‘Ted Lasso by way of the Avengers’.” He also said, “It’s 30 pages packed with action, humor, heart, and @SeanIzaakse is elevating every single page with his art.”
“I wanted to craft a story that was full of heart and interpersonal struggles and I’m incredibly proud of how it’s all coming together. I’ve built a reputation for writing team dynamics well and this book has already been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had doing just that. If you’ve liked my previous team books, I encourage you to jump on board and let us take you on a big ride.”
According to early information, the group will include Spectrum, America Chavez, Power Man, and Persuasion “plus the exciting debut of Gutsen Glory, an experienced cyber-soldier seeking new glory!” Oh, and their leader has managed several superteams before—Clint Barton, Hawkeye. I guess he needs something to do now that he’s not the only Hawkeye around!
One last quote from Mr. Zub:
“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.”
“Justice, like Lightning” is apparently their team motto. Also, they are supposed to be New York City’s ONLY official superteam.
THE EARLY THUNDERBOLTS
If you’re a long-time fan like me, you likely remember the earliest days of Thunderbolts—a group of “heroes” that turned out to be villains in disguise. The biggest surprise was that the leader of the team, Citizen V, was actually Baron Zemo, and the rest of the team were actually various members of the Masters of Evil. That was actually quite a surprise!
The sad thing was, once that unveiling actually happened, the interest in the comic slowly faded.
It’s been a routine with this group that they have been reformed and changed on a very regular basis, pretty much every few years.
The second group was formed by Hawkeye and Songbird. That didn’t work out too well as they were captured and things didn’t end well for the various members. Plantman was vivisected, and many members ended up in jail.
Then there was the “New” Thunderbolts. This team included Mach-IV (formerly the Beetle), Atlas, and Songbird. With this group, Baron Zemo was never far away, often pulling the strings from behind the scenes.
One of my favorite Marvel heroes ended up on the team—Nighthawk. That also didn’t end well.
Others have been in charge of the Thunderbolts over the years, including Norman Osborn of Spider-Man fame. They also turned into assassins for a group known as H.A.M.M.E.R. Then, too, Luke Cage forms his own Thunderbolts who are working towards redeeming themselves.
There was also a second team called the Underbolts at some point. Then Red Hulk reformed the group as well. Later, the Winter Soldier formed his own version of the Thunderbolts. Still later, Zemo makes a new team of Thunderbolts as well, with this one feeling closer to the originals.
Then the Kingpin took ownership of the copyright for the team’s name and formed his very own version.
And that’s not even half of the story! Yikes!
HERE WE GO AGAIN
I’m hopeful this time with the Thunderbolts! Mr. Zub has done a great job with teams in the past, and we need someone who can give this version their own identity and purpose. Boy, do we!
Like most Marvel #1’s, Thunderbolts will sell well! I’m not concerned about that. It’s what happens after that!
See, collectors always jump on board with #1 issues. However, they often abandon ship after that, leaving those actual fans of the comic to try and keep the book afloat.
The original concept was pretty cool. Villains masquerading as heroes? I liked it! But, as I said, after the big reveal, the book didn’t hold the interest of readers as much. Zub and his team have a chance to revive Thunderbolts by giving them their own, new outlook on being heroes and saving the day.
I’m also a big fan of Clint Barton as well. Yes, he’s been running several groups in the past, including the West Coast Avengers, but he doesn’t seem to be as popular as, say, Captain America or Iron Man, who always are bigger draws.
As much as this is a big opportunity for the Thunderbolts, it is also thus a time of redemption for Clint. This Hawkeye has been a fan favorite in his own title during certain runs, but somehow that never lasts. Do something fun with the guy! Make him a real leader who knows what to do instead of having to call Steve Rogers all the time for advice. Really!
So, mark your calendars this May for the “new” Thunderbolts! Let your comics shop know you want to add this to your pull list! Give this team (and Clint) your support!
What do you think? Are you interested in Thunderbolts regardless of their past? Does Clint Barton have what it takes to help the team shine? Can the Thunderbolts still be a prime player in the Marvel Universe? Will you buy it, too? Regardless of your opinion, please be sure to share your thoughts below!