‘Thunderbolts’ returns in May from Zub + Izaakse

Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse bring together Hawkeye, Spectrum, America Chavez and more for a new take on the classic team.

A new iteration of Marvel’s Thunderbolts will strike in May, courtesy of writer Jim Zub and artist Sean Izaakse.

The new team springs from the events occurring in Devil’s Reign, the event series featuring New York’s heroes running up against former-crime-boss-turned-mayor Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin. In that series, the Kingpin has enlisted his own team of villains to serve as his law-enforcing Thunderbolts, but this new team is another animal completely. While previous Thunderbolts titles have featured, for the most part, villains seeking redemption, this new team is heavy on the heroes.

“My elevator pitch for this series was essentially ‘Ted Lasso by way of the Avengers,'” Zub said in an email. “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.”

cover by David Nakayama

As you can see above, on David Nakayama’s cover the new team includes Hawkeye, America Chavez, Power Man, Spectrum, Persuasion (The Purple Mn’s daughter, who used to be in Alpha Flight back in the day) plus two new characters. One of those new ones is Gutsen Glory, “an experienced cyber-soldier seeking new glory.”

Here’s the description from Marvel:

In the aftermath of Devil’s Reign, the Big Apple has big problems, and it’s up to a new group of Thunderbolts to turn things around. But when Clint Barton gets tasked with heading up this team and proving they can go toe-to-toe with anything the Marvel Universe can throw at them, the first opponent he’s going to have to face is himself.

This is Zub’s second round with the Thunderbolts; previously the writer worked on the title in 2016, when the line-up included Winter Soldier and several of the original members, including Atlas and Songbird. That of course was just one of many iterations of the team. The idea of the Thunderbolts was first introduced in 1997, when several villains, led by Baron Zemo, disguised themselves as heroes after the Avengers were thought dead (but were really shifted off to an alternate Earth during Heroes Reborn). The team eventually rejected Zemo and decided they wanted to be heroes for real, as Hawkeye became their leader. But that was just the original iteration — we’ve also seen a “Thunderbolts” team of villains being used by the government for missions, ala the Suicide Squad, as well as a black ops team of Marvel “anti-heroes” like Deadpool, Elektra and the Punisher, and then a team of incarcerated villains led by Luke Cage. While the line-ups have been different, the concept usually revolves around villains, or semi-villains or whatever, doing good. So stacking the line-up with heroes is a different take.

“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 told Marvel.com. “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. 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. 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!”

The first issue of the five-issue miniseries arrives May 25. Here’s a look at some additional covers and artwork:

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