Hannah John-Kamen offers details about how her character Ghost/Ava Starr fits into the Thunderbolts team. Made up of villains and anti-heroes from several of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s films and television series, the Thunderbolts movie cast was announced at the D23 Expo. Included in the lineup are MCU staple character Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Black Widow villain Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s John Walker (Wyatt Russell), and Black Widow‘s Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), among other characters. The surprising team also features Ghost, the antagonist from 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Though Ghost was introduced as a villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp, her character had good reasons for her actions. Due to an experiment gone wrong that killed her parents, she suffered an overexposure to Quantum energy that led to her ability to phase through solid objects. However, unable to control the mutation, she is in constant pain and dying because of her condition. Rather than stand against her, the heroes of Ant-Man and the Wasp chose to help her in the end, and based on the Thunderbolts lineup, the solution was an effective one that allowed her a second chance at life.
In an interview with ComicBook at the D23 Expo, John-Kamen teased how Ghost fits into the team’s dynamic. In a group of misfits, she implies that her character will likely feel like the odd one out due to her lack of socialization as a child. Check out her full statement below:
John-Kamen’s comments tease that Ghost will be a fish out of water in a team setting, which makes sense based on her interactions with the characters in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Though she got along well with Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster, who had helped her since she was a child, she ultimately betrayed him in the end, driven by survival instincts. Now that Ghost’s condition is presumably under control, however, it will be interesting to see how her renewed lease on life and lack of chronic pain will translate to her personality in the new film, as well as her motivations. Now that she’s no longer dying, it’s uncertain what may be driving Ghost, especially since John-Kamen’s quote implies that she’s a reluctant member of the team in the first place.
The Thunderbolts team in general will likely have plenty of obstacles in their attempts to collaborate and connect. Though Ghost had plenty of trauma in her life and very little socialization, as John-Kamen says, she’s one of many on this team of outsiders. Yelena, for example, grew up in the Red Room, and some of the comedy in Black Widow and Hawkeye stemmed from her lack of contact with the outside world. The Taskmaster grew up under even more extreme conditions, and Bucky underwent seventy years of brainwashing and torture, the psychological effects of which were explored in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. With so many characters outside their depth in a social setting forced to come together, Thunderbolts has the potential to be one of the richest and most human MCU stories yet.