Hints at the Dark Avengers / Thunderbolts have appeared in several key MCU projects, which one artist has turned into a potential look at the team.
With the possibility of the Dark Avengers appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner rather than later, one creator has put together the potential roster in an epic piece of fan art. After introducing their cornerstone heroes and villains in Phases One and Two, the MCU has slowly begun filling in its extensive world with lesser-known characters, antiheroes, and conflicted antagonists like Baron Zemo and Taskmaster in Phases 3 and 4. With the fates of certain characters altered by pivotal events like the Snap, Marvel is banking on a new generation to headline the MCU.
Earth’s mightiest heroes have seen losses in the form of Captain America, Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), and others. While characters like Sam Wilson have stepped up to fill in some of those iconic roles within the MCU, the Avengers are not nearly the team they once were, and shady figures will always want to exploit that. The Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is possibly one such figure. She first appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldierpriming the US Agent (John Walker) to lead a changing world, and then convinced Yelena Belova to hunt down Hawkeye.
Fontaine’s actions indicate the possible formation of the Dark Avengers, a group of villains who assume the identities of authentic Avengers when the actual team is missing in action. Digital artist artoftimetravel imagines what this team could look like in the MCU with an incredible concept design. The artwork features the US Agent leading the charge, alongside Belova, Taskmasker (Antonia Dreykov), Baron Zemo, Deadpool, Ghost, and Abomination, with Fontaine and Thunderbolt Ross looming overhead. Check out the fan art below:
Unfortunately, despite Ross’s inclusion in the team-up, actor William Hurt passed away earlier this year, so he would need to be recast if Marvel decided to include the Secretary of State in the group. But Ross’s place here raises an interesting theory: the team may not end up as the Dark Avengers but the Thunderbolts. The roster, in general, resembles the Thunderbolts more closely, who are a group of reformed heroes in the comics that typically go by their actual monikers (except for the first iteration).
The fan art is a mishmash of Thunderbolts members from different points in Marvel Comics history, but Walker’s presence means the Dark Avengers is the possible end goal. He is an official member of both teams in the comics, and depending on Fontaine’s motivations, he could either lead a super-squad with good intentions or succumb to his darker ambitions. Additionally, Fontaine’s recruitment of Yelena and Abomination’s roles in Shang-Chi and the upcoming She-Hulk hint at the Thunderbolts. The Dark Avengers would likely appeal to more MCU fans, but if the studio wants the name recognition, they may need to introduce more new characters quickly to fill out a sensible roster.
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