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  • All-Star Cast: The primary hook for the Warren Ellis incarnation of Thunderbolts was it was filled with several big named Antagonists for other established characters.
    • The Daniel Way/Charles Soule incarnation of the team. The entire team is made up of famous violent characters that were once villains and now have all turned Anti-Hero.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: The series has used two characters created by fans and selected through contests: Charcoal and Humus Sapien. Charcoal was the winner of a Wizard magazine "Create A Villain" contest. Humus Sapien was the winner of a "Create An X-Man" contest in 1973, but who was never actually used. Both started as extras in Thunderbolts, but were then given more substantial roles.
  • Executive Meddling: The original twist ending revealing the Thunderbolts to be the Masters of Evil is an example of Executive Meddling done right. To keep the twist ending of the first issue a secret, Kurt Busiek had to convince the execs not to tease at the ending in Previews. He even enlisted Peter David to get his editors to change the solicit for the Incredible Hulk issue where they first appear.
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    • Charcoal was eventually killed off due to rights issues. The fan who created him claimed rights to the character.
    • Humorously, this was both the reason that Genis-Vell (Captain Marvel/Photon) was added to the team and the reason he was killed off.
  • Fan Nickname: Fightbolts — The first massive Retool of the title, revolving around C-List supervillains in an underground fighting circuit.
    • "Suicidebolts" for the Warren Ellis incarnation of the team. Named for their thematic similarity to DC's Suicide Squad.
    • "Cagebolts" for the Jeff Parker incarnation of the team. Named because Luke Cage controlled the team.
    • "Redbolts" for the Daniel Way incarnation of the team. Named because of them all wearing clothing with red or having red skin.
  • Milestone Celebration: Issue 10 of the ANAD volume marks the 20th anniversary of the Thunderbolts franchise... albeit a few months late.
  • What Could Have Been: Yellowjacket II was originally slated to be part of the team before she was Killed Off for Real during The Crossing.
    • James Gunn had expressed interest in making a movie of the series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Kevin Feige said that it was a possibility if Guardians of the Galaxy did well enough at the box office. However, Guardians was a huge success (especially for a team that was relatively obscure even to most comic book fans), and plans were shelved so Gunn could work on the sequel. Amusingly enough, he's been hired to work on a Suicide Squad movie; which is also about supervillians doing heroic things.
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