MCU’s Thunderbolts Could Have A Secret 7th Member (Not Who You Think)

Thunderbolts is set to debut a brand new team of heroes, antiheroes, and reformed villains, but there may be one character on the squad that Marvel is still hiding from audiences. The upcoming film is headed for a 2024 release date, marking the end of Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the beginning of the final stretch on the road to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Consequently, Thunderbolts will be one of Marvel’s most important films in the Multiverse Saga, wrapping up several ongoing storylines therein. As such, there is one character whose presence on the titular team would connect several previously unrelated MCU storylines.

Phase 5 is dedicated to setting up Thunderbolts after Phase 4 did the groundwork in laying the premise for the new team in the MCU. The biggest news regarding the film came at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where Kevin Feige announced the characters who would comprise the first Thunderbolts lineup, including Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Red Guardian (David Harbour), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), and Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Although rumors have persisted since this announcement that key characters like Abomination (Tim Roth) or Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) may also join the team, there is one other character who would be perfect for the Thunderbolts.

Sharon Carter May Be The Thunderbolts’ Seventh Member

Although Sharon Carter’s Power Broker twist in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was somewhat sudden, it could set her up as the perfect seventh member of the Thunderbolts. Emily van Camp’s character has embraced villainy since being disavowed by the CIA by becoming a black market superpower dealer. However, Sharon appears to have maintained some ties to her former life, potentially including Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, the face of the Thunderbolts initiative and the new director of the CIA. Val appears to be behind many of the unanswered mysteries in Phase 4 so far, and her shared CIA background with Sharon Carter is too suspicious to be a coincidence.

One Thunderbolts team member from the comics suspiciously absent from the MCU’s lineup is the Iron Patriot, who functioned as the team leader during Norman Osborn’s time in charge. Interestingly, Sharon Carter has held the mantle of Iron Patriot in the comics, suggesting that her MCU counterpart could follow a similar path in Thunderbolts. The Iron Patriot suit already exists in the MCU, perfectly paving the road for Sharon to take up her own superhero persona in the near future. Moreover, Sharon’s presence on the team would greatly benefit Val, who may have been working with her from the very beginning thanks to their shared background and similar ideals.

How The Power Broker Fits Into Val’s Plans

Although Sharon Carter’s true plans as the Power Broker remain a mystery, it is easy to see how her operation depicted in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would align with Val’s Thunderbolts initiative. As the Power Broker, Sharon specialized in creating artificial superpowers that were strong enough to measure up to the might of the Avengers. She even managed to finance the recreation of Dr. Abraham Erskine’s original super soldier serum that gave Captain America his strength. In a world already fraught with unpredictable superpowered people, the Power Broker’s mission could provide Val with exactly what she needs to form her own team on behalf of the government.

The U.S. Agent, one of Val’s first Thunderbolts recruits, was a product of the Power Broker’s super soldier serum, creating a superhero with strength equal to that of Captain America. Sharon Carter’s operation provided the perfect reservoir of superpowers for Val and the CIA to draw from in building their own superhero team. Evidently fed up with the unpredictable nature of the Avengers, Val and her superiors may have taken matters into their own hands to create, recruit, and utilize their own superheroes in the form of the Thunderbolts. Indeed, the U.S. Agent may only be the first of many government-issued superheroes created to further their country’s mysterious imperative.

How Sharon Carter Can Connect Thunderbolts And Armor Wars

Some theories suggest that Sharon Carter could be Armor Wars’ main villain, potentially connecting War Machine’s upcoming solo movie with Thunderbolts. Once a Disney+ series, Armor Wars has since been converted into a film, suggesting that the project will be of greater consequence than initially believed. The film’s premise includes James Rhodes fighting against characters who have attained Tony Stark’s technology, but its title indicates that the conflict will be much greater than a mere skirmish between an Avenger and a few rogue arms dealers. Instead, Armor Wars has the makings of a true war, which may see Rhodey uncover the United States government’s shady dealings with the Power Broker.

Marvel has kept the story details of Armor Wars completely secret but has continued to emphasize its importance to the MCU. Sharon Carter’s involvement in Thunderbolts and Armor Wars would firmly connect the two films and establish an intriguing plot thread throughout the Multiverse Saga that encompasses many of its previously unrelated projects. Suddenly, Phases 4, 5, and 6 inherit a subplot in which the U.S. government consolidates power for itself in the form of new superheroes, including super soldiers and suits fashioned after Iron Man. The Avengers would then be on the cusp of being replaced by a government-issued superhero team, set to make its debut in Thunderbolts.

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