We speculated yesterday, and today, Marvel has confirmed that indeed, Warren Ellis will be writing Thunderbolts, with Mike Deodato on art.
The new creative team will take over the series with issue #110 and will focus on the team’s new status quo spinning out of Civil War.
Marvel’s press release reads:
At the end of Civil War #4, the comics world saw the shocking formation of a brand-new team of Thunderbolts comprised of some of the most evil super-villains in the Marvel Universe. But these aren't the only new members of the team.
Starting with Thunderbolts #110, Warren Ellis (Ultimate Extinction, Nextwave) and Mike Deodato (New Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man) will be coming on board to tell the story of this all-new, all-deadly squad.
Venom, lethal protector! The enigmatic Moonstone! Bullseye, the man who never misses! Songbird, mistress of sound! Chen Lu, the Radioactive Man! Swordsman, master of the blade! The mystery man called Penance! And Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin! They're America's newest celebrities, ready to take to the skies at a moment's notice in pursuit of those secret, unregistered superhumans hiding among us!
They're the All-New, All-Deadly Thunderbolts —making the world a safer place for ordinary people one would-be costumed hero at a time! In the wake of Civil War, Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato present a dark and disturbing take on Marvel's most wanted, where the line between hero and villain is difficult to find—if it exists at all!
When New Avengers was launched, the first six issues had variant covers by each of the original Young Guns, leading to quick sellouts rarely seen in the industry. Now there is a new group of artists on the rise looking to make their mark on the next big thing: Thunderbolts! To commemorate this event, the first six issues of the Ellis/Deodato run will feature interlocking variant covers produced by the six Young Guns: Reloaded artists: Leinil Yu, Ariel Olivetti, Pasqual Ferry, Clayton Crain, Simone Bianchi & Billy Tan.
If you haven't already jumped onboard the wild ride of redemption that is Thunderbolts, you cannot afford to miss the start of an all-era of the T-bolts starting in Thunderbolts #110 as the super-star team of Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato take the helm.
And for fans of the classic Thunderbolts, Baron Zemo's story continues this February in an all-new limited series, Zemo: Born Better, written by Fabian Nicieza!
Look for more details here soon, including an interview with Joe Quesada. In the meantime, Newsarama was able to track down Civil War writer Mark Millar for his thoughts on the Thunderbolts new status quo and his role in it…
Newsarama: So Mark, the new Thunderbolts that were set up in Civil War #4 - was that all your idea that was seized upon by Marvel, or something that was suggested...or...??
Mark Millar: Well, when I said I'd write a summer crossover for Marvel I said from the start it was only worth doing if it meant I could use the series as a way of giving the line a make-over of sorts. I had an idea for a creator-owned book called “The Initiative” which featured a superhero or a super-team in every state, but decided it could be a nice template for the Marvel Universe too because, as a Scot, it had always struck me as a little weird that the East Coast had a disproportionate number of super-people.
This seemed like a good way of revamping lots of current characters and teams and Marvel were very open to this because they might have 4700 properties or whatever, but only a certain number of those are active. I had an idea for The Champions, I had an idea for a new Defenders book, I had a notion of a bunch of heroes fleeing to Canada to form a successor to Alpha Flight and so on, but just threw them all out there. These weren't worked up enormously within the series and the individual creators will bring their own identity to the books - which is as it should be.
My idea for Thunderbolts, very simply, was that it should employ the same strategy as New Avengers and JLA in that if we have a team, why not make it the A-Team in the sense that they're all recognizable names? Sure, these guys would be harder to control, but that also takes the story in interesting new directions. I really started to see the Marvel Universe in terms of pre and post-Civil War and the Thunderbolts line-up was one of the big changes.
I told everyone last year that books like Iron Man and Cap would go through the roof after Civil War too and nobody believed me, but wait and see. The tie-ins have been very interesting because a crossover tie-in usually bumps a book by 15%. These tie-ins are increasing sales by 100% and sometimes almost 200%. Fantastic Four is doing around 100K right now, which is just brilliant to see. People seem to be digging this and, as a freelancer, that's all you really want. Everyone's worked hard and it's nice to see it working out.
NRAMA: Did you have any say in the new creative team?
MM: No, I didn't get involved in picking a creative team at all. I'm just a freelancer and just threw out ideas for the books as they were. A lot of books were selling less than Marvel wanted and this was just my way of giving them a shot in the arm, sometimes with a team-change and sometimes without. Cap and Iron Man, regardless of who's been working on them, have been stuck with very middling sales of around 45K for the last five years and we know they should be selling more.
Civil War will give those books that opportunity as the line gets a revamp company wide. Thunderbolts was always planned to be the same, just giving them a post-Civil War line-up to help sales and take the book in a new direction. I only found out a month or two back that Warren was on-board. This was a surprise as I know he prefers doing his own thing, but he'll be great for the book.
Who else could be better at writing a team of super-villains than that cantankerous old English bastard?!
NRAMA: That said, did you leave any plot ideas for the team as it will be when Warren and Mike pick the book up?
MM: Nothing at all. My only recommendation was the stuff I set up in Civil War where Tony's crew put together this new secret team of super-villains to help out in impossible situations. Obviously, the public would go ape-shit if they found out Bullseye was on a super-team, but these guys are top secret and as Stark explains are an incredible resource for a short-term problem. I think it would be a fun book to write and think, given the cast of characters and the creative team, that this book should do 100K.
NRAMA: Okay Mark, just one final question - is the T-bolts team we see in Civil War #4 the T-Bolts team that Ellis starts up with?
MM: Well, I'm just finishing Civil War #7 right now. This is the big battle Stark was taking about in issue four and the Thunderbolts are one of the many cards being played here by each side. All I can say, without giving too much away, is that a lot happens. As I've said from the start of this series, don't pick up the book looking for major deaths because that's so bloody cheap and will not happen in these pages. But stuff happens and the Thunderbolts play a big role which should set their book up nicely.