The 6 Characters on My MCU Thunderbolts
Word came down from Hollywood on high last week that Marvel was working on a Thunderbolts movie. It’s been rumored for years, and it’s too hot a property to dismiss, so I’m all in favor of this happening. There are enough characters and villains from throughout the past decade of the MCU to put a really good anti-hero/anti-villain team together.
The biggest question is: what kind of movie is this? In the comics, the Thunderbolts were a team of villains posing as heroes, who slowly came around to the idea that being a superhero was awesome. It was one of the biggest twists in comic book history. But with acting announcements and the way Hollywood works, it would be nearly impossible to pull off a similar twist. So I think an MCU Thunderbolts should be the equivalent of the Dark Avengers. Some either villainous or anti-hero characters brought together to fill the void left by the actual Avengers, perhaps by Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. And maybe they’re used for nefarious purposes, but slowly come around to the idea that they should do more good.
Join me after the jump for my roster for an MCU Thunderbolts.
6. Justin Hammer
Everybody loves Sam Rockwell. He’s a great actor and, by all accounts, a delightful human being. And Justin Hammer is perfect as both the money guy and a replacement Tony Stark. We haven’t seen him since a quick cameo in one of those short episodes, and we haven’t seen him for real since Iron Man 2. That’s plenty of time for him to have served his prison sentence and been released. He is a rich white guy, after all. So he’s out, he’s looking to rehab his image and he’s probably built his own crappy Iron Man suit by now, right? And that’s definitely something Val would be interested in. But is he going to wear it or…?
5. Harley Keener
Why did Marvel bring back Harley Keener just for a non-speaking cameo appearance at Tony Stark ‘s superhero funeral? It was great to see the kid, but surely that involved some behind the scenes hand-shaking to give Harley Keener a bigger role somewhere, right? Personally, I want to see him morph into a new Iron Man-esque inventor. We have Riri Williams inventing her own suit in Ironheart coming up, and I’d love it if Harley had a guest role in that show. But I think it would be really crazy if Harley shows up in Thunderbolts wearing a Justin Hammer-built knock-off Iron Man armor. He can be a poor kid who means well who’s been duped by Val into honoring Tony Stark’s memory. That would be especially enticing if he’s jealous or envious of Riri Williams completely lapping him on inventing stuff.
The Abomination is making a big comeback and I’m all for it. He had a fun cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and he’s going to have an actual speaking return in the She-Hulk TV show. Actor Tim Roth seems game for this return, so why not use him? With everything Marvel has been setting up so far, there is no way Val hasn’t had a couple of chats with Emil Blonsky. He’s the perfect “Dark Hulk” sort of character to add with some of these other “Dark Avengers” types. Abomination is around. Use him.
Unlike many villains in superhero movies, Ghost was left alive at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp. She was also very much a sympathetic villain in that film, and was getting treatment afterwards. That makes her an absolute perfect candidate for bringing back for the Thunderbolts. She’s got a unique power, she’s got a cool look, and she’s the right kind of ‘shades of gray’ character that this team was made for.
You’re going to need at least one new character to add to the team, and someone that can work as an audience surrogate or introduction character. And I don’t think there’s anyone better in the history of the Thunderbolts than Songbird. She’s got a great story in the comics and she’s got a great look. So open the movie with Screaming Mimi getting arrested and then having her funneled, through Val, to the Thunderbolts. This will help explain and set up the Thunderbolts through a new and interesting character.
1. U.S. Agent
John Walker had a great introduction in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV show, and he’s definitely someone who should make the jump from TV to movies. Wyatt Russell is a big screen actor, and surely he was hired for just this reason. And a “dark” Captain American would not be too difficult to explain for people who didn’t watch the TV show. He’s perfect for the leader, and we already know he’s working for Val. This would be exactly how she puts together this team, and U.S. Agent is perfect for walking that line between good and bad.