Behold The Future
Master of the Thunder
Years ago, Ray Gardener worked as a test pilot for Nolan Aircraft. Fresh from a stint in the Air Force, Gardener had a reputation as a capable and daring pilot. He certainly caught the eye of his boss’ secretary, Nancy Dumont. Ray was testing Nolan’s new X-14 supersonic jet when he encountered some unusual atmospheric turbulence. A powerful storm sprang up out of nowhere and surrounded the plane. Ray fought to maintain control as the hurricane-level winds and lightning raged all around him. He nearly made it out of the storm when a massive series of lightning bolts struck the cockpit. The X-14 crashed in the southwestern desert. Miraculously, Gardener walked away from the crash site unscathed; he claimed to have bailed out before the jet crashed, and he kept the reasons for his incredible survival a secret. In truth, Ray’s body crackled with the electrical power of the thunderbolts, supercharged with tremendous strength and a resistance to injury. He could also generate and project electricity. As Ray experimented with his new powers, the source of the mysterious storm made itself known. Dr. Sebastian Stratos, a former R&D employee of Nolan Aircraft, claimed he had a weather control device and would ground the nation’s air-traffic unless he was paid an enormous ransom. Creating the costume and identity of Captain Thunder, Ray used his new powers to track Stratos to his desert lair and upset the mad scientist’s scheme. Dr. Stratos escaped custody eventually and has become Captain Thunder’s greatest nemesis. For years, Captain Thunder fought crime and aided disaster victims in and around the American Southwest. He maintained his secret identity as Ray Gardener, and a year after gaining his powers, he told his girlfriend, Nancy Dumont, the truth when he asked her to marry him. Their son, Ray, Jr., was born little more than a year later. Captain Thunder was one of the heroes who traveled across the country to help fight-off Omega’s invasion of Freedom City. Afterward, he became a member of the new Freedom League and its de-facto leader. A few years ago, Dr. Stratos captured Captain Thunder by draining away his electrical powers. Holding him prisoner, Stratos revealed Captain Thunder’s secret identity on a live television broadcast, ensuring no one would miss the humiliation of his hated foe. Although Cap escaped Stratos’ trap soon after that, he couldn’t undo the damage to his personal life. He and his family eventually relocated to Freedom City, and Ray became Captain Thunder full time. Captain Thunder has settled into his role as “senior statesman” and leader of the Freedom League. His wife Nancy is the team’s administrator, and efficiently handles much of the day-to-day operations. Ray, Jr.’s mutant super-powers earned him a place at the Claremont Academy as Bolt.