WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #2 by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims and Todd Nauck, on sale now.
Marvel Comics' latest cosmic event, Infinity Wars, hasn’t been shy about doling out new, inventive and very frequently bizarre Infinity Warps, characters that have been fused together after Gamora folded the universe over on itself upon collecting all six Infinity Stones. Among those Infinity Warps are the characters that received their own series, like Arachknight (the fusion of Moon Knight and Spider-Man) and Ghost Panther (Ghost Rider and Black Panther mashed together), as well as a few that have cropped up along the way, like Little Monster (Hulk and Ant-Man). Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #2, however, has introduced the Infinity Warp version of an entire Marvel team -- the Thunderbolts.
The reveal comes after Sleepwalker and Little Monster have successfully entered the Arena, the Power Stone's Soul World equivalent. Little Monster does battle with the inhabitants of the Arena, as is the way of this particular dimension, only to be pulled back to the waking world by the team in question (Sleepwalker is a dream cop who interacts best with people when they're asleep, thus he recruited "Scott Banner" while he was napping). As it turns out, this Thunderbolts team is quite different. The team is made up entirely of women who have either had their pasts rewritten to line up with the team's criminal origins, or whose Infinity Warp combos tend more towards the villainous side. So, why are they trying to help Little Monster save a school full of kids?
Well, the Thunderbolts moral alignment has always been somewhat questionable. First introduced in Incredible Hulk #449 and created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley in 1997, the Thunderbolts were envisioned as the successors to the supervillain team the Masters of Evil. The Masters of Evil go all the way back to Avengers #6 in 1964. Appropriately, the team was largely put up against the Avengers, though, if it gives you any idea about where the Thunderbolts eventually ended up, the Masters of Evil would find themselves pitted against the Thunderbolts in time. This acted as a source of conflict for the Thunderbolts, as the team was originally made up of Masters of Evil alumni.
Despite their supervillain origins, the Thunderbolts were destined to be heroes, likely because they posed as them for so long. Formed by Baron Zemo, the origin intent of the Thunderbolts was to masquerade as superheroes when several key members of Marvel's pantheon seemingly fell in battle. Zemo wanted access to the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret files, which he could sell on the black market and make a chunk of change. When Zemo eventually announced the jig was up, several Thunderbolts realized that they'd become too attached to their hero personas (or just plain ol' thought Zemo was the pits) and turned on the villain. This little coup led to the modern incarnation of the Thunderbolts, a team with a rotating roster that acts kind of like a second chances program.
The Thunderbolts are known for recruiting former villains to their side when the going has got genuinely tough, and things seem to have gotten pretty darn tough in Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #2. So, who did Gamora mash together to make these new rogues? Let's find out!