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When the Avengers
and the Fantastic Four seemingly
died fighting Onslaught,
many super-villains rejoiced. Most took it as a chance to
fulfill their dreams of greed or power without the interference
of meddling heroes. And one villain saw an opportunity for
even greater conquest.
Baron Zemo, always quick to spot a chance
for attaining his dream of world domination, envisioned
a brilliant plan. The heroes were gone, and the common people
were left, without hope. Who better to give them hope than
a new group of heroes? He assembled a team of villains,
gave them new heroic identities, and presented them to the
public as the Thunderbolts super hero team.
Zemo selected his villains carefully to create
a workable, controllable group. His first recruit was the
Fixer, whose technical ingenuity would become a cornerstone
of the Baron's plan. Zemo found the Beetle after yet another
of the latter's failed robbery attempts and easily convinced
him to join. He discovered Screaming Mimi after the death
of her partner, Angar
the Screamer, and offered her sanctuary, which she gratefully
accepted. The Fixer then freed Goliath from imprisonment
in the dimension of Kosmos; Goliath, in gratitude, swore
loyalty to Zemo as the architect of his release. Finally,
this new team staged a breakout at the super-villain prison
called the Vault, liberating a great number of villains
to cover its true goal: freeing Moonstone. She was perhaps
the most unexpected choice, considering the fact that she
had betrayed Zemo when she was a member of his Masters of
Evil group. But as the Baron himself explained, the team
needed a trained psychiatrist to help guide its members
in their heroic identities.
After intensive training, Zemo unleashed his
new team upon the world as the Thunderbolts. And it worked.
Six disguised villains--Citizen V (Baron Zemo), Techno (the
Fixer), MACH-1 (Beetle), Songbird (Screaming Mimi), Atlas
(Goliath), and Meteorite (Moonstone)--soon became New York
City's newest, most welcomed protectors.
The common people, afraid after the loss of
their foremost heroes, eagerly embraced the newcomers as
the stalwart champions they appeared to be. Within a few
weeks, the "T-Bolts" had utterly won the city's
devotion and the trust of its officials.
Not long after its debut, the team encountered
a young woman named Hallie Takahama, who had been given
superpowers through horrible experiments. Meteorite convinced
Zemo to allow "Jolt"
to join the team, secretly hoping to create a power base
of support from which she might eventually overthrow the
The Thunderbolts fought a number of supervillains,
including the Wrecking Crew, the Circus of Crime, a paramilitary
cadre called the Rat Pack, the Mad Thinker and his Awesome
Android, Arnim Zola, Kang's Growing Man, the Elements of
Doom, and perhaps most ironically, a new incarnation of
the Masters of Evil! Zemo took great offense at the usurpation
of his old team's name, but could do little about it while
posing as Citizen V.
The sudden, unexpected return of the Avengers
and the Fantastic Four gave Baron Zemo incentive to step
up his plan for world domination. He leaked the T-Bolts'
identities to S.H.I.E.L.D., thus
ensuring that they would be forced to rely on him for protection.
In a final, massive conflict, several T-Bolts rebelled against
Zemo and foiled his master plan. After a brief adventure
on Kosmos, they returned to Earth and tried to establish
new civilian identities for themselves; the deception lasted
only a brief while before they were discovered.
Current Status: The remaining Thunderbolts
(Atlas, Jolt, MACH-1, Moonstone, and Songbird) must now
face the hatred of the people they deceived with their heroic
hoax, as well as the wrath of Baron Zemo, who is now intent
on revenge. Their short-lived roles as fugitives have come
to an abrupt end, and it seems likely that they will either
be captured by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or destroyed by Zemo's
revenge. For now, though, the Avenger Hawkeye is leading
the team, hoping to steer it in the right direction, because
he knows what it's like to be a fugitive seeking acceptance
as a hero. Techno is no longer a member of the Thunderbolts.
He remains loyal to Zemo and continues to create new technical
devices to further the villain's plans.
Signature Equipment: Thanks to Techno's
mechanical skills, the Thunderbolts had the very best in
personal equipment and technical support. Techno's expertise
rescued Atlas from Kosmos, assembled MACH-I's armor, and
created a sonic harness for Songbird from Klaw's old sonic
converter. Techno's own tech-pac represented a vast improvement
over the devices he had used as the Fixer. The only additional
piece of equipment regularly utilized by the Thunderbolts
was the V-Wing, which was created to transport the nonflying
team members easily.
V-Wing: Hull Strength 15. Flight 6 (Passengers;
Limit: Can carry up to eight people).
Noteworthy Members: While the team
was in the good graces of New York's populace, mayoral aide
Dallas Riotdan served as its liaison to the city. She and
Atlas began a relationship, which was cut short by the revelation
of the T-Bolts' true identities. Dallas was fired and even
threatened with a grand jury indictment for aiding the team,
but the case was dropped before it got to court. Since her
political career effectively is over, it is unclear where
Dallas will appear next.