First Look at MCU's Suicide Squad-Like 'Villain' Team In Thunderbolts (Photo)

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Thunderbolts, Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios surprised everyone during San Diego Comic-Con when it officially announced the arrival of the Thunderbolts team-up movie that will cap off Phase 5. The upcoming project is inspired by the comics of the same name where it will revolve around a team of villains and anti-heroes.

The exact plot details of the movie are still shrouded in secrecy, but the fact that it ends Phase 5 suggests that it will have massive ramifications for the rest of the MCU. 

As for the team's lineup, it was previously reported that Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova will lead the Thunderbolts squad. In addition, John Walker and Abomination were also rumored to be part of the ensemble. 

Now, the first official look at the new MCU team has been released.

The MCU's Thunderbolts Revealed

The Direct Image

During Marvel Studios' panel at this year's D23 Expo, the first look at the lineup of the MCU's Thunderbolts was officially revealed. 

Official concept art from the movie unveiled seven MCU characters, starting with Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, and Wyatt Russell's John Walker a.k.a. US Agent. 

Rounding out the team are Olga Kurylenko's Taskmaster, David Harbour's Red Guardian, Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Val.

Analyzing The Thunderbolts' Intriguing Lineup 

At first glance, the MCU's Thunderbolts team is stacked. The super-squad has a variety of members that are perfect for different kinds of operations, may it be stealth-focused or an all-out assault. 

The fact that there are three super soldiers in the lineup is a promising sight, thus making it a formidable group from the get-go. Yelena's leadership status may also be put to the test while the inclusion of Val could hint that she may be part of the action as well. 

In addition, there are also interesting interactions that could be a must-see.

Red Guardian's reaction upon seeing Steve Rogers' best friend, Bucky Barnes, will be exciting, and this movie could finally answer if Black Widow's "dad" really met Captain America back in the day. It is also reasonable to assume that a scene revolving around the recruitment process for these anti-heroes will be entertaining to see. 

While this is a clear answer to DC's Suicide Squad movies, Marvel could showcase their own unique take on the Thunderbolts. It's possible that there are no neck bombs involved in this one; instead, these individuals could be motivated by redemption. 

Bucky could serve as the team's moral anchor while Yelena is their driving force to fulfill whatever mission they have to do in the movie, similar to how the Avengers split the leadership duties between Captain America and Iron Man. 

The question of whether or not this team replaces the Avengers has yet to be revealed, but the Thunderbolts could prove to be a valuable ally as the Multiverse saga reaches its peak.

Thunderbolts is set to premiere in theaters on July 26, 2024.

- In This Article: Thunderbolts
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.