Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T: Thunderbird!



is for Thunderbird.

Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum for Marvel's New X-Men team, he debuted in Giant Sized X-Men #1 (May, 1975)

If you look close, you can see Thunderbird way in the back..


Thunderbird, a.k.a John Proudstar, was an Apache Indian mutant gifted with heightened senses, tracking skills, superior strength, speed, and durability. Proudstar was surly, obnoxious and always griping about his plight that was heaped upon him by the white man and didn't along with any of his teammates. The only problem was...they had another character with, basically, the same traits.

His name was Wolverine.

Thunderbird was, originally, created to show how a student could 'flunk out' of Xavier's School, but the more the creative team developed him...the more they grew to like him, so they kept him around. 

At least for a little while.

Figuring out that they didn't really need two anti-social, loners, in the group, the creative team decided to kill Thunderbird off just a few issues after he debuted to much surprise by the fans.

Proudstar was one of those characters that became more popular after his death and he'd pop up all over the place (usually in flashbacks or pre-quel stories) in different books.

I've always liked Native American characters and, even though he was one of the lesser known members, Thunderbird has always been one of my favorite X-Men.

And, since Rebecca Green Gaspar requested (and remember...you asked for it!) I mention the cowboy that I had hinted at as my other possible "T", as well as the Indian, I give you...

The Texas Twister



a.k.a Drew Daniels.

He had a truly classic, old school, origin tale...and I quote from Wikipedia:

"He is working as a cattle hand at a ranch when a tornado and radiation from a nearby nuclear reactor affect him at the same time. The net effect was to give him the power to generate tornadoes at will."
That darn radiation....when will the comics universe ever learn?? I guess it does keep them stocked with origin stories, though...

Daniels could fly using the wind and generate tornadoes to pummel his foes. He had heightened senses and other powers that allowed him to survive the rigors of travelling around like a human tornado.

The Twister was from Amarillo, Texas and wanted to use his powers to make money. Eventually, he became a hero and part of a team of Texas themed heroes called The Rangers. 


Of course, this was all after he had a run in, or two, with some established Marvel heroes...as shown above.

Stop back tomorrow for a hero from 'across the pond'.

41 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Daft Scots Lass said...

Thunderbird has no genitals?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Texas Twister's uniform is a bit ridiculous though.

Ella said...

I like Thunderbird...that totally sucks! We need to bring him back perhaps as the Phoenix ;D

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I remember the Texas twister. I'm surprised there weren't more western themes heroes considering how popular cowboys were in the day.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cool dual post! Both these characters sound interesting . . .and what's up with that radiation? LOL. I just starting thinking of the part in Sky High where the dad is thinking of dropping his non-powered son in a vat of chemicals or radioactive materials . . .

Shell Flower said...

The whole Thunderbird story is a bit sad. He seems cool to me. The cowboy Texas Twister is way more cheesy, but I'm sure they didn't kill him off.

Melanie Schulz said...

A cowboy and an Indian for the letter T? I'm impressed.

Julie Flanders said...

Rough break for Thunderbird that Wolverine won out. I feel like that would be my luck if I was ever a comic book character haha.

Al Diaz said...

I'm sorry but Texas Twister looks so ridiculous to me.
And I am with you, radiation all the time? Seems the only way one can get superpowers here. We should make a radiation super power bloghop. See how many silly ideas we can come up with. I am thinking on a lion, a bat and Komodo dragon were having a party when a nuclear plant in Timbuctu blew up and then Father Dragon was created.

Elise Fallson said...

I'm sorry, but 'Giant-Size X-Men' makes me giggle. It's too bad about Thunderbird, sounds like I would have liked that character, especially if he was a little on the grumpy side. :D

jaybird said...

I'm sorry they nixed Thunderbird, because he was a great character. Although, if it was a toss up between him and Wolverine, sorry, Mark but I think you know where my loyalties are there...LOL.

mlswift.me said...

Mark...great post. I'm going to have to search back through and see all that you've covered. I really liked the character of T-bird, even down to his real name of John Proudstar.

Texas Twister looks like one of the cowboy rejects when they were casting members for The Village People.

mlswift.me said...

Mark...great post. I'm going to have to search back through and see all that you've covered. I really liked the character of T-bird, even down to his real name of John Proudstar.

Texas Twister looks like one of the cowboy rejects when they were casting members for The Village People.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

These two are kind of a stretch as far as super heroes go, but I'm not eight anymore. Maybe at eight I would have loved them.

Suze said...

Now I'm curious if you're going to do Wolverine on W day.

Mark Means said...

@Daft: LOL....you'd have to ask the writers and artist about that :P

@Alex: Yeah, sort of, but I can dig the hat, if nothing else :)

@Ella: I know! I think they actually did bring him back for a bit, but killed him right off again...the poor guy just can't catch a break!

@Susan: They had a few. The Twister had a love interest, Shooting Star, and they also had Phantom Rider, Firebird, and a few others. Not many, though. The Rangers

@Tyrean: LOL...I remember that in Sky High...it was a great line :)

@Shell: Yeah, I've always like the character and thought he got a bum steer. They did keep his brother (who had pretty similar powers) around for a while, though.

@Melanie: Thank you...I was told I had to do both since I mentioned both :)

@Julie: Haha....yeah, same here!

@Al: I like it! The Father Dragon origin story!! Sounds like a winner to me :)

@Elise: LOL! I'm glad I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read your comment :D Honestly, I had never thought of it that way...haha.

@jaybird: Oh yeah, I had no doubt on which camp you'd be in but, what if they had Hugh Jackman playing Thunderbird? Would that sway you over?? :)

@Mike: Hey thank you! I know what you mean, but would still rather wear the Twister's get up then that guy from the Village People :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

They should have kept Thunderbird. Him and Wolverine could have been buds...or should I say bubs?

Samantha May said...

I wish they would've kept Thunderbird. That would have made for some interesting conflict between him and Wolverine.

Though I do like Wolverine a lot :D

Dee said...

I was a huge fan of the X-Men but this is my first time to hear of Thunderbird! Poor guy.

Your comment about radiation reminded me of the superhero that my friends and I created, who also supposedly got his powers in a similar way. He's an unusual hero because his weapon is - get this - a hula hoop. If you have time, please read all about him <>over here<> :P

Mark Means said...

@Elizabeth: Heh, maybe bubs...who knows? :)

@Samantha: Yeah, Wolverine has gotten all the press, but I think they could have some interesting conflicts, for sure!

@Dee: I read that....very cool stuff!! haha :)

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Haha! :) Thanks! :) I was going to get on your case if I didn't hear about both the Indian and the cowboy! :)So thanks for humoring me!!! Thunderbird sounds pretty cool. I loved Wolverine. And I have to say, although ridiculous looking, Texas Twister has some pretty cool powers. And I love the hat.

Robin said...

These writers...::sigh::

One would think that they would flesh out a character fully before they roll him out. Then they would know if he will work within the framework of what they already have. If not, they can always change his personality FIRST. Seems smarter to me. That is sad.

And you are right... the radiation is getting old. At least Smallville was creative in how the Meteor Rock gave people their kooky abilities -- and it made sense. Even if the origin was the same, it was a huge cosmic blast that was bound to affect a lot of people within said blast radius. Too bad they didn't turn SOME of those yo-yos into Heros instead of Villains in the Comic Book Universe.

Whole Foods Living said...

I'm not sure about a cowboy hat on a superhero. It doesn't seem, hmm, aerodynamic! LOL! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

Gina Gao said...

I actually like Thunderbird very much. Thanks for this post!

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Bob Sanchez said...

That Texas Twister looks like one tough hombre.

Christine Rains said...

Wow. The Texas Twister kind of looks like a stripper! The name is perfect for it too.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Thunderbird sounds cool but he could never compete with wolverine. Texas Twister was taken away by his own tornado pretty much in my opinion.

klahanie said...

Hey Mark,

For one moment there, I thought "Thunderbird" might have something to do with a stringed puppet. Anyway, enough about my hobbies.

Didn't the Texas Twister end up in the "Village People"?

Gary :)

Imogen Elvis said...

Double treat today. The Texas Twister looks so funny! I'd never have thought of a cowboy superhero. Cowboys and Indians, superhero style. Love it!

Krista McLaughlin said...

Poor Thunderbird, he definitely got cheated out!

Mark Means said...

@Rebecca: Heh, anytime and I like his hat too..I don't care what anyone says :P

@Robin: I hear you and I guess those writers were....well...writers :) I guess part of their job is to be flexible...especially if it helps sell books.

@Angela: Haha, well...you do have a point, but come on...he's from Texas! :)

@Gina: Me too and you're welcome :)

@Bob: I think he was pretty tough...I reckon... :)

@Christine: LOL! I hadn't thought of that...and I'm glad I didn't! :)

@Sheena: I think you're right...Wolverine is a tough act to try to compete with.

@Gary: Oh yeah...I used to love those. Thunderbirds are go!! I remember them from when we first got cable. You know, maybe he did meet up with the Village People when he fell on hard times :P Take care!

@Imogen: Thank you and I'm glad you liked it :)

@Krista: He got a bum steer, for sure :)

Manzanita said...

Poor Thunderbird got the ax. I guess surlyness (is that a word?) doesn't pay after all.
So it is Daniels who is making all those twisters. I thought it was Chubby Checkers. Corny, I know.

Valerie said...

Sucks to be Thunderbird!! But you can only really have one Wolverine!!

Hugs!

Valerie

celeste holloway said...

Thunderbird!!! We should all break out the pitchforks and torches, demanding they bring him back! :)

Andrew Leon said...

I have that issue.

@celeste: I'm pretty sure they did bring him back at one point. They did bring his brother in as a replacement.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

I tell you, the people of color always get knocked off! :) (Couldn't resist)

I'd never heard of a Native American superhero. That's cool, and I like that he had such attitude. He was the dude! Writer’s Mark

Mark Means said...

@Manzanita: LOL! Well, I'm willing to give Chubby the credit :)

@Valerie: Yeah, the runty Canadian won out (sorry Jaybird :P )

@Celeste: Yes, I agree!! *looks for pitchfork in the shed* :)

@Andrew: You're right, they did bring him back for a bit and he got quite a few backup stories in the old X-Men Classic (or whatever they were calling that retro series) book.

@Nancy: I know, it's a shame really though they don't do it near as much as they used to, anymore. They had a few Native heroes, but not very many...he was pretty cool, though :)

Dani said...

I remember these two from my cousins collections of comics and figurines but didn't know anything about them until now.

Lisa said...

I loved Thunderbird being an indian! I also didn't know about the Texas Twister, and I lived in Texas for 18 years! Thunderbird was awesome and I'm sorry they didn't give him more of a chance or change of character to keep him in.

Mallory said...

I love the X-men comics and used to read them growing up... great post on Thunderbird I had forgotten about him...

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