Thunderbolts revived as New York Citys all-heroes squad by Marvel

Update: 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 win in the upcoming finale of Devil’s Reign.

Thunderbolts #1 cover

Thunderbolts #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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The 2022-era Thunderbolts will be Hawkeye, Spectrum (Monica Rambeau), America Chavez, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Persuasion (the former Purple Girl, Kara Killgrave), and two apparently new characters. One we don’t know (bottom center of the cover to the right, in the only image they appear in), but the other is Gutsen Glory, “an experienced cyber-soldier seeking new glory.”

(Get it? Gutsen Glory. Guts and glory?)

“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 super hero 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 Thunderbolt will be New York City’s first official, authorized superhero team in the wake of NYC mayor Wilson Fisk (AKA Kingpin) pushing a law across that banned superheroes in the city limits. 

Thunderbolts #1

Thunderbolts #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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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 May 25. 

Look for Marvel’s full May 2022 schedule later in February here at Newsarama. And check out the remaining Thunderbolts #1 covers below. 

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(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Original story follows…

“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.

new Thunderbolts roster teaser

new Thunderbolts roster teaser (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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The original Thunderbolts were the Masters of Evil in disguise – a fact that wasn’t revealed till the finale of the first issue of their title. After their ruse was revealed, the concept eventually evolved into a team where villains went to reform – or were forced to operate as secret government agents, sorta like DC’s Suicide Squad.

Over the years the Thunderbolts have been an independent team, a group of bloodthirsty killers working under the thumb of Norman Osborn, and even a special program meant to reform villains into heroes, headed up by Luke Cage.

The latest incarnation of the Thunderbolts has appeared in the Devil’s Reign event, as well as their own Devil’s Reign: Villains For Hire (opens in new tab) tie-in limited series, consisting of villains under the protection and employ of Mayor Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin (along with John Walker, US Agent, kinda acting under mind control but also sometimes just cause he likes being a jerk).

Who are the silhouetted figures? At this point, your guesses are as good as ours. As for that slogan, it certainly invokes the original team’s catchphrase of “Justice Like Lightning!” – but the fact that Justice has been replaced with something weird enough that it would apparently give too much away to even know until the full announcement is made indicates something very different from that mission statement.

Marvel just pulled off a similar teaser, though in reverse from how they’re unveiling the new Thunderbolts, showing the full roster of a new team over the course of a day before revealing them as the line-up of a new Savage Avengers title

(Interestingly enough, the idea of a relaunched Thunderbolts was a popular guess among fans before the Savage Avengers reveal).

Marvel’s teaser does promise more info to come on Friday, February 10, so stay tuned to Newsarama as the story develops.

How will the new Thunderbolts stack up against the best superhero teams of all time?

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