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Celebrity Thunderbolts: Bringing Justice Like Lightning to Hollywood

Getting a gang of villains together on a team where they pay their debts to society by undertaking dangerous missions is the no-brainer premise behind truly awesome works like The Dirty Dozen and DC’s Suicide Squad, and most recently, it’s been the idea at the core of Marvel’s Thunderbolts.

For thsoe of you who haven’t been keeping up, here’s the deal: When the super-crooks of the Marvel Universe are busted, they end up at a high-tech prison called the Raft, where some of them are offered the chance to mitigate their sentences (or at least break up the boredom of life-without-possibility-of-parole) by going on missions led by Avenger — and ex-con — Luke Cage. And while that does make for a great comic, it also makes us wonder why they’re only recruiting super-criminals when there are other convicts that have skills that would be just as useful in the fight against evil.

And by that, of course, we mean celebrities.

Yes, give some folks enough money and fame, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they’re being shoved into the back of a police car on the Pacific Coast highway while shouting about a the conspiracy that got them there, which usually seems to involve those dastardly masterminds, Jack Daniels and Jose Cuervo. So since they rarely seem to spend much time in jail, they make the ideal one-shot members of the team. That’s why today, we’ve got our list of the actors, musicians and sports heroes we want to see on the Celebrity Thunderbolts!

Arrested: November 2007, July 2007, July 2010, October 2010, and pretty much any other time Access Hollywood needed a ratings boost.

Charges: Doing the drugs. All of the drugs.

Whenever she shows up in gossip rags and TV “news” programs that employ A.C. Slater as the voice of reason, actress Lindsay Lohan is often referred to as “troubled,” which of course is celebrity journalism shorthand for “allegedly does so much cocaine that even Tony Montana thinks we should have an intervention.” And that’s exactly why she’d fit right in with the Thunderbolts.

Why? Because she’d be the team’s secret weapon. You wouldn’t think she’d be capable of bringing down a HYDRA plot (unless that plot was to put a telephone pole outside a nightclub, which could then be defeated just by putting her behind the wheel of an Escalade) but seriously, she’s (allegedly) put so many chemicals in her body that at this point, it’s a safe bet that she might’ve accidentally snorted the Super Soldier Serum activated it with “Vita Rays” from a tanning salon. She’s essentially the troubled actress version of Captain America, only less dignified.

And considering that dude wears bright blue chainmail and wings on his head, that’s saying something.

Arrested: April 2008

Charges: Tax evasion; also sought for questioning in the unsolved murder of Dracula.

The relationship between Marvel Comics and Wesley Snipes goes all the way back to Snipes’ starring role in the first really successful Marvel movie, and clearly, the next step after his incarceration for failing to file taxes is to put his talents to good use as a member of the Thunderbolts.

Seriously, the guy wouldn’t have to even do anything. Just put him out there with the rest of the team, and the bad guys will be so worried about getting decapitated, stabbed with wooden stakes or straight up vertical suplexed that they wouldn’t even notice the Juggernaut lining up a punch that could send them into the next county. The only downside is that eventually, the Raft would be targeted by vampires for a pre-emptive strike, but you could head that off just by having a few copies of Passenger 57 around to prove that Snipes isn’t actually Blade, it’s just an uncanny resemblance. They’d probably all have a good laugh about it afterwards.

Plus, you’d get the benefit of giving the Thunderbolts an in-house trainer in the area that every super-hero needs to master: Delivering quips in the heat of battle. Trust me, there is no better teacher in that field than the master who said “Some motherf—ers always trying to ice skate uphill.”

Arrested: February 2009

Charges: Punching a hooker in the face repeatedly after she tried to bite his tongue because he tried to kiss her. I don’t even have a joke for that one, it’s just really depressing.

Every team needs a good tech-man, and with former Celebrity Thunderbolts candidate Martha Stewart and her hot glue gun back on the streets, that role falls to Vince Shlomi, the fast-talking pitch-man who came to prominence with a towel that could hold 20 12 10 times its own weight in liquid.

Unfortunately, as much as the other Thunderbolts might appreciate their newfound ease in making salads, grating cheese, and cleaning up the red wine that Moonstone spilled on her carpet — who put white carpet in a super-prison, anyway? — Vince’s ability at high-stakes carnival barking and his nigh-endless supply of super-absorbent chamois probably wouldn’t be much of a help on the actual missions. Unless, of course, M.O.D.O.K. went through with his plans to enslave the human race by giving them boring lives caused by boring tuna. In that case, he is totally your guy.

You just have to make sure you get him on the mission in the next 20 minutes. You know we can’t do this all day.

Arrested: November 2007

Charge: Driving with a suspended license, grand theft shawtayYYyy.

While I imagine that an extensive collection of top hats and matching sunglases would have no end of applications in the fast-paced world of fighting crime — plenty of Silver Age characters had a go at it with less –T-Pain gets a spot on the roster not becasue of what he can do himself, but what he can do for someone else. See, T-Pain has the rare ability to make another character’s powers even more effective.

Specifically, Songbird.

A former villain herself, Songbird — as her name suggests — has the ability to create solid objects out of pure sound by manipulating her own voice. As one of the longest-serving Thunderbolts, she’s gotten pretty good at it, but imagine just how powerful she’d be if she was outfitted with the power of Auto-Tune.

Arrested: November 2005

Charges: Assault, kiss stealing, wheeling, dealing, 16 counts of beating the man.

With characters like Crossbones, the Juggernaut and Moonstone on the roster, the Thunderbolts have no shortage of power. What they don’t have is a lot of strategy, which is why they’d benefit from the addition of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

After all, Flair is the Dirtiest Player in the Game, and has plenty of experience getting rulebreakers and ne’er-do-wells to go along with plans that fit right in with super-heroes, as they’re usually needlessly complex and involve beating the living crap out of someone else. Admittedly, he usually works better in groups of less than five, but he’s adaptable.

He is, however, a pretty high-maintennce operative, and would likely request that the T-Bolts move their headquarters from the Raft in New York City down to Space Mountain. Wooooooo!

Arrested: March 2009

Charges: Driving while intoxicated, possession of a Taco Bell $5 Box with intent to distribute.

Why do you want Sir Charles Barkley on the team?

In case Godzilla shows up. That’s why.

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