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First look: Baddies unite as Thunderbolts battle the 'King in Black' in latest Marvel event

By Dana Forsythe
King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) - Matthew Rosenberg (W), Juan Ferreyra (A), Kyle Hotz (CA)

Since their creation more than 20 years ago by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley, the Thunderbolts have been called in to clean up some of the biggest messes in the Marvel Universe. Essentially a strike team made up entirely of villains, the group has been led by some of the biggest baddies, from Norman Osborne to Baron Zemo. Now, according to an exclusive reveal from Marvel, the rag-tag team of super villains is being tapped by the Kingpin to save the city of New York when Knull aka The King in Black arrives in December. This week, SYFY spoke with writer Matthew Rosenberg about the upcoming tie-in.

In both the cover and interior pages, the Thunderbolts gather in a darkened New York City to face down an army of evil symbiote dragons from space. No problem, right?!? As seen in other solicits for the King in Black event coming in November, similar symbiotic dragons (aka the Grendel from Donny Cates Venom run) could part of Knull's first wave of attack.

King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) - Matthew Rosenberg (W), Juan Ferreyra (A)

In the past, the Thunderbolts have included any number of villains including Lady Deathstrike, Swordsman, Bullseye, and Jack O'Lantern — and for a time even grew into a 
"Thunderbolt Army" under the guidance of Baron Zemo, with the inclusion of people like Doctor Octopus and the Wrecker. But, many of the best Thunderbolt arcs have centered around anti-heroes like Ghost, Venom, Elektra and even Deadpool and their attempts and redemption.

This time around is no different, as the team includes both villains like Taskmaster, Rhino, and Mr. Fear and anti-heroes like Star and, (dare I say) Batroc, the Leaper. 

King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) - Matthew Rosenberg (W), Juan Ferreyra (A) u

According to the solicit from Marvel, the Thunderbolts face a tough decision after Knull invades Earth. Fight or die.

“Mayor Fisk tasks them with saving the city or die trying…or die right then and there. The fate of the entire world may rest in the hands of the absolute worst people in the Marvel Universe,” the Marvel solicit reads.

King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) - Matthew Rosenberg (W), Juan Ferreyra (A)

Scribe Matthew Rosenberg told SYFY Wire that he was excited to unleash the potential of a new Thunderbolts team.

"Thunderbolts is one of the best concepts Marvel has ever produced. It's a book that constantly reinvents itself in fun ways and it's a real honor to carry on that tradition," he says. "I think we have a really wild premise and unique team, and letting them cut loose during the epic events of King In Black is going to be a really fun trial by fire for them."