The pieces of the puzzle are coming together on their own. And we see a pattern. The Thunderbolts might be coming. There are already a few MCU super-villains that are alive and kicking and could fit the bill.
Thunderbolt Ross – The Red Hulk Will Work From Behind The Curtains
General Thunderbolt Ross is already in the MCU. After making his MCU debut in the ill-fated The Incredible Hulk movie, he was last seen in Civil War. Now a total government stooge, Thunderbolt Ross could be to the Thunderbolts what Amanda Waller is to the Suicide Squad. Their de facto handler, Ross would be the person the Thunderbolts answer to. He pulls their strings from a distance. If the MCU could give him the powers of the Red Hulk, that would be an added bonus.
Baron Zemo – The Perfect Candidate To Be The Leader
To lead a team of villains require more than just cunning and skill. It requires the ability to think outside the box. Baron Zemo does not actually plays by the rules. he makes his own. And if the situation demands it, he bends or even breaks them. Zemo’s strategic mind combined with his years of experience make him a formidable leader. He is currently incarcerated in the Raft. He might be released under the condition he starts serving Ross and leads the Thunderbolts.
U.S Agent – The Government Stooge
U.S Agent has the super soldier serum running in his veins. John Walker used to be Captain America. He was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. Walker was going to become the new beacon of hope. In the end, his fall from grace was less than distasteful. His second shot at fame comes at the hands of Valentine Allegra de Fontaine. His job in the team will probably act as the eyes and ears of Ross and Valentina. He would keep things in line, just like Rick Flag does for the Suicide Squad.
The Punisher – Marksman & Assassin
Technically, the Netflix created Marvel TV Universe exists within the MCU. So expecting the Punisher to make a return is not out of the realm of possibility. Jon Bernthal has immortalized the Punisher with his epic portrayal of the man that feels no pain. Since he has become the very face of the character, it would be foolish to go for a recast. The Punisher would be the most ruthless member of the group, reducing to levels of brutality and violence that would even make Deadpool throw up.
Winter Soldier – The Group’s Voice Of Reason
The Winter Soldier used to be the world’s foremost assassin. He is still infamous in the criminal underworld. His very name invokes fear and awe. And judging from the looks of it in Falcon And The Winter Soldier, he still has not lost his edge. Bucky Barnes has been on both sides of the equation. He has been a villain and tried to destroy the world. he has also been a hero and saved it from destruction. A guy like that would be invaluable in a team made up of villains trying to reform and redeem themselves.
Deadpool – The Troublemaker
The character falls under the X-Men umbrella. But since Disney now owns Fox Studios, that may no longer be a problem. The X-Men are coming to the MCU. Sooner or later, Wade Wilson would join in on the action as well. Ryan Reynolds has portrayed the role twice in the Deadpool franchise. No character makes for a better fit for Thunderbolts than Deadpool, the Merc With A Mouth. He would be filling the same role as Harley Quinn of the Suicide Squad – a master of close combat and a sense of humor to die for.
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Batroc – The Oddball
He has appeared so many times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe already. With his last appearance in the season finale of Falcon And The Winter Soldier, his status remains unknown. he is probably rotting in some high security prison. His beef with Captain America will be dealt later now. Batroc would be a good candidate for the Thunderbolts. His career as a criminal with exceptional close combat skills will come in handy for the team.
The Abomination – Brute Force Specialist
This phase 1 villain has been long forgotten. But if Thunderbolt Ross is in the MCU, so could the Abomination. Emil Blonsky has the powers of the Hulk but none of the loose cannon stuff. The Abomination is not gone. In a Marvel One-Shot, he was revealed to be imprisoned in a secret SHIELD facility. That facility could very well be the Raft. The Abomination would be the powerhouse of the team. He would take on threats that even the entire team of Thunderbolts would not be able to. And he would do that with sheer brute force alone.
Ghost – Infiltration Expert/Saboteur/Espionage Agent
Ghost’s powers make her the perfect candidate to be the Thunderbolts’ spy. Her job would be to infiltrate high security facilities and gather information and look for loopholes in security. Ava Starr is not a villain by choice. A quantum realm accident gave her abilities but at a very terrible cost. She did what she did because she was dying. She has training and is disciplined. One other aspect is that she is indeed a good person at heart, something Ant-Man & The Wasp showed us vividly. Ghost is one villain you must expect to be on the team if the Thunderbolts do come up in the MCU.
Taskmaster – The Wild Card
In the comic books, taskmaster is a mercenary for hire. You pay him enough, he would work for anyone, including the enemy. The villain’s first official appearance will be in Black Widow. But Taskmaster must have a larger role to play. With the ability to master any combat technique once observed, this is a villain that could serve as the team’s wild card. Taskmaster is an enigma. Nobody ever knows what the person is thinking. This would make for an interesting air of mystery surrounding the character.