I Am A Thunderbolt

As the Heroic Age prepares itself for a'dawning, we are being treated to a steady stream of announcements about upcoming changes to our favorite teams, and the other ones as well. We know all of the Avengers titles are being canceled, and we know that they will be replaced by Avengers, Avengers Academy, and Secret Avengers at the very least. These announcements have raised as many questions as they've answered so far: what about Norman Osborn's team? What will become of my favorite New Avengers? Whither Pym?

Well, it looks like some indirect answers to those questions have come by way of the announcement of Jeff Parker's new Thunderbolts line-up:


Luke Cage! Juggernaut! Moonstone again! Ghost some more!… Crossbones? Man-Thing?


Now, if nothing else, we know that Moonstone won't be parading around as any version of Ms. Marvel and that Luke Cage probably won't be on any of the Avengers teams unless he's pulling a Wolverine.

This idea is rapidly growing on me. Initially after hearing about it, I said to Twitter, "I want to see Luke Cage on a team with Crossbones and Ghost like I want to see Tom Hanks in a movie with Paris Hilton and Charles Manson." Since then, I've started to see the appeal: Luke Cage will be the ex-con Captain America of this group, a mentor trying to lead a group of incarcerated felons down the road to redemption, occasionally kicking and screaming. The more I think about it, the better I like it.

What do you think about all this? Another piece of the 2010 puzzle!


  1. The story idea has plenty of merit. It won’t be a title I pick up in issues but if a particular arc is recommended then the trade might make its way into my stack.

  2. Is that Man-Thing in that picture?

  3. I will probably buy this book. However, there is probably nothing that can convince me that Crossbones has any business not being EXECUTED. He’s not even a goddamned supervillain!

  4. crossbones is a awesome idea. he’s like an anti-captain america

  5. wow. guess i’m reading thunderbolts again. i would love to see iron fist be on that team

  6. Weird line-up. Not even Thunderbolts ever had that strange of a line up before.

    Not up for it though, just doesn’t seem that interesting to me.

  7. Weird.  I’m curious how Moonstone will still be in someone’s good graces at the end of Siege.  It will also be interesting to see how the T-Bolts mission will change, assuming the registration is done away with. 

  8. I guess now we can assume that Cage is not going to be on the Avengers.

  9. Now this is how you make me a read a book that hasn’t been on my radar for years.

  10. Going to miss luke cage. Too bad, I’ve been digging him in New Avengers lately too. Also…Crossbones shot Cap…he doesn’t deserve redemption!

  11. This has the potential for greatness. I can’t wait to read the new Avengers books. This is more exciting than NFL draft day. 

  12. Not interested in this at all.

  13. I might read this, sounds kinda interesting.  Is man-thing a villian? Never read anything with the character.

  14. Yeah, I’ve never read anything with Man-Thing (heh), but I always assumed the way friend’s, iFanboy’s and girl’s, and the way he seems mentioned in other hero comics, that he’s not a villain….maybe misunderstood, like a Hulk, but no villain.

  15. Who’s that in the back right? The dude from the Wrecking Crew?  I can’t see this being really good. And is Man-Thing a former villain really? I don’t get it. Maybe they will kill Man-Thing to get some team bonding to take place. Bleh.

  16. Finished reading the Diggle trades last weekend and was impressed with the stuff that didn’t include the awful Deadpool crossover. Might pick this up in trades. Anything Kev Walker does is immediately worth picking up.

  17. Do we know yet who Ghost is? I dropped Thunderbolts a few months ago. This is interesting but not enough to draw me back.

  18. I’ll pass. I think I’m going to pass on all but the one Avengers book and pretend the rest don’t exist. Screw you Marvel and your multiple avengers titles!

  19. This could be good… guess I’ll just have to remember to flip through it at the store whenever it comes out. My main issue is I have no idea who (roughly) half of them are. Ghost? Man-thing?

  20. Never read a Tbolts book but Parker writing, might as well. Luke Cage is cool too man, and I always dug crazy chick Moonstone/ Marvel girl, so, lets see how this goes.

  21. I don’t necessarily think this means Luke won’t be an Avenger.  If Wolverine can have breakfast in New York and lunch in San Francisco, why not?  Though as much as I like Avenger-Luke, if he’s going to do double duty, I’d as soon it was in a Power Man/Iron Fist book.

  22. Well, on one hand, Jeff Parker.

    On the other hand, the original Thunderbolts STILL aren’t back.

  23. Out of all this, I’m just excited to see Juggy & the Man-Thing on a monthly basis.

  24. That’s Mammomax.  He LIVES.

  25. I am thoroughly bewildered by this line-up.

  26. this honestly sounds freakin awesome i cant wait to read it. its about time Luke Cage got a book.

  27. Man-Thing rocks.

  28. Luke Cage has become one of my favorite characters so I’m probably going to pick this up but Crossbones really?

  29. I know Luke cage is tough, but doesn’t this team seem a little unbalanced? What’s to stop Juggernaut, Moonstone, Ghost and Crossbones from staging a coup?

  30. I love the chain on Luke Cage’s belt buckle, nice little reference.

    I dropped this book a few months ago solely for financial reasons, but I’ll definitely be getting this new version when it comes around to see how this team dynamic plays out.

  31. @Duraflametree  I’m guessing Cage has some insurance for some of them. Kinda like Norman did for the T-bolts after Civil War. If Crossbones isn’t on a leash then this book will be beyond stupid.

  32. Parker has earned my trust, although I certainly fear for the longevity of the title based on the quirky lineup (a plus for me) and the way other Marvel tertiary books have fared lately.

  33. I’m definitely into this idea for an issue or two, we’ll see after that.  I love the idea of Juggernaut on the team and I’m really liking Ghost in Iron Man right now so it could be good stuff.

  34. I’ll be interested to see how they incorporate Emporer Palpatine into the team.

  35. Does anyone think this is a downgrade for Luke Cage? Bendis has worked him to be a leader of a big team like the ‘New’ Avengers. Now he’s the leader of the Thunderbolts? I mean he still is a leader but….doesn’t seem worth it.

  36. @TNC  Well I would imagine he’s put in charge by Steve Rogers himself. When he was in charge of the NA it wasn’t an official appointment, the others just kinda looked to him cause he was so passionate about it. But this is probably going to be Steve and Tony and SHIELD basically appointing Luke to run this show. Sounds like an upgrade to me

  37. @TNC-The Avengers in the Heroic Age is all about the classic characters returning to the teams and moving forward. As much work as Bendis has done with Cage, he isn’t at the level of Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye, etc. If he were to stay on the Avengers, he would be sidelined the whole time. So it makes sense to put him on another team and make him the leader. I’m curious to see where this goes. Might even give the book a few issues.

  38. @Roi: Well if that’s the case then, at least the heroes acknowledge how great of a leader he is. I would still like to see him run an Avengers team though. Why not the Secret Avengers or that teaser image with Hawkeye, Gorilla Man, and others? (If the latter is a team)

    @drake: See I know this sounds crazy, but I think Cage is almost to the level of those guys. I think he’s much more of a leader then Hawkeye or more capable. Again he should run a second Avengers team and not the Thunderbolts…..A comic nobody was really reading beforehand anyways.

  39. That’s by far one of the wierdest line ups I have ever seen. You may as well add Impossible Man to the mix, not that I dislike it, hasn’t grown on me yet, especially since there are some really obscure but interesting characters in the Marvel U. you could add to the Thunderbolts like Crusader from Avengers – The Initiative (the guy who turned out to be a ________).

  40. @TNC-You’re right, that does sound crazy.

  41. Impossible Man is just what the Heroic Age needs!

    To the Pitchmobile!

  42. @drake: Well think about it. Luke Cage was such a natural leader after Civil War. He kept his cool and he help lead his new team against supervillains and people for the Registration Act. He lead the team in Secret Invasion, even though they were stuck in the Savage Land forever. Now with Dark Reign he still is one of the big men of the group and he went through all of this shit with Osborn.

    So what’s his reward for doing all of this? To be a leader of a team……with Ghost, Juggernaut, Crossbones, Moonstone, and Man Thing…..If that isn’t a downgrade I don’t know what is.

  43. wait – when did Manthing become a villain?  Crossbones is practically a nazi.  I thought the big storyline for Juggernaut over the past few years is that if he isn’t evil then his power source won’t give him power.  Eh, who cares, I will read it because I like the Marvel "Suicide Squad" – and I’m hoping that Zemo ends up pulling thier strings.

  44. Ghost is one of my favorite new characters.

    I like Jeff Parker’s writing.

    Luke Cage on the team will ensure that I stick with this title.

  45. I think Mr Parker can write a team book better than anyone in the business right now. This concept is intriguing and I excited to see where it goes.

  46. Yes sir, I’m buying this.  Hell, Jeff Parker writing that line-up of bad guys?  I’ll buy five copies each.  

  47. hell yea crossbones and juggernaut 

  48. Has Crossbones had an epiphany and decided to try to turn good?  Last I remember seeing him, Red Skull’s daughter was breaking him out of prison.  I think.  It’s been a while.  Anyway, he was still bad then.

  49. Juggernaught!!!!???? I’ll at least check out the first issue just for Juggernaught.  How is Man Thing a villain?

  50. I think this is a great thing storywise. Cage is definitely a great leader and I’d love to see him staying on an Avengers team but I think it opens up good opportunities for his interactions with the villainous members (and beatdowns!) and maybe to keep it more street level than the heroic books are going to go. I kinda feel Cage doesn’t care about accolades or awards, he’s doing the job, whether he’s the best person for the job or just because there is a job to do.

    That said, I wonder how Jess is going to feel….

  51. wait wait wait. you’re telling me that two people that served under osborn, an unstoppable hulking mutant, a swamp monster and the guy who shot captain america are all on a hero team? luke cage better sleep with one eye open in that headquarters!

  52. Just by having Luke Cage and Juggernaut on a team, I feel like this book is being written for me. Corniest thing? Luke Cage having a chain link belt buckle! Just give him the chain belt! 

  53. Can’t wait for this change of direction.  I want to see Luke Cage kick Crossbones like a little b#@%h!

  54. I don’t think Man-Thing’s being made out to be a villain. If you read between the lines in Parker’s interview, it kinda sounds like no one knows exactly why he’s there. I like it.

    This incarnation really reminds me a lot of the Suicide Squad. Operating out of a prison, rotating in convicts as needed. Some seeking redemption, others not. It is the kind of team that Man-Thing could kinda wander onto with his own inscrutable agenda.

    This is weird enough that I’ve gotta check it out just to see the character interaction.

    Though, admittedly, I’m a bit bummed that Cage has to be the one shunted over to the team of convicts. It leaves the (announced) Avengers looking a little white-washed, y’know? But I like that he’s leading, and I’m damned curious about the motivations, dynamics, etc.

  55. MAN THING!   Also, how can he be a bad guy?  Evil burns at his touch.  Oh well, sucks to be him. 

  56. I have no rational explaination for how excited I am about Man-Thing, but I am.

  57. @daccampo: That would be great to see every issue with someone going:

    "Uh……what is this thing doing here?"

  58. Man-Thing is on the team ’cause whoever’s in charge of this program wants to keep an eye on his freaky ass.

    Never thought I’d say these words: I agree with TNC. This is demotion for Luke Cage.


    I’ll probably be picking this book up, though.

  59. I really like Ghost. His mysterious intention in the current T-Bolts book are what’s keeping me reading it, and the addition of Crossbones and Juggernaut just sold me.

    I definately agree that it’s a demotion for Luke Cage but where the hell is Iron Fist? The Immortal Weapons thing is done and I hear nothing. Did his book get quietly cancelled (or maybe even not so silently)?

  60. @CloudControl His book was canceled back in June, if you were referring to ‘Immortal Iron Fist’. Seriously thoguh! Why isn’t he here?! If he’s not here he at least has to be on one of the Avengers Team.

  61. For the people wondering why Iron Fist isn’t here: Correct me if i’m wrong, but the traditional model for the Thunderbolts is one hero (previously Hawkeye, now Luke Cage) leading a team of villains who want to go straight.* It wouldn’t make sense to have another hero on the team.


    *This discounts the Thunderbolts as they were under Norman Osborn. Those Thunderbolts don’t count. 

  62. So if Luke Cage is in the T-bolts where is Jessica Jones and the baby?

  63. @JesTr: They are going to be seen every month in JESSICA JONES AND THE BABY AVENGERS.

  64. Jeff Parker said in an interview that Luke’s family will be in the book. And he also pointed out that just because someone is on the team doesn’t mean they’re looking for redemption. Basically they’re given a choice, this or prison. So its basically Marvel’s answer to the Suicide Squad.

  65. Manthing?!? And Crossbones?!?,Crossbones?!? F@#k that piece of s@#t!

  66. @Conor lol

  67. Luke Cage being team leader of the Thunderbolts seems perfect. Like Hawkeye before him he’s one of the posterboys for turning your life around.


    But aside from that I really only want to read Thunderbolts if the original team are involved.  I’m also not crazy about Marvel playing the role of The House of Someone Else’s Ideas and ripping off the Suicide Squad.

  68. @conor how do those thunderbolts not count? they were called thunderbolts, in a comic called thunderbolts. just because they had a different roster and m.o. doesn’t mean they don’t count.

    but really, its just an excuse for a powerman/iron fist team-up, which would be great

  69. @Rando: They don’t count because the paradigm in the Marvel Universe was altered. Now it’s reverting back with the Heroic Age.

  70. Actually, the original Thunderbolts concept was "a bunch of supervillains pretending to be heroes (who end up liking being heroes)."

    That concept moved from Thunderbolts to Dark Avengers and now it’s (arguably) a dead idea. 


  71. @Diabhol yeah, sounds like the idea of what makes a thunderbolt a thunderbolt has changed a few times over the years. If Wolverine can be an avenger I don’t see why Danny Rand isn’t allowed to be a thunderbolt

    Also, did anyone read the title back when Hawkeye was the leader and Bagley was drawing it? was it any good? my knowledge of Clint Barton is limited to him as Ronin and a handful of Avengers issues back when he was in Cap’s kooky quartet, but I like the idea of him leading the tunderbolts. Are there any trades out there worth picking up?

  72. I’m gonna miss the way Bendis would write Cage interacting with Wolverine and Spider-Man. I hated the current line-up of Thunderbolts when it first dropped, but they kinda grew on me. I’ll give this a chance. Luke Cage is a cool character.

  73. There is still a distinct lack of Zemo in Thunderbolts.

    Regardless, if there’s any specialty Parker has had with Marvel comics, it’s spinning random ideas/characters together into something awesome. I’ll stay on the book.