I have two predictions I feel I should make before they become true and put me in the awkward position of trying to prove I called them after the fact. Of course, if it turns out I’m wrong about either of these, it is because I was trying to throw everyone off so I could clean up at the betting parlor. Seriously though, this stuff is just mostly mild speculation, but I’ll throw in my two cents as to why I think the future will pan out this way.
Comics: Marvel Comics will end the Thunderbolts series only to relaunch it as West Coast Avengers (or alternately Avengers West Coast). Thunderbolts is currently selling under 20,000 copies a month and Marvel have decided that issue 174 will be the last before they end the book. Immediately thereafter, they will be launching a new book with the same writer and numbering starting at 175, promising that the title of the new series is recognizable and will carry weight thematically. With the bulk of Avengers titles selling fairly well right now (Avengers Academy being the one, sad exception), and the big crossover coming up with the X-Men that they can tie the story in with (not to mention the Avengers movie coming out this summer), it makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint. And of course, when you consider that the point of the Thunderbolts was to be a program where former villains can redeem themselves and the Avengers is an organization with a history of bolstering its roster with former villains, well, there you have it…
Television: On The Walking Dead, Michael Rooker (who played Merle, the brother to Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl) will return as the governor, a character that was a catalyst for major change in the book. Look for Daryl to initially betray the rest of the group before deciding he is not actually too fond of his brother and turning on him. The last part makes sense from a producer standpoint as the guy Reedus plays has become very popular with people and they are going to want him to develop into a “good guy”. I haven’t really watched the second season (maybe I’ll catch up later), but I’ve believed the governor part of things was the plan since the first season when Merle originally cut off his own hand and then disappeared.
EDIT: In regards to the thought about the Thunderbolts, it has since come out that I was mostly right. Right about why it would became an Avengers title, just wrong about which one they would be. Instead of going the “West Coast” route, they have opted for the more business savvy (also limiting) “Dark” route. The move does make more sense in certain ways. First, it ties the previous book to one that was at one point Marvel’s top seller. Second, it lends a sense of history to the much newer “Dark” brand. And really, when you look at it, isn’t that basically what the Dark Avengers were? The Thunderbolts in higher profile clothing?