Miguel's father, Carlos, was a member of an extremist group called Legion of Living Lightning. In a misguided attempt by the Legion to gain control of the Hulk, Carlos was killed. Hoping to salvage his father's name, Miguel broke into the Legion's headquarters to learn more about their work. While exploring, Miguel unwittingly turned on one of the Legion's machines and was transformed into a being of living energy.
Initially, a confused Miguel clashed with the West Coast Avengers and was apparently killed during the conflict. Later, he turned up alive and under the control of a villain, Doctor Demonicus. After a brief, unwilling foray into crime, Miguel joined the Avengers. While he occasionally serves with the team, Miguel gave up active membership to concentrate on his studies. For a time, Miguel manned the Avengers Deep-Space Monitoring Station with his fellow Avenger Quasar, as their respective powers enabled them to travel back and forth to Earth with ease, and Miguel could take advantage of the isolation to study.
Miguel was invited to attend a meeting of the Great Lakes Avengers or GLA, as they wanted to recruit him to join the team. However, Miguel turned them down, explaining that he'd attended thinking GLA referred to the Gay/Lesbian Alliance. Not long afterwards, during the superhuman civil war, Miguel joined the Anti-Registration side due to Goliath's death. However, following the final battle, he registered and became a member of the Rangers, the official super-team of Texas, as part of the 50-State Initiative. He fought both Hydra, Skrulls and the Scarlet Spider along with his fellow Rangers.
Miguel eventually quit the Rangers and went solo. He additionally refashioned himself as simply "Lightning," since he wanted to stop being confused with the supervillain Living Laser. A global crisis resulted as a consequence of a contest between two Elders of the Universe, the Grandmaster and the Challenger, during which the entire planet Earth was teleported from its location in the Solar System to a galaxy far away. Lightning was pulled back into the Avengers' ranks when he answered a distress call to respond to the crisis, since he additionally happened to be one of the few superhumans that didn't become frozen in stasis as part of the contest. While containing his feelings of inadequacy, Miguel became part of one of the two teams of Avengers deployed to investigate the different fights between members of each of the Elders' teams, the Black Order and the Lethal Legion. After the Black Order's Black Dwarf seemingly died to claim a Pyramoid and score a point for his team, Lightning rushed from Italy to Peru to warn the other Avengers team not to touch the Pyramoid on their end, but failed to stop the Human Torch from doing so, and he was seemingly disintegrated.
Lightning remained with the Avengers team in Peru, and travelled with them to Antarctica and successfully routed the Black Order when they tried to claim one of the Pyramoids placed there as part of their contest's second round. Miguel then flew to the Avengers Auxiliary Headquarters to get find a method of transport for the rest of the team, and arrived shortly before Voyager locked herself in a vault with the final Pyramoid, since she had been a double agent for the Grandmaster all along. On behalf of the Challenger, the Hulk attacked the base to claim the Pyramoid, and Lightning tried to stop him to no avail despite firing all of his power at once.
Following the end of the contest, the Challenger incapacitated the Grandmaster and sabotaged the World-Engine in the Grandmaster's Cosmic Game Room that kept the Earth stable. Voyager, who had rebelled against her father and joined the heroes' side, teleported a group of Avengers to the Cosmic Game Room to keep the World-Engine running, and Lightning helped provide it energy. Afterwards, the Avengers noticed the Grandmaster recovering, and Miguel attempted to convince him not turn his back on the Earth's destruction. He resorted to challenging the Grandmaster to a game of poker, and kept rising the stakes until he bet being erased from existence and memory. The Grandmaster couldn't bear the thought of paying the same price if he lost, and decided to fold, which resulted on the Earth being teleported back to its proper place, which stopped it from falling apart.
Sentient Electrical Form: In his true form, Living Lightning is just that, a sentient electrical plasma force with no mass. While in this form, he is capable of:
- Flight: Miguel can fly, and is capable of reaching sub-light speeds.
- Semi-Invulnerability: While in energy form, Santos cannot be harmed by Physical attacks, or most energy attacks. He can be harmed by magic, psionic or plasma based attacks. He is also able to withstand the the vacuum of space.
- Electrokinesis: He also possesses the ability to fire and manipulate bursts of electricity and electrical fields of varying intensities.
- Electricity Projection: Living Lightning is able to bodily generate up to 15,000,000 volts of electrical power.
- Force Field: When focused, Miguel can create protective force fields of electrical energy.
- Concussive Electric Plasma Blasts: He can bodily generate, conduct and release staggering plasma blasts from his body.
- Electronic Manipulation: He is capable of manipulating electronic devices.
- Body Manipulation: He has the ability to control his body while composed of electrical plasma.
- Astral Projection: While in his energy form, his mind resides in an Astral form.
- Bilingual: Miguel is fluent in both Spanish and English.
- Skilled Fighter: He has some knowledge of street-fighting
Electrical Form: Miguel must wear a special containment suit to retain a solid form.
- Electrokinesis: Extremely powerful electrokinetics like Thor can restrain him using their own electrokinetic powers.
Formerly Avengers Identicard
Formerly Avengers Quinjet
- 126 appearance(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 10 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 6 minor appearance(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 41 image(s) of Miguel Santos (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Miguel Santos (Earth-616)