Notes: From his sub-basement hideout, Zemo sees Onslaught destroy the Avengers.
The Fixer’s investigations rile the Kosmosians who are holding Erik captive.Zemo, Melissa, Abe and Bert contain the other-dimensional monsters and bring Erik back to Earth. Learning that the Avengers are dead, Erik jokes, "Maybe we should apply for the job." This gives Zemo the germ of an idea: "The world needed heroes. Perhaps it was as simple as that."
Through "bio-plasmic" technology, Songbird is given new cheekbones to disguise her face. Erik is given a new, permanent face, a new costume and a new codename: Atlas. Zemo creates his Citizen V disguise.
The Fixer and Abe -- taking one last turn in his Beetle armor -- arrange a breakout from the Vault. Citizen V, Songbird and Atlas recapture most of the villains -- including Speed Demon and the Radioactive Man -- and only Moonstone "escapes." Citizen V asks that their role in "stopping" the breakout be kept secret.
Bert gives himself a temporary, holographic new face and takes the codename Techno. He provides everyone with gadgets to disguise their voices, fingerprints and retinal scans. Moonstone agrees to join the team. Zemo settles on a name for the team that is "crypto-fascist, but friendly": the Thunderbolts!
Karla reconfigures her armor and takes the codename Meteorite. To disguise her powers, she chooses not to use her phasing ability and generates a glowing affect. With Fixer's help, Abe builds his new armored harness and takes the name MACH-1.
Robbie Baldwin continues his career with the New Warriors. As the funding Taylor Foundation undergoes financial troubles, the stability of the team starts to become an issue and the roster undergoes some changes.
Clint Barton survives Onslaught, as he and the other heroes are shunted to an artificial world created by Franklin Richards. He lives there for several months before returning to the real Marvel Earth.
Now a teenager living with his father in one of the Imperial Forces’ hidden towns, Charlie Burlingame is chosen as the subject of experiments conducted, at least in part, by Arnim Zola. The experiments transform Charlie into Charcoal.
Stronger than ever after the surgery that restored his spine, the man known as Bullseye continues his career as an assassin for hire.
After the destruction of the Air Force and, presumably, the supporting Air Command/Air Control, Donald Joshua Clendenon finds himself on his own. Frustrated by how his attempts to play do-gooder nearly got him killed, he is determined to look out for himself. He repairs his Cardinal armor and continues to work as a mercenary-for-hire, eventually being hired by the Crimson Cowl for her new Masters of Evil.
Chen Lu will not be seen again for years and may spend that time in custody in The Vault and other superhuman prisons. By the time he is seen next he has become bodyguard for an international millionaire named Tiberius Stone.
Sybil Dvorak, never a legal American citizen, may have been deported after the Night Shift's capture. She operates on her own for awhile, running her "sex clubs", before agreeing to join Justine Hammer's Masters of Evil "just for kicks."
One of France's top crime families rebuilds the original Cyclone's suit from his designs and bestows it on Pierre Fresson. It is not clear whether Fresson is a blood member of the family, but he certainly comes to represent them. Now empowered, he has been (or will soon be) recruited by Justine Hammer.
Genis-Vell is living on Titan. He has been such a disappointment in living up to his father's legacy that Mentor has taken the nega-bands from him.
Mac Gargan continues his unimpressive life of crime as The Scorpion. Eddie Brock learns that he has terminal cancer and only his relationship with the Venom symbiote is keeping him alive.
At around this time, Donny Gill is arrested and imprisoned in Seagate. There is no documentation of the arrest, and it is possible that it was arranged by Justin Hammer.
The whereabouts of Conrad Josten at this time have not been documented. He is known to have run away from home and, some months from now, he will be recruiter into the Redeemers program.
The Ogre remains in hiding in Mt. Charteris.
In Europe, Norman Osborn Jr. becomes an initiate in the centuries old Order of the Scrier. He rises quickly through the ranks, eventually being hailed as undisputed overlord. But Norman requires constant treatment to keep the madness brought on by the goblin serum under control, and is driven out of the Scriers. He assumes leadership of a smaller, splinter group and puts in motion a complex plan to triumph over Spider-Man...
Kyle Richmond continues his unremarkable career as Nighthawk, occasionally teaming up with various groups of Defenders.
Dallas Riordan has moved her way up through the NYPD to some sort of desk job, which puts her on call to the Mayor.
James Sanders is soon out of the Vault and living in an apartment in the Bronx. It is undisclosed whether he escaped or was released.
Sam Smithers continues his career as Plant-Man.
Andreas Strucker continues to partner with his sister, Andrea, running their crime organization, Fenris. By this time the twins know both Helmut Zemo and John Watkins III. Andrea has certainly been intimate with Watkins, and possibly with Zemo as well. They know the story behind Watkins' coma, but it is not clear if they are involved in causing it.
By this time, Hallie Takahama is fifteen. Her parents are killed in an attack by the Sentinels in the aftermath of Onslaught. Hallie takes to the streets, rounding up any kid who has been separated from their parents and holing them up in the basement of the high school.
Following her apparent death, Katrina Luisa Van Horn is rescued, probably by Justine Hammer, and undergoes treatment to mend her maimed body and to give her super-strength without the need for her body armor.
Janice Olivia Yanizeski sets out to rebuild her "cash stash," eventually hiring herself out to the Crimson Cowl.
John Watkins III has taken up the mantle of Citizen V and spent some time in the role until an undisclosed event puts him into a coma.
Flashbacks from "The Origin of the Thunderbolts", Thunderbolts ’97 (1997/08/01)
Flashbacks from Revenge of the Green Goblin 1-3, (2000/10/02)
Reference from "Career Opportunities", Thunderbolts 18 (1998/09/01)
Flashback from "The Eye of the Storm", Thunderbolts 24 (1999/03/01)
Reference from "Saving the World!", Thunderbolts25 (1999/03/01)
Flashback from "Ogres in the Shadows", Thunderbolts 33 (1999/12/01)
Flashback from "Two Ships", Thunderbolts 42 (2000/09/01)
Dialogue from "From a Whisper to a Scream", Citizen V and the V-Battalion 3
Flashbacks and references from "Trust in Fear", Thunderbolts 67 (2002/08/01)