None of the Marvel Universe's super teams walk the line between good and evil quite like the Thunderbolts. When the team made their debut, they were a group of villains pretending to be heroes on their way to becoming genuine good guys. On May 26 in "Thunderbolts" #144 , a new era begins as the US government puts Luke Cage in charge of the team in an attempt to transform the group of super powered convicts given the shot at redemption into productive, heroic members of society.
In July, in the epic event series "Shadowland," Daredevil and his personal army, the ninja assassin cult known as the Hand, begin a campaign against crime that makes Luke Cage worry that the Man Without Fear has crossed the line and become a full-fledged villain. So come September, in Thunderbolts #148-149, Cage will send his new team to New York City to aid in the fight against Dardevil's forces. CBR News spoke with writer Jeff Parker about the two issue "Shadowland" tie-in.
CBR News: I know Luke Cage is a major player in "Shadowland," so how involved will he be in these two issues and how stand alone are these two issues of "Thunderbolts? Do events in the main "Shadowland" miniseries kick off this story, or does it spring from developments in the actual "Thunderbolts" series? Or is it a case of both?
Jeff Parker: Luke is sending the 'Bolts into "Shadowland" for a focused mission apart from himself. He'll be delegating supervision to former Thunderbolts while he's on his own.
Will the T-Bolts mission involve a direct confrontation with Daredevil? And if so, how does Luke feel about unleashing his team on his friend?
They won't be facing Daredevil, Luke wants to do that for himself. He would never turn a group like them against his old friend, even if he doesn't like what's happening.
Speaking of feelings, How do the Thunderbolts view their assignment to destroy Shadowland? Are they excited? Are they a bit suspicious and even worried? Or is the group divided on their feelings about taking on Daredevil and the Hand?
The Thunderbolts are always glad to get out of The Raft, no matter what. They like to bust heads.
The Thunderbolts are a very powerful group whose ranks now include Juggernaut, Man-Thing, Moonstone, Crossbones and Ghost. In the "Shadowland" tie-in issues, though, it sounds like they're going up against The Hand, a force of people who don't have any major physical super powers. How much danger is the group really in during the course of the story? Does the danger in this series come from something more than physical threats?
There's another aspect the Thunderbolts will be dealing with, so you're not going to see Juggernaut mowing down Ninja. Well, maybe a few, but you'll see.
The new era of "Thunderbolts" hasn't started yet and "Shadowland" doesn't begin untill July, so I know you can't say much more about the actual plot of these two issues, but what can you tell us about the tone of the story?
What can people expect from your artistic collaborators on these two issues of "Thunderbolts" ?
Greatness! Kev Walker is bringing this book to manic life in ways I couldn't have imagined. And Frank Martin is doing such beautiful work coloring that-this book is gorgeous, even when the action is brutal.
How big of an impact will the "Shadowland" tie-in story have on the "Thunderbolts" series moving forward?
It makes Luke...a bit unhappy. No, more than that. It upsets the apple cart to say the least. And as a result, we're going to see some showdowns in "Thunderbolts" #150.