Published January 21, 2021

Baddies Doing Good: Get to Know the Thunderbolts

Make like Batroc and leap into some history ahead of 'King in Black: Thunderbolts' #2!

Don’t ya just love it when they get the band back together?

Kingpin-turned-Mayor Wilson Fisk’s reassembling the Thunderbolts in KING IN BLACK: THUNDERBOLTS, and while it ain’t the awful antagonists of past versions of the team, the new line-up’s gotta be strong enough to push back on those silly symbiotes worming their way into the Big Apple… It’s baddies playing goodies again and let’s hope they have what it takes to terrify!


Right now, we’re gonna take three of the terrible titans now wearing the title of Thunderbolts and talk about ‘em? Ready? Steady! Go!

The Rhino’s first lawyer was a little Foggy!

Aleksei Sytsevich first stomped his way onto the Super Villain scorecard back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #41 to add to an ever-growing group of animal-themed bad guys. Racing across the Mexican border with a vengeance, the Rhino romped around until he jumped on Colonel John Jameson, Astronaut, to sell him to the highest bidder for the info in his noggin…but got flipped onto his own bag of brains and knocked out by Spider-Man!

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #41

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #41

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When he finally awoke in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #42, the Rhino realized he’d picked up New York’s most awesome attorney, that likable lawyer supreme…no, not Matt Murdock! He was outta town! No, we’re talkin’ about Foggy Nelson, Murdock’s partner in the practice! Look it up if you won’t believe our brief on it!

Anyway, Rhino escaped, as one does, but Spidey tracked him down in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #43 and, using a way-out new web formula that could melt Aleksei’s armor-like hide, sent his eager new enemy back to the hoosegow!

...You think maybe the Rhino was really running away from his lawyer? Was it the bowtie? It’s always the bowtie!

We’re afraid to tell you there’ve been four Mister Fears!

There, there, now! Calm down! Get a grip on yourself, Bunky! We’ll get through this together—it’s all about fear, ya see—and that’s Mister Fear to you! He first emerged in DAREDEVIL (1964) #6, directing the Ox and the Eel—what is it with all these animal-themes?—in a fake movie, all to prove his fear-pellets could cause the quakes and the shakes in the Man Without Fear!

Daredevil (1964) #6

Daredevil (1964) #6

    • publishedFeb 11, 1965
    • added to marvel unlimitedNov 14, 2007
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Alas, the first Fear lost his life to a guy named Starr Saxon—we learned those deets in DAREDEVIL (1964) #91—and Saxon became the second Mister Fear in DAREDEVIL (1964) #54. The crimson-cowled hero figured it all out the very next ish, due to Saxon’s fear of heights…something his predecessor didn’t possess! Then he jumped to his apparent death and DD might’ve thought that was the ever-lovin’ end to the reign of Fear…but he’d have been wrong.

A third Mister Fear struck in DAREDEVIL (1964) #90, this time terrifying both Daredevil and the Black Widow with his creepy cavorting. He turned out to be none other than Matt Murdock’s close friend Larry Cranston, proving the old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer! That leaves only the fourth Fear, a dude designated Alan Fagan who made his debut in MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #92, but appeared more recently in FEAR ITSELF…appropriate, no?

Batroc the Leaper, he is French—and you can get fries with that!

Okay, okay, no more food funnies! But really, chums, it was just to set the stage for the bouncing, tumbling, springing, leaping lizard called the Leaper, AKA Georges Batroc! Yeah, that’s really his name! He uses his own name as his Super Villain name! Mes amies, now that’s intelligente! Batroc jumped out at readers in TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #75, much to Captain America’s chagrin, but he’s been a perennial perp all this time…and with bonne raison.

Tales of Suspense (1959) #75

Tales of Suspense (1959) #75

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See, Batroc’s a master of a martial art called savate, which in French means, get this, “old shoe or boot”! In other words, it’s the art of fightin’ with your feet! Ol’ Georges is wild about it—Captain America, not so much. The second time he had to fuss over the Frenchman, our hero was in the criminal’s crosshairs in TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #85, but when Batroc decided Hydra, who’d hired him, were, how do you say...cowards? He turned on them and fought at Cap’s side! Incroyable!

Yeah, yeah, we’ll stop…so, Batroc eventually did what many other malevolent malefactors have done, which is to form his own team: Batroc’s Brigade. They first appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #105 and boasted the lucky line-up of the Leaper himself, Swordsman, and the Living Laser. Later, the Brigade featured the prickly Porcupine and Whirlwind, and so on and so on…zut alors!

Read these mighty mags with Marvel Unlimited today! Then read KING IN BLACK: THUNDERBOLTS #2 on February 10!


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