History Main / Thunderbolts

25th Jul '13 8:13:04 AM MarkLungo
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25th Jul '13 8:12:48 AM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TBolts_TVTropesImage.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Marvel's Most Wanted]]

->''"Justice, like Lightning, should ever appear''\\
''To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear..."''
-->--'''"Joseph Swetnam"''', ''Swetnam The Woman-Hater Arraigned By Women''; source of the original {{tagline}} for ''The Thunderbolts''.

A MarvelUniverse comic book series that appeared in 1997 as a response to the disappearance of the big name heroes like the Comicbook/FantasticFour and Comicbook/TheAvengers as a result of the ''{{Onslaught}}'' CrisisCrossover and the aborted ''HeroesReborn'' reboot. We are presented with a new group of colorful heroes who swoop in to protect the people from danger.

There's their leader, the swashbuckling [[PatrioticFervor patriotic hero]] '''Citizen V'''; the massive size-changing '''Atlas''', the high flying '''MACH-1''', the mysterious '''Meteorite''', the beautiful '''Songbird''', and the machine savvy '''Techno'''. They are soon warmly welcomed by New York City as their new heroes, but it is only then we discover that these "Heroes" are in fact former members of the Avengers' archfoes, the [[LegionOfDoom Masters of Evil]]: '''Baron Zemo''', '''Power Man[=/=]Goliath''', '''The Beetle''', '''Moonstone''', '''Screaming Mimi''' and '''The Fixer'''. Their plan is to use the hero ruse to win the trust of the people, so that Zemo will be granted the Avengers' old security clearances, letting him use them to perfect a master plan for domination.

It isn't long before Zemo's plan falls apart, along with the team, as a few of them discover that GoodFeelsGood and some others find other reasons to rebel; the remaining members are soon led by former Avenger (and fellow former villain) Hawkeye to seek redemption for their past misdeeds. The team broke up after a [[ComicBook/AvengersThunderbolts crossover with the Avengers]], but it was created again with a new line up afterwards.

The series has experienced a fair share of cancellations and {{Retool}}s since, but gained particular attention as a result of ''ComicBook/CivilWar'' with the team now made up of newer and deadlier villains such as '''ComicBook/{{Venom}}''' (III, originally the Scorpion) and '''[[{{Daredevil}} Bullseye]]''', working for the government under the leadership of NormanOsborn, ruthlessly hunting superheroes who try to elude the SuperRegistrationAct.

After ''SecretInvasion'', Osborn is promoted to the head of all government superheroes, "officially" disbanding the Thunderbolts but retaining some members as his personal off-the-books black ops team. However, he is also having villains (including some ex-Thunderbolts) pose as heroes again, only this time as the well-known Avengers themselves in the series ''DarkAvengers''. Where the Thunderbolts have a bit of a rotating cast, ''Dark Avengers'' features '''Iron Patriot''' (Osborn, wearing IronMan armor with a CaptainAmerica color scheme), '''"{{Spider-Man}}"''' (Comicbook/{{Venom}} III), '''"{{Wolverine}}"''' ({{Daken}}, the son of the real Wolverine), '''"{{Hawkeye}}"''' (Bullseye), '''"[[{{Captain Mar-Vell}} Captain Marvel]]"''' (Noh-Varr, aka "Marvel Boy"), '''"MsMarvel"''' (Moonstone), '''Comicbook/{{Ares}}''', and '''TheSentry''' (neither one an impostor). In parallel, he also assembles a new formation of the Thunderbolts... as another off-the-books black ops team, comprised of Paladin, {{Ant-Man}} (Eric O'Grady), Headsman, Ghost, Scourge (better known as Nuke, a Daredevil foe) and Comicbook/BlackWidow (Yelena Belova), who is later replaced by Mr. X [[spoiler:once it's revealed that she's not Belova but Natasha Romanoff in disguise.]]

At the start of the ''Comicbook/HeroicAge'', following Osborn's downfall, the Thunderbolts are now the Raft (Super Villain Prison) inmate rehabilitation project. Led by Luke Cage, they are a team put together to try to set a number of villains on the path to redemption while giving a place to those who already have switched sides. The initial lineup includes a number of ex-Thunderbolts who are now heroes (Songbird, Mach V, Fixer), some of Osborn's former crew hoping to use it as a way to earn good publicity (Moonstone), the criminally insane (Crossbones), those who are caught in the HeelFaceRevolvingDoor (Ghost and Juggernaut), and their transportation ({{Man-Thing}}). Just before the Comicbook/FearItself event, a second "Beta" team of Raft inmates, the [[FanNickname Underbolts]], get introduced.

The series becomes the new ''Dark Avengers'' series when, with the Thunderbolts lost in time, members of Norman Osborn's second Dark Avengers team are recruited to be the new Thunderbolts, all analogues to established Avengers: Ragnarok ([[TheMightyThor Thor]]), Trickshot (Hawkeye), Ai Apaec (Spider-Man), Toxie Doxie/Dark Scarlet Witch (ScarletWitch) and Skaar ([[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]]).

It has been announced that as part of the ''MarvelNOW!'' relaunch, a new Thunderbolts series will be released December 2012 written by Daniel Way with Steve Dillon on art. The series will be about a new team brought together by former long time Hulk nemesis and now Avenger, General [[RedHulk Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross aka the Red Hulk]], with the initial line up consisting of [[ComicBook/{{Venom}} Agent Venom (Flash Thompson)]], ComicBook/ThePunisher, ComicBook/{{Elektra}} and {{Deadpool}}.

Not to be confused with the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Wonderbolts]], who manage to be even more colorful while facing far less drama.

----
!!Examples from all versions:
* {{Retool}}: Sometimes it is just small tweaks, other times it is full blown revamps, but Thunderbolts' basic premise or direction is usually always changing at some point to find new ways to get its casts together.
* VillainProtagonist
* WhatTheHellHero: The basic charm of the series (there's basically an example at every issue). The cast always includes a hero who has been a villain all his life up until 5 minutes ago, or a former villain who is playing hero [[RightForTheWrongReasons for the wrong reasons]] (like the thrill of the action, or because everybody else in the gang is doing it, or because the government forced them to). Old habits die hard, so don't expect them to follow the "how would CaptainAmerica do it?" book (or expect them to fail while trying). Even when Zemo saved the universe from destruction (you can't ask for something more black & white than that), he resorted to blackmail in the middle of the fight.
** The ultimate example in the series--and one pointed out by Luke Cage himself--is that Crossbones was added to the first "Cagebolts" team. Crossbones was the man who ''assassinated Captain America'' [[spoiler:he got better]].

!!Examples from the original series:
* AGodAmI: Zemo and Moonstone at separate points in the series.
** Technically Ares. Because, well, ''Ares.''
* ActionGirl: Quite a few, but the one who has stayed constant throughout most of the series is Songbird.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Songbird, and when he was a villain named The Beetle, Mach-1.
* AntiHero: Most members are type II or III, while Moonstone is a type V.
* AntiVillain: Meanwhile, even Baron Zemo himself discovered some heroic tendencies from his time on the team.
* AscendedFanboy: Jolt is an Ascended Fangirl. She knows more about some of their enemies than the rest do, despite some of them having been in the superhuman game since the SilverAge.
* BackFromTheDead: Fixer, Jolt (twice), Zemo, Atlas (twice), Smuggler.
* BadassNormal: Citizen V
* BarrierWarrior: Songbird
* BatmanGambit: Tell Joystick that she can't do something. ''She will do it.'' She frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] just how easy it is to pull this on her.
* BecomingTheMask: Kind of the point of the original series.
* BigBadWannabe: ''Graviton'' -- a supervillain who is to gravity what Magneto is to magnetism, held back mostly by his personal inadequacies. Became a recurring opponent to the team, mostly because of Moonstone repeatedly manipulating him -- only for the attempts to backfire.\\
\\
He later became a CloudCuckoolander villain for IronMan and TookALevelInBadass to take down a number of Avengers, able to take blasts hotter than the sun. Arguably he suffered BadassDecay when he appeared in ''Thunderbolts'' for the first time - in his first appearance he was able to beat all of the Avengers and then avert their HopeSpot by defeating Thor when he showed up to save the day.
** Badass Decay? He takes out the entire team, with outside reinforcements, ''twice''. They never won a clean fight against Graviton.
* BlackLikeMe: Abe (MACH-1) Jenkins was technologically disguised as a black man to cover up the fact he'd been released from prison around the time he upgraded to MACH-'''2'''.
* BloodKnight: Joystick. She would fight anybody and do anything if it meant a thrill or winning a bet.
* ChangedMyMindKid
* CListFodder: The Thunderbolts themselves were mostly C-List Villains, as were most of their opponents.
* ContestWinnerCameo[=/=]AscendedExtra: Charcoal began as the winner of a ''Wizard'' magazine "Create A Villain" contest who made a HeelFaceTurn and joined the team. Most of his traits beyond his powers and monstrous superpowered form were created by the series' writers.
* CurbStompBattle: Meteorite lays one on Zemo when the Thunderbolts break away from him, revealing in brutal detail what would really happen when someone with super-strength fights a non-powered opponent. (Hint: it involves a lot of broken bones.)
* DarkMessiah: Zemo
* DeaderThanDead: Zemo atomized Photon and scattered him across space and time, claiming that he was like this. [[WordOfGod Fabian Nicieza]] confirmed that Zemo is merely GenreBlind, because [[DeathIsCheap Photon will return as soon as Marvel feels like using him again]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Fixer, the self proclaimed patent holder on snark.
* DirtyCoward: Blizzard, who spent so much time whining about his suit's freon supply that he was ineffective. He eventually TookALevelInBadass, though.
* DishingOutDirt: Charcoal
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Unfortunately, due to the vague terms of the contest and the winner feeling undercompensated (for various reasons), Charcoal was killed off to prevent a lawsuit over his ownership.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The vast base within Mount Charteris.
* EvilCostumeSwitch: Zemo goes back to his old threads.
* EvilPlan: The first reason for suspicion whenever Baron Zemo comes up with a new plan to "save the world" is that every one looks exactly like a villainous plot to ''take over'' the world. At least Zemo has stylistic consistency.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
--> '''Moonstone:''' [[AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering What does "Growing Man" do]]?
--> '''Jolt:''' [[EurekaMoment He GROWS]]!
* ExecutiveMeddling: Humorously, this was both the reason that Genis-Vell (Captain Marvel/Photon) was added to the team ''and'' the reason he was killed off.
** The original twist ending is an example of ExecutiveMeddling done right. To keep the twist ending of the first issue a secret, Creator/KurtBusiek had to convince the execs ''not'' to tease at the ending in Previews. He even enlisted PeterDavid to get his editors to change the solicit for the Hulk's issue where they first appear.
** Charcoal was eventually killed off due to rights issues.
* FaceHeelTurn
* FanNickname: ''Fightbolts'' -- The first massive {{Retool}} of the title, revolving around C-List supervillains in an underground fighting circuit.
* FightClubbing: At the end of the original run, there was a brief period when the book stopped being about supervillains turned superhero, and instead became an underground fight club for supervillains.
* FireForgedFriends: Spidey and MACH-1
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: One of the most famous in comics. It was a huge surprise that the Thunderbolts were revealed as the Masters of Evil at the end of ''Thunderbolts'' #1. Good luck trying to avoid this spoiler now.
* FlyingBrick: Charcoal, Moonstone, Abe in most of his armors, Atlas after merging with Dallas Riordan.
* FunWithAcronyms: MACH-$NUMBER
** In the Diggle run it's established that Abe and the Fixer are themselves not entirely sure what it actually stands for, but then settle on "Mechanized Aerial Combat Harness".
* GadgeteerGenius: Techno/Fixer
* GambitPileup: The grand climax of this incarnation consisted of Zemo, Grandmaster, and Songbird trying to enact their own plans while Joystick and Speed Demon followed their own agendas within those plans.
** The end of the "redemption" arc at around the four-year mark involved no fewer than three secret conspiracies, a ton of mysterious masked people hunting down the team for assorted reasons, fully half of various Thunderbolts' major secrets from the rest of the team being outed, and at least one person being mind-controlled ''to do what he was going to do anyway''. It would have given Chris Claremont a headache.
* GenkiGirl: Jolt. It's kind of her power, actually.
* GoodFeelsGood
* GreenLanternRing: Songbird's carapace. Even literally works like a GreenLantern's ring on a less cosmic level, but with additional uses related to her pre-existing sonic powers.
* HandsomeLech: Photon
** Also Hawkeye.
* HannibalLecture: One of Moonstone's specialties.
* HeelFaceTurn: One of the major themes in the original run: The team realizes they ''like'' being praised instead of booed. Not all of them, but a good chunk of them, anyway.
* HeroesWantRedHeads: Atlas' love interest and later girlfriend Dallas Riordan is a redhead.
* {{Hoverboard}}: The V-Wing
* [[IntangibleMan Intangible Woman]]: Moonstone.
* KarmaHoudini: Moonstone, full stop. Hawkeye convinces Abe to serve prison term for murder while Moonstone kept her murder of a Kosmosian king under wraps. She never gets outed for that, nor does she get much comeuppance for her [[ManipulativeBastard twisted mindgames she plays with her teammates]].
* KidHero: Jolt, Charcoal.
* KnightTemplar: Zemo in ''Thunderbolts[=/=]Avengers'' and ''New Thunderbolts.'' He is constantly making huge grabs for power that are all for a supposed greater good, but his plans always involve forcing his will upon the world as a dictator.
** Not always; his plan in T-bolts/Avengers did involve him stealing huge amounts of power from the citizens of the world, whom he deemed too stupid to wield it...but then, to prove his good intentions and that he didn't plan at all to use the power for his own gain, he offered to turn it all over to CaptainAmerica. His ''old arch-enemy.'' Pity that Cap hadn't quite overcome his mistrust yet...
* LegacyCharacter: Zemo is the ''thirteenth'' Baron Zemo; his moniker of Citizen V is also based on an obscure patriotic hero from World War II.
** TheRealRemingtonSteele: There was a real descendant of the original Citizen V who assumed the name and Zemo's costume.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: Jolt, the only member of the original Thunderbolts who ''wasn't'' in on the masquerade when she joined.
* ManipulativeBastard: Meteorite, who never stopped thinking about how to turn situations to her advantage. Unfortunately for her, the others were never quite as clueless as she thought when it came to such scheming.
* MoralityPet: Jolt
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Photon. Having just ended a period as a RealityWarper with [[AGodAmI a god complex]], he was given a {{Repower}} that simultaneously drew power from the beginning and end of time; if left unchecked, his powers would have destroyed the universe. He begged Zemo to let him live long enough that he could use his Cosmic Awareness to find a timeline in which the universe survived, but Zemo deemed him too much of a threat to take that risk.
** On a lesser scale, Radioactive Man. [[spoiler: One of his reasons for turning to heroism was finding out how many people had been killed or given cancer by his radioactive powers.]]
* PetTheDog: How do you reconcile Zemo's newly acquired good intentions with his past MoralEventHorizon moments? Have him use time-travel to give CaptainAmerica all of the personal possessions that he ordered destroyed back in ''Avengers Under Siege.''
** Also, when Zemo [[spoiler: jumps in front of a huge incineration blast to save his arch nemesis, Captain America, from the now insane Moonstone, returning his new younger body back to its horribly disfigured state, for the sole reason that he believes that he saving the world means saving each individual person in it.]] Aww.
** However, this was also implied to be part of his plan since while the final battle of Civil War was happening(Which happened thanks to Zemo giving him the N-Zone prison key), Zemo was trying to defeat the Grandmaster to gain cosmic power and take over the world. So he basically played noth sides of the war so they'd be too distracted to stop him. It's possible his reasons weren't completely selfless, which is why Songbird turned against him.
* PoweredArmor: MACH-1 and Abe's later armors; the updated "Beetle" suit.
* PutOnABus: Jolt. "I have to go back to Counter-Earth. They ''need'' me."
* SecondSuperIdentity: The original premise was that the Masters of Evil took on new (faux) super-hero identities and presented themselves as a replacement for the Avengers.
* ShockAndAwe: Jolt
* {{Sizeshifter}}: Atlas
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: Janice Olivia Yanizeski, a.k.a. '''Joy'''stick.
* {{Technopath}}: Techno. More efficient when his consciousness is put in a robot body.
* TheAtoner: Several.
* TheChessmaster: Zemo
* TheGovernment: The Commission on Superhuman Affairs or CSA for short.
* TheHeart: Songbird. She's the moral center of the team who doesn't backslide into criminality or rage like her teammates.
** Initially, Jolt was TheHeart. Songbird needed a lot of CharacterDevelopment until she could fill out this role (especially during her tenure in the team under Norman Osborn's rule).
* TheMole: All the team was initially created for this purpose, villains posing as heroes to receive SHIELD's secret codes (of course, it did not work as intended)
** Cobalt Man, secretly [[spoiler:Tony Stark, IronMan]].
** Ogre, AKA [[spoiler:Techno]].
** The Swordsman also counts, having secretly been [[spoiler:mind controlled into joining by the Purple Man.]]
* TheReveal: The end of the first issue, in which Citizen V takes off his mask and reveals his team's real identity.
* TheStarscream: Moonstone
** When Zemo took over the team in full KnightTemplar mode, Songbird began plotting behind his back to foil his plan and assume leadership.
* TheStoic: Radioactive Man.
* ThinkNothingOfIt: Spidey and MACH-1
* TokenEvilTeammate: Moonstone. While the rest of the teammates who betray Zemo do so as part of their {{Heel Face Turn}}s, Dr. Sofen does so for her own agenda. Though she occasionally flirts with becoming a better person, she never really stops being a manipulative schemer.
* TwoAliasesOneCharacter: Just about the entire team.
* UnreliableVoiceover: The first Annual, in which Citizen V tells Jolt about how he brought the team together, without mentioning the parts about them all being supervillains.
* WarriorTherapist: Moonstone
* WestCoastTeam: Under Hawkeye's leadership.
* WhiteHairedPrettyGirl: Songbird (with a red streak).

!!Examples from the WarrenEllis [=retool=]:
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TBOLTS110_cvscale_6960.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250: [[AllStarCast All New, All Deadly Thunderbolts]]!]]

* AllStarCast: The primary hook for this incarnation of Thunderbolts was it was filled with several big named Antagonists for other established characters.
* ArtShift: The previous incarnation had very classic superhero-style art from Tom Grummett; he was replaced by the hyper-realistic Mike Deodato. When combined with the role shift of the team from TheAtoner to BoxedCrook, it is hard to think of them as the same series.
** Also the coloring became very dark.
* BackToBackBadasses: American Eagle and Shadow-woman(Sepulchre).
* BadAss: While most of the team fit this trope, a special mention goes to Jason Strongbow, AKA American Eagle. He impales Moonstone's arm with his Grapple Gun, fights Venom to a standstill, escapes without a scratch from the entire team, then proceeds to beat the crap out of frickin' ''Bullseye'' without breaking a sweat!
-->'''Strongbow: '''You might do okay with those New York city boys. But you and me are in Phoenix, Arizona. [[BadassBoast So you take a swing at a real American and see what happens]].
-->'''Bullseye: '''You done?
-->'''Strongbow: '''Not till I'm paddling in your blood, little boy. C'mon, first shot's free.
-->'''Bullseye: '''First shot's all I need.
--->''Bullseye goes in for said first shot, Strongbow ducks, then beats the hell out of him until he's vomiting BloodFromTheMouth.''
-->'''Bullseye (weakly): '''What happened to the first shot?
-->'''Strongbow: '''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome I lied]].
* BaldOfAwesome: The head shaving of Swordsman marked [[TookALevelInBadass his new Badassary]]. [[ButtMonkey It didn't really work, though]].
* BatmanGambit: The telepaths letting themselves get captured to get inside Thunderbolt Mountain.
* BlackComedy: Venom attacking innocent civilians and declaring "I got '''Superhero''' work to do!" Might've been a MostDefinitelyNotAVillain moment since he's trying to convince Sepulchre not to get in his way.
* BoxedCrook: The more blatantly psychopathic members, like Bullseye, were kept under control this way.
* BrainBleach / NightmareFuel: In-universe, for the security guards who see NormanOsborn in his Goblin costume. Lampshaded: "I'm going to be in therapy for the rest of my life."
* BrotherSisterIncest: Swordman is only a team-member because Osborn promises to clone his beloved dead sister.
* CListFodder: The Thunderbolts fight minor characters such as Jack Flag and Steel Spider instead of other (major) unregistered heroes like SpiderMan or {{Daredevil}}; [[JustifiedTrope justified]] as that was mainly because they were based in Colorado, while Spidey and Daredevil are over in New York. They do go after Spidey when they head to New York though.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Artist Mike Deodato Jr. has a habit of basing his figures off real people. Norman Osborn is based off of Tommy Lee Jones.
* CurbStompBattle / NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: American Eagle to Bullseye.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* FanNickname: "Suicidebolts" - for their thematic similarity to [[DCComics DC's]] ''SuicideSquad''.
* HotLibrarian: Victoria Hand, the Deputy Director of H.A.M.M.E.R and Osborn's right-hand.
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Doc Samson imagines beating up Osborn and Moonstone after learning who they are and what they've done.
** Later Moonstone even gives him an excuse to beat her by attacking him.
* MerchandiseDriven: An in-universe example. Songbird's action figures are popular with pre-teen girls, which is why Osborn keeps her on the team. Moonstone is more popular with males, 18-45, and is made into a sexy collectible statue.
* OnlySaneMan: Songbird and Radioactive Man.
* PsychicPowers: The telepaths.
* PsychoForHire: The whole team.
* StanLee: As the host of Who Wants to be a Thunderbolt?
* SuperRegistrationAct: The team's main reason for existence is to enforce this.
** And during the Comicbook/CivilWar they were all pro mostly because since they're all former villains (ie have criminal records) the goverment already knew who they were.
* TemptingFate: Subverted, again in the Strongbow vs Bullseye scenario; see the quote above.
* TheChewToy: Swordman was utterly humiliated by people like Jack Flag and Steel Spider, then his boss, the Green Goblin broke him physically and mentally, then Bullseye kills his cloned sister, then Osborn impaled him with his own sword and threw his body down a mountain...
* TheStarscream: Both Moonstone and Songbird qualify. Moonstone secretly switched NormanOsborn's meds (and he's dangerously psychotic while on them), while Songbird tricks Bullseye into an escape attempt that leaves him paralyzed and later blackmails her way into Moonstone's leadership position.
* ToCatchHeroesHireVillains
* TookALevelInBadass: Swordsman
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Norman Osborn
* VillainousBreakdown: [[http://i.imgur.com/2TPrw.jpg "Steel Spider, man."]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Everyone tries to have Songbird killed after the Secret Invasion is over and Osborn rises through the ranks of authority. Just because she became the TokenGoodTeammate. She held off for a while, but in the end, Swordsman saved her bacon.

!!Examples from Andy Diggle's [=retool=] :
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Digglethunderbolts2_2360.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:The Black Ops [[ProfessionalKillers Hit Squad]] Thunderbolts! And {{Ant-Man}}. ]]

* AloofBigBrother: the Headsman's older brother Cody
* AnAxeToGrind: Headsman
* AscendedExtra: The Headsman's sole previous appearance was in a few issues of ''UntoldTalesOfSpiderMan'' before being bumped up to solidly big league as a main T-Bolt.
* BadassBiker: Headsman used to ride with a biker gang, and learned how to fight in biker bars. Believe it or not, he was the runt of the crew -- his brother was the real badass.
* BadassNormal: Subverted by Mr. X who seems at first to be just an extremely capable, but unpowered close-combat fighter, but is actually a mutant whose uses his mind-reading powers for CombatClairvoyance. He also uses this ability to get a telepathic high off his opponents as he kills them.
* BarackObama: appears in the first issue, with Osborn constantly badmouthing him behind his back.
* BerserkButton: Mr. X guesses, correctly, that insulting Headsman's family is all he needs to do to provoke him to violence.
* BloodKnight: Mr. X and Scourge, who are clearly Osborn's favorite members of the group for this reason. Scourge's worst nightmare is a world without war.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: After battling the ComicBook/AgentsOfAtlas and all the T-Bolts members save Ghost suffering {{Hallucinations}}, while the Agents escape, Jimmy Woo and Bob Grayson attempt to brainwash Scourge into being a ManchurianAgent to kill NormanOsborn. It doesn't end well.]]
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Ant-Man, Ghost, and Venom-Spiderman.
* CostumeCopycat: The very first mission for this incarnation of the Thunderbolts is for the Headsman to pose as the Green Goblin and attack Osborn. [[spoiler:The plan was for the Headsman to be killed, but Ghost interfered.]]
* DeepSouth: Where the Headsman was raised, though he hasn't been back in a long while.
* DisproportionateRetribution: When we first see Mr. X, he's attending a ballet. He eventually expresses desire to kill the leading man for dancing like a complete amateur. While he doesn't get the chance to make good on this, he almost certainly would have done it given the opportunity.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Mr. X forms an empathic bond with his victims and relishes in their deaths - which is why he prefers his kills to be up close and personal.
* DumbMuscle: Headsman, and you could probably argue Scourge.
* {{Eagleland}}: The ultimate showdown between [=USAgent=] and Scourge is essentially Type 1 vs. Type 2.
* FaceFramedInShadow: The cover of the first issue.
* FunWithAcronyms: H.A.M.M.E.R.
** '''[[DeadpanSnarker Norbert Ebersol (Fixer)]]''': First rule of government defense spending: You gotta have a cool-sounding acronym.
*** Made even more amusing during Osborn's first conversation with Victoria Hand, where he tells her the individual letters all mean something, and then when she asks what, he tells her one of her first jobs is to come up with a meaning for it.
* GatlingGood: When sent up against Songbird, Paladin brings noticeably heavier weaponry than we've ever (as in "in his entire character history") seen him with before, a colossal minigun.
** Also, the above example with Ares, he IS the God of War.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Ghost. [[spoiler:Called a wild card by 'Nick Fury', he seems to switch sides every issue, with the aforementioned helping of Songbird swiftly followed by him taking some time off to help Madame Masque try to murder the comatose Tony Stark, and still after failing this, he relays a warning to the Mighty Avengers (or what's left of them) about the Thunderbolt's mission to take the spear of Odin.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Headsman, Paladin and Ghost fight Scourge and Mr.X to give Songbird and the Black Widow time to escape; then Ghost covers their betrayal by altering their short-term memory]]
** By the end of the run, [[spoiler:Paladin and Ant-Man (who had tried to avoid choosing sides up to that point) both appear to be permanently good; Headsman is dead and the Ghost is "a highly conflicted individual".]]
* ImAHumanitarian: Grizzly is described as having "rumored cannibalistic tendencies", though we aren't shown any actual evidence of this here.
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Mr. X
* InformedAbility: Their usefulness. The black-ops Bolts have a ''very'' low success rate. It's a wonder why Norman bothers with them at all.
* IntangibleMan: Ghost
* KnightTemplar: Seems Osborn really does think he's a good guy and wants to help the world, no matter what it takes...
* LeanAndMean: The Ghost
* LegacyCharacter: Cody seems to like the idea of redeeming his brother's name and making the Headsman a hero...
* LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe: Mr. X explains how his telepathic CombatClairvoyance works to ''everyone''. This is typically followed by his opponent figuring out some way to bypass it and kicking his ass.
** Thus his FanNickname, Mr. Exposition.
* MeaningfulName: Headsman's real name is Cleavon Twain, as in "cleave in twain".
* NightmareFetishist: When Songbird and Black Widow are captured, Osborn demands that their beheadings be recorded and given to him so that he can "review" them in his office later.
* OffWithHisHead: The Headsman really, really likes chopping heads off.
* OnlyOneName: Paladin and Mr. X.
* OnlySaneMan: Ant-Man and Paladin. That's right, the Irredeemable Ant-Man is often the voice of reason here.
* PetTheDog: Eric O'Grady, who, just to remind you, is ''The Irredeemable Ant-Man'', fulfilled the Headsman's desire to go back to Louisiana and show his brother what he became, extolling Cleavon's virtues all the while.
* PutOnABus:[[spoiler: The second Black Widow, who actually got on the bus ''before'' the series even started and was ''just'' about to get off when the series ended.]]
* {{Retirony}}: [[spoiler: Headsman]] - While he isn't literally a day from retirement, in the issues leading up to his death we start to sympathize with his character a lot more as more details on his background are revealed.
* SunglassesAtNight: Mr. X
** Lampshaded by Paladin
--> '''Paladin''': And you sound pretty cocky for a guy who wears shades ... indoors ... at night!
* TheFaceless: Ghost was not seen outside his suit in this run; he unmasks a few times during Jeff Parker's run.
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Black Widow believes she secretly works for Nick Fury; actually she is [[GambitPileup being fooled by Osborn into thinking she is working for Nick Fury]].]]
* TheWorfEffect: Mr. X seems to exist mainly so other people can come up with clever ways to defeat his ability to automatically dodge attacks. So far successful tactics include grenades, attacks too large or fast to avoid, attacking without thinking about it, and in one case throwing a bunch of arrows. He'd probably do better if he didn't [[WhatAnIdiot explain his powers]] to everyone. The Headsman is a more frequent target of this - the largest and most physically imposing member of the team, he tended to be neutralized early whenever a situation went sour, and [[spoiler:he's the only one dead by the end]].
* TooDumbToLive: Apparently, the vast majority of the population of the Earth-616 USA, given how cheerful they are that nigh-absolute power over their lives has been placed in the hands of a psychopathic madman.
** To be fair, he is also the greatest American war hero (of the Skrull Invasion) who killed [[BigBad Skrull Queen Veranke]] , saved UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC. and single-handedly stopped an attack against the Thunderbolts base. Also, Osborn is charismatic and he did point out how some Avengers were criminals before becoming heroes. Though none of them needed medication to keep from throwing women off of bridges...
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Mister X.
* WalkingTheEarth: Paladin does this after retrieving the Spear of Odin at the end of ''Siege'', to keep it as far away from people like Osborn as possible. Apparently he eventually found a secure place to store it, though, since he's back in action as one of the ''Heroes for Hire''.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The seeds of the story with the Headsman's brother, due to changing creative teams.

!!Examples from the Jeff Parker [=retool=] the [[FanNickName Cagebolts]]:

* AbsoluteCleavage: [[HornyDevil Satana]] combines this with CleavageWindow for a truly impressive display of flesh.
** It's really more like an ImpossiblyLowNeckline that stops just above her crotch.
* AnAxeToGrind: Troll wields an ancient Asgardian war axe that requires superhuman strength to even lift off the ground.
* AnythingThatMoves: [[HornyDevil Satana]], in issue 156, jumps [[CrackPairing Man-Thing]], Juggernaut, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Ghost]] and [[LesYay Moonstone]]. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Luke Cage cockblocks her]] with a magic gizmo from Comicbook/DoctorStrange.
** Interestingly, next issue we see a hallucination from Moonstone's perspective, [[LesYay and she still flirts with her.]]
** As of the Golden Age Thunderbolts arc, [[spoiler: Namor]].
* ArtificialLimbs: The current Warden of the Raft, John Walker. [[spoiler: After getting his left arm and leg cut off by the psychopatic cyborg Nuke]] he deliberately chose to get a low-tech cable activated hook-hand and move around in a wheelchair. A more high-tech prosthetic would [[HeWhoFightsMonsters make him feel less human]], [[spoiler: like the man who crippled him]].
* AscendedMeme: #162 gives us the long-awaited [[spoiler:Giant-Size Man-Thing]], stated word-for-word by Songbird.
* BadassAdorable: Troll
* BadassNormal: Crossbones and Boomerang are the only non-super powered team members of the current run.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Luke Cage.
** [[spoiler: Centurius seems to have taken the unofficial leader role for the time lost fugitive Thunderbolts team.]]
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: [[spoiler: The time lost Thunderbolts team (more directly Mr. Hyde, Satana and Boomerang) were responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders, primarily because the victims were possessed by ancient ghosts of witches trying to take over London.]]
* BloodKnight: Gunna and Mr. Hyde on the "Beta Team"
* BreakingTheFellowship: Issue 183 [[spoiler: the time lost Thunderbolts team having returned in time to help OneLastJob Luke Cage save the world from disaster via the failed Dark Avengers and F.A.C.T sponsored plan at controlling the nation of [[{{Qurac}} Sharzhad]]. The remaining Thunderbolts plus Juggernaut convince Man-Thing to help them escape via opening their own portals to their own separate destinations after dropping Luke Cage, Songbird, Mach V and Troll off at New York. All having been glad for their time as a Thunderbolt. ]]
* ChildOfRape: Gunna's mother was an Asgardian abducted by trolls.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Ghost, to an insane degree. He once told Moonstone that he believed a crossword puzzle in a newspaper was a form of communication for a secret group. This all comes from his origin [[spoiler: which reveals that he was manipulated and nearly killed by the company he worked for. He only discovered their plot by connecting seemingly meaningless facts together.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Boomerang and Mr Hyde are both happy to mouth off and complain about their current predicament.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Though it's nothing too bad, Centurius, the only black member of the time-traveling Underbolts, gets some of this. For example, Captain America expresses his happiness that the armed forces are giving more chances for "negroes" to fight.
* DemonicPossession: Ghost completes the platter of powers typical of his namesake by having an "imposition module", which he uses to possess other people's PoweredArmor. He first tries it on an unconscious Mach-V. Satana later gives it a mystical upgrade to get inside Juggernaut and free him from the influence of Kuurth in ''Comicbook/FearItself''. [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Troll speaks more fluently when speaking Troll.
* {{Expy}}: The time-traveling 'Bolts eventually landed up in a future clearly based on JudgeDredd.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The reason why Crossbones is even on the team is to invoke this and make others more willing to work with Cage, than trying something fishy, which would probably equal siding with him.
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: Luke Cage and Songbird
** TheLancer: MACH-V and Moonstone
** TheSmartGuy: Ghost
** TheBigGuy: Juggernaut
** TheChick: The distinct lack of one is often a problem for the 'Bolts. There isn't much to stop them from abandoning each other.
** TeamPet: The Man-Thing, who just stands around being UglyCute. Moonstone treats him like this, likely resulting in PrecociousCrush, below, as well as Satana. [[BewareTheNiceOnes Just be sure not to piss him off or show fear]].
** SixthRanger: So far, Crossbones, King Hyperion, and Satana. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, the first two were {{Sixth Ranger Traitor}}s, making the team suspect Satana to be one as well, but she averts it.]]
** TagalongKid: Troll, a savage, cannibalistic half-Asgardian child raised by Trolls, who behaves like her human-eating kin.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Ghost went from regular computer engineer to international cyber-terrorist and hacker.
* FunWithAcronyms: F.A.C.T. stands for Federal Advisory Committee to Thunderbolts.
* [[spoiler: FutureMeScaresMe:]] [[spoiler: The Fixer from the past team after he finds out what has become of the social life of his future self.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: A mild example, but Boomer clearly flips off Fixer in one scene.
* HandWave: How do you keep ''the Juggernaut'' under control? You de-power him. Why is he de-powered? Probably something to do with Captain Universe...
** It makes sense in context. Juggernaut is powered by a mystical deity called Cyttorak, and recently abandoned him to take up the power of Captain Universe. He then lost the power of Captain Universe and took up being Cyttorak's champion again, it's just that he's mad that Juggernaut would abandon him in the first place, so he gave Juggernaut less power.
** During the ''WorldWarHulk'' storyline Cyttorak himself claimed that Juggernaut powers are related to his adherence to his status as his avatar: thus, whenever Juggernaut engages in acts of wanton destruction without a real meaning, embracing his status as a force of nature, Cyttorak is pleased and pours more power. When Juggernaut tries to act more "cerebral", as in doing full time heroics, Cyttorak is displeased and witholds his blessings. Thus Juggernaut is currently a. guilty of abandoning his Patron God for a stronger one (Captain Universe) and b. misusing a power meant for a Chaotic Neutral alignment (if not a Chaotic Evil) to become a Lawful Neutral, if not a Lawful Good hero. He's just lucky Cyttorak has not depowered him fully...
*** Even luckier that his patron doesn't hold a grudge about the time Juggernaut went into his dimension [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu and kicked Cyttorak's ass]] (with some help from Doctor Strange). Then again, Cyttorak might have just been ''impressed'' by Cain Marko having the cajones to do that.
* HandicappedBadass: John Walker, the former U.S. Agent. He beats up several rioting inmates and scares two more into bringing him his wheelchair when he's done.
* HornyDevils: Satana, as well as the illusion she conjures up to keep Mr. Hyde under control.
* HotWitch: Satana
* [[spoiler: IHatePastMe:]] [[spoiler: The present day Fixer to an ''extreme'' degree when the time lost team arrives in the past just after the first version of the team was formed.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Boomerang sells himself as a candidate for the program by pointing out he is as good a shot as Bullseye, with the added benefit of being sane.
* LadyInRed: Satana's new outfit [[spoiler:when the team gets stranded in WorldWarII.]]
* MostCommonSuperPower: Satana and Moonstone.
* {{Nerdgasm}}: Ghost has some propensity to this, as seen in the mission with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents mutated with Terrigen Mists.
--> '''Ghost''': ''(upon finding a S.H.I.E.L.D. data unit)'' Twelve terabytes of hard data. Yeeessss...
--> '''Moonstone''': Anyone else feel we shouldn't be watching him?
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Luke's leaving an Avenger's missions, despite their having more than enough members, is what usually hurts the team most. Really comes back to bite him in the ass after the escape in ''Fear Itself''.
** Luke's taking Juggernaut off the team, and making him fear rotting in his prison cell again, made him the perfect target for a hammer of the Worthy, which in turn destroyed half the Raft, letting nurmerous villains escape.
** Fixer's forcing Zabo (Hyde's alternate) into drinking too much of his transformation solution {{Mode Lock}}s him into his Hyde form.
* NonhumanHumanoidHybrid: Troll is half-Asgardian, half-Troll.
* {{Ojou}}: Moonstone acts as a Type 2.
* PowerIsSexy: Satana certainly thinks so.
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Take a guess.
* PrecociousCrush: Arguably the only thing you can call Man-Thing's seeming infatuation with Moonstone.
* PrisonRiot
* RunningGag: Female inmates hooting and cat-calling whenever a male super-hero visits the Women's section of the Raft.
* SayMyName: POWER MAN! LUKE! CAGE!
* SergeantRock: They seem to be going for this with Luke Cage.
* ShipTease: Jeff Parker seems to like Boomerang/Moonstone, a border-line crackship in some regards.
* StealthPun: The language Man-Thing speaks is X'Zelzi'Ohr. Just like Stan Lee, no doubt.
* StockShoutOuts: The opening sequence of #176 homages [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey]].
* [[spoiler: TemporalParadox: When Original!Thunderbolts meet the Current!Thunderbolts, [[GrandfatherParadox Fixer ends up killing his past self.]] The space-time continuum has an outright fit about it and nearly falls apart over the issue until they solve the problem by having the surviving Fixer take the place of past Fixer to create a StableTimeLoop.]]
* TheAlcatraz: The Raft.
* TheGovernment: F.A.C.T.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Technically not, but the idea of having Crossbones in the team was to invoke this (see EvenEvilHasStandards). Guess who is the first to defect. Hyde also has shades of this, being somewhat more monstrous and brutal than his team mates.
* TranslatorMicrobes: [[spoiler: After being reborn]], Man-Thing speaks the language of X'Zelzi'Ohr, which is effectively this but also makes it that everyone hears in language styles they are familiar with. For example: Centurius hears Man-Thing speak with an incredibly precise, eloquent vocabulary, while Boomer hears him talk in gangster idioms.
* {{Tweener}}: [[spoiler:Fixer]], unlike Mach-V and Songbird, who are 100% good now. He even helped [[spoiler:Zemo]] in his plot against Bucky Barnes as Captain America. Then again [[spoiler: Fixer has always remained loyal to Zemo.]]
** [[spoiler:This comes to a head at the end of the Thunderbolts Comicbook/FearItself tie-in, where, after Mach-V walks in on a video-communication between Fixer and Zemo, 'Bert absconds with Moonstone, Satanna, Centurius, Boomerang, Mr. Hyde, Troll ''and the freakin' Thunderbolts Tower.'' ]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: After the DarkAvengers [=retool=], the time travel arc is still being told while the new cast is introduced in the present.
* WildChild: Gunna the Half-Troll.
* YouCantFightFate: [[spoiler: Merlin during the time travel arc; he predicted enough of the future to know that the knights of Camelot's quest for the Holy Grail as a cure-all for their kingdom would leave Camelot weakened and prey for Mordred, and collected a legion of various monsters and creatures to use as a last defense. But the Thunderbolts' arrival, capture and later escape led to all of them being freed and slaughtered by the knights and with them his hope to save Camelot.]]


!!Examples from the Daniel Way (MarvelNOW) [=retool=]:

* AllStarCast: The entire team is made up of famous violent characters that were once villains now have all turned AntiHero.
* BloodierAndGorier: Compared to Parker's previous run, this current relaunch/retool.
* BrickJoke: In Issue three, Deadpool notes to Ross that [[spoiler: Castle will personally put a bullet into the currently amnesic Leader's forehead if he found out Ross was using Leader to gain some insight]]. Come the end of the issue, [[spoiler: it does happen]], resulting in Deadpool telling Ross "I told 'ya!".
* ColorMotif: Black and red.
* EveryoneHatesMimes: Ross calmly eating his meal while Deadpool slaughters [[EnemyMime killer French Mimes]].
* InNameOnly: ''Every'' single previous series, save the brief ''Fightbolts'' retool, had villains as the protagonists, and some sort of relationship with the original Thunderbolts team. This run is about a group of antiheroes, which named after their leader, Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross.
* KidnappedByAnAlly: How General Ross [[AggressiveNegotiations meets and recruits Frank Castle]] in the first issue of new series.
* PinPullingTeeth: In #12, Elektra's brother Orestez Natchios does this at a Hollywood. He pulls a grenade from his pocket and pulls the pin with his teeth before throwing it into the crowd, forcing The Punisher to save the bystanders rather than chase Orestez.

----

to:

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TBolts_TVTropesImage.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Marvel's Most Wanted]]

->''"Justice, like Lightning, should ever appear''\\
''To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear..."''
-->--'''"Joseph Swetnam"''', ''Swetnam The Woman-Hater Arraigned By Women''; source of the original {{tagline}} for ''The Thunderbolts''.

A MarvelUniverse comic book series that appeared in 1997 as a response to the disappearance of the big name heroes like the Comicbook/FantasticFour and Comicbook/TheAvengers as a result of the ''{{Onslaught}}'' CrisisCrossover and the aborted ''HeroesReborn'' reboot. We are presented with a new group of colorful heroes who swoop in to protect the people from danger.

There's their leader, the swashbuckling [[PatrioticFervor patriotic hero]] '''Citizen V'''; the massive size-changing '''Atlas''', the high flying '''MACH-1''', the mysterious '''Meteorite''', the beautiful '''Songbird''', and the machine savvy '''Techno'''. They are soon warmly welcomed by New York City as their new heroes, but it is only then we discover that these "Heroes" are in fact former members of the Avengers' archfoes, the [[LegionOfDoom Masters of Evil]]: '''Baron Zemo''', '''Power Man[=/=]Goliath''', '''The Beetle''', '''Moonstone''', '''Screaming Mimi''' and '''The Fixer'''. Their plan is to use the hero ruse to win the trust of the people, so that Zemo will be granted the Avengers' old security clearances, letting him use them to perfect a master plan for domination.

It isn't long before Zemo's plan falls apart, along with the team, as a few of them discover that GoodFeelsGood and some others find other reasons to rebel; the remaining members are soon led by former Avenger (and fellow former villain) Hawkeye to seek redemption for their past misdeeds. The team broke up after a [[ComicBook/AvengersThunderbolts crossover with the Avengers]], but it was created again with a new line up afterwards.

The series has experienced a fair share of cancellations and {{Retool}}s since, but gained particular attention as a result of ''ComicBook/CivilWar'' with the team now made up of newer and deadlier villains such as '''ComicBook/{{Venom}}''' (III, originally the Scorpion) and '''[[{{Daredevil}} Bullseye]]''', working for the government under the leadership of NormanOsborn, ruthlessly hunting superheroes who try to elude the SuperRegistrationAct.

After ''SecretInvasion'', Osborn is promoted to the head of all government superheroes, "officially" disbanding the Thunderbolts but retaining some members as his personal off-the-books black ops team. However, he is also having villains (including some ex-Thunderbolts) pose as heroes again, only this time as the well-known Avengers themselves in the series ''DarkAvengers''. Where the Thunderbolts have a bit of a rotating cast, ''Dark Avengers'' features '''Iron Patriot''' (Osborn, wearing IronMan armor with a CaptainAmerica color scheme), '''"{{Spider-Man}}"''' (Comicbook/{{Venom}} III), '''"{{Wolverine}}"''' ({{Daken}}, the son of the real Wolverine), '''"{{Hawkeye}}"''' (Bullseye), '''"[[{{Captain Mar-Vell}} Captain Marvel]]"''' (Noh-Varr, aka "Marvel Boy"), '''"MsMarvel"''' (Moonstone), '''Comicbook/{{Ares}}''', and '''TheSentry''' (neither one an impostor). In parallel, he also assembles a new formation of the Thunderbolts... as another off-the-books black ops team, comprised of Paladin, {{Ant-Man}} (Eric O'Grady), Headsman, Ghost, Scourge (better known as Nuke, a Daredevil foe) and Comicbook/BlackWidow (Yelena Belova), who is later replaced by Mr. X [[spoiler:once it's revealed that she's not Belova but Natasha Romanoff in disguise.]]

At the start of the ''Comicbook/HeroicAge'', following Osborn's downfall, the Thunderbolts are now the Raft (Super Villain Prison) inmate rehabilitation project. Led by Luke Cage, they are a team put together to try to set a number of villains on the path to redemption while giving a place to those who already have switched sides. The initial lineup includes a number of ex-Thunderbolts who are now heroes (Songbird, Mach V, Fixer), some of Osborn's former crew hoping to use it as a way to earn good publicity (Moonstone), the criminally insane (Crossbones), those who are caught in the HeelFaceRevolvingDoor (Ghost and Juggernaut), and their transportation ({{Man-Thing}}). Just before the Comicbook/FearItself event, a second "Beta" team of Raft inmates, the [[FanNickname Underbolts]], get introduced.

The series becomes the new ''Dark Avengers'' series when, with the Thunderbolts lost in time, members of Norman Osborn's second Dark Avengers team are recruited to be the new Thunderbolts, all analogues to established Avengers: Ragnarok ([[TheMightyThor Thor]]), Trickshot (Hawkeye), Ai Apaec (Spider-Man), Toxie Doxie/Dark Scarlet Witch (ScarletWitch) and Skaar ([[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]]).

It has been announced that as part of the ''MarvelNOW!'' relaunch, a new Thunderbolts series will be released December 2012 written by Daniel Way with Steve Dillon on art. The series will be about a new team brought together by former long time Hulk nemesis and now Avenger, General [[RedHulk Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross aka the Red Hulk]], with the initial line up consisting of [[ComicBook/{{Venom}} Agent Venom (Flash Thompson)]], ComicBook/ThePunisher, ComicBook/{{Elektra}} and {{Deadpool}}.

Not to be confused with the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Wonderbolts]], who manage to be even more colorful while facing far less drama.

----
!!Examples from all versions:
* {{Retool}}: Sometimes it is just small tweaks, other times it is full blown revamps, but Thunderbolts' basic premise or direction is usually always changing at some point to find new ways to get its casts together.
* VillainProtagonist
* WhatTheHellHero: The basic charm of the series (there's basically an example at every issue). The cast always includes a hero who has been a villain all his life up until 5 minutes ago, or a former villain who is playing hero [[RightForTheWrongReasons for the wrong reasons]] (like the thrill of the action, or because everybody else in the gang is doing it, or because the government forced them to). Old habits die hard, so don't expect them to follow the "how would CaptainAmerica do it?" book (or expect them to fail while trying). Even when Zemo saved the universe from destruction (you can't ask for something more black & white than that), he resorted to blackmail in the middle of the fight.
** The ultimate example in the series--and one pointed out by Luke Cage himself--is that Crossbones was added to the first "Cagebolts" team. Crossbones was the man who ''assassinated Captain America'' [[spoiler:he got better]].

!!Examples from the original series:
* AGodAmI: Zemo and Moonstone at separate points in the series.
** Technically Ares. Because, well, ''Ares.''
* ActionGirl: Quite a few, but the one who has stayed constant throughout most of the series is Songbird.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Songbird, and when he was a villain named The Beetle, Mach-1.
* AntiHero: Most members are type II or III, while Moonstone is a type V.
* AntiVillain: Meanwhile, even Baron Zemo himself discovered some heroic tendencies from his time on the team.
* AscendedFanboy: Jolt is an Ascended Fangirl. She knows more about some of their enemies than the rest do, despite some of them having been in the superhuman game since the SilverAge.
* BackFromTheDead: Fixer, Jolt (twice), Zemo, Atlas (twice), Smuggler.
* BadassNormal: Citizen V
* BarrierWarrior: Songbird
* BatmanGambit: Tell Joystick that she can't do something. ''She will do it.'' She frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] just how easy it is to pull this on her.
* BecomingTheMask: Kind of the point of the original series.
* BigBadWannabe: ''Graviton'' -- a supervillain who is to gravity what Magneto is to magnetism, held back mostly by his personal inadequacies. Became a recurring opponent to the team, mostly because of Moonstone repeatedly manipulating him -- only for the attempts to backfire.\\
\\
He later became a CloudCuckoolander villain for IronMan and TookALevelInBadass to take down a number of Avengers, able to take blasts hotter than the sun. Arguably he suffered BadassDecay when he appeared in ''Thunderbolts'' for the first time - in his first appearance he was able to beat all of the Avengers and then avert their HopeSpot by defeating Thor when he showed up to save the day.
** Badass Decay? He takes out the entire team, with outside reinforcements, ''twice''. They never won a clean fight against Graviton.
* BlackLikeMe: Abe (MACH-1) Jenkins was technologically disguised as a black man to cover up the fact he'd been released from prison around the time he upgraded to MACH-'''2'''.
* BloodKnight: Joystick. She would fight anybody and do anything if it meant a thrill or winning a bet.
* ChangedMyMindKid
* CListFodder: The Thunderbolts themselves were mostly C-List Villains, as were most of their opponents.
* ContestWinnerCameo[=/=]AscendedExtra: Charcoal began as the winner of a ''Wizard'' magazine "Create A Villain" contest who made a HeelFaceTurn and joined the team. Most of his traits beyond his powers and monstrous superpowered form were created by the series' writers.
* CurbStompBattle: Meteorite lays one on Zemo when the Thunderbolts break away from him, revealing in brutal detail what would really happen when someone with super-strength fights a non-powered opponent. (Hint: it involves a lot of broken bones.)
* DarkMessiah: Zemo
* DeaderThanDead: Zemo atomized Photon and scattered him across space and time, claiming that he was like this. [[WordOfGod Fabian Nicieza]] confirmed that Zemo is merely GenreBlind, because [[DeathIsCheap Photon will return as soon as Marvel feels like using him again]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Fixer, the self proclaimed patent holder on snark.
* DirtyCoward: Blizzard, who spent so much time whining about his suit's freon supply that he was ineffective. He eventually TookALevelInBadass, though.
* DishingOutDirt: Charcoal
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Unfortunately, due to the vague terms of the contest and the winner feeling undercompensated (for various reasons), Charcoal was killed off to prevent a lawsuit over his ownership.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The vast base within Mount Charteris.
* EvilCostumeSwitch: Zemo goes back to his old threads.
* EvilPlan: The first reason for suspicion whenever Baron Zemo comes up with a new plan to "save the world" is that every one looks exactly like a villainous plot to ''take over'' the world. At least Zemo has stylistic consistency.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
--> '''Moonstone:''' [[AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering What does "Growing Man" do]]?
--> '''Jolt:''' [[EurekaMoment He GROWS]]!
* ExecutiveMeddling: Humorously, this was both the reason that Genis-Vell (Captain Marvel/Photon) was added to the team ''and'' the reason he was killed off.
** The original twist ending is an example of ExecutiveMeddling done right. To keep the twist ending of the first issue a secret, Creator/KurtBusiek had to convince the execs ''not'' to tease at the ending in Previews. He even enlisted PeterDavid to get his editors to change the solicit for the Hulk's issue where they first appear.
** Charcoal was eventually killed off due to rights issues.
* FaceHeelTurn
* FanNickname: ''Fightbolts'' -- The first massive {{Retool}} of the title, revolving around C-List supervillains in an underground fighting circuit.
* FightClubbing: At the end of the original run, there was a brief period when the book stopped being about supervillains turned superhero, and instead became an underground fight club for supervillains.
* FireForgedFriends: Spidey and MACH-1
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: One of the most famous in comics. It was a huge surprise that the Thunderbolts were revealed as the Masters of Evil at the end of ''Thunderbolts'' #1. Good luck trying to avoid this spoiler now.
* FlyingBrick: Charcoal, Moonstone, Abe in most of his armors, Atlas after merging with Dallas Riordan.
* FunWithAcronyms: MACH-$NUMBER
** In the Diggle run it's established that Abe and the Fixer are themselves not entirely sure what it actually stands for, but then settle on "Mechanized Aerial Combat Harness".
* GadgeteerGenius: Techno/Fixer
* GambitPileup: The grand climax of this incarnation consisted of Zemo, Grandmaster, and Songbird trying to enact their own plans while Joystick and Speed Demon followed their own agendas within those plans.
** The end of the "redemption" arc at around the four-year mark involved no fewer than three secret conspiracies, a ton of mysterious masked people hunting down the team for assorted reasons, fully half of various Thunderbolts' major secrets from the rest of the team being outed, and at least one person being mind-controlled ''to do what he was going to do anyway''. It would have given Chris Claremont a headache.
* GenkiGirl: Jolt. It's kind of her power, actually.
* GoodFeelsGood
* GreenLanternRing: Songbird's carapace. Even literally works like a GreenLantern's ring on a less cosmic level, but with additional uses related to her pre-existing sonic powers.
* HandsomeLech: Photon
** Also Hawkeye.
* HannibalLecture: One of Moonstone's specialties.
* HeelFaceTurn: One of the major themes in the original run: The team realizes they ''like'' being praised instead of booed. Not all of them, but a good chunk of them, anyway.
* HeroesWantRedHeads: Atlas' love interest and later girlfriend Dallas Riordan is a redhead.
* {{Hoverboard}}: The V-Wing
* [[IntangibleMan Intangible Woman]]: Moonstone.
* KarmaHoudini: Moonstone, full stop. Hawkeye convinces Abe to serve prison term for murder while Moonstone kept her murder of a Kosmosian king under wraps. She never gets outed for that, nor does she get much comeuppance for her [[ManipulativeBastard twisted mindgames she plays with her teammates]].
* KidHero: Jolt, Charcoal.
* KnightTemplar: Zemo in ''Thunderbolts[=/=]Avengers'' and ''New Thunderbolts.'' He is constantly making huge grabs for power that are all for a supposed greater good, but his plans always involve forcing his will upon the world as a dictator.
** Not always; his plan in T-bolts/Avengers did involve him stealing huge amounts of power from the citizens of the world, whom he deemed too stupid to wield it...but then, to prove his good intentions and that he didn't plan at all to use the power for his own gain, he offered to turn it all over to CaptainAmerica. His ''old arch-enemy.'' Pity that Cap hadn't quite overcome his mistrust yet...
* LegacyCharacter: Zemo is the ''thirteenth'' Baron Zemo; his moniker of Citizen V is also based on an obscure patriotic hero from World War II.
** TheRealRemingtonSteele: There was a real descendant of the original Citizen V who assumed the name and Zemo's costume.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: Jolt, the only member of the original Thunderbolts who ''wasn't'' in on the masquerade when she joined.
* ManipulativeBastard: Meteorite, who never stopped thinking about how to turn situations to her advantage. Unfortunately for her, the others were never quite as clueless as she thought when it came to such scheming.
* MoralityPet: Jolt
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Photon. Having just ended a period as a RealityWarper with [[AGodAmI a god complex]], he was given a {{Repower}} that simultaneously drew power from the beginning and end of time; if left unchecked, his powers would have destroyed the universe. He begged Zemo to let him live long enough that he could use his Cosmic Awareness to find a timeline in which the universe survived, but Zemo deemed him too much of a threat to take that risk.
** On a lesser scale, Radioactive Man. [[spoiler: One of his reasons for turning to heroism was finding out how many people had been killed or given cancer by his radioactive powers.]]
* PetTheDog: How do you reconcile Zemo's newly acquired good intentions with his past MoralEventHorizon moments? Have him use time-travel to give CaptainAmerica all of the personal possessions that he ordered destroyed back in ''Avengers Under Siege.''
** Also, when Zemo [[spoiler: jumps in front of a huge incineration blast to save his arch nemesis, Captain America, from the now insane Moonstone, returning his new younger body back to its horribly disfigured state, for the sole reason that he believes that he saving the world means saving each individual person in it.]] Aww.
** However, this was also implied to be part of his plan since while the final battle of Civil War was happening(Which happened thanks to Zemo giving him the N-Zone prison key), Zemo was trying to defeat the Grandmaster to gain cosmic power and take over the world. So he basically played noth sides of the war so they'd be too distracted to stop him. It's possible his reasons weren't completely selfless, which is why Songbird turned against him.
* PoweredArmor: MACH-1 and Abe's later armors; the updated "Beetle" suit.
* PutOnABus: Jolt. "I have to go back to Counter-Earth. They ''need'' me."
* SecondSuperIdentity: The original premise was that the Masters of Evil took on new (faux) super-hero identities and presented themselves as a replacement for the Avengers.
* ShockAndAwe: Jolt
* {{Sizeshifter}}: Atlas
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: Janice Olivia Yanizeski, a.k.a. '''Joy'''stick.
* {{Technopath}}: Techno. More efficient when his consciousness is put in a robot body.
* TheAtoner: Several.
* TheChessmaster: Zemo
* TheGovernment: The Commission on Superhuman Affairs or CSA for short.
* TheHeart: Songbird. She's the moral center of the team who doesn't backslide into criminality or rage like her teammates.
** Initially, Jolt was TheHeart. Songbird needed a lot of CharacterDevelopment until she could fill out this role (especially during her tenure in the team under Norman Osborn's rule).
* TheMole: All the team was initially created for this purpose, villains posing as heroes to receive SHIELD's secret codes (of course, it did not work as intended)
** Cobalt Man, secretly [[spoiler:Tony Stark, IronMan]].
** Ogre, AKA [[spoiler:Techno]].
** The Swordsman also counts, having secretly been [[spoiler:mind controlled into joining by the Purple Man.]]
* TheReveal: The end of the first issue, in which Citizen V takes off his mask and reveals his team's real identity.
* TheStarscream: Moonstone
** When Zemo took over the team in full KnightTemplar mode, Songbird began plotting behind his back to foil his plan and assume leadership.
* TheStoic: Radioactive Man.
* ThinkNothingOfIt: Spidey and MACH-1
* TokenEvilTeammate: Moonstone. While the rest of the teammates who betray Zemo do so as part of their {{Heel Face Turn}}s, Dr. Sofen does so for her own agenda. Though she occasionally flirts with becoming a better person, she never really stops being a manipulative schemer.
* TwoAliasesOneCharacter: Just about the entire team.
* UnreliableVoiceover: The first Annual, in which Citizen V tells Jolt about how he brought the team together, without mentioning the parts about them all being supervillains.
* WarriorTherapist: Moonstone
* WestCoastTeam: Under Hawkeye's leadership.
* WhiteHairedPrettyGirl: Songbird (with a red streak).

!!Examples from the WarrenEllis [=retool=]:
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TBOLTS110_cvscale_6960.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250: [[AllStarCast All New, All Deadly Thunderbolts]]!]]

* AllStarCast: The primary hook for this incarnation of Thunderbolts was it was filled with several big named Antagonists for other established characters.
* ArtShift: The previous incarnation had very classic superhero-style art from Tom Grummett; he was replaced by the hyper-realistic Mike Deodato. When combined with the role shift of the team from TheAtoner to BoxedCrook, it is hard to think of them as the same series.
** Also the coloring became very dark.
* BackToBackBadasses: American Eagle and Shadow-woman(Sepulchre).
* BadAss: While most of the team fit this trope, a special mention goes to Jason Strongbow, AKA American Eagle. He impales Moonstone's arm with his Grapple Gun, fights Venom to a standstill, escapes without a scratch from the entire team, then proceeds to beat the crap out of frickin' ''Bullseye'' without breaking a sweat!
-->'''Strongbow: '''You might do okay with those New York city boys. But you and me are in Phoenix, Arizona. [[BadassBoast So you take a swing at a real American and see what happens]].
-->'''Bullseye: '''You done?
-->'''Strongbow: '''Not till I'm paddling in your blood, little boy. C'mon, first shot's free.
-->'''Bullseye: '''First shot's all I need.
--->''Bullseye goes in for said first shot, Strongbow ducks, then beats the hell out of him until he's vomiting BloodFromTheMouth.''
-->'''Bullseye (weakly): '''What happened to the first shot?
-->'''Strongbow: '''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome I lied]].
* BaldOfAwesome: The head shaving of Swordsman marked [[TookALevelInBadass his new Badassary]]. [[ButtMonkey It didn't really work, though]].
* BatmanGambit: The telepaths letting themselves get captured to get inside Thunderbolt Mountain.
* BlackComedy: Venom attacking innocent civilians and declaring "I got '''Superhero''' work to do!" Might've been a MostDefinitelyNotAVillain moment since he's trying to convince Sepulchre not to get in his way.
* BoxedCrook: The more blatantly psychopathic members, like Bullseye, were kept under control this way.
* BrainBleach / NightmareFuel: In-universe, for the security guards who see NormanOsborn in his Goblin costume. Lampshaded: "I'm going to be in therapy for the rest of my life."
* BrotherSisterIncest: Swordman is only a team-member because Osborn promises to clone his beloved dead sister.
* CListFodder: The Thunderbolts fight minor characters such as Jack Flag and Steel Spider instead of other (major) unregistered heroes like SpiderMan or {{Daredevil}}; [[JustifiedTrope justified]] as that was mainly because they were based in Colorado, while Spidey and Daredevil are over in New York. They do go after Spidey when they head to New York though.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Artist Mike Deodato Jr. has a habit of basing his figures off real people. Norman Osborn is based off of Tommy Lee Jones.
* CurbStompBattle / NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: American Eagle to Bullseye.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* FanNickname: "Suicidebolts" - for their thematic similarity to [[DCComics DC's]] ''SuicideSquad''.
* HotLibrarian: Victoria Hand, the Deputy Director of H.A.M.M.E.R and Osborn's right-hand.
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Doc Samson imagines beating up Osborn and Moonstone after learning who they are and what they've done.
** Later Moonstone even gives him an excuse to beat her by attacking him.
* MerchandiseDriven: An in-universe example. Songbird's action figures are popular with pre-teen girls, which is why Osborn keeps her on the team. Moonstone is more popular with males, 18-45, and is made into a sexy collectible statue.
* OnlySaneMan: Songbird and Radioactive Man.
* PsychicPowers: The telepaths.
* PsychoForHire: The whole team.
* StanLee: As the host of Who Wants to be a Thunderbolt?
* SuperRegistrationAct: The team's main reason for existence is to enforce this.
** And during the Comicbook/CivilWar they were all pro mostly because since they're all former villains (ie have criminal records) the goverment already knew who they were.
* TemptingFate: Subverted, again in the Strongbow vs Bullseye scenario; see the quote above.
* TheChewToy: Swordman was utterly humiliated by people like Jack Flag and Steel Spider, then his boss, the Green Goblin broke him physically and mentally, then Bullseye kills his cloned sister, then Osborn impaled him with his own sword and threw his body down a mountain...
* TheStarscream: Both Moonstone and Songbird qualify. Moonstone secretly switched NormanOsborn's meds (and he's dangerously psychotic while on them), while Songbird tricks Bullseye into an escape attempt that leaves him paralyzed and later blackmails her way into Moonstone's leadership position.
* ToCatchHeroesHireVillains
* TookALevelInBadass: Swordsman
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Norman Osborn
* VillainousBreakdown: [[http://i.imgur.com/2TPrw.jpg "Steel Spider, man."]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Everyone tries to have Songbird killed after the Secret Invasion is over and Osborn rises through the ranks of authority. Just because she became the TokenGoodTeammate. She held off for a while, but in the end, Swordsman saved her bacon.

!!Examples from Andy Diggle's [=retool=] :
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Digglethunderbolts2_2360.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:The Black Ops [[ProfessionalKillers Hit Squad]] Thunderbolts! And {{Ant-Man}}. ]]

* AloofBigBrother: the Headsman's older brother Cody
* AnAxeToGrind: Headsman
* AscendedExtra: The Headsman's sole previous appearance was in a few issues of ''UntoldTalesOfSpiderMan'' before being bumped up to solidly big league as a main T-Bolt.
* BadassBiker: Headsman used to ride with a biker gang, and learned how to fight in biker bars. Believe it or not, he was the runt of the crew -- his brother was the real badass.
* BadassNormal: Subverted by Mr. X who seems at first to be just an extremely capable, but unpowered close-combat fighter, but is actually a mutant whose uses his mind-reading powers for CombatClairvoyance. He also uses this ability to get a telepathic high off his opponents as he kills them.
* BarackObama: appears in the first issue, with Osborn constantly badmouthing him behind his back.
* BerserkButton: Mr. X guesses, correctly, that insulting Headsman's family is all he needs to do to provoke him to violence.
* BloodKnight: Mr. X and Scourge, who are clearly Osborn's favorite members of the group for this reason. Scourge's worst nightmare is a world without war.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: After battling the ComicBook/AgentsOfAtlas and all the T-Bolts members save Ghost suffering {{Hallucinations}}, while the Agents escape, Jimmy Woo and Bob Grayson attempt to brainwash Scourge into being a ManchurianAgent to kill NormanOsborn. It doesn't end well.]]
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Ant-Man, Ghost, and Venom-Spiderman.
* CostumeCopycat: The very first mission for this incarnation of the Thunderbolts is for the Headsman to pose as the Green Goblin and attack Osborn. [[spoiler:The plan was for the Headsman to be killed, but Ghost interfered.]]
* DeepSouth: Where the Headsman was raised, though he hasn't been back in a long while.
* DisproportionateRetribution: When we first see Mr. X, he's attending a ballet. He eventually expresses desire to kill the leading man for dancing like a complete amateur. While he doesn't get the chance to make good on this, he almost certainly would have done it given the opportunity.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Mr. X forms an empathic bond with his victims and relishes in their deaths - which is why he prefers his kills to be up close and personal.
* DumbMuscle: Headsman, and you could probably argue Scourge.
* {{Eagleland}}: The ultimate showdown between [=USAgent=] and Scourge is essentially Type 1 vs. Type 2.
* FaceFramedInShadow: The cover of the first issue.
* FunWithAcronyms: H.A.M.M.E.R.
** '''[[DeadpanSnarker Norbert Ebersol (Fixer)]]''': First rule of government defense spending: You gotta have a cool-sounding acronym.
*** Made even more amusing during Osborn's first conversation with Victoria Hand, where he tells her the individual letters all mean something, and then when she asks what, he tells her one of her first jobs is to come up with a meaning for it.
* GatlingGood: When sent up against Songbird, Paladin brings noticeably heavier weaponry than we've ever (as in "in his entire character history") seen him with before, a colossal minigun.
** Also, the above example with Ares, he IS the God of War.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Ghost. [[spoiler:Called a wild card by 'Nick Fury', he seems to switch sides every issue, with the aforementioned helping of Songbird swiftly followed by him taking some time off to help Madame Masque try to murder the comatose Tony Stark, and still after failing this, he relays a warning to the Mighty Avengers (or what's left of them) about the Thunderbolt's mission to take the spear of Odin.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Headsman, Paladin and Ghost fight Scourge and Mr.X to give Songbird and the Black Widow time to escape; then Ghost covers their betrayal by altering their short-term memory]]
** By the end of the run, [[spoiler:Paladin and Ant-Man (who had tried to avoid choosing sides up to that point) both appear to be permanently good; Headsman is dead and the Ghost is "a highly conflicted individual".]]
* ImAHumanitarian: Grizzly is described as having "rumored cannibalistic tendencies", though we aren't shown any actual evidence of this here.
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Mr. X
* InformedAbility: Their usefulness. The black-ops Bolts have a ''very'' low success rate. It's a wonder why Norman bothers with them at all.
* IntangibleMan: Ghost
* KnightTemplar: Seems Osborn really does think he's a good guy and wants to help the world, no matter what it takes...
* LeanAndMean: The Ghost
* LegacyCharacter: Cody seems to like the idea of redeeming his brother's name and making the Headsman a hero...
* LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe: Mr. X explains how his telepathic CombatClairvoyance works to ''everyone''. This is typically followed by his opponent figuring out some way to bypass it and kicking his ass.
** Thus his FanNickname, Mr. Exposition.
* MeaningfulName: Headsman's real name is Cleavon Twain, as in "cleave in twain".
* NightmareFetishist: When Songbird and Black Widow are captured, Osborn demands that their beheadings be recorded and given to him so that he can "review" them in his office later.
* OffWithHisHead: The Headsman really, really likes chopping heads off.
* OnlyOneName: Paladin and Mr. X.
* OnlySaneMan: Ant-Man and Paladin. That's right, the Irredeemable Ant-Man is often the voice of reason here.
* PetTheDog: Eric O'Grady, who, just to remind you, is ''The Irredeemable Ant-Man'', fulfilled the Headsman's desire to go back to Louisiana and show his brother what he became, extolling Cleavon's virtues all the while.
* PutOnABus:[[spoiler: The second Black Widow, who actually got on the bus ''before'' the series even started and was ''just'' about to get off when the series ended.]]
* {{Retirony}}: [[spoiler: Headsman]] - While he isn't literally a day from retirement, in the issues leading up to his death we start to sympathize with his character a lot more as more details on his background are revealed.
* SunglassesAtNight: Mr. X
** Lampshaded by Paladin
--> '''Paladin''': And you sound pretty cocky for a guy who wears shades ... indoors ... at night!
* TheFaceless: Ghost was not seen outside his suit in this run; he unmasks a few times during Jeff Parker's run.
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Black Widow believes she secretly works for Nick Fury; actually she is [[GambitPileup being fooled by Osborn into thinking she is working for Nick Fury]].]]
* TheWorfEffect: Mr. X seems to exist mainly so other people can come up with clever ways to defeat his ability to automatically dodge attacks. So far successful tactics include grenades, attacks too large or fast to avoid, attacking without thinking about it, and in one case throwing a bunch of arrows. He'd probably do better if he didn't [[WhatAnIdiot explain his powers]] to everyone. The Headsman is a more frequent target of this - the largest and most physically imposing member of the team, he tended to be neutralized early whenever a situation went sour, and [[spoiler:he's the only one dead by the end]].
* TooDumbToLive: Apparently, the vast majority of the population of the Earth-616 USA, given how cheerful they are that nigh-absolute power over their lives has been placed in the hands of a psychopathic madman.
** To be fair, he is also the greatest American war hero (of the Skrull Invasion) who killed [[BigBad Skrull Queen Veranke]] , saved UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC. and single-handedly stopped an attack against the Thunderbolts base. Also, Osborn is charismatic and he did point out how some Avengers were criminals before becoming heroes. Though none of them needed medication to keep from throwing women off of bridges...
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Mister X.
* WalkingTheEarth: Paladin does this after retrieving the Spear of Odin at the end of ''Siege'', to keep it as far away from people like Osborn as possible. Apparently he eventually found a secure place to store it, though, since he's back in action as one of the ''Heroes for Hire''.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The seeds of the story with the Headsman's brother, due to changing creative teams.

!!Examples from the Jeff Parker [=retool=] the [[FanNickName Cagebolts]]:

* AbsoluteCleavage: [[HornyDevil Satana]] combines this with CleavageWindow for a truly impressive display of flesh.
** It's really more like an ImpossiblyLowNeckline that stops just above her crotch.
* AnAxeToGrind: Troll wields an ancient Asgardian war axe that requires superhuman strength to even lift off the ground.
* AnythingThatMoves: [[HornyDevil Satana]], in issue 156, jumps [[CrackPairing Man-Thing]], Juggernaut, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Ghost]] and [[LesYay Moonstone]]. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Luke Cage cockblocks her]] with a magic gizmo from Comicbook/DoctorStrange.
** Interestingly, next issue we see a hallucination from Moonstone's perspective, [[LesYay and she still flirts with her.]]
** As of the Golden Age Thunderbolts arc, [[spoiler: Namor]].
* ArtificialLimbs: The current Warden of the Raft, John Walker. [[spoiler: After getting his left arm and leg cut off by the psychopatic cyborg Nuke]] he deliberately chose to get a low-tech cable activated hook-hand and move around in a wheelchair. A more high-tech prosthetic would [[HeWhoFightsMonsters make him feel less human]], [[spoiler: like the man who crippled him]].
* AscendedMeme: #162 gives us the long-awaited [[spoiler:Giant-Size Man-Thing]], stated word-for-word by Songbird.
* BadassAdorable: Troll
* BadassNormal: Crossbones and Boomerang are the only non-super powered team members of the current run.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Luke Cage.
** [[spoiler: Centurius seems to have taken the unofficial leader role for the time lost fugitive Thunderbolts team.]]
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: [[spoiler: The time lost Thunderbolts team (more directly Mr. Hyde, Satana and Boomerang) were responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders, primarily because the victims were possessed by ancient ghosts of witches trying to take over London.]]
* BloodKnight: Gunna and Mr. Hyde on the "Beta Team"
* BreakingTheFellowship: Issue 183 [[spoiler: the time lost Thunderbolts team having returned in time to help OneLastJob Luke Cage save the world from disaster via the failed Dark Avengers and F.A.C.T sponsored plan at controlling the nation of [[{{Qurac}} Sharzhad]]. The remaining Thunderbolts plus Juggernaut convince Man-Thing to help them escape via opening their own portals to their own separate destinations after dropping Luke Cage, Songbird, Mach V and Troll off at New York. All having been glad for their time as a Thunderbolt. ]]
* ChildOfRape: Gunna's mother was an Asgardian abducted by trolls.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Ghost, to an insane degree. He once told Moonstone that he believed a crossword puzzle in a newspaper was a form of communication for a secret group. This all comes from his origin [[spoiler: which reveals that he was manipulated and nearly killed by the company he worked for. He only discovered their plot by connecting seemingly meaningless facts together.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Boomerang and Mr Hyde are both happy to mouth off and complain about their current predicament.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Though it's nothing too bad, Centurius, the only black member of the time-traveling Underbolts, gets some of this. For example, Captain America expresses his happiness that the armed forces are giving more chances for "negroes" to fight.
* DemonicPossession: Ghost completes the platter of powers typical of his namesake by having an "imposition module", which he uses to possess other people's PoweredArmor. He first tries it on an unconscious Mach-V. Satana later gives it a mystical upgrade to get inside Juggernaut and free him from the influence of Kuurth in ''Comicbook/FearItself''. [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Troll speaks more fluently when speaking Troll.
* {{Expy}}: The time-traveling 'Bolts eventually landed up in a future clearly based on JudgeDredd.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The reason why Crossbones is even on the team is to invoke this and make others more willing to work with Cage, than trying something fishy, which would probably equal siding with him.
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: Luke Cage and Songbird
** TheLancer: MACH-V and Moonstone
** TheSmartGuy: Ghost
** TheBigGuy: Juggernaut
** TheChick: The distinct lack of one is often a problem for the 'Bolts. There isn't much to stop them from abandoning each other.
** TeamPet: The Man-Thing, who just stands around being UglyCute. Moonstone treats him like this, likely resulting in PrecociousCrush, below, as well as Satana. [[BewareTheNiceOnes Just be sure not to piss him off or show fear]].
** SixthRanger: So far, Crossbones, King Hyperion, and Satana. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, the first two were {{Sixth Ranger Traitor}}s, making the team suspect Satana to be one as well, but she averts it.]]
** TagalongKid: Troll, a savage, cannibalistic half-Asgardian child raised by Trolls, who behaves like her human-eating kin.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Ghost went from regular computer engineer to international cyber-terrorist and hacker.
* FunWithAcronyms: F.A.C.T. stands for Federal Advisory Committee to Thunderbolts.
* [[spoiler: FutureMeScaresMe:]] [[spoiler: The Fixer from the past team after he finds out what has become of the social life of his future self.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: A mild example, but Boomer clearly flips off Fixer in one scene.
* HandWave: How do you keep ''the Juggernaut'' under control? You de-power him. Why is he de-powered? Probably something to do with Captain Universe...
** It makes sense in context. Juggernaut is powered by a mystical deity called Cyttorak, and recently abandoned him to take up the power of Captain Universe. He then lost the power of Captain Universe and took up being Cyttorak's champion again, it's just that he's mad that Juggernaut would abandon him in the first place, so he gave Juggernaut less power.
** During the ''WorldWarHulk'' storyline Cyttorak himself claimed that Juggernaut powers are related to his adherence to his status as his avatar: thus, whenever Juggernaut engages in acts of wanton destruction without a real meaning, embracing his status as a force of nature, Cyttorak is pleased and pours more power. When Juggernaut tries to act more "cerebral", as in doing full time heroics, Cyttorak is displeased and witholds his blessings. Thus Juggernaut is currently a. guilty of abandoning his Patron God for a stronger one (Captain Universe) and b. misusing a power meant for a Chaotic Neutral alignment (if not a Chaotic Evil) to become a Lawful Neutral, if not a Lawful Good hero. He's just lucky Cyttorak has not depowered him fully...
*** Even luckier that his patron doesn't hold a grudge about the time Juggernaut went into his dimension [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu and kicked Cyttorak's ass]] (with some help from Doctor Strange). Then again, Cyttorak might have just been ''impressed'' by Cain Marko having the cajones to do that.
* HandicappedBadass: John Walker, the former U.S. Agent. He beats up several rioting inmates and scares two more into bringing him his wheelchair when he's done.
* HornyDevils: Satana, as well as the illusion she conjures up to keep Mr. Hyde under control.
* HotWitch: Satana
* [[spoiler: IHatePastMe:]] [[spoiler: The present day Fixer to an ''extreme'' degree when the time lost team arrives in the past just after the first version of the team was formed.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Boomerang sells himself as a candidate for the program by pointing out he is as good a shot as Bullseye, with the added benefit of being sane.
* LadyInRed: Satana's new outfit [[spoiler:when the team gets stranded in WorldWarII.]]
* MostCommonSuperPower: Satana and Moonstone.
* {{Nerdgasm}}: Ghost has some propensity to this, as seen in the mission with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents mutated with Terrigen Mists.
--> '''Ghost''': ''(upon finding a S.H.I.E.L.D. data unit)'' Twelve terabytes of hard data. Yeeessss...
--> '''Moonstone''': Anyone else feel we shouldn't be watching him?
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Luke's leaving an Avenger's missions, despite their having more than enough members, is what usually hurts the team most. Really comes back to bite him in the ass after the escape in ''Fear Itself''.
** Luke's taking Juggernaut off the team, and making him fear rotting in his prison cell again, made him the perfect target for a hammer of the Worthy, which in turn destroyed half the Raft, letting nurmerous villains escape.
** Fixer's forcing Zabo (Hyde's alternate) into drinking too much of his transformation solution {{Mode Lock}}s him into his Hyde form.
* NonhumanHumanoidHybrid: Troll is half-Asgardian, half-Troll.
* {{Ojou}}: Moonstone acts as a Type 2.
* PowerIsSexy: Satana certainly thinks so.
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Take a guess.
* PrecociousCrush: Arguably the only thing you can call Man-Thing's seeming infatuation with Moonstone.
* PrisonRiot
* RunningGag: Female inmates hooting and cat-calling whenever a male super-hero visits the Women's section of the Raft.
* SayMyName: POWER MAN! LUKE! CAGE!
* SergeantRock: They seem to be going for this with Luke Cage.
* ShipTease: Jeff Parker seems to like Boomerang/Moonstone, a border-line crackship in some regards.
* StealthPun: The language Man-Thing speaks is X'Zelzi'Ohr. Just like Stan Lee, no doubt.
* StockShoutOuts: The opening sequence of #176 homages [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey]].
* [[spoiler: TemporalParadox: When Original!Thunderbolts meet the Current!Thunderbolts, [[GrandfatherParadox Fixer ends up killing his past self.]] The space-time continuum has an outright fit about it and nearly falls apart over the issue until they solve the problem by having the surviving Fixer take the place of past Fixer to create a StableTimeLoop.]]
* TheAlcatraz: The Raft.
* TheGovernment: F.A.C.T.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Technically not, but the idea of having Crossbones in the team was to invoke this (see EvenEvilHasStandards). Guess who is the first to defect. Hyde also has shades of this, being somewhat more monstrous and brutal than his team mates.
* TranslatorMicrobes: [[spoiler: After being reborn]], Man-Thing speaks the language of X'Zelzi'Ohr, which is effectively this but also makes it that everyone hears in language styles they are familiar with. For example: Centurius hears Man-Thing speak with an incredibly precise, eloquent vocabulary, while Boomer hears him talk in gangster idioms.
* {{Tweener}}: [[spoiler:Fixer]], unlike Mach-V and Songbird, who are 100% good now. He even helped [[spoiler:Zemo]] in his plot against Bucky Barnes as Captain America. Then again [[spoiler: Fixer has always remained loyal to Zemo.]]
** [[spoiler:This comes to a head at the end of the Thunderbolts Comicbook/FearItself tie-in, where, after Mach-V walks in on a video-communication between Fixer and Zemo, 'Bert absconds with Moonstone, Satanna, Centurius, Boomerang, Mr. Hyde, Troll ''and the freakin' Thunderbolts Tower.'' ]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: After the DarkAvengers [=retool=], the time travel arc is still being told while the new cast is introduced in the present.
* WildChild: Gunna the Half-Troll.
* YouCantFightFate: [[spoiler: Merlin during the time travel arc; he predicted enough of the future to know that the knights of Camelot's quest for the Holy Grail as a cure-all for their kingdom would leave Camelot weakened and prey for Mordred, and collected a legion of various monsters and creatures to use as a last defense. But the Thunderbolts' arrival, capture and later escape led to all of them being freed and slaughtered by the knights and with them his hope to save Camelot.]]


!!Examples from the Daniel Way (MarvelNOW) [=retool=]:

* AllStarCast: The entire team is made up of famous violent characters that were once villains now have all turned AntiHero.
* BloodierAndGorier: Compared to Parker's previous run, this current relaunch/retool.
* BrickJoke: In Issue three, Deadpool notes to Ross that [[spoiler: Castle will personally put a bullet into the currently amnesic Leader's forehead if he found out Ross was using Leader to gain some insight]]. Come the end of the issue, [[spoiler: it does happen]], resulting in Deadpool telling Ross "I told 'ya!".
* ColorMotif: Black and red.
* EveryoneHatesMimes: Ross calmly eating his meal while Deadpool slaughters [[EnemyMime killer French Mimes]].
* InNameOnly: ''Every'' single previous series, save the brief ''Fightbolts'' retool, had villains as the protagonists, and some sort of relationship with the original Thunderbolts team. This run is about a group of antiheroes, which named after their leader, Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross.
* KidnappedByAnAlly: How General Ross [[AggressiveNegotiations meets and recruits Frank Castle]] in the first issue of new series.
* PinPullingTeeth: In #12, Elektra's brother Orestez Natchios does this at a Hollywood. He pulls a grenade from his pocket and pulls the pin with his teeth before throwing it into the crowd, forcing The Punisher to save the bystanders rather than chase Orestez.

----
[[redirect:ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}]]]
12th Jul '13 2:21:18 PM MarkLungo
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->''Justice, like Lightning, should ever appear''\\
''To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear...''

to:

->''Justice, ->''"Justice, like Lightning, should ever appear''\\
''To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear...''"''



It has been announced that as part of the ''MarvelNOW!'' relaunch, a new Thunderbolts series will be released December 2012 written by Daniel Way with Steve Dillon on art. The series will be about a new team brought together by former long time Hulk nemesis and now Avenger, General [[RedHulk Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross aka the Red Hulk]], with the initial line up consisting of [[ComicBook/{{Venom}} Agent Venom (Flash Thompson)]], ComicBook/ThePunisher, {{Elektra}} and {{Deadpool}}.

to:

It has been announced that as part of the ''MarvelNOW!'' relaunch, a new Thunderbolts series will be released December 2012 written by Daniel Way with Steve Dillon on art. The series will be about a new team brought together by former long time Hulk nemesis and now Avenger, General [[RedHulk Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross aka the Red Hulk]], with the initial line up consisting of [[ComicBook/{{Venom}} Agent Venom (Flash Thompson)]], ComicBook/ThePunisher, {{Elektra}} ComicBook/{{Elektra}} and {{Deadpool}}.
12th Jul '13 4:05:58 AM foxley
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to:

* PinPullingTeeth: In #12, Elektra's brother Orestez Natchios does this at a Hollywood. He pulls a grenade from his pocket and pulls the pin with his teeth before throwing it into the crowd, forcing The Punisher to save the bystanders rather than chase Orestez.
8th Jul '13 11:17:35 AM JIKTV
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8th Jul '13 11:17:16 AM JIKTV
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* ReTool: Sometimes it is just small tweaks, other times it is full blown revamps, but Thunderbolts' basic premise or direction is usually always changing at some point to find new ways to get its casts together.

to:

* ReTool: {{Retool}}: Sometimes it is just small tweaks, other times it is full blown revamps, but Thunderbolts' basic premise or direction is usually always changing at some point to find new ways to get its casts together.



* FanNickname: ''Fightbolts'' -- The first massive {{retool}} of the title, revolving around C-List supervillains in an underground fighting circuit.

to:

* FanNickname: ''Fightbolts'' -- The first massive {{retool}} {{Retool}} of the title, revolving around C-List supervillains in an underground fighting circuit.



!!Examples from the WarrenEllis ReTool:

to:

!!Examples from the WarrenEllis ReTool:[=retool=]:



!!Examples from Andy Diggle's ReTool :

to:

!!Examples from Andy Diggle's ReTool [=retool=] :



!!Examples from the Jeff Parker ReTool the [[FanNickName Cagebolts]]:

to:

!!Examples from the Jeff Parker ReTool [=retool=] the [[FanNickName Cagebolts]]:



* TwoLinesNoWaiting: After the DarkAvengers ReTool, the time travel arc is still being told while the new cast is introduced in the present.

to:

* TwoLinesNoWaiting: After the DarkAvengers ReTool, [=retool=], the time travel arc is still being told while the new cast is introduced in the present.



!!Examples from the Daniel Way (MarvelNOW) ReTool:

to:

!!Examples from the Daniel Way (MarvelNOW) ReTool:
[=retool=]:
31st May '13 6:12:26 PM 313Bluestreak
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* ContestWinnerCameo[=/=]AscendedExtra: Charcoal began as the winner of a ''Wizard'' magazine "Create A Villain" contest who made a FaceTurn and joined the team. Most of his traits beyond his powers and monstrous superpowered form were created by the series' writers.

to:

* ContestWinnerCameo[=/=]AscendedExtra: Charcoal began as the winner of a ''Wizard'' magazine "Create A Villain" contest who made a FaceTurn HeelFaceTurn and joined the team. Most of his traits beyond his powers and monstrous superpowered form were created by the series' writers.
10th May '13 8:31:10 PM ZenBlade
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Added DiffLines:

* InNameOnly: ''Every'' single previous series, save the brief ''Fightbolts'' retool, had villains as the protagonists, and some sort of relationship with the original Thunderbolts team. This run is about a group of antiheroes, which named after their leader, Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross.
14th Apr '13 2:39:28 PM Austin
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Added DiffLines:

* InformedAbility: Their usefulness. The black-ops Bolts have a ''very'' low success rate. It's a wonder why Norman bothers with them at all.


Added DiffLines:

* PutOnABus:[[spoiler: The second Black Widow, who actually got on the bus ''before'' the series even started and was ''just'' about to get off when the series ended.]]
6th Apr '13 10:18:26 AM AndyLA
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Added DiffLines:

* ColorMotif: Black and red.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Thunderbolts