“Thunderbolts” is slated to finish the MCU’s fifth phase, releasing in theaters in summer 2024. The film follows “Captain America: New World Order” and the (probable) Skrull nightmare of “Secret Invasion.” Both movies could provide clues to what these villains-turned-slightly-heroic characters are up to next. If the MCU’s Thunderbolts borrow from their comic book counterparts, they might help fill out a world that no longer trusts superheroes.
Peter David and Mike Deodato Jr.’s “The Incredible Hulk” #449 introduced the Thunderbolts. Initially, the team hides their villainous backstories. But that’s not something the MCU can get away with — especially given that we’ve already seen of these characters on the big and small screens. The minute that Yelena Belova, U.S. Agent, or the rest of the team open their mouths, we’ll know it’s them.
We’re not convinced that we’ve seen the full Thunderbolts lineup yet, either. Historically, Baron Zemo’s taken charge of the Thunderbolts more than once, so it’s a good guess that he’ll try to take the reins from Yelena at some point. Despite the recent death of William Hurt, the return of Thunderbolt Ross and the Red Hulk is still possible if Marvel Studios recasts him. After that, we can speculate freely. If Daredevil: Born Again” doesn’t bring Punisher into the MCU, the Thunderbolts’ commitment to making a better world under a new order could. Ghost Rider could tag in, too. But a more fun question is whether or not Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre) survived his final encounter with the Power Broker (Emily VanCamp). As the Krillin of this supercharged group, it’d be a great gag to see this fella one more time.