Thunderbolts: New Storm Brewing

Incoming writer Jeff Parker spills on what he’s cooked up for Marvel’s most dysfunctional team

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THUNDERBOLTS #138 preview art by Miguel Sepulveda
By Marc Strom

When THUNDERBOLTS #138 hits stores on November 18, writer Jeff Parker joins artist Miguel Sepulveda to usher in an all-new, increasingly dangerous era for the team.

Parker, who will pick up from departing scribe Andy Diggle, says he'll follow up on a number of elements the previous writer established, including Paladin and Ant-Man's new found consciences.

"Yes, between them, they may have a whole soul," jokes Parker. "Paladin keeps everything closer to the vest, but the team freaks him out as much as it does Ant-Man. They're the only non-psychopaths."

Given the volatility of the team's current lineup, Parker wonders just how much control its benefactor, Norman Osborn, has over the group.

"That's the big question," he notes. "The current Thunderbolts were put together in a most unnatural way, and maybe people aren't just game pieces you can throw together based on power like Osborn seems to think."

THUNDERBOLTS #138 preview art by Miguel Sepulveda
In recent issues, many members of the original Thunderbolts-including Songbird, Abe Jenkins and the Fixer-reunited in order to go after the group's latest incarnation. When asked about what he has in store for the former T-Bolts, however, Parker remained mum, simply stating that "there are definitely plans" for the characters.

Looking at the differences between the original and current iterations of the Thunderbolts, Parker sees a good deal of similarity between the two:

"The latest incarnation is much, much more unstable than the first," the writer admits. "But I think [that], like the first [group], something about being thrown together with others helps define the individuals. Paladin would be the most morally ambiguous member [in the team] if he were thrown on the Avengers, but in this mix, he comes off sounding worthy of his name, and maybe thinks harder about morality. On the other hand, water finds its level and a situation like this lets someone called Headsman start really living down to his name, as you'll see."

Beyond those characters, Parker lets readers know to keep an eye on at least one other member who will make waves in the near future:

THUNDERBOLTS #138 preview art by Miguel Sepulveda
"I think that Ghost is up to something!"

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