Thunder (comics)

Last updated
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Outsiders vol. 3 #1 (August 2003)
Created by Judd Winick (writer)
Tom Raney (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoAnissa Pierce
Species Metahuman
Team affiliations Outsiders
Justice League
  • Density manipulation
  • Superhuman Strength
  • Shockwaves

Thunder is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Judd Winick and artist Tom Raney in the Modern Age of Comic Books. She is first mentioned in Green Arrow vol. 2 #26 (July 2003) and first appears a month later in Outsiders vol. 3 #1. Born Anissa Pierce the eldest daughter of superhero Black Lightning, she is a metahuman in the DC Universe. She is capable of increasing her physical density, rendering herself bulletproof, and creating massive shockwaves when stomping upon the ground.


Pierce is also the older sister of Jennifer, herself a superhero operating under the alias Lightning. Against her parents' wishes, Anissa chooses to utilize her abilities to fight crime. She is invited and accepts a position with the superhero team the Outsiders. Pierce is involved in a relationship with her teammate Grace Choi.

Along with her presence in various comic books Thunder has made appearances on a number of television shows and appears in the live action series Black Lightning where she is portrayed by Nafessa Williams.

Fictional character biography

Daughter of Black Lightning

Although it is not clear but one assumes she got her powers genetically from her father who is also a metahuman. Her father Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) and her mother Lynn Stewart did not want her following in his footsteps, and he struck a bargain with her: she would graduate from college before considering a career in crimefighting. She did, and the same night of her graduation she donned a costume and became Thunder. [1] [2] She is also the older sister of Lightning.


Shortly after Thunder had started her solo career, she was approached by Arsenal, who offered her a spot on the new team of Outsiders. Reasoning that she could best learn the superhero trade with a team, she agreed to this offer and became an Outsider. Although she got along with most of her teammates, she seemed to come into conflict with Grace, a tough promiscuous bouncer, constantly. They were however quite effective as a team, and the two slowly came to a grudging respect between them; later on they became lovers. [3]

Eventually her father appeared at the Outsiders headquarters, demanding her resignation from the team. [4] Naturally, she refused and when the danger of Sabbac arose again, her father even decided to accompany the Outsiders. [5] During that adventure, the two came to respect each other's abilities, neither having seen the other in action before, and Thunder was allowed to remain an Outsider.

The extent of her invulnerability was tested during a fight with the re-formed Fearsome Five. The matter transmuter Shimmer converted the air in her lungs to water, which caused an inflammation so great that she had pulmonary edema and Acute respiratory distress syndrome, which nearly killed her. [6] She recovered and continued to serve with the Outsiders.

"One Year Later"

OYL, Anissa remains a member of the Outsiders (a team that was currently believed to be dead), and has been involved in the attempted toppling of the regime of Mali. Her role has been instrumental in the mission, having gone undercover amongst the government, a role that has required her to pretend she was having a sexual relationship with the country's ruler Ratun Bennin; in actuality Metamorpho used a hallucinogenic compound to fool the dictator. She compromised the team's mission when she revealed her cover and attacked Mali's army, who were going to slaughter a village. [7]

It was revealed that Thunder has been in a romantic relationship with her teammate Grace, making her one of a handful of LGBT people of color in the DC roster. [3] Thunder was recently kicked off The Outsiders upon Batman's reorganization of the team, being replaced by the Martian Manhunter. [8] She rejoined the team, when Grace invited her on a mission, without Batman's approval. [9]

During the Batman R.I.P. events an assembly of the Outsiders, including Anissa, receives a message from the missing Batman, asking them to feed a secret code in the cybernetic mind of the ReMAC, allowing him to track the Caped Crusader and the Black Glove and help him into his fight. As they reluctantly comply, due to Batgirl, the code reveals itself as a cybernetic boobytrap set by Doctor Hurt, the mastermind behind Batman's downfall, and ReMAC explodes. Several Outsiders are wounded, and Anissa sustains brain injuries severe enough to knock her in a seemingly irreversible coma. [10] However her in-costume appearance in the " Final Crisis: Submit" story suggest she recovered afterwards, as the Final Crisis storyline occurs after the events in R.I.P., [11] though Thunder is still shown in a coma during the Batman and the Outsiders Special, where her father ultimately joins up with a new roster of Outsiders to take her place.

Thunder eventually reappears many months later, now living with Grace in a state of semi-retirement. The inconsistencies regarding her coma are briefly touched upon when it is explained that Anissa had been "in and out of hospitals" for a prolonged period after her initial injuries. Following a botched mission, Black Lightning arrives at Anissa and Grace's apartment with several other fugitive members of the new Outsiders, telling Anissa that he simply wishes to see his children again after spending months without any contact with his family. He briefly expresses discomfort over his daughter's sexual orientation, but Anissa tells him off by stating that Grace was there for her when he wasn't. When the Justice Society of America attacks the apartment in order to bring the Outsiders into custody, Anissa chooses to side with her father and fight off the attacking heroes, which ultimately leads to a confrontation with her younger sister, Lightning, whom she claims was always thought of as the "favorite". After the fight is broken up by Doctor Fate, Anissa and Grace choose to rejoin the Outsiders on a mission to Markovia, where they have been tasked by Amanda Waller with capturing Geo-Force. [12]

Powers and abilities

Thunder has the ability to increase her body's mass while preserving volume, which effectively increases her density. In this state she is near-immovable, almost completely invulnerable. A mob enforcer once suffered a compound fracture after trying to punch Thunder in the face. Notably, she can make her skin strong enough to withstand bullets. Just by stomping the ground she can create massive shockwaves.

Other versions

Kingdom Come

A young boy inheriting his father's powers and being the new owner of the genie Thunderbolt is the version of Thunder appearing in the 1996 graphic novel by Alex Ross and Mark Waid.

In other media



Related Research Articles

Outsiders (comics) Superhero team

Outsiders is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. As its name suggests, the team consists of superheroes who do not fit the norms of the "mainstream" superhero community.

Geo-Force fictional character

Geo-Force is a fictional superhero character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Markov is the younger Prince Twin of Markovia and the elder brother of Terra. One of the founding members of the superhero group the Outsiders, he first appeared in a special insert in The Brave and the Bold #200. The character was created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo.

Grace Choi fictional character

Grace Choi is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Judd Winick and artist Tom Raney, first appearing in Outsiders #1 in the Modern Age of Comic Books. Choi is introduced as a young Asian American woman using her powers of superhuman strength, healing, and enhanced durability to make a living as a nightclub bouncer, who is reluctantly recruited by her superhero acquaintance Roy Harper to join his new crew of heroes, the Outsiders.

Wildcat is the name of several fictional characters, all DC Comics superheroes, the first and most famous being Theodore "Ted" Grant, a long-time member of the Justice Society of America (JSA). A world-class heavyweight boxer, Grant became entangled inadvertently in the criminal underworld and developed a costumed identity to clear his name.

Black Lightning Black comic book character

Black Lightning is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character, created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor Von Eeden, first appeared in Black Lightning #1, during the Bronze Age of Comic Books. While his origin story has been retconned several times, his current origin story states that he was born in the DC Universe as a metahuman, a human being with superhuman abilities. Black Lightning was DC's first African-American superhero with his own series.

Looker (comics) DC Comics character

Looker is a fictional character, a superhero in the DC Universe of comic books. The character's first appearance was in 1985 in Batman & the Outsiders #25.

The Masters of Disaster are a team of fictional supervillains appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. They are presented as a group of mercenaries who prefer to work for money. They are shown as meta-humans with superhuman abilities. Each group member controls a superhuman ability related in some way to a force of nature: earth, wind, fire, and water.

Tobias Whale villain in DC Comics

Tobias Whale is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Black Lightning.

Technocrat (comics) DC Comics superhero; a former member of the Outsiders; first appeared in Outsiders Alpha v2, #1 (November 1993). written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Paul Pelletier

Technocrat is a superhero in the DC Comics and a former member of the Outsiders. His first appearance was in Outsiders Alpha v2 #1. written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Paul Pelletier.

Lightning (DC Comics) African-American female superhero.

Lightning is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Not pinpointed with direct reference, Lightning first appears in the miniseries Kingdom Come in 1996, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Alex Ross. The character is given official introduction in Justice Society of America vol. 3 #12, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Dale Eaglesham in the Modern Age of Comic Books.

Nafessa Williams American actress

Nafessa Williams is an American actress. She is most known for her 2011 role as Nicole Gordon in the Meek Mill film Streets, her 2011 role as Deanna Forbes on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, and her 2016 role as Dr. Charlotte Piel on the CBS drama Code Black. Since 2018, she has played Anissa Pierce in The CW's Black Lightning.

<i>Black Lightning</i> (TV series) American superhero television drama series based on a 70s blaxploitation theme.

Black Lightning is an American superhero drama television series, developed by Salim Akil, that premiered on The CW on January 16, 2018. It is based on the character of the same name, created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, featured in publications of DC Comics. Cress Williams stars as the titular character alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, and Jordan Calloway. The series sees the retired Black Lightning return to his life as a superhero and follows the effects of his vigilante activity on his professional and family life.

Peter Gambi is a character appearing in comics published by DC Comics and is a supporting character of Black Lightning. He is the brother of Paul Gambi. Peter Gambi first appeared in Black Lightning #1 and was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor von Eeden.

<i>Black Lightning</i> (season 1) season of television series

The first season of the American television series Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning, premiered on The CW on January 16, 2018 and ran for 13 episodes until April 17, 2018. The season was produced by Berlanti Productions, Akil Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment. It was ordered in May 2017 and production began that September, with Salim Akil serving as showrunner.

Dr. Helga Jace is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe. She is a supporting character of the Outsiders and was the scientist responsible for bestowing the different earth-controlling powers upon Princess Tara/Terra and her elder brother Prince Brion/Geo-Force.

<i>Black Lightning</i> (season 3) Season of television series

The third season of the American television series Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning, premiered on The CW on October 7, 2019. The season is produced by Berlanti Productions, Akil Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment. It was ordered in January 2019 and production began that July, with Salim Akil once again serving as showrunner.


  1. Outsiders vol. 3 #1 (August 2002)
  2. Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files and Origins #1 (December 2003)
  3. 1 2 Outsiders #41 (December 2006)
  4. Outsiders #9 (April 2004)
  5. Outsiders #10 (May 2004)
  6. Outsiders #14 (September 2004)
  7. Outsiders #34 (May 2006)
  8. Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Thunder and Martian Manhunter #1 (October 2007)
  9. Batman and The Outsiders #1 (December 2007)
  10. Batman and The Outsiders #12 (December 2008)
  11. Final Crisis: Submit (December 2008)
  12. Outsiders (vol. 4) #36
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (2 March 2017). "'Black Lightning': Nafessa Williams & China Anne McClain To Star As Jefferson's Daughters In the CW Pilot".