The arrival of thunderbolts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has generated a lot of buzz, and with the cast announced, fans have plenty to speculate about when production begins. The team is notable not only for their morally gray origins and mission, but simply because they are a new super team in a universe where groups like The X-Men and Fantastic Four have yet to appear. The fact that all six announced team members have a past within the MCU speaks to the franchise’s carefully constructed interconnectivity, with the promise of paying big dividends when a group of former villains try to turn the tide.
A notably missing name is Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination, who was a member of The Thunderbolts in the comics. His absence is notable because it means the team loses a Hulk villain: unusual considering both Blonsky’s recent notoriety in the MCU and the team’s name stem from well-known Hulk nemesis Thunderbolt Ross. It does, however, open the door for another character from Bruce Banner’s side of the Marvel Universe: Rick Jones, one of Banner’s longest-running supporting characters, who has had several super-powered stints of his own.
Emil Blonsky isn’t Marvel’s only abomination
Jones is an integral part of The Hulk’s origin story, tracing its history back to The incredible Hulk #1 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman, Artie Simek). He daringly entered a federal testing ground just as Banner’s gamma-ray bomb was about to be tested. Banner rushed out to rescue him and pushed him into a ditch while himself absorbing the radiation from the blast that transformed him into The Hulk. Jones became Banner’s sidekick and confidante and took part in many of The Hulk’s early adventures. This included several points where he gained (and subsequently lost) his own superpowers. His association with Captain Marvel (the male hero Mar-Vell, not Carol Danvers) earned him one of that hero’s nega bands Captain Marvel #41 (Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom, Bernie Wrightson, P Craig Russell, Bob McLeod, Terry Austin, Phil Rachelson, Tom Orzechowski). More recently, he gained the ability to learn things at a fantastic rate and became a hacktivist known as The Whisperer.
Most notably, he spent time as a character called A-Bomb: a giant blue-skinned creature similar to The Abomination. In this form, he possessed colossal strength and apparent invulnerability, making him ideal to fill any role The Abomination could play. Most notably is his transformation into A-Bomb in 2008 whoalk vol 2 #2 (Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Jason Keith, Comicraft) came in part due to the actions of The Leader, who is rumored to be the villain in the upcoming one thunderbolts Movie.
How Rick Jones’ A-Bomb Can Help the MCU’s Thunderbolts
Jones has appeared in many Marvel animated series, but not in live-action series, despite his importance in The Hulk mythology. However, he is present in the MCU: the opening credits from 2008 The incredible Hulk Display a Blink-and-You-Will image that lists them as a known Banner employee. Although he doesn’t make it into the film (presumably because it was written in development), that gives him an opportunity to enter the MCU more formally thunderbolts.
Blonsky has apparently become a new man in prison, allowing Jennifer Walters to secure his parole She-Hulk: Lawyer Season 1, Episode 3, “The People vs. Emil Blonsky.” This leaves a notable gap in the thunderbolts Line-up lacking a powerhouse as perfectly epitomized by The Abomination. Jones, especially in his A-Bomb persona, would be a great replacement. Not only would it give him a graceful entry into the MCU, but – assuming he stays the kindhearted soul he is in the comics – it would bring a certain morale to a team largely looking for redemption after a long time on the team Provide balance Wrong side.
That thunderbolts The film is still two years away and development could probably take them in all sorts of directions. But Jones remains a conspicuous absence from the franchise so far, especially considering both The Hulk’s prominence and the MCU’s commitment to Marvel’s Silver Age, in which he began. With Blonsky gone, the new film is an ideal opportunity to rectify those omissions.
Thunderbolts hits theaters on July 26, 2024.