Art by Clayton Crain.
|First appearance||New Mutants Vol. 1 #16 (June 1984)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Alter ego||James Jonathan Proudstar|
|Notable aliases||Thunderbird, Running Sun|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, durability, and senses
Trained in armed and unarmed combat
James Proudstar, previously known as the second Thunderbird but also known as Warpath, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Sal Buscema, he first appeared as the second Thunderbird in New Mutants #16 (June 1984).
He originally blamed the X-Men for his brother’s death and joined the villain group the Hellions to get revenge. He later reconsidered his views and became a longtime member of the militant X-Men offshoot X-Force. After a long journey to the Shi'ar Empire with the Uncanny X-Men, Warpath became a member of the new incarnation of X-Force but he left after the events of Necrosha.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2010)|
Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Sal Buscema, he first appeared as the second Thunderbird in New Mutants #16 (June 1984). The character initially appeared as an antagonist of the New Mutants and X-Men, but eventually joined the New Mutants in issue #99 of that series, and the team became known as X-Force in the first issue of that series. The character appeared regularly as a member of that team for most of the duration of the title.
Fictional character biography
James Proudstar was born on the Apache reservation at Camp Verde, Arizona. James' brother, John Proudstar of the X-Men, is killed on one of the team's missions. James blames the X-Men's founder, Professor X, for his brother's joining the X-Men.
James is recruited for Emma Frost's Hellions. As a Hellion, James clashes with the New Mutants and Kitty Pryde, but to his chagrin, Frost feels they are not ready to take on the adult X-Men. Impatient for revenge, James defies Frost's orders, dons his brother's costume, and kidnaps former X-Man Banshee to draw the team to Cheyenne Mountain, where John was killed. However, when the opportunity to kill Professor X arrives, James finds he has too many doubts about how John joined the X-Men. James is reconciled with the X-Men, and Professor X offers him membership in the New Mutants, but he declines out of loyalty to his friends in the Hellions.
Months later, James leaves the Hellions and returns home to his family's reservation. Cable makes him another offer to join the New Mutants, but he turns Cable down. After a meeting in New York, James returns home to find his entire tribe murdered. James deduces that the Hellions committed the act to punish him for leaving the team. He joins the New Mutants, hoping to track down the Hellions and gain revenge. The New Mutants cut ties with the X-Men and become the militant adventurers X-Force, and James changes his codename to Warpath. With the team, he fights the likes of Toad's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and Weapon P.R.I.M.E. As a member of X-Force, James becomes more calm and controlled and strikes up a close friendship with his teammate Theresa Rourke Cassidy.[volume & issue needed] Despite his strong attraction to her, Theresa only sees James as a friend.[volume & issue needed]
James meets with Emma Frost, and she swears she wasn't involved with the deaths of his tribesmen.[volume & issue needed] Warpath meets Risque, who helps James with his confidence, and the two begin a love affair.[volume & issue needed] However, Risque is being blackmailed by Sledge, and she drugs Warpath and bring him to his lair. Sledge's partner, the Vanisher, has disappeared in another dimension. Sledge hints at abilities within James that make him adept at surviving in this alternate dimension, but does not explain what these abilities are.[volume & issue needed] James finds the Vanisher, and in turn Sledge gives information on one of his tribesman, Michael Whitecloud, whom James had presumed deceased.[volume & issue needed] Whitecloud tells him that Stryfe, X-Force's adversary, was behind the killing of his tribe. James goes to Hell to gain revenge, but is returned to the living world by Blackheart.[volume & issue needed] When James finds out Risque's involvement, he ends their relationship.[volume & issue needed]
After X-Force's disintegration, Warpath joins the Mumbai branch of the international mutant agency, X-Corporation. His new team is a mix of old and new friends: Feral, Sunfire, and Thornn. He stays there for a while, helping to save Professor X's life.
Warpath is one of the few mutants to retain their powers after the events of Decimation, and begins living in the Mutant camp at the X-Mansion.[volume & issue needed] Shortly afterwards, he joins the X-Men at Professor X's request. Since she is stuck on Earth and has nowhere else to go, Hepzibah joins the X-Men.[volume & issue needed] She and Warpath have already created a bond; Hepzibah remarks that his presence has helped her through her mourning of Corsair.[volume & issue needed] Together, they confront one of the X-Mansion's guardian Sentinels when Caliban, a long time X-Men ally, runs onto the grounds.
Warpath enters the Morlock tunnels along with Hepzibah, Storm, and Caliban, to investigate the Morlocks' increased activity, which has included the capture of X-Men ward Leech. Warpath's name was written on a Morlock wall, along with the names of the other X-Men. After the Morlock encounter, Hepzibah and Warpath begin a relationship.
Warpath rejoins X-Force as they search a Cooperstown Hospital to pick up the trail of the fugitive Cable. As X-Force dispatches the remaining Reavers, Caliban sacrifices himself to save Warpath by jumping into the path of a line of bullets meant for him. Warpath and the rest of X-Force are charged with taking down Predator X.
Archangel goes to San Francisco, California, to meet up with Hepzibah, Warpath, and Iceman. All four are caught in the effects of an illusion, created by Martinique Jason, which has transformed the city into a hippie paradise.[volume & issue needed] Now calling himself "Running Sun", he and the others are sent by Jason to confront Cyclops and Emma Frost. After Emma breaks through Jason's illusion, Warpath and the others return to normal.[volume & issue needed] They begin to reestablish the X-Men organization in San Francisco.
Warpath is one of the founding members of the new X-Force, Cyclops's covert wetworks team, charged with finding and eliminating Purifiers cells. James joins out of a desire for revenge for the death of Caliban at the hands of the Purifiers. During X-Force's encounter with the Purifiers, James comes across Eli Bard attacking X-23; after rescuing her, Eli swears a personal vendetta against him.
Since the team is not allowed to contact anyone from the outside world, he cannot be with his girlfriend, Hepzibah. James takes a break from duty, in order to make peace with the deaths he has caused and to visit the grave of his brother. En route, his truck is destroyed by the Demon Bear. He is badly beaten before being rescued by Ghost Rider. After defeating the creature with the aid of Ghost Rider, he learns that this Demon Bear was created when the animal spirits of his people were disturbed. They tell James that Eli Bard has dug up Thunderbird, Caliban, and everyone else buried there.
When Surge, Hellion and Boom-Boom are kidnapped, Warpath, along with the rest of X-Force attempt to save them but are teleported off to the future to find Cable and Hope Summers. Arriving in the future, X-Force is ambushed by a future version of Deadpool who leads them to Cable. Eventually they come across Stryfe's Celestial city, learning he is in control of that era. After his forces are defeated, Stryfe kidnaps Hope and Warpath, taking them back to his fortress where he tortures James. Stryfe frees Hope from her restraints and tries to trick her into believing he is Cable. James breaks free and attacks Stryfe. After being beaten, Stryfe is about to kill James when Bishop intervenes. After the final battle against Stryfe, James flies Domino and X-23 back where they first appeared in the future.
On the way back to Utopia, the Blackbird is shot down by a bolt of lightning. Making it to shore, they encounter a resurrected Pyro and Berserker. After taking them out, James is confronted by his ex-girlfriend, Risque, where she pleads with him get away from her before she is controlled again by the T-O Virus. He is rescued by Archangel who informs him this is Eli Bard's doing. They meet up with Cyclops and are confronted by Selene's Inner Circle. During the battle, Eli takes on Warpath, who wants the knife responsible for creating the Demon Bear. James is kidnapped by Selene's Inner Circle, who take him to Genosha. There he fights with his deceased brother John, killing him. With the help of ancient rituals from his tribe and Selene's knife, James stabs Selene in the heart and frees his brother's soul at last. After the battle, James quits X-Force with Wolverine claiming he “has made his peace”.
James sides with Cyclops in Schism.[volume & issue needed] After working with War Machine to stop a war in Eastern Europe teammate Jubilee was captured by vampires.[volume & issue needed] Warpath and the rest of this X-Squad have been attacking vampire hordes trying to find their friend.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
Warpath is a mutant who possesses superhuman physical ability in virtually all areas:
He possesses superhuman strength. The air pressure from one of his claps causes a Sentinel to collapse. He has even directly fought with and managed to hold his own against the Juggernaut.
He possesses superhuman resistance to injury, at least enough to withstand short-range firepower, grenade explosions, and even a direct telekinetic attack from an Alpha-level mutant psionic such as Exodus.[volume & issue needed] He also repairs and regenerates damaged and destroyed tissue much faster than a normal human, as well as revives and recuperates from exhaustion and fatigue much faster than a normal human.
His power of flight was discovered by his one-time mentor and team leader Peter Wisdom, who analyzed his mutation after the High Evolutionary devolved and re-evolved all mutants on Earth, and forced James to incorporate this ability in his fighting style. This power has not been depicted in later comic storylines, although writer Ed Brubaker has said that he chose not to depict Warpath's flight power because he didn't understand how Warpath's speed and strength would allow it. However, his fighting style in the Messiah Complex storyline has shown him to return to using his flight powers. In X-Force he can be seen flying even for long distances.[volume & issue needed] It has since been suggested by writer Christopher Yost that "I thought he was a little embarrassed by the whole flying thing".
Warpath's senses, particularly sight, smell and hearing, are enhanced to levels beyond the capabilities of a normal human. He is able to see with perfect clarity at much greater distances than an ordinary human. He retains this same level of visual clarity, even in near-total darkness. His hearing is similarly heightened, enabling him to both clearly hear sounds that ordinary humans can't and sounds that they can detect but at much greater distances.
After nearly getting killed by Reignfire,[volume & issue needed] Warpath experienced an increase in senses and speed that allowed him to perform feats he had previously not been aware he was capable of, such as run at high speeds up to at least 150 km/h (roughly 93 mph) for long distances and quickly climb building walls by rapidly digging his hands and feet into the bare concrete. He can even evade weapon fire with rapid reflexes and reactions.
Aside from his natural physical attributes, Warpath is well versed in hand-to-hand combat, which is enhanced by his superhuman reflex/reaction rate and eye/ear-hand/foot coordination. He was trained in unarmed combat under the guidance of Emma Frost and was extensively trained in the use of the staff by his long-time teammate Shatterstar - who he eventually matched in a record time of only a dozen tries. He wields a pair of bowie knives composed of vibranium, given to him by Storm,[volume & issue needed] with which he has proved to be highly proficient in combat. James is also a skilled hunter and tracker in his native Apache tradition.
Ghost Rider activated limited Apache shaman abilities within James, in order to help him fight the Demon Bear. He could perceive the creature's wounds and the resulting spirit energy when it was destroyed.
James Produstar appears in the What If? story "What If the X-Men Died on their First Mission?". Following the death of his brother and the X-Men on Krakoa, he joins Beast's hastily assembled mutant team - consisting of himself, Theresa Cassidy (who named herself Banshee in honor of her late father), Rahne Sinclair, Namorita, the Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver - to combat Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men. Initially James joined only to kill Professor Xavier, whom he held responsible for his brother's death, but he avoids John's fate in the mainstream comics and, finally acknowledging that his brother laid down his life in order to save others, joins the new X-Men team afterwards.
In other media
- Warpath made a cameo in the X-Men episode "Slave Island" as one of the mutant slaves. He also appears as a member of Magneto's team in the opening credits.
- Bryan Singer confirmed in a Vine posted on his Twitter that Warpath will appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
- Uncanny X-Men #498
- X-Men #95 (October 1975)
- New Mutants #16-17
- Uncanny X-Men #193 (May 1985)
- New Mutants #99
- X-Force #6-7, 9
- X-Force #13
- New X-Men #133 (December 2002)
- X-Force vol.2 #2
- X-Force vol.2 #6
- Uncanny X-Men #475
- Uncanny X-Men #487
- Uncanny X-Men #488
- Uncanny X-Men #491
- X-Factor vol. 2 #26
- New X-Men #45
- New X-Men #46
- "Uncanny X-Men #499
- X-Force vol. 3 #1
- X-Force vol. 3 #6
- X-Force vol. 3 #7
- X-Force vol. 3 #8
- X-Force vol. 3 #9
- X-Force vol. 3 #10-11
- X-Force vol. 3 #13
- X-Force/Cable: Messiah War #1
- Cable vol. 2 #13
- X-Force vol. 3 #14
- X-Force vol. 3 #15
- X-Force vol. 3 #16
- X-Necrosha #1
- X-Force vol. 3 #21
- X-Force vol.3 #22
- X-Force vol.3 #23
- X-Force vol.3 #24-25
- X-Force #3
- X-Force #115
- Deadpool #11
- X-Force #25
- X-Force #65
- X-Force #81
- X-Force #104
- Uncanny X-Men #493
- X-Force #51
- X-Force #94
- X-Force #52
- X-Force vol. 3 #10
- Ultimate X-Men #94
- Ultimate Comics: X-Men #18
- What If vol. 2 #9 (1990)