Waiting to sack the legacy of Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta (“oooh, right away”, you’re right, it’s still a bit premature – let’s wait two or three weeks), Dynamite Entertainment is getting interested to the Thunderbolt character. Fred Van Lente, screenwriter that we find everywhere on the various series published by the company recently, tackles the writing of the new origins of the hero Peter Cannon in the company of the artist Jonathan Lau. The title Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt: Destroyer of Death, is announced for the end of the year.
Before (Before) Watchmen
Appeared in 1966 on the newsstands of the defunct Charlton Comics company, Thunderbolt follows the classic presupposition of the hero without superpowers who managed to rise to the top of human perfection following arduous training. Peter Cannon, invented by Pete Morisi, a trained designer who became a police officer in New York in the 1950s, was raised by monks in the Himalayas after the death of his parents. Having become a perfect warrior, able to activate the dormant areas of his brain (an old fictional myth) and endowed with a body cut out for action, the hero returns to the West to don the costume of Thunderbolt, a vigilante who represents the culmination and pinnacle of humanity. This origin brings him closer to the Iron Fist, which is said to have been inspired by the character of Morisi.
It should be noted that if Charlton, DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment have published several series devoted to the character throughout history, this one constitutes one of the rare examples prior to the 1980s of “creator owned“. Following an agreement with Dick Giordano, Thunderbolt officially belongs to Morisi and his heirs (since the designer’s death in 2003), a fairly rare case for a superhero from this generation. For the other anecdotally, Peter Cannon is best known to contemporary readers for having inspired Adrian Veidt’s character, Ozymandias in the Watchmen maxi-series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
For their part, Van Lente and Jonathan Lau (who had already passed through the character during a previous volume published by Dynamite) will return to Cannon’s early years and training in the midst of his adopted family in the Himalayas. And more exactly, Thunderbolt will put himself on the track of a master of the mystical arts (The Hidden One) from the sect who would have ordered the murder of his parents.
Thunderbolt: Destroyer of Death #1 is expected for November, and the series will allow Dynamite Entertainment to celebrate ten years of leasing the rights to the character to the heirs of Pete Morisi (the first series born of this partnership has actually been published in the course of 2012).