Is Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts*’ Actually a ‘Dark Avengers’ Movie in Disguise?

“Yes, you’ll notice the asterisk on Thunderbolts, Feige said at CinemaCon

Thunderbolts Movie Concept Art Marvel Andy Park

A pretty interesting fan theory is gaining traction online, suggesting Marvel Studio’s upcoming Thunderbolts movie could actually by a Dark Avengers movie in disguise. Thunderbolts* was first announced as a another team-up movie featuring MCU anti-heroes and reformed villains, however fans suspect a very clever misdirection at play by Marvel Studios Studio president Kevin Feige.

The key piece of evidence? The movie’s mystery asterisk at the end of the tile: Thunderbolts*, a first for the company. During last week’s CinemaCon, Feige acknowledged the asterisk’s existence but refused to elaborate on the meaning of the asterisk until after the film’s premiere or Comic-Con 2026.

“Yes, you’ll notice the asterisk on Thunderbolts, Feige said. “That is the official title of Thunderbolts and we won’t talk more about that until after the movie comes out.”

Feige’s comments has fueled rampant fan speculation online that Thunderbolts* is merely a temporary title, concealing a major MUC plot development. The prevailing theory amongst the fan community suggests the movie’s true purpose is to introduce the infamous Dark Avengers – a team of villains masquerading as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

“I think this is because they’re gonna change their name at the end of the film. Thunderbolts is gonna be a name like ‘Task Force X’ and the actual members are gonna rename themselves The Dark Avengers,” an X user said.

“Maybe Thunderbolts* title gets changed to DARK AVENGERS* and Norman Osborn makes an appearance 👀 IRON PATRIOT 🔥,” added another X user.

“I’m telling you that Thunderbolts* will probably be renamed as the Dark Avengers<“ said an X user.

“It is assumed that ‘THUNDERBOLTS*’ will be renamed ‘Dark Avengers’ at the end of the film because of the asterisk,” another X user added. “A small hint leads to President Ross calling for the Avengers to be rebuilt in the new scene for ‘Captain America: Brave New World’ shown at #CinemaCon.”

The previous X user makes a valid point since in Captain America: Brave New World, President Ross expressed his interest in Sam Wilson reviving the Avengers Initiative, along with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s shady power-accumulating agenda. Having the Sentry also in Thunderbolts* is a solid clue as well.

Even the asterisk might hold the final answer, only making sense after viewing Thunderbolts* ending or the film’s post-credits scenes, where the truth about the team’s villainous nature is possibly unveiled.

Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts* will be released in theaters on May 2, 2025.

Rick Lemoine

Rick Lemoine

Raised on a hearty dose of Marvel and DC comics, Rick combines his love for superheroes with a knack for writing about Hollywood's brightest.