Now there’s a new rumor saying that Marvel may move away from superheroes for their next Netflix project and focus on a team of less-than-stellar individuals with abilities, the Thunderbolts.
Thunderbolts are like the Suicide Squad, a team of supervillains brought together to save the world. The group first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #449 (January 1997), and was created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. The Thunderbolts first appeared in 1997 as a team of supervillains, led by Baron Zemo, pretending to be superheroes to gain the world’s trust, though eventually many of the members truly did want to see redemption through heroic acts. Subsequent iterations of the team evolved in the last decade so that they consisted of reformed supervillains who go on dangerous missions for the U.S. government, similar to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. During the Dark Reign arc, Norman Osborn (who most of you might be more familiar with as the Green Goblin) used the Thunderbolts as his personal assassins, but in more recent years the team has been used for more benevolent purposes. The new team comprises of General Thaddeus Ross a.k.a Red Hulk, Elektra, Punisher and Agent Venom. General Thaddeus Ross ho played a role in Captain America: Civil War, The Punisher, and Elektra.
A YouTube account called The Hashtag Show reports that Marvel is developing a Thunderbolts TV series for Netflix. No other details were provided, including where it would fit on Marvel’s current release schedule for the online platform. Keep in mind that this not official and Netflix didn’t mention anything about a Thunderbolts show at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. But The Hashtag Show has been right about things in the past, so it’s entirely possible.
Marvel has been criticized for their inability to bring believable and compelling villains to life. All of them have the powers to destroy the planet on their own. Although, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in the Daredevil has been able to break out of the mold. Of course, that’s because the character had the opportunity to develop over a season, including an entire episode that primarily featured him. Getting 13 episodes to give more backstory and motivations for many of the characters who have already appeared in movies, will ultimately only strengthen the Marvel cinematic universe.
So far none of their live action MCU projects have featured anti-heroes or villains as the protagonists. Should this Thunderbolts rumor turn out to be true, it would be an interesting opportunity for Marvel to spotlight a group of characters who aren’t superheroes automatically willing to do good.