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Could The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri’s reported Thunderbolts role be one of these members of the original comic book team?
It’s no secret that the Thunderbolts roster in their upcoming MCU movie as we know it so far is fairly removed from their classic comic book line-up, with not even comic book team founder Baron Zemo shown as part of the team.
But the reported casting of The Bear actor Ayo Edebiri in Thunderbolts in a still unnamed role could bring things closer to the page if she winds up playing a character who has comic book ties to the team – and there’s at least one character who may be a fairly likely candidate for that.
When considering female heroes who have long-running ties to the Thunderbolts, a few names come to mind, each with varying degrees of likelihood – including one character who may just be a frontrunner for Edebiri’s role.
Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates.Jolt is one of the first heroes to join the Thunderbolts after their betrayal of team founder Baron Zemo on their path to being actual heroes rather than villains in disguise.
As a younger hero with flashy electrical powers, she could fill an easy niche on the MCU team, and she’d be a direct tie to the Thunderbolts’ comic book history. But Jolt is Japanese, so it seems unlikely Marvel wouldn’t cast a Japanese actor in the role.Founding Thunderbolt Meteorite (secretly the villain Moonstone in her Masters of Evil guise) has flashy powers of her own which even led her to impersonate Carol Danvers on the original Dark Avengers, including super strength, flight, intangibility, and energy manipulation.
But Edebiri’s background in comedy and her personable acting style may be a tonal shift for Meteorite/Moonstone, who is known as a cold, cruel, psychological manipulator. That kind of role may well be in Edebiri’s range, but it doesn’t seem to play to her strengths.This brings us to potentially the most likely classic Thunderbolt for Edebiri to play, Songbird (formerly Screaming Mimi of the Masters of Evil in her villain days). Another powerhouse character with the ability to manipulate sound and turn it into physical constructs, Songbird is one of the original Thunderbolts who most took to heroism after betraying Baron Zemo, eventually becoming an Avenger.
She’s also the kind of character that might be right in Edebiri’s wheelhouse as a personable but driven hero who is dedicated to overcoming her reputation as a villain to become a top-level hero – not a far cry from her character on The Bear, an aspiring chef whose determination knows no bounds.
And then there’s the fact that Songbird is a fan-favorite character whose inclusion in the MCU Thunderbolts was almost expected among certain pockets of fandom, so she’s got the built-in fan base to bring a bit more classic comic books credibility to the MCU team as we know it.There’s always the chance that Edebiri’s role isn’t a superhero, isn’t one of these superheroes, or is a superhero who will undergo big changes in the translation from page to screen.
On the non-superhero tip, Dallas Riordan is a trained martial artist, espionage agent, and government operative who served as the Thunderbolts civilian coordinator with the New York City mayor’s office when they first appeared on the scene as villains in disguise.
Edibiri could easily slot into the role of Riordan, though it’s important to also consider that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is already apparently the MCU Thunderbolts’ government handler/go-between with Secretary Ross (now Harrison Ford after the death of William Hurt). Riordan and her role but therefore be superfluous.
As for other superheroes, during the comic book event story Civil War, there were literally dozens of minor characters on the roster of the Thunderbolts, it’s entirely possible she might play a character who, while connected to the Thunderbolts, isn’t as iconically tied to the team as one of our previously mentioned candidates.
Whatever the case, we’ll find out for sure when the Thunderbolts movie arrives in July 2024.
Check out the best Thunderbolts members ever, and then read up on 15 Thunderbolts characters who could come to the MCU next.
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I’ve been Newsarama’s resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I’ve also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)
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