Jack and Troy from ZiaComics.com geek out about the new Thunderbolts comic book with Winter Soldier as the leader.
The Thunderbolts are a Marvel Comics superhero team, which consists mostly of reformed supervillains. The Thunderbolts first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #449 (January 1997) and were created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley.
The Thunderbolts were first presented as a group of superheroes like the Avengers. They became heroes to help protect the world when the Avengers were declared dead after the events of the 1996 “Onslaught” crossover. However the final page of the first issue of their comic book revealed that the Thunderbolts were the Masters of Evil in disguise. This was a surprise twist carefully guarded by Marvel.
Themes of redemption and the nature of heroism are often featured in Thunderbolts comics. In subsequent storylines, the group rejects their leader Baron Zemo and attempts to become heroes in their own right. The book has also garnered critical praise for its use of secondary characters from other Marvel Comics and its use of continuity-themed storytelling.
The Thunderbolts franchise has taken many forms over the past two decades. The only real common thread in all that time is the idea that this is a team of villains masquerading and ostensibly acting as heroes.
This new series is very much a ’90s throwback. Moonstone, Fixer, Mach-V, and Atlas are all back on the team. The big difference is the Winter Soldier is leading the team. Bucky is still grappling with his responsibilities as “the man on the wall” while simultaneously trying to lead a very dysfunctional team of misfits and care for Kobik, a sentient Cosmic Cube who has taken the form of a four-year-old girl.
The new Thunderbolts are as much a group of anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. whistle-blowers as they are a super-team. They hack into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s databases and work to bring their various misdeeds and various abuses of power to light.