Are the Thunderbolts the same as Dark Avengers?

Are the Thunderbolts the same as Dark Avengers?

30 Sec Answer: No, Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers are not the same. While they both feature a team of super-powered characters that battle evil forces, their origins, memberships, and missions differ in various ways.


In Marvel Comics, two teams have long been used to save the world from destruction – The Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. While these two superhero groups often find themselves going up against one another or fighting side by side for a common cause, there’s one question that has always perplexed comic book fans – Are Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers the same? To answer this burning question, let’s take an in-depth look at each of these iconic teams.

Origins Of The Thunderbolts

The Thunderbolts first appeared in 1997 as part of Marvel Comics‘ “Heroes Reborn” storyline. The original team was made up of a group of villains who had previously teamed up with Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil organization. After Zemo‘s defeat, the villainous crew adopted new identities and formed the Thunderbolts in order to redeem themselves while secretly plotting to return to their criminal activities once they had gained public trust. Over time, the team shifted from being composed entirely of villains to becoming a more noble superhero collective with many non-villain members joining their ranks.

Origins Of The Dark Avengers

The Dark Avengers debuted several years later in 2009 as part of Marvel’s “Dark Reign” event. Unlike the Thunderbolts, this team was specifically put together by Norman Osborn (aka the Green Goblin) during his tenure as head of national security after ousting Tony Stark from his position following the “Secret Invasion” arc. He assembled some of Marvel’s most infamous supervillains such as Venom and Bullseye under his command in order to restore public trust by showing that bad guys can be heroes too.

Membership Differences

Though both teams were founded on similar premises, they ultimately ended up having different rosters over time due to changing writers and story arcs. For example, the original line-up for the Thunderbolts included villains like Songbird, Mach-IV, and Moonstone whereas its successor boasted more heroically inclined characters like Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Songbird (who eventually switched sides). On the other hand, the original incarnation of the Dark Avengers consisted primarily of villainous individuals such as Wolverine’s son Daken (in place of Logan), Moonstone (as Ms. Marvel), and Venom (posing as Spiderman). Later on, however, it saw some genuine heroes like Captain Marvel join its ranks briefly before returning to their former affiliations.

Team Leaders

As both teams started out life as bands of misfits seeking redemption or power respectively, it should come as no surprise that they had very different leaders throughout their history. While Thunderbolt’s earliest leader was Baron Zemo – a villain with grand ambitions – later incarnations saw good-hearted but strict authorities like General Ross take charge in order to keep them on track towards doing what is right rather than what serves their own agenda best. Similarly, during his reign, Norman Osborn led the Dark Avengers himself instead of appointing someone else due to his desire to control every aspect of their operations. This soon changed when he lost control though since he got replaced by people like Doctor Doom who had less benevolent intentions for using this team for his own ends.

Goals & Missions

Another difference between these two squads lies in how they approach tasks assigned to them. Whereas Thunderbolts strive for justice even if it means dealing with supervillains or rogue nations without hesitation, Dark Avengers typically resort to immoral methods such as threats or force whenever faced with complex scenarios requiring negotiation or diplomacy skills which lack within their ranks due largely to their composition consisting mostly of criminals and ex-cons turned into superheroes overnight by Norman Osborn.

Alignment & Relationships With Other Heroes/Villains

The relationship between Thunderbolts and other heroes/villains is quite complicated yet clear cut compared to that between Dark Avengers and theirs since Thunderbolt members have traditionally leaned closer towards heroic tendencies while those found within Dark Avenger’s lineup fall somewhere between grey morality depending upon individual alignments beforehand such as whether they are redeemed villains or brand new members who took up Osborn’s offer out of desperation etcetera. As a result these two teams often end up clashing more frequently when confronted with opposing forces than cooperating with one another despite having common goals because the underlying motivations behind actions taken by either side may not always match up perfectly depending upon circumstances.

Fighting Styles & Tactics

Due to differences in membership roles between Thunderbolt and Dark Avenger squads combat tactics employed by either side vary greatly when engaging enemies on battlefields although basic combat principles still remain mostly identical among all superhuman combatants regardless whether they’re part of any particular faction or just lone wolves trying their luck against powerful opponents alone. Where distinctiveness comes into play though is when it comes down to certain specialties or weapons mastery capabilities possessed exclusively by certain character types inhabiting respective teams which consequently allow them leverage advantages over foes lacking said expertise during confrontations thus making battles waged between them significantly more unpredictable than expected initially considering limited knowledge about roster makeups known priorly unless somebody spies beforehand thus allowing early preparations accordingly given enough lead time available prior engagement commencement.

Hayden Russell

Hayden Russell is a writer and editor at, where he covers a wide range of topics including technology, business, and culture. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, Hayden brings a unique perspective to his writing and is always on the lookout for interesting and thought-provoking stories. When he's not working, Hayden can be found exploring the outdoors or tinkering with his latest tech project.

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