Summary

  • Bullseye’s return in Daredevil: Born Again could lead to his recruitment in the MCU’s version of the Dark Avengers.
  • The Thunderbolts’ creation eventually leads to the creation of the Dark Avengers in the comics. Phase 5’s Thunderbolts could do the same.
  • The Dark Avengers’ line-up would have to be different in the MCU, as notable members such as Norman Osborn, Moonstone, Noh-Varr, and Daken are absent.


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A major Daredevil villain is confirmed to return in Daredevil: Born Again, adding another potential member to the MCU’s evil Avengers team. Phases 4 and 5 have suggested that the events of Netflix’s Marvel shows took place within the MCU’s main timeline, with street-level characters such as Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin beginning to interact with major MCU heroes like She-Hulk and Hawkeye after getting out of their home turf. Likewise, Jon Bernthal’s Punisher is set to return in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again, likely alongside Matt Murdock’s closest allies Foggy Nelson and Karen Page.

Another Daredevil character who will reportedly join the MCU in Daredevil: Born Again is Wilson Bethel’s Benjamin Poindexter, who was last seen receiving surgery after Kingpin broke his back during the Daredevil season 3 finale. Following Daredevil‘s hint at his official transformation into a comic-accurate Bullseye, Ben Poindexter is likely to adopt his iconic moniker and start wearing his classic costume in Daredevil: Born Again. But becoming a supervillain and exacting revenge on Daredevil and Kingpin aren’t the only feats he can accomplish. Bullseye could also become a founding member of a famous supervillain team in the MCU.

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Bullseye’s MCU Introduction Adds A New Potential Member To The MCU’s Dark Avengers Team

Wilson Bethel’s Bullseye Is Now Able To Join The MCU’s Dark Avengers

Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3 and the Dark Avengers in Marvel Comics

In Marvel Comics, Norman Osborn takes advantage of the chaotic aftermath of the Skrulls’ secret invasion to attain a position of power. Osborn rebrands SHIELD as HAMMER and overhauls the Avengers’ lineup, replacing the heroes with some of the villainous allies he made during his time as the Thunderbolts’ director. In order to maintain a positive public image, Osborn allows his team to use the previous Avengers’ codenames and wear their costumes. These “Dark Avengers” include Osborn himself as Iron Man replacement Iron Patriot, Scorpion as Spider-Man, Daken as Wolverine, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, and Bullseye as Hawkeye.

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The MCU’s Thunderbolts Completely Misses The Point Of Team

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The MCU has laid the foundations for the Dark Avengers with Captain America: Civil War and Secret Invasion, which have affected superheroes’ public image and motivated the government to intervene. Phase 5’s Thunderbolts is also set to develop this narrative thread and introduce Sentry, a founding member of the Dark Avengers in the source material. Now, Bullseye’s MCU introduction makes him a perfect candidate for a Dark Avengers line-up, as he has experience impersonating Daredevil, shares Clint Barton’s abilities, and could be inspired to usurp the Hawkeye title after finding out that Clint Barton and Kate Bishop humiliated Kingpin.

Why The Dark Avengers And The Thunderbolts Can Coexist

The Thunderbolts’ Creation Leads To The Rise Of The Dark Avengers

Marvel's Bullseye and the MCU's Thunderbolts Team

Having both the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers in the MCU may sound redundant, but their history is inherently intertwined. Zemo originally created the Thunderbolts to further his nefarious deeds under the guise of a new superhero team, filling the void that the Avengers left when they apparently died. However, Zemo’s team got accustomed to the praise they got and soon abandoned their original goal. After a few shakeups, Norman Osborn took over and created the Dark Avengers — a team specifically designed to replace the Avengers. Yet, the Thunderbolts returned with Luke Cage’s help, who intended to reform the team.

The Thunderbolts’ origin is different in the MCU, as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has recruited several anti-heroes, seemingly with the goal to use them as pawns to amass power for herself. After the events of Thunderbolts, however, a different MCU villain could still take over the Thunderbolts and take advantage of the Avengers’ absence throughout the Multiverse Saga to rebrand the Thunderbolts as the new official Avengers. Like the team’s comic book counterpart, some of the original MCU Thunderbolts may be willing to stay, while others refuse the idea of becoming government-assigned superheroes and allow less ethical characters to join.

Which Villains Could Be Part Of The MCU’s Dark Avengers

The MCU’s Dark Avengers Will Need To Have A Different Line-Up

If the MCU introduces the team soon, the Dark Avengers’ line-up will likely look different to the source material. For instance, characters like Noh-Varr, Moonstone, and Daken are unlikely to be introduced soon. Depending on what happens to the titular team in Thunderbolts, some (or none) of its members may be willing to continue working with shady governmental entities like Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. And with Captain America: Brave New World and Armor Wars putting more pressure on superheroes and vigilantes, the opportunity to gain credit under the Avengers’ name is wide open for a few already established MCU characters.

MCU Dark Avengers

Original Avengers

Justin Hammer

Iron Man

US Agent

Captain America

Hercules

Thor

Red Hulk / Skaar

Hulk

Sharon Carter

Black Widow

Bullseye

Hawkeye

Bucky Barnes and Yelena Belova are close enough to the original Avengers to understand how wrong it would be to mess with their legacy. Instead, US Agent is more likely to join due to his yearning for approval, and Sharon Carter could use the Black Widow mantle as a cover for her Power Broker persona. Meanwhile, Justin Hammer, Hercules, and Red Hulk — or Hulk’s son Skaar — could be motivated to join the Dark Avengers by their personal vendetta against the original heroes, and Daredevil: Born Again‘s Bullseye could impersonate a new hero to climb up the criminal ranks.

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