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Thunderbird (I)

Real Name: John Proudstar
Other Aliases: None
Identity: Secret
Occupation: Former corporal, U.S. Marine Corps; later adventurer
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Place of Birth: The Apache reservation at Camp Verde, Arizona
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Neal (father), Maria (mother), James (brother)
Base of Operations: Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Salem Center, Westchester County, New York
Group Affiliation: X-Men
First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1
Final Appearance: X-MEN #95

History: John Proudstar was born on the Apache reservation in Camp Verde, Arizona. During his childhood and adolescence, he proved to be an exceptionally strong and vigorous athlete.

Proudstar, however, regarded himself throughout his life as a loner and an outcast. He wished to prove himself to be a warrior in the tradition of his ancestors, and he was dissatisfied with what he regarded as the complacent lives led by his fellow Apaches on their reservation.

Although too young to join the armed forces, Proudstar lied about his age and entered the United Stated Marines, intending to lead the kind of active life he desired. He became a corporal and earned a number of medals. But still, Proudstar was dissatisfied with his life once his tour of duty was over and he had returned to the reservation.

Proudstar's mutant superhuman strength first manifested itself when, at the age of twenty, he wrestled and threw a charging bison barehanded to save an endangered little girl. This feat earned Proudstar fame among his tribes people on the reservation, but the true nature of his abilities remained unknown until Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, a team of superhuman mutant adventurers, discovered him.

Through the use of his mutant-detecting computer Cerebro, Xavier located Proudstar, whom he invited to become one of the X-Men. The first mission that Proudstar and six other new recruits to the team undertook was the rescue of the original X-Men from the "living island" of Krakoa in the South Pacific. Except for Sunfire, these new recruits, including Proudstar, became the "new" X-Men team. Xavier gave Proudstar the code name "Thunderbird."

On their next known mission, the new X-Men went to Cheyenne Mountain in the Colorado Rockies, the location of a North American Air Defense command center, which had been taken over by Count Luchino Nefaria in an international extortion scheme. After the X-Men had foiled his plans, Nefaria attempted to escape in a small aircraft. Thunderbird managed to climb onto the plane as it took off. Defying Xavier's telepathic warnings to get off the plane, Thunderbird asserted that he was finally going to prove he was a true Apache warrior. Using his superhuman strength, Thunderbird ripped open part of the plane and wreaked havoc on its internal systems. Furiously, Thunderbird pummeled the aircraft until finally it exploded, killing him instantly. Nefaria, however, had reached safety through teleportation.

Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 225 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Strength Level: Thunderbird possessed superhuman strength, enabling him to lift (press) up to two tons.

Known Superhuman Powers: Thunderbird was a mutant who possessed superhuman strength and endurance. His muscle tissue was three times as dense as that of a normal human being's and was distributed in such a way as to give Thunderbird massive shoulders, arms, and thighs. His skin was several times as dense as that of a normal human being's and included an additional layer of leathery epidermis. His lungs were oversized, and his respiratory system was developed in such a way as to allow him maximum wind and endurance with a minimum of oxygen intake. These features made Thunderbird a natural outdoor fighter and athlete. He could run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour for extended periods. Thunderbird died before any of his natural abilities could be redefined through the training that Charles Xavier had planned for him.

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