Marvel.com has a new article about Penance, the mystery character on the new Thunderbolts team. Speculation has been that the character could be Speedball. Take the jump for the relevant portions of the article:
From what we know, Penance’s powers are triggered through pain, a creepy aspect of the character which becomes even creepier when taking into account the fact that his costume is fitted like an Iron Maiden with spikes lining the inside, puncturing Penance’s body. But going past the powers, who is this masked creature? “The answer can be found in Civil War Front Line #10,” answered Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “But learning those answers is only going to generate more questions.”
So, is it Speedball? Again from the article:
Robbie Baldwin (Speedball): Since participating in the Stamford disaster that kicked off Civil War, Speedball’s been used, abused and nearly killed, so joining the T-bolts may be a step up. Many fans have pointed the finger at Baldwin, but his powers–when working–don’t seem to fit the bill and he’s never had the grim ‘n gritty vibe. Plus, with the New Warriors starting back up in 2007, the wise-cracking hero looks better suited to revive his old team.
Brevoort’s take: “Speedball’s the poster child for irresponsible super heroing, so incarcerating him alongside the Thunderbolts doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.”