In the wake of “Captain America: Civil War,” which reshaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there’s brewing speculation that the replacement team for the Avengers could ignite another epic hero-versus-hero battle in the not-so-distant future. Marvel Studios is shaking things up in MCU Phase 5 by swapping out the Avengers’ team-up movie with the Thunderbolts, potentially pitting them against the well-established superhero ensemble.
While Kevin Feige confirmed during SDCC 2022 that Phase 6 would feature “The Kang Dynasty” and “Secret Wars” as the only Avengers films in the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, he dropped a tantalizing hint. Phase 5 would conclude with the introduction of the Thunderbolts, a brand-new team in the MCU. And here’s where the speculation takes flight: could these Thunderbolts go head-to-head with the established superhero team, akin to the conflict seen in Marvel Comics’ “Civil War II” storyline?
Taking inspiration from Marvel Comics’ Thunderbolts, this MCU rendition of the team is set to include a roster of former villains and antiheroes. Notable members may encompass Yelena Belova, Red Guardian, Ghost, US Agent, Taskmaster, Bucky Barnes, and Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. The intriguing twist? Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina was unveiled as the Director of the CIA in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” strongly suggesting that her Thunderbolts team could be bankrolled by the United States government, a significant departure from the privately operated Avengers.
While Marvel Studios has kept details about the Thunderbolts project under wraps, one compelling theory proposes that it could draw inspiration from Marvel Comics’ pivotal “Civil War II” crossover event of 2016. Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, now the MCU’s Captain America following his role in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” is poised to headline his first solo project in 2024, “Captain America: Brave New World.” As Captain America, Sam Wilson might be laying the groundwork for the MCU’s New Avengers team, a move that could potentially unite a fresh lineup of heroes in “Brave New World.”
Though nothing has been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios, the notion of Sam Wilson assembling a new Avengers squad in MCU Phase 5 sets the stage for an intriguing narrative development in “Thunderbolts” in 2024. This shared character involvement hints at the possibility of a dramatic clash between the Thunderbolts and the New Avengers, delivering a compelling and justified introduction for both teams.In summary, the MCU’s version of the Thunderbolts comprises former villains and antiheroes, funded by the U.S. government, in stark contrast to the Avengers’ private organisation. The tantalising theory of a face-off between the Thunderbolts and the New Avengers, loosely inspired by Marvel Comics’ “Civil War II,” promises an electrifying narrative arc that could redefine the MCU’s Phase 5.