- Thunderbolt will not make that mistake again.
- — Peter Cannon src
Peter Cannon was born in the Himalayas to American parents, and raised by Tibetan monks. He learned martial arts and the teachings of ancient scrolls which unlock the powers of the mind. His parents were aid workers helping the people of Tibet fleeing the Chinese army. After Peter's birth his parent died due to a plague sweeping the area.
Peter was born at the same moment the High Abbot learned that the monastery's protector, the Vajra, had died. The monks knew their protector would be reincarnated so they tested all the newborns in the local area, including Peter.
Peter was raised with the other potential candidate and trained in mind and body; when he passed the final test he is revealed to be the reincarnation of the Vajra. As the new protector he was given the secret scrolls of the order, which allow him to tap into the full power of his mind, accessing all the knowledge of his past incarnations. However his childhood friend Andreas Havoc could not accept Peter as the chosen one, so he stole the scrolls before Peter could read them. After completing his training, Peter travels to the land of his parents, America, with his friend Tabu Singh who has sworn to aid and protect the Vajira in all his endeavours. In New York City Peter learns of superheroes and decides to become one himself, taking the name "Thunderbolt". With the limited knowledge of the few scrolls he did read he turned to the task of fighting injustice. In his time as a hero he battled various threats including gangsters, Ape-Men, Dinosaurs, and even the Egyptian mummy Evila who was awakened by his enemy Havoc.
After the Earth shattering event, Peter was attacked by a man named Trydan, who seriously injured him. The psychological effect of this attack caused him to give up being a hero and turn his attentions to his fist love of studying history, despite Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) encouraging him to continue his heroic work.
Five years later
Peter and Tabu were invited to London by Cairo DeFrey as part of an exhibition on ancient cultures. The Crimson Dawn eco-terrorist group hijacked the airship on which Cairo was holding the reception, but Peter defeated the hijackers. With Tabu's encouragement he became the Thunderbolt again.
At the same time, Evila was resurrected among the museum's exhibits but was defeated by Peter once more. While working in the city, he helped the London Metropolitan Police take down Krater  and Shard, both of whom were created by the Dominators' gene-bomb.
Peter and Cairo grew closer and the two began a relationship. The police became aware of a war developing within London's underworld, starting with the death of Larry Wheeler, son of Johnny Wheeler who was a childhood friend of Detective Inspector James Flint and a powerful gang lord. Peter's actions also brought him to the attention of Justice League Europe, led by Green Lantern, who was pleased his friend had resumed his crime fighting career. Over time Peter unlocked further powers of his mind, including some form of telekinesis and post-cognition, but only had limited control over them.
Peter returned to the monastery when he learned it is in trouble, and came face to face with the previous incarnation of the Vajra, who died in battle against Andreas Havoc and Evila. Havoc was devastated that he wasted his time fighting Peter over a title that was not even his. The High Abbot of the monastery allowed Peter to take the scrolls, recovered from Havoc, to learn how to control his powers. On his return to the United Kingdom Peter learned Cairo was actually the leader of a criminal origination called Scorpio.
- Enhanced Intellect: Through studying with Tibetan monks who believed him to be the Vajra, the monastery's protector, the power of Peter Cannon's mind has been unlocked, allowing him to perform feats beyond the average man.
- Enhanced Strength: Peter possesses the pinnacle physical strength of a man of his particular age, height, and build that engages in intense regular exercise. With the use of his spiritual energy, Peter is capable of augmenting his strength to incredible superhuman levels, allowing him to taking larger more powerful foes.
- Enhanced Durability: The tissues of Peter's body are harder than those of humans. While still vulnerable to physical injury, he is able to use his spiritual energy to augment his durability to vast superhuman levels.
- Enhanced Speed: Peter is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete. Peter can use his spiritual energy to augment his speed to incredible superhuman levels which limits are unknown. He can move at speeds faster than the human eye can see.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Peter's reaction time is superior to that of any Olympic athlete that has ever competed, his reflexes enhanced to the point where they could be considered superhuman. His reflexes are so efficient that he can dodge point blank gun fire, catch arrows in mid-flight, and has even been capable of snatching bullets out of the air.
- Enhanced Agility: Peter's natural agility, balance, and bodily coordination are superior to those of any Olympic athlete that has ever competed.
- Accelerated Healing: If he sustains injury or illness, Peter can focus his spiritual energy for the purposes of healing his injuries. By focusing enough he can even purge his own body of poison.
- Indomitable Will: By mentally repeat his mantra ("I can... I must... I will!") Cannon can keep himself awake even when his body is injured enough to lose the senses.
- Animal Control
- Martial Arts: Peter Cannon is a highly skilled and disciplined martial artist, and one of the greatest martial artists in the world.
- Weaponry: He has been trained in the use of almost all martial arts weapons.
- Multilingualism: He can speak fluent English, Chinese, Lhasa, and other Tibetan languages.
- Peter Cannon was not owned by Charlton Comics; he was licensed to Charlton by his creator Pete Morisi. So when DC "bought" Peter Cannon from Charlton in 1983, they really only bought Charlton's license to publish Peter Cannon. When the original agreement between Charlton and Morisi expired, DC negotiated with Morisi (and/or his estate) directly to extend it for a while. But eventually, DC let the license lapse, and Morisi's estate has since licensed Peter Cannon to other publishers. As of 2012, DC has no rights to publish Peter Cannon. Subsequent series were published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2014 and 2019.
- Although not a weakness, Peter Cannon cannot use his abilities for an extended period or automatically activate them; they all require concentration and willpower. Furthermore, his abilities are all limited in nature and are much higher than a normal human but not superhuman.
- Peter Cannon/Thunderbolt was the original inspiration for the Watchmen character Ozymandias.
- 26 Appearances of Peter Cannon (New Earth)
- 6 Images featuring Peter Cannon (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Peter Cannon (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Peter Cannon (New Earth)
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #2
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #3
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #4
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #5
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #6
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #7
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #8
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #10
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #11
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #12
- ↑ Justice League Task Force #13
- ↑ Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.