Heroic Age

The Heroic Age: Thunderbolts

Jeff Parker talks about his new take on the T-Bolts including how Luke Cage and Man-Thing fit into his plans!

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By TJ Dietsch

A new age sweeps over the Marvel Universe this year, an age where heroes will be heroes and villains just may become more than villains too.

At least, that's the plan with Jeff Parker's THUNDERBOLTS which gets a new modus operandi with May's issue #144. Luke Cage takes the reins of the new T-Bolts, who find themselves incarcerated on the Raft along with just about every other super-criminal in the world. The early line-up consists of familiar faces like Juggernaut, Crossbones, Ghost, Moonstone and...Man-Thing.

In contrast to the Thunderbolts' "villains masquerading as heroes" status quo of the past few years, these baddies will really be looking to earn their place on the side of angels-or so Cage hopes.

"Though the Thunderbolts program fell way, way off of what it was intended for once Norman Osborn took it over, some great things have come of it," Parker notes. "And some people high up want it incorporated into the facility where all super-criminals will be incarcerated, in hopes of rehabilitating a few of these people. The thinking being, there shouldn't have been so many heavies for Osborn to get on his side recently, let's try to create more heroes."

The eternal question of whether truly evil men and women can change will of course be at the forefront of the story, but one man in particular has some strong thoughts on the subject: Cage, a former criminal himself.

 
"Cage understands all about second chances and getting bad breaks in life," says Parker. "And he's hard enough to deal with the roughest this world has. He really brings the gravity and strength of character that reforming a program like this needs. Also, there will be limited support for the Thunderbolts because a lot of high-level government decision makers don't think it should exist at all, so it's really his reputation that the whole thing hinges on."

Cage and the new T-Bolts will have their work cut out for them proving themselves to the government, the super hero community at large and, more importantly, to themselves. Parker holds the fine details of their missions close to his vest, but does offer some information:

"There's fallout from recent events that needs to be dealt with, and also a lot of bad situations that were made worse by there not being a S.H.I.E.L.D. in place to handle things. There are ugly, nightmarish threats. But also there's a fair amount of dealing with life as a prisoner. Elements in the Raft still have influence, even locked away. You can imagine after working with pros like the Avengers, Luke is going to have a problem with an undisciplined team that doesn't watch each other's backs."

With so much going on both inside and outside the halls of the Raft, THUNDERBOLTS needs an artist who can handle everything from the mundane to the fantastic, and Parker thinks Kev Walker has what it takes.

"We're just now starting up, and I'm looking very forward to working with Kev," the writer shares. "I think he can hit the notes that this direction needs, and give readers heavies who show complexity. He can build a convincing world like few other artists.  It will be a fine looking thing! Mainly I want to see him draw Man-Thing."

Speaking of Man-Thing, the question on everyone's minds remains: "How does he fit in?"

"You'll see," Parker promises. "He was arrested by H.A.M.M.E.R. in a recent issue of DARK AVENGERS, and it's been realized that he's a powerful creature to be on the loose who should be monitored more. But I don't want to give away too much about him yet. It, I mean."

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Comments

40 comments
CapLivesOn
CapLivesOn

HaHA! This is gonna be awesome! Marvel you had me at Man-Thing!

Perplexor
Perplexor

I still want to to know when Zemo is coming back!!

RichTL
RichTL

I dont know how I feel about Juggy being a Thunderbolt. :juggernaut: They have written and rewritten Juggy so many times he doesnt feel like a real character anymore.

dereimer500
dereimer500

Cool, Can't Wait For This To COme Out.

cannonpg
cannonpg

Just in terms of sheer muscle, this is a good team. Juggy and Cage...who's throwing who on the fastball special.I like moonstone, and I think I saw ghost on the picture...as manipulative as Moonstone is, Ghost will be a good counter balance...It feels like a x-force kind of thing, they'll be a wetworks team for the Avengers, and end up getting some good PR...My question is, if they have a secret avengers, and a thunderbolts with so many controversial characters, what exactly is the New Heroic age? I figured it'd be like looking at those crappy Disney TV sitcoms with the laugh track in the background....this book is NOT in that vein...if this keeps up, I will keep mine marvel.

wbgeek
wbgeek

[quote@BlackSamurai I was actually disappointed to see him go back villainous so effortlessly, so I'm not saying it wasn't cool for him to have wanted to reform before, but it makes no sense him wanting it again in a complete flip UNLESS we see a couple pages of Luke, for example, slugging it out with him while convincing him that he can wreak havoc on villains' property and fulfill that requirement.[/quote] Things like this are exactly why I'm looking forward to this series. Luke Cage is just the type of guy to be able to pull something like this off. He can lead a hardcore team like this by showing that he is even tougher than they are.On another note, why in the world is marvel trying to make man thing a prominent character?

Vendel
Vendel

[quote@PTalon Im a big Juggernaught fan, and I loved him on the X-Men. It saddened me when he took back his full power, but I loved why he did it.-to save Prof X.[/quote] Except that is not why he did it.That was a lie. Once he admitted to himself that he wanted the power for the powers sake then he became The Juggernaut again.

PTalon
PTalon

Im a big Juggernaught fan, and I loved him on the X-Men. It saddened me when he took back his full power, but I loved why he did it.-to save Prof X.BlackSamurai: i like your idea about him and Luke, I hope its something to that extent. Hopefully They dont forget what has been happening with Juggs character progression.Man-Thing...I never knew it had enough personality or smarts to know what really going on, but I've never really read alot about him.The others: Im sure they are trying to just get out of prison.

CaptainAmerica1945
CaptainAmerica1945

sorry to say this but, this seems like Justice League: The Detroit Years Part 2.JK

BlackSamurai
BlackSamurai

I can't complain too much about Cage being here since T-bolts is a prominent series, but for some reason this seems like a rather fleeting line-up (though, in this age of slower comic paces, fleeting could be two years with it just feeling like nothing much transpired). I must say I can't really get behind Moonstone deserving a shot at redemption since so much of her time as Ms. Marvel should a callous disregard for preserving human lives. If it was indeed that her 'crimes' were well covered up and the heroes don't fully know she's a fairly unrepentant character, I can take that, but I hope their not trying to feed us this 'everyone deserves a shot at redemption,' it sucks the common sense out of many comic reading experiences. The most realistic treatment of an obvious villain being on a hero roster was the time the X-team had Sabretooth caged up when not thrown into combat (and still that was marred by Mystique's presence). I also need some consistent development all-around. People have been back and forth with what to define Juggy as, and the latest development was that he had re-embraced the villain life because of the need to wreak havoc as a condition of tapping the full powers offered by Cytorrak. I was actually disappointed to see him go back villainous so effortlessly, so I'm not saying it wasn't cool for him to have wanted to reform before, but it makes no sense him wanting it again in a complete flip UNLESS we see a couple pages of Luke, for example, slugging it out with him while convincing him that he can wreak havoc on villains' property and fulfill that requirement.While Ghost wasn't appearing villainous outright lately either, I'm pretty sure his trying to assassinate Stark might be an indicator he still is though, so surprised to see him staying around Cage. Now if this is less about redemption and more about forcing them to do these things, that's a different story, and I can see a need for that if there's going to be a need for a major operation to infiltrate the 'unionized' villain mob....and again now I like Cage, one of my all time favs, but what happened to the under-storied return of Songbird? If there wasn't the rest of this full line up, I'd be rejoicing her return with Cage's addition as an extreme bonus (and I'd definitely want 'Fist to be partnering up with him again).

professorhulk
professorhulk

I cant wait for this! Luke Cage leading a team of hard core "reformed" villans including Swamp Thing, Crossbones, Goast, Moonstone, and the Juggernaut!?!?!?!?!?! So awsome!

Vendel
Vendel

[quote@Perplexor Super excited for Juggernaut to be on the team. He's been struggling for a while to be a good guy[/quote] No, he really hasn't.

fooly
fooly

It's gonna suck not having Cage on the NA, he was becoming the backbone of that team. At least he gets to be leader of the T-Bolts, but I wonder if he will be able to control guys like Jugg Head, Man-Thing, and Crossbones. Im not sure if any of these guys really want redemption. And how is Jessica going to feel about her husband leading a team of villians, their life has been a roller coaster since CW. This could be interesting.

kreemarvel
kreemarvel

[quote@blau_spinne As for Moonstone I think the leash holder could be Robbie Baldwin {look how forgiving Robbie was with Nitro, now imagine him controlling a nano chain for Moonstone }.[/quote] [color=seagreen] I dunno. He was that way with Nitro but it was because Nitro had done that damage to all those people (and enjoyed it).Karla did all this damage to Robbie. That is more personal, and I think he can let it pass more easily, because it was only him she was hurting.I think Robbie would not go for personal vengeance, but would make someone pay when he deserves it when others are involved. More like "justice".[/color]

Not_Your_Friend
Not_Your_Friend

[quote@Perplexor but I'm disappointed there's no Songbird!! She's kinda like the incarnation of what the T-Bolts are about. I hope she finds herself being an Avenger. She's worked hard for it.[/quote] I agree.

Perplexor
Perplexor

Super excited for Juggernaut to be on the team. He's been struggling for a while to be a good guy, but I'm disappointed there's no Songbird!! She's kinda like the incarnation of what the T-Bolts are about. I hope she finds herself being an Avenger. She's worked hard for it. When the heck is Zemo coming back?!

silentprocess
silentprocess

I doubt everyone involved will want to reform.. For some of them it's a chance to get outta Prison or whatever other current punishment they may be enduring. I'm sure some of them have other things in mind than redemption.. Of course who knows what will happen as the story unfolds. I'm super pumped that Man-Thing is in this title.. "It" is one of my favorite characters!!

deo91
deo91

I cant imagine crossbones looking for redemption! Why would he want to become a good guy.

Vendel
Vendel

The Juggernaut on this OR ANY team? That is a horrible idea. Don't tell me marvel is going to let all the progress Frank Teri, Chris Gage and Mike Carey did to undo what Austin retconned go to waste?If they are not doing that how does The Juggernaut end up in prison? How do you keep him there? How do you keep a man who is more powerful then the rest combined in line? Why is he pretending to be a hero again?

Mummra_t_e_l
Mummra_t_e_l

[quote@avengers500 I have never read any thunderbolts books, but this actually intrigues me. I mean Luke Cage, Juggernaut, and MAN-THING, who i consider one of the least utilized characters in the Marvel Universe[/quote] Dude, u have never read Thunderbolts?? If u enjoyed Civil War at all , then u have to pick up Warren Ellis' first run on T-Bolts, "Faith In Monsters"!!Its in my top five favourite books Marvel have ever put out!!

nt1ez8
nt1ez8 plus member

AWESOME! What a cool mixup of characters!I love that Luke Cage has a leader spot. Though I have to admit it kinda bums me out that this might mean he's not going to be an Avenger anymore... (hey maybe he could be on more than one team, pull a Wolverine... but I doubt it)I'm a little surprised that Songbird didn't find her way back to the team, but who knows maybe she will soon. But Man-Thing and Juggernaut are GREAT additions, I love both of them!

ERIC616
ERIC616

Cool line up, Juggernaut trying to reform again, kinda thought he gave that up during WWH, but itd be cool to see a fully powered one trying the hero thing, and anyone else notice in the issue of Dark Avengers where they take down Man-Thing the location said Louisiana? Was he just visiting or was that an error?

avengers500
avengers500

I have never read any thunderbolts books, but this actually intrigues me. I mean Luke Cage, Juggernaut, and MAN-THING, who i consider one of the least utilized characters in the Marvel Universe

blau_spinne
blau_spinne

[quote@serguma I can definitely see Juggernaut and Man-Thing trying to find redemption. REdemption and juggy has been explored before; so it makes good sense. Even ghost I could sort of pass, seeing how he was in the crew that let black widow and songbird escape in that t-bolts episode; when he electrocuted mr. x and the scourge. But, Crossbones!! Really, the guy is a nazi!. he ##*$#$@ shot capt america! THAT ONE does not make sense.[/quote] This incarnation of Thunderbolts is set to be a "meat grinder monthly" (a series with a large body count), so expect Crossbones to be killed, and I think you may see a snake based character (Diamondback, if she survives Siege) holding the nano leash for Crossbones, just itching to hit full charge (Crossbones shot Captain America, it would be a safe bet to think she wants blood {Diamondback is a texan termagant after all} As for Moonstone I think the leash holder could be Robbie Baldwin {look how forgiving Robbie was with Nitro, now imagine him controlling a nano chain for Moonstone }.

serguma
serguma

I can definitely see Juggernaut and Man-Thing trying to find redemption. REdemption and juggy has been explored before; so it makes good sense. Even ghost I could sort of pass, seeing how he was in the crew that let black widow and songbird escape in that t-bolts episode; when he electrocuted mr. x and the scourge. But, Crossbones!! Really, the guy is a nazi!. he ****ing shot capt america! THAT ONE does not make sense.

blackdarren
blackdarren

I wonder if we'll see Luke Cage's baby daughter in the comic at all...I can't see that being popular with readers at all...

ebellavita77
ebellavita77

So, happy they found a leading role for Luke, and I have always loved Thunderbolts. Surprised Songbird didn't find her way back to the team, hopefully we will see something of the older Thunderbolts somewhere else in the MU. I have been happy with Jeff Parker's work on Agents of Atlas and DR: The Hood. The first few issues of Thunderbolts have been more of a plug for the AOA, so we'll see how he ends the story of these characters in Siege. Other then Juggernaut I don't see any of these guys seeking redemption so will be interesting seeing how Parker tells that story. Luke Cage though hell ya, I'll read just to see more of him.

boscoe
boscoe

I agree as well, Juggernaut is a great character for a team like this. He has tried to redeem himself before, but with Luke Cage's help it might work. If we can only get Sandman on the team it will be perfect.

silentprocess
silentprocess

I definitely agree with you Shock, it's nice to see Juggy getting out of the X universe a bit more.. He has a ton of potential if he's used correctly. And he has wanted to reform in the past as well.

theshock621
theshock621

This is going to be sick....Cage gets his own team again and they are actual criminals trying to be "good" by changing their ways....Yeah, I'm not buying Crossbones either, being at Red Skull's side for sooooooo long, but it will be an interesting dynamic between him and Luke, I'm sure.and what seals it for me....The frikkin' Juggernaut!!!!!!!!...on a non-X men team...Awesome.

Mummra_t_e_l
Mummra_t_e_l

[quote@silentprocess I think it's a good move for Luke, he was well established in the Avengers series and now he gets a chance to carry more weight on a different title. This will definitely allow for more character development as well.[/quote] Dont get me wrong, Im very glad that Cage is gettin exposure, and very glad that he's still leading a team.Im just a bit disappointed that he's been takin off Marvel's flagship team!Im happy with the writer too, as the last Jeff Parker book I read was Dark Reign: The Hood, and he did very well with one of my favourite villians of the moment.

eriklopez79
eriklopez79

Luke Cage running the Thunderbolts. Awesome. Nuff said

CloakedDagger
CloakedDagger

[quote@Mummra_t_e_l Am I the only one dissappointed that Cage isnt an Avenger anymore?? That sucks!! He was one of the best on New Avengers, and even lead the team!!And at what point does Crossbones decide he wants redemption?? That, I simply dont buy.the book I most likely will- much like the premise of the story, it all hinges on Luke Cage's good name!![/quote] I assume that certain members take the offer just to get out of prison, and actually do something instead of rotting in prison.

tubaisland06
tubaisland06

HOLY FCUK THAT'S AWESOME!!!!! I LOVE THE LINEUP AND THE FACT THAT CAGE STILL GETS TO BE THE LEADER OF A TEAM!! HELLS YEAH!!!!!

silentprocess
silentprocess

I think it's a good move for Luke, he was well established in the Avengers series and now he gets a chance to carry more weight on a different title. This will definitely allow for more character development as well.

Mummra_t_e_l
Mummra_t_e_l

Am I the only one dissappointed that Cage isnt an Avenger anymore?? That sucks!! He was one of the best on New Avengers, and even lead the team!!And at what point does Crossbones decide he wants redemption?? That, I simply dont buy.the book I most likely will- much like the premise of the story, it all hinges on Luke Cage's good name!!

Fayt_Leingod
Fayt_Leingod

Yikes...this is some team. I wonder how the whole redemption thing'll work out for Moonstone this time.

CloakedDagger
CloakedDagger

Haha, this is a pretty funky line-up. Sounds pretty cool, lol.