Launched in 1997, Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” series has gone through many permutations over the years as the team has shited from heroic imposters to begrudging do-gooders to government-sponsored assassins and legit heroes. Now, as Marvel Comics announced during the Marvel Now: Divided We Stand panel at New York Comic Con, the 20th anniversary of this long-lasting team will be commemorated with a special oversized anniversary issue.
February 2017’s “Thunderbolts” #10 will celebrate 20 years of Thunderbolts with the start of a new storyline titled “Return of the Masters.” The story comes from the regular creative team of writer Jim Zub and artist Jon Malin. In “Return of the Masers,” the return of a classic adversary will tempt the team to return to their evil ways — and Bucky’s crew will have to decide their fate once and for all.
Additionally, original “Thunderbolts” creators Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley will return to the series they launched 20 years ago for an all-new backup story featuring the return of classic T’bolts member Jolt.
The anniversary storyline comes at a fitting moment for the team, as the roster now includes almost all of the original lineup. Atlas, Fixer, Moonstone and Mach-X were with the team 20 years ago when Baron Zemo started them as a cover identity for the Masters of Evil — and they’re with the team today. Songbird, another original ‘Bolter, can currently be seen in the pages of “New Avengers,” although she does also appear alongside the current Thunderbolts lineup in Mark Bagley’s variant cover for issue #10. Marvel has yet to reveal whether or not Songbird will have a role to play in the issue itself, though.
Jolt originally appeared in “Thunderbolts” #1 and joined the team a few issues later, presenting a major wrinkle in Baron Zemo’s secret plan. Despite being a major player in the initial “Thunderbolts” run, Jolt has rarely been seen since the end of the first “Thunderbolts” volume in 2003. She appeared in the 2004 “Avengers/Thunderbolts” series, but has otherwise been M.I.A.
The oversized “Thunderbolts” #10 arrives in stores in February 2017.
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