Superhero teams and crossovers are the most exciting parts of Marvel and DC Comics. Besides the “good guys” forming their teams, villains also team up, but the two groups of reluctant superheroes became notable for many different motivations – Marvel’s Thunderbolts and DC’s Suicide Squad. Both teams are antiheroes/supervillains hired to help save the world. Thunderbolts had to step in after the death of Avengers in the Onslaught crossover, while the government hired Suicide Squad to accomplish highly risky missions superheroes wouldn’t do. Both teams have some similarities, so we decided to pit them against one another. Which team would win – Thunderbolts or Suicide Squad?
If we compare the most recent members of the respectful sides in the comics, the fight against Thunderbolts and Suicide Squad would be close, but with DC supervillains prevailing in the end. Despite Thunderbolts having more powerful individuals and better teamwork, Suicide Squad is a more ruthless group that will do anything in its power to accomplish its goal, and frankly, their MO being brutality does give them more value for those missions, and ultimately, this fight.
In the rest of the article, we will oppose these antihero groups by analyzing their powers, which categories each group excels in, and why one group would prevail. For this comparison, we will use the most recent members of respective Marvel and DC groups and conclude our reasoning. Moreover, we will use the best-of-seven score metric, and the first group that reaches four points is the winner of this epic battle.
Size of the team
Over the years, we have seen many iterations of the supervillain groups. When Thunderbolts first appeared in Marvel Comics, there were seventeen members of the supervillain group, with Baron Helmut Zemo being the leader. These days, the group is much smaller, and the current cast includes the following:
- Hawkeye/Clint Barton – Leader
- Spectrum/Monica Rambeau
- America Chavez
- Power Man/Victor Alvarez
- Persuasion/Kara Killgrave
- Gutsen Glory
- Eegro the Unbreakable
There are seven Thunderbolts members, with the last two having unknown origins. Of course, the members’ number isn’t the most important part of the group – small teams can do wonders if the members have quality. However, on these missions, the power in numbers is important, and frankly, Suicide Squad is superior in that regard.
Suicide Squad members include:
- Amanda Waller – Leader
- Bolt/Larry Bolatinsky
- Film Freak
- Peacemaker/Christopher Smith
- Culebra/Alejandra Cortez
- Mindwarp/Peter Howard
- Nocturna/Natalia Mitternacht
- Talon/William Cobb
- Warp/Emil LaSalle
- Bloodsport/Robert DuBois
- Ambush Bug/Irwin Schwab
- Black Siren
- Nightmare Nurse/Asa
- Parasite/Rudolph Jones
- Heat Wave/Mick Rory
- KGBeast/Anatoly Knyazev
- Victor Zsasz
- Solomon Grundy/Cyrus Gold
- Madame Crow/Abigail O’Shay
- Black Hand/William Hand
- Etrigan the Brainiac 666
Suicide Squad counts 29 members, which overwhelms Marvel’s misfits. Some of them join sooner than later, but overall the strength in numbers is vast here, and for that, Suicide Squad takes the first point of this “fight.”
Thunderbolts 0 : (1) Suicide Squad
This section will compare the abilities and power of each character from respective teams, and frankly, this was quite hard. Every antihero/villain is strong and good in their way for the mission’s accomplishment, but one team has a slight lead. The newest Thunderbolts are extremely powerful, with Spectrum, Power Man, and America Chavez, being the powerhouses and Hawkeye being experienced.
Of course, other members of Marvel’s powerhouse are also extremely powerful, and they all make a really good team. On the other side, we have Suicide Squad, whose members are powerful, but they cannot measure with the abilities this cast of Thunderbolts members has. What made Suicide Squad so interesting is the fact that most of the villains were psychotic murderers who were people who led “normal” lives before they went insane.
This cast and crew have Peacemaker, Match, Major Force, and other powerful villains that unfortunately cannot measure to the likes of Spectrum or America Chavez. Despite the “power in numbers,” Thunderbolts’ members are individually more powerful and, for that, take this point.
Thunderbolts (1): 1 Suicide Squad
Every team can only work if its members are cooperating and “on the same page.” When it comes to antiheroes and villains, even the most reluctant members need to adapt to the rest of the members to accomplish their mission, which can be difficult. Thunderbolts are a functioning team that usually survives through smaller groups established within the main team.
Of course, the previous team members, like Baron Zemo, Goliath, and Hawkeye, didn’t always see eye to eye, but the team functioned when the world needed them the most. Suicide Squad is a group of psychopathic murderers with a shaky history of betrayals, backstabbing, and conflicts.
For example, King Shark ate one of the members of Suicide Squad, which isn’t the epitome of good teamwork. Because of the shaky history within DC’s supervillain group, Marvel takes the point here – it helps that the current misfits were part of Avengers and overall normal beings.
Thunderbolts (2) : 1 Suicide Squad
Of course, every team needs a good leader, especially when big obstacles hinder accomplishing a mission. Regarding Marvel’s misfit cast, Hawkeye recently became the new leader of Thunderbolts, succeeding the U.S. Agent, and presented himself as a great addition. His incredible experience, personal life, skills, and abilities make Clint Barton a “seasoned” superhero and a leader who can make everyone “do their own thing” to accomplish a mission.
However, despite Hawkweye’s incredible experience, especially in the field, Amanda Waller is a perfect woman for a leading group of insane villains. She proved it dozens of times, being the “OG” leader since its first introduction in DC Comics in 1986. Waller is the director of Suicide Squad, a fearsome leader who doesn’t bow down to more powerful, crazy individuals, but even they know how to respect their leader.
Amanda Waller has all the power in Suicide Squad, so we need to award DC’s group a point in this section.
Thunderbolts 2 : (2) Suicide Squad
This section is exactly what it says – brutality. In the context of this article, brutality is the mercilessness of team members to accomplish the mission despite anything. Thunderbolts were created when Avengers and Fantastic Four were killed by Onslaught and continued to accomplish difficult missions other superheroes couldn’t do. However, this new team isn’t that brutal despite the past, where Baron Zemo, Crossbones, Radioactive Man, and more were despicable. They have morals, while members of Suicide Squad don’t.
We mentioned several times how despicable Suicide Squad members are, and frankly, even without Harley Quinn or Joker, the team is violent. DC villains are not “imposters” and are in high-security prisons for a reason. Amanda Waller and the government don’t call Suicide Squad for “easy” missions; they call them for brutally killing someone and doing what it takes to save the world.
The psychopathic murderers will always prevail in brutality, so Suicide Squad gets the point here.
Thunderbolts 2 : (3) Suicide Squad
Finally, we have experience. This section isn’t the most important of the article, but it still carries weight, especially during missions of high risk. Regarding Thunderbolts, most team members are extremely experienced individuals who led the superhero teams themselves – notably Hawkeye and Monica Rambeau.
Of course, the experience in fighting in teams and against powerful forces helps a lot in this section, and Suicide Squad is not that shabby. The villains of DC Comics are experienced in working in teams and on battlefields. Since most have disturbing pasts, they soon learn how other beings operate and predict situations that can affect anything.
Because of the characters’ experience, Marvel and DC get the point here, making Suicide Squad the ultimate winner of the “battle.”
Thunderbolts (3) : (4) Suicide Squad
Thunderbolts or Suicide Squad – who wins?
This battle would be really close every single time. Each team has strengths and weaknesses the other can capitalize on, but most importantly, the power of the teams is greatly influenced by the current members.
Thunderbolts post Devil’s Reign storyline are powerful, capable, with great teamwork, but the lack of mercilessness, experienced leadership, and greatness in numbers, and Suicide Squad “came on top” in this article. There is a possibility that Thunderbolts could overwhelm Suicide Squad with different “sets” of members. Still, in the end, the point of these squads is clear – antihero/villain teams that will do whatever it takes to accomplish the missions that “regular” superheroes wouldn’t be able to do, and Thunderbolts these days, aren’t true villains like DC’s Suicide Squad is.