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A list of the 7 Core Thunderbolts

I was pretty pumped that we are digging into the vaults to put together a Thunderbolts team.  I mean, sure, everyone has an opinion on the best X-men or Avengers crew.  But the Thunderbolts?  That stretches your nerd cred.  Which is astonishing, considering how long the T-bolts series has run and how many different excellent runs of the series there have been!

Here are my 7 core Thunderbolts:


3593980-moonstone_portrait_artI wrestled with this pick.   When you take a look at the list of people who have been Thunderbolts, it gets iffy on who has made an impact on the team for the longest.  Which is how I got to Moonstone.  Her power set makes her a good all around person to have on a team.

Strength, flying, density manipulation, laser blasts from her hands, light bursts and general all around superhumaness.  A good pick to start with!  And I freely admit that she has major psychological issues but you can read more about her in Clave’s picks. But I think she is an important part of the Thunderbolts long-term.

Mach V

csmach3Part of me felt like you need an OG Thunderbolt on the team. And I believe that every team needs a go-to tech, scientist type. Mach V meets all those criteria.

His armored suit gives him some abilities: flight, strength, and various weapons, depending on how he is tweaking the armor’s settings on any given day.

And like I said, you need an original, and Mach V is it.


Hawkeye_2Clint Barton, one could argue, is the original Thunderbolt. Not as a part of the Baron Zemo crew that was the original team, but in terms of the idea of a bad guy gone good. It is a part of his history that sometimes gets left behind, mainly because the Marvel Cinema Universe hasn’t done much with him yet.

But Hawkeye was the bad guy, turned good because of Steve Rogers’ influence.  So he buys into the premise and he is also a very capable leader, having led the Avengers, the West Coast Avengers, and the Thunderbolts at different times.

Luke Cage

cageAnd like Hawkeye, Luke Cage is a reformed guy, trying to help others.  His skill set is important as a bruiser and a heavy hitter.  But the heart of Luke Cage matters just as much.

When Captain America put him in charge of the team and bringing the bad guys into a reformed work, Cage was hesitant but quickly took on his leadership role and did it well.

Having two examples of change in Hawkeye and Luke Cage are important!

Mister Hyde

mister hyde thunderboltsSo, we already have some heavy hitters. Why add Mister Hyde? Because I want my Thunderbolts to be about the core mission: reforming bad guys. And make no bones about it, Mister Hyde is a bad guy.

Imagine Bruce Banner that is less smart and more evil and power hungry. But, I think at his core, he might want to be helpful and useful.

Can Hawkeye and Cage show the way? Maybe, maybe not. But it could make for some great storytelling.


Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.11.29 PMI mean, there are a variety of reasons that I want Man-Thing. One, the name. They didn’t overcomplicate it.

Two, his power set is useful, especially the teleportation.  (And his emotional connections and ability to sense fear can make for great storytelling.)

Three, I like the strong, silent type to have a spot on my team and Man-Thing is definitely that.


SongbirdAgain, one of the originals. But I think also one of the real success stories of the Thunderbolt program, as she has changed and morphed into a genuine superHERO, even going back to her and Mach V betraying Zemo and working to show they had reformed.

Songbird is the opposite side of the coin with Moonstone and having them both on the team serves as a checks and balances kind of relationship.  Songbird’s powers, using sonic manipulation in various ways, is also a unique and handy skill set.

So that is my team. Who was I wrong to leave off? Who should I add?

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