Marvel’s Thunderbolts vs. the Comics Movie Cast Explained


Every superhero universe needs a restless team of villains pretending to do good things because someone does or pays them, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally has enough living supervillains to do his: Love at first sight hits theaters in July 2024.

Marvel’s Big News From Disney’s D23 Expo 2022 Has Revealed Which Villains Will Make Up The Love at first sight film programming. So let’s take a look at who the Thunderbolts are and what fans can expect from Marvel’s take on Suicide Squad.

Who are the Thunderbolts in Marvel Comics?

Marvel’s Thunderbolts king in black event, including Batroc the Leaper and Taskmaster, among others.
Image: Matthew Rosenberg, Juan Ferreyra/Marvel Comics

There have been many, many different incarnations of the Thunderbolts in Marvel Comics canon – but the team started out as bait and switch. Writer Kurt Busiek and artist Mark Bagley created them to The Incredible Hulk in 1997 (a full decade after the modern incarnation of the Suicide Squad, so make no mistake), as a new team of superheroes attempting to fill the void left by the absence of the Avengers.

Where were the Avengers back then? Well, an evil psychic being born from Professor X’s repressed thoughts of – you know what? Do not worry.

The twist was that the Thunderbolts were actually masters of evil in disguise, trying to flimflam their way to power and glory by posing as superheroes, under the hidden leadership of a second-generation Nazi: Baron Helmut Zemo. Eventually, the “heroes” of the group kicked Zemo out and tried to go straight for a while before their story ran out – but the idea of ​​a superhero team made up of supervillains is everything. simply too good a toy to be left in the proverbial toy box.

Sometimes the Thunderbolts work to redeem themselves, and sometimes they only work for corrupt government leaders. Some members have even been heroes – usually those with villain pasts – like Hawkeye, Black Widow, Elektra, and Ant-Man. There’s no traditional Thunderbolt lineup, and no tradition of characters dying more frequently than other series, like with Suicide Squad. Many, many, many Marvel characters have had a stint on the Thunderbolts, from Abomination to Zaran.

Who are the Thunderbolts in the MCU?

Marvel Studios has unveiled the full roster of characters in its panel at D23 2022. Led by the mysterious and unscrupulous Valentina Fontaine, the team will include Ghost, Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, the Winter Soldier, US Agent and Taskmaster.


Ghost as they appear in the first Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer, Marvel Studios, 2018.

Picture: Marvel Studios

Ghost, aka Ava Star, introduced as the villain in 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hannah John-Kamen played a woman who was accidentally given the power to pass through solid matter in a childhood science accident. She worked as a secret agent for SHIELD in hopes of getting help finding a cure for her body’s slow dematerialization. When she discovered Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., she defected and turned to crime in desperation, finding her goals at odds with those of Scott Lang. By the end of the film, she was alive, free, and her condition had temporarily stabilized.

red guardian

David Harbor in his red goalkeeper costume

Picture: Marvel Studios

Alexei Shostakov, played by David Harbor in Black Widow, is one of Russia’s attempts to recreate the American super soldier treatment that created Captain America. He’s somewhat of a flawed father figure to Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova, having spent time undercover as American family. At the close of Black Widowhe was on the run from the authorities alongside the rest of the Red Room Black Widows in Russia, who had been freed from mind control.


Taskmaster from the movie Black Widow firing an explosive arrow out of a vehicle

Picture: Marvel Studios

In the comics, Taskmaster is a mercenary who can memorize and replicate the physical skills of anyone he observes, a trick he often used to take on the Avengers in their own fighting styles. In the MCU, Taskmaster is all of that, but also a little girl who is brainwashed and raised to be an unstoppable assassin using a computer chip in her brain. Introduced in Black Widowby the end of the film, Antonia Dreykov’s brainwashing had been interrupted and she had escaped with Red Guardian and the other Black Widows.

Elena Belova

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova standing on a rooftop in Hawkeye

Photo: Marvel Studios

Yelena, as mentioned, considers Black Widow and Red Guardian her family. A young recruit to the Russian Black Widow program, she defected and escaped mind control by Black Widow then searched for the man she thought had killed her sister in Hawk Eye. The series ended with her discovering the truth – that Clint Barton was innocent – and falling back into the shadows after having many very flirty conversations with Kate Bishop.

The Winter Soldier

A close-up of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in his psychiatrist's office in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Picture: Disney Plus

The most venerable Marvel Cinematic Universe of the bunch is Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier. Debut in Captain America: The Winter SoldierBucky has appeared in seven MCU films as well as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Disney+ series.

When we last saw him, he still felt pretty upset that Steve Rogers was gone, but he had bonded with Sam Wilson and forgiven himself for many of the murders he had committed. during brainwashing. Oh, and he was still really mad at our next member…

US agent

Wyatt Russell as US Agent in Falcon and Winter Soldier premiere

Picture: Disney Plus

John Walker was chosen by the US government to succeed Steve Rogers as Captain America, until he bludgeoned a man to death with his shield. So he made his own new shield and proceeded to kill the guys’ allies, until at the last minute he decided to save hostages instead. At the end of the show, we saw him recruited by Valentina de Fontaine for a mysterious troupe of superpowered people.

What will Thunderbolts be about?

Given the absence of the Avengers in the current MCU and the Love at first sight‘ Telling position as Marvel’s final Phase 5 film, it seems likely that the original incarnation of the team – in which they posed as superheroes worthy of filling the shoes of the Avengers – will frame the film. Valentina de Fontaine has already shown herself to be in regular contact with the American agent and Yelena Belova (in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow), and it seems likely that she will spearhead any Thunderbolts endeavors.

For more information on Love at first sightwe’ll just have to wait until we’re closer to July 26, 2024 — because that’s when it hits theaters.

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