Thunder and Lightning (comics)

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Thunder and Lightning
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance New Teen Titans #32 (1983)
Created by Marv Wolfman
George Pérez
In-story information
Alter ego Gan and Tavis Williams
Abilities Can generate thunder and lightning, Teleport, Psychic link and when they are together, they make rain.

Thunder and Lightning are a duo of superpowered brothers published by DC Comics that had encounters with the Teen Titans. Not to be confused with the two superheroines Thunder and Lightning, sisters introduced at different times who are the daughters of Black Lightning.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Gan and Tavis Williams are twin brothers that were born of a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier named Lt. Walter Williams. Originally conjoined twins, they were separated with magic. As children, they found themselves beginning to manifest superpowers. However, they had little control over these powers, and without an infusion of their father's blood, they would quickly burn themselves out. So, they took the aliases Thunder and Lightning, respectively, and set off to America to search for their father. They caused major disturbances in St. Louis and engaged in battle against the Teen Titans. However, after their aims were revealed, the Titans decided to help the pair.[1]

Months later, the Teen Titans and S.T.A.R. Labs were working on a cure for Thunder and Lightning's powers. At the same time, Raven, using her powers, discovered that their father was actually an alien who had crash landed in Cambodia six hundred years ago, and was currently being held hostage by the H.I.V.E. as they tried to exploit knowledge from him. When they located him, H.I.V.E. controlled the alien in a fight against Thunder and Lightning and the Teen Titans. In the end, Thunder and Lightning were forced to kill their father to protect their new friends. However, a blood sample from their father allowed S.T.A.R. Labs to create the cure that would allow Thunder and Lightning to control their powers.[2]

They resettled in San Francisco, where S.T.A.R Labs helped them control their powers. While there, they helped stop the Atomic Skull.[3] They worked as security guards for S.T.A.R. until Trigon briefly took control of them. They were captured and held in stasis at S.T.A.R. Labs until they could be free from the demon seeds.[4]

At some point they were freed of the seeds, as the two of them later returned to help the Titans battle the Justice League, via transport arranged from the ultra-powerful Cyborg. Thunder and Lightning came in too late to actually fight any of the Justice League but they still assisted in neutralizing the threat posed by Cyborg. After that, they returned to Southern Vietnam to defend it from an unknown alien threat.[5]

During the Infinite Crisis, they were subdued by the League of Assassins in Vietnam, who were being paid to break open a prison as part of a worldwide scheme to attack Metropolis with dozens of supervillains.[6]

In Salvation Run, Thunder and Lightning arrive to give food to Martian Manhunter. Martian Manhunter asks why they are here on this planet. When they offered to help Martian Manhunter, Bane attacks them. Despite being shocked by Lightning, Bane defeats the both of them as Lex Luthor arrives.[7] Luthor keeps the two alive, later using them as power sources for his teleporter. The two are seemingly killed when the teleporter device self-destructs.[8]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Thunder and Lightning are part of the Ravagers which also includes Beast Boy, Terra, Ridge and Fairchild.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Thunder is able to control thunder as he manifests as rumbling noises which he can control to varying degrees. Lightning is able to release bolts of electricity and harness lightning. The two have a psychic link that allows them to communicate with each other.

Other versions[edit]

Superman villains[edit]

The original Thunder and Lightning battle Superman. From Superman #303.

An unrelated Thunder and Lightning appeared as Superman villains in Superman #303 (September 1976). These were actually two entities in the body of a sentient android used by a super-villain called Whirlicane (who had previously fought Superman in Action Comics #457), who wanted to conduct a series of terror acts across the US. Not knowing about his android origin, Thunder/Lightning hoped for his release by Whirlicane when his tasks were finally fulfilled, but then Superman exposed the truth. Going mad over the realization, Thunder/Lightning released a massive lightning burst, destroying himself, Whirlicane and his base; Superman escaped unscathed.[10]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Thunder and Lightning first appeared in the Teen Titans episode "Forces of Nature" with Thunder voiced by S. Scott Bullock and Lightning voiced by Quinton Flynn. They are seemingly supernatural brothers who just want to have fun, but they make life miserable for everyone else with their disregard for the safety of others. Their powers are thunderous sound blasts and lightning bolts respectively, as well as the shared power of flight (Thunder conjures a flying cloud, and Lightning transmutes his lower body into electricity). When they combine their powers, they can cause rain, and this is possibly how they are able to teleport, manifesting in massive blasts of lightning. Thunder is rather large, has a deep voice, and wears blue samurai armor. Lightning is skinny, tall, speaks in a high, fast voice, wears a yellow-orange suit of samurai armor without a helmet, and wears his hair in a style reminiscent of a lightning bolt. Thunder seemed to be the nicer and more reasonable of the duo, having doubts all along the ordeal. Lightning was rebellious and unrepentant, only deciding to help out once Thunder pointed out the error of their ways. Slade (disguised as the "Old One") manipulated Thunder and Lightning into setting fire to some posts with magical emblems on them, which created a giant Fire Monster bent on destroying the city. It was stopped when Thunder and Lightning joined their powers to make it rain, therefore putting out the Fire Monster before it can reach the city. The two of them are also watched by the Brotherhood of Evil in "Homecoming: Part 2", although they were not given their own communicator in "Forces of Nature" (chances are they received communicators from the Teen Titans during one of the unaired missions). They both later appear as Thunder attempts to fight off the I.N.S.T.I.G.A.T.O.R. and Steamroller, while Lightning takes on Overload, all sent by the Brotherhood of Evil. They are overpowered and flash-frozen by Professor Chang. However, Más y Menos free them, and they join in the final battle in the Brotherhood headquarters. Thunder is seen attacking a group of villains with a giant thunder explosion. They later appear with the other Titans to confront Dr. Light.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Thunder and Lightning appear in Teen Titans Go! #6. Thunder and Lightning were the first honorary Titans to appear on the show and in the comic books based on the show.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Teen Titans #32 (June 1983)
  2. ^ New Teen Titans #36 (November 1983)
  3. ^ Teen Titans Spotlight #16 (November 1987)
  4. ^ New Titans #118-121 (February-May 1995)
  5. ^ JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative #2-3 (January-February 1999)
  6. ^ Villains United special (June 2006)
  7. ^ Salvation Run #6 (June 2008)
  8. ^ Salvation Run #7 (July 2008)
  9. ^ The Ravagers #1
  10. ^ Superman #303

External links[edit]