Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt

From Academic Kids

Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is a fictional character originally owned by Charlton Comics and later acquired by DC Comics. Ownership of the character reverted back to it original creator Pete Morisi. As a result DC no longer is able to use the character.

Charlton Comics

Thunderbolt first appeared in issue #1 of his own title in 1966. A series soon began numbering with #50 (continuing the numbering from the now-cancelled Son of Vulcan series) and running thru #60.

We learn that Peter Cannon, orphaned son of an American medical team, was raised in a Himalayan lamasary, where his parents had sacrificed their lives, combating the dreaded Black Plague. After attaining the highest degree of mental and physical perfection, he was entrusted with the knowledge of the ancient scrolls, that bore the secret writings of past generations of wise men. From them he learned concentration, mind over matter, the art of activating and harnessing that unused portion of the brain, that made seemingly fantastic feats possible. Then, he returned to America, with his faithful friend, Tabu, and sought out a new life, in a new land, that required the emergence of Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt.

His costume was actually his training outfit from the lamasary, with an added mask. It was a strange half-blue/half-red outfit, reminecent of the Golden Age hero Daredevil.

A reoccurring villain was the "Hooded One", another monk from the lamasary who resented the fact an outsider like Peter was given access to the sacred scrolls.

Thunderbolt was written and drawn by Pete Morisi. He signed his work with his initials, PAM, because as an active duty NY cop, he wasn't allowed to moonlight.

There were several backup series in Thunderbolt. A series called "The Sentinels" appeared in 3-4 issues, and #60 had the Prankster, written by Denny O'Neill with art by Jim Aparo.

DC Comics

After DC obtained the character, they used him for a 12 issue mini-series in 1992/3. He also appeared in the Justice League, before the rights reverted back to Morisi. Apparently Morisi did a new Thunderbolt story that may hopefully be published.

He was briefly shown in flashbacks in Alex Ross and Mark Waid's comic Kingdom Come as a member of Magog's Justice Battalion, along with the rest of the Charlton 'Action Heroes'. In them, he is wearing an outfit more reminiscent of the Golden Age Daredevil, wearing a full head mask. He was apparently killed with the other members when Captain Atom was killed.

The character of Ozymandias in Watchmen was based upon him.

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