At the D23 Expo 2022 presentation “Studio Showcase, Day 2: Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox,” Marvel Cinematic Universe President Kevin Feige revealed an image that revealed the lineup of Marvel Studios’ incarnation of the long-awaited Rays Team: Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), US Agent (Wyatt Russell), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Yelena Belova AKA Black Widow (Florence Pugh), Red Guardian (David Harbour), Coach (Olga) Kurylenko) ), and Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
All of the characters on the roster have been previously introduced to the MCU, with the Winter Soldier having made the first appearance in Phase One of the MCU in Captain America: The First Avenger. Then Ghost was introduced in Phase Three Ant-Man and the Waspwhile Val and US Agent were introduced in Captain America and the Winter Soldier. The three remaining members of the roster, Yelena, Red Guardian and Taskmaster, who hail from the MCU’s first female-directed solo feature Black Widow. Unfortunately, for all Dancing Daddy Zemo fans who expected Baron Zemo to be the leader of Team Thunderbolt as he is in Marvel Comics, he will not appear in the team’s MCU incarnation.
Thunderbolts were first introduced in 1997 The incredible Hulk #449 by Peter David, Mike Deodato Jr., Tom Wegrzyn and Glynis Oliver. However, on the final page of the first issue of the team’s solo series, Rays (1997) #1 by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Vince Russell, and Joe Rosas, it was revealed that the apparent superheroes that made up the Thunderbolts were actually a team of supervillains called the Masters of Evil. This team was led by Helmut Zemo and included Fixer, Beetle, Screaming Mimi, Goliath and Moonstone in disguise.
Will the Thunderbolts be good or bad?
Over the years, many familiar Marvel Comics heroes have joined the Thunderbolts roster, and the team has at times become more heroic than villainous. Other characters on the list at Marvel Comics panels include the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Nighthawk, and Luke Cage. At other times, the Thunderbolts played a more villainous role. More infamous members that have been included in the list include Doctor Octopus, Wrecker, Bullseye, and Taskmaster.
Whether the Thunderbolts team introduced to the MCU will prove to be more villainous or heroic remains to be seen. While the lineup of the team was announced during D23, the film is slated to be the final entry in the fifth phase of the MCU, set for a July 26, 2024 release date. Jake Schreier is currently attached to direct a written script. by Eric Pearson.