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Exclusive: Val’s Organization OXE to Have a Role in ‘Thunderbolts*’

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It feels like it’s been forever since Marvel Studios released The Marvels in theaters, even though it’s only been a few months. With the only Marvel movie coming to theaters this year being Deadpool and Wolverine, fans are itching for tidbits of information about future projects. Today, we’re bring you some news about the Thunderbolts* film. Specifically, about the seriously shady Valentina Allegra De Fontaine and her company the OXE Group (or O.X.E.) which our sources are saying will have a role in the film.

[Warning: possible spoilers and speculation from Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts* as well as spoilers from the new Thunderbolts comics series below]

What is OXE Group/O.X.E.?

Confused about what exactly OXE is? And what about O.X.E.? Let’s explore what we know from the comics, both past and very recent, and speculate just a bit about how it’s poised to add a new and exciting layer to the MCU.

OXE Group was introduced in Marvel Comics in Ultimate Fallout #3 (Earth-1610). In the comic, Valentina Allegra de Fountaine is the Chairman of OXE Group, which is said to be the “largest holding company in the world.” 

Valentina Allegra de Fountaine OXE Group In Ultimate Fallout #3
Val in Ultimate Fallout #3 (Marvel Comics)

Not much else is revealed about OXE Group. In this series, Val is part of the Kratos Club, who are making a pitch to recruit Tony Stark. The Kratos Club is a group of super rich whose goal is to use their influence “to ensure that the right things get done. No matter what. No matter who gets in the way.” 

The most recent iteration of OXE in the comics, is referred to as O.X.E. instead. Why the variation, is currently unclear. O.X.E. has had just three appearances in Earth-616 so far, first debuting in Thunderbolts (Vol. 5) #1 in December 2023.

Yelena warning Bucky not to trust Val in Thunderbolts #2
Yelena warning Bucky not to trust Val in Thunderbolts #2 (Marvel Comics)

As we already know, Marvel doesn’t adapt stories or even characters for film and TV without at least some tweaks. This comic book is definitely not the same story as the upcoming film. But there are at least a few similarities with Thunderbolts*, as the new comic series brings in not only Bucky Barnes, but Yelena Belova and Alexei Shostakov (aka Red Guardian) as allies. Valentina’s questionable motives, and the idea that she may betray Bucky and the Thunderbolts down the road, is certainly a theme I could see coming up again in the upcoming film.

In this Earth-616 series, O.X.E. was affiliated with the Outer Circle, a powerful secret group that has influenced the world by controlling global politics and government (which sounds similar to The Kratos Club mentioned above). Because of this affiliation, O.X.E. is privy to so much information, making them dangerous. In the new comics’ storyline, Bucky Barnes approaches Val about using O.X.E. to do some good in the world. 

Val and Bucky Barnes strike a deal about O.X.E. in Thunderbolts
Val and Bucky Barnes strike a deal about O.X.E. in Thunderbolts (Marvel Comics)

Life-Model Decoys deserve a proper introduction into the MCU

Perhaps the biggest twist from the Thunderbolts new run of comics, which would be interesting to see how it might play out in the MCU, is that O.X.E. is actually founded by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s Life-Model Decoy. Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are familiar with LMD’s, as the concept served as the second arc of the fourth season.

In the comics, LMD’s are robots designed by S.H.I.E.L.D. to take on the life of another. Life-Model Decoys are utterly indistinguishable from their human counterparts, which creates a problematic situation in attempting to determine who’s the real and who’s the LMD.

LMD of Valentina in Thunderbolts
Val is revealed as a LMD in Thunderbolts (Marvel Comics)

The situation is similar to the Skrulls and the predicament they presented in Captain Marvel and Secret Invasion, although LMD’s intended purpose was for good. They are accessible diversions or an excellent way to continue someone’s legacy after they pass. The loss of Nick Fury might throw S.H.I.E.L.D. into a tailwind, but if you could create an LMD who has all his memories and can carry on his mission, that would be a game changer.

But what happens if the villains get a hold of the technology? This is the danger of their creation, especially when someone like Valentina gets their hands on it. 

OXE will have a role in Thunderbolts* but will Life-Model Decoys?

At this time, we’re unsure how big of a role OXE Group/O.X.E. has in Thunderbolt*, or how closely it will follow either comics versions. Could this involvement indicate that Life-Model Decoys are coming to the MCU? Is it possible Valentina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has been an LMD this entire time? It would be hilarious to think that she and her character’s ex-husband, Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), were both something other than their true selves during the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

While the inclusion of LMDs in the MCU is exciting, I doubt it’ll be the same versions that we saw in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sorry, AoS fans, but who truly knows? With the inclusion of the multiverse, it’s always possible. However, if Life-Model Decoys are on the horizon, it creates an easy way to bring back fan-favorite actors and characters. Unlike the Skrulls, LMDs don’t require living humans to have a connection. With them, we could see Natasha resurrected without needing a Timey-Wimey multiversal explanation.

It also adds another potential layer to the upcoming Armor Wars, which is supposed to feature the technology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a significant way. It would be a deviation from the comic book version of Armor Wars, but the addition would round out the story and the core problem for Rhodey (Don Cheadle) and the other heroes in the film.

Thunderbolts* is expected in theaters on May 5, 2025. Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord what you think about this report and the possibility of LMD’s introduction in the MCU.

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Lizzie Hill

I'm a lifelong fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies. In July 2021, I launched The Cosmic Circus as Editor-In-Chief with a small but passionate group of writers. @MsLizzieHill on Twitter and Instagram.

Lizzie Hill has 92 posts and counting. See all posts by Lizzie Hill