The Thunderbolts were first presented as a group of superheroes like the Avengers, both to readers and to the Marvel Universe, who became heroes to help protect the world when the Avengers were declared dead after the events of the 1996 “Onslaught” crossover. However the final page of the first issue of their comic book revealed that the Thunderbolts were the Masters of Evil in disguise, a surprise twist carefully guarded by Marvel.

A new team composed of Red Hulk, Deadpool, Elektra, Venom, and Punisher debuted as a part of Marvel NOW! major relaunch. Written by Daniel Way with art by Steve Dillon. This incarnation is not a government-sponsored team.

Red Hulk assembles his incarnation of the Thunderbolts to be a strike team that is close to “Code Red.” He has gathered Deadpool, Elektra, Punisher, and Venom because “their conditions cannot be cured.” Red Hulk has his Thunderbolts do things that are similar to X-Force. Red Hulk has obtained Samuel Sterns’ body and hooks it up to a machine that emits Red Gamma Radiation onto Samuel Sterns. Deadpool later finds Samuel Sterns as a Red Leader with no apparent powers as he expresses his view that the Punisher won’t be pleased. Punisher finds Red Leader’s body and shoots him between the eyes disrupting whatever plans Red Hulk has for Red Leader. 

Red Hulk brings the Thunderbolts along to deal with gamma technology on the island of Kata Jaya where the technology was supplied by Madman. During the fight against Madman, Red Hulk took the Leader to a pipe line that feeds Gamma energy to Madman’s lab. Red Hulk then absorbed the energy himself and then forced fed it to the Leader, bringing him back to life.



In Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, zombified Thunderbolts appear, rampaging across New York. The undead Thunderbolts are killed by the combined forces of Nova, Thor, and the Fantastic Four. 

In the limited series, Wolverine: Days of Future Past, the Thunderbolts are the private security force of the ruling Sentinels, under the command of Baron Zemo. However, Zemo is also secretly working with Shinobi Shaw and Psylocke as part of a new Hellfire Club to bring about the Sentinels’ downfall.


“How did it happen?”

“Who knows.”

“Might have been A.I.M. or S.H.I.E.L.D. or STARK or even that rubbish that Reed was talking about with an alternate dimension crossing over with ours.”

“Who cares.”

“The point is that the Zombies-”

“Don’t call them that.”


“Zombies. Don’t call them that. They are Walkers.”

“Yeah, whatever. Anyway, the point is that those Dead Things showed up and started eating everyone.”

“Yeah, that sucks.”

“Cap got wind that the Red Skull was headed out to the old ruins of a small biochemical lab in the middle of nowhere. Apparently Red Head thought he had found a cure for the Plauge of Zombies. Before we knew it, it was a full on slugfest between the New Avengers and the Sinister Six. All the while, Zombies are swarming everywhere picking up the pieces like vultures.”

“And then Batman showed up.”

“Yeah, but let’s be serious. It was Bruce Wayne. Secret Identities don’t matter now. Everyone is just trying to survive them ugly Walking Dead types.”

“At one point, Doctor Doom was facing off against The Hulk. Batman was there, too, but didn’t help Hulk. Amazingly enough, he teamed up with Metal Face.”

Hulk and Doom battle it out while Batman watches. Zombies swarm on the streets below.

“In the end, the Zombies overwhelmed the New Avengers. Spider Man and Iron Man went down first, torn to pieces by those blood thirsty fiends. Captain America – good old Steve Rodgers – made a last stand against the horde of zombies. He fought hard, but damn if the monsters didn’t chew him to bits. Thanos and Abomination didn’t blink an eye, using the heros as a distraction while they moved on towards the biochemical lab. Thanos was the only one who had no fear. He claimed that he would be Rejected By Death thanks to the powers of the Infinity Gaunlet.”

Red Skulls shouts a warning seconds before a horde of zombies rampage through the streets. Iron Man and Spidey are torn to shreds, and Captain America lasts only a few moments more. Abomination and Thanos flee towards the biochemical lab.

“In the end though, Silver Surfer ended up flying into the biochemical lab and sailing off with the tube of stuff that Red Skull was after. Who knows if the formula is really going to turn out to be something that Reed can use to cure the disease. All we can do is wait … and hope.”

“Johnny, we got to go. Let’s move.”

“Alright, Ben…..”