Thunderbird (comics)

From Academic Kids

For alternate meanings of Thunderbird, see Thunderbird.

Thunderbird is a name used by several Marvel Comics superheroes, all of whom have been related to the X-Men.


John Proudstar

Template:Superherobox The first Thunderbird, John Proudstar, was created by Dave Cockrum and Len Wein and first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975).

Proudstar was born into an Apache Tribe in Camp Verde, Arizona. As a teenager, Proudstar discovered he possessed the mutant abilities of superhuman strength, speed and resistance to damage.

Proudstar was drafted into the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and earned the rank of corporal. He returned to his tribe afterwards but felt unhappy and listless.

He was recruited by Professor Charles Xavier to join his second group of X-Men. Although Proudstar was reluctant to join another white man’s crusade, he agreed and took the superhero title Thunderbird.

Thunderbird’s tenure with the team was short. During the new team’s second mission, he leapt onto an airplane he thought was carrying the supervillain Count Nefaria. Unfortunately, the plane was a decoy. It exploded, killing Proudstar (in X-Men #95 (1975).

John Proudstar (Exiles)

Missing image
The Exiles' Thunderbird. Art by Mike McKone.

An alternate world version of John Proudstar has been featured in The Exiles, a series featuring a team of parallel world-hopping mutants. In the reality of his origin, Thunderbird was captured and modified by the evil super-mutant Apocalypse. He is a half-machine creature with immense strength and damage resistance, capable of taking on The Incredible Hulk. He is also a centaur-like creature with the bottom body of a horse.

Thunderbird broke free of Apocalypse and became a founding member of the Exiles. However, he was injured in a battle with Galactus and was left in a coma in that dimension. He thought his pregnant girlfriend Nocturne and the child she was carrying would survive, but later she lost their baby. Thunderbird's ultimate fate is unknown.


James Proudstar

The second Thunderbird, Proudstar’s younger brother James Proudstar possessed powers similar to those of his brother. He first appeared in The New Mutants #16 (1984) and was created by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema. See Warpath (comics) for more information.

Neal Shaara

Template:Superherobox In X-Men #100 (2000), Chris Claremont and Leinil Francis Yu introduced the third Thunderbird Neal Shaara, who did not have any connection to the Proudstars.

Shaara is an Indian pyrokinetic, who can create large plasma blasts. During his time with the X-Treme X-Men, he struggled with the same difficulty the X-Men's Havok did years before - his fear of killing or hurting someone with his incredibly powerful plasma. For a time he was seen working with Lucas Bishop, another mutant with energy-related powers, in an attempt to overcome his fears and gain greater control over his powers. During this time, it was revealed that his plasma, however powerful, could not burn through adamantium, a testament to the metal's already impressive durability. He had a breif relationship with Betsy Braddock, which ended when she was slain by the swordsman Vargas. Thunderbird left the X-Men in 2002, due in part to a considerably negative fan reaction, along with Lifeguard and Slipstream (two other characters, created by Claremont for the X-Treme X-Men series who received a similarly unfavorable reaction), and has been seen sporadically (comics)


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