Marvel’s Thunderbolts: Know more about them

The Thunderbolts are a fictional superhero team appearing in the Marvel Comics, consisting mostly of reformed supervillains. They first appeared in the January 1997 issue The Incredible Hulk #449 and were created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. Although the team went on to consist of many major villains and heroes alike over time, the original and first team of the Thunderbolts consisted of Goliath as Atlas, Moonstone as Meteorite, Beetle as Mach-I, Fixer as Techno, and Screaming Mimi as Songbird. The group would eventually reform and start to do good towards the world. 

Marvel Thunderbolts

Origin in the Comics

The aftermath of the Onslaught event caused the Fantastic Four and Avengers to seemingly vaporize. In order to fill the void that these superheroes left, Baron Zemo came up with a scheme where he took members of the Masters of Evil, dressed them up with fake superhero identities, and had them gain the public’s trust in hopes that it would lead to world domination; himself assuming the identity of Citizen V. Despite starting off evildoers under the guise of heroes, some members of the group realized that they wanted to truly be heroes and opposed Zemo. To add to the trouble, upon the return of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Zemo reveals the Thundercats’ identities in order to blackmail them and ensure that they remained loyal to him now that their hopes of becoming heroes were shattered. But the team would fight him, and later go on the run while having reformed. This would lead to Hawkeye taking over the team and them becoming a group of outlaw heroes fighting for redemption. They would become a government-run team until Norman Osborn, in an attempt to copy Zemo’s old idea of dressing up villains as heroes, creates the Dark Avengers. This team featured members as Bullseye pretending to be Hawkeye and Venom pretending to be Spider-Man. The Dark Avengers would go on to fall apart eventually. APPEARANCE IN THE MCU Several important members of the Thunderbolts have already made their appearances in the movies and series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some capacity. It is important to consider the fact that the team has seen many changes in its ranks, with many heroes and villains joining it or being involved with it in one way or the other. Read on to know about them.
  • Thunderbolt Ross/Red Hulk

 Ross founded a version of the Thunderbolts in the comics as Red Hulk that featured Punisher, Deadpool, Elektra, Agent Venom, and more. He made his first MCU appearance in the Incredible Hulk as the father of Betty Ross, later appearing as the secretary of state in Captain America: Civil War, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series and the Black Widow movie, with rumours of appearances in the She-Hulk series as well.

Thunderbolt Ross/Red Hulk
  • Baron Zemo

As mentioned before, Zemo was the founding father to the original Thunderbolts, and has already made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War and the The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series.

Baron Zemo

  • Black Widow(Yelena Belova)

In the comics, Yelena was a part of the Thunderbolts, although that was at a time when Natasha had taken her identity and used it to infiltrate the team run by Norman Osborn. In the MCU, she makes her debut in Black Widow, and is also rumoured to appear in the Hawkeye series, as portrayed by the post-credits of the Black Widow movie.

Yelena Belova
  • Ghost

Ghost has been part of multiple Thunderbolts teams in the comics. In the MCU, she made an appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp as a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who worked covert missions.


  • Taskmaster

In the comics, Taskmaster helped in training new recruits to the Thunderbolts Initiative run by Norman Osborn. He was featured in the MCU movie Black Widow, as the main antagonist.

  • US Agent

In the comics, a wheelchair-bound John Walker acted as a warden at the Raft, Marvel’s supervillain prison and, for a time, the headquarters for the Thunderbolts. He also led the team briefly when it was retitled Dark Avengers. Walker makes his MCU debut in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series, as the new Captain America employed by the US government.

US Agent

This article is contributed by Pranav.

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