Thunder and Lightning (comics)

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Thunder and Lightning
Thunder and lightning gan and tavis willliams.JPG
Thunder (left) and Lightning (right).
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance New Teen Titans #32 (1983)
Created by Marv Wolfman
George Pérez
In-story information
Alter egoGan and Tavis Williams
Team affiliations Teen Titans
  • Can generate thunder and lightning
  • Teleportation
  • Psychic link
  • 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.


Publication history

Thunder and Lightning first appeared in New Teen Titans #32 and was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. [1]

Fictional character biography

Gan and Tavis Williams are twin brothers that were born of an unnamed Vietnamese woman and an American soldier named Second Lt. Walter Williams. Originally conjoined twins, they were separated with magic. As children, they found themselves beginning to manifest superpowers, but 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. After their aims were revealed, the Titans decided to help the pair. [2]

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 prisoner 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 own father to protect their new friends. A blood transfusion from their father allowed S.T.A.R. Labs to create the cure that would allow Thunder and Lightning to control their powers. [3]

Thunder and Lightning resettled in San Francisco, where S.T.A.R. Labs helped them control their powers. While there, they helped stop the Atomic Skull. [4] 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. [5]

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. [6]

During the "Infinite Crisis" storyline, 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. [7]

During the Salvation Run storyline, 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. [8] 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. [9]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Thunder and Lightning (known as Alexei and Alya) are reintroduced as part of The Ravagers, a superhero team which also includes Beast Boy, Terra, Ridge, and Fairchild. [10]

Powers and abilities

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

Superman villains

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

An unrelated Thunder and Lightning appeared as Superman villains in Superman #303 (September 1976) created by Elliot S. Maggin and Curt Swan. 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. [11]

In other media

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  1. Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 310. ISBN   978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. New Teen Titans #32 (June 1983)
  3. New Teen Titans #36 (November 1983)
  4. Teen Titans Spotlight #16 (November 1987)
  5. New Titans #118-121 (February-May 1995)
  6. JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative #2-3 (January-February 1999)
  7. Villains United special (June 2006)
  8. Salvation Run #6 (June 2008)
  9. Salvation Run #7 (July 2008)
  10. The Ravagers #1
  11. Superman #303