Neal Shaara was born into an upper class family in Calcutta. His father was an officer of the Indian National Police and was well-respected.[2]

The Omega Sentinels

Neal became concerned when his brother Sanjit did not return from a trip. He left home to look for his brother. He soon met Karima Shapandar, who was asked by his father to search for Sanjit. The two began a relationship while searching for Sanjit.[2]

Neal and Karima learned that Sanjit had been abducted to be converted into a Prime Sentinel, and the two were soon captured themselves. The experience caused Neal's mutant powers to emerge. Sanjit sacrificed himself to save Neal. Karima also asked Neal to leave her before her Omega Sentinel would force her to hunt him down.[2]

Neal contacted Moira MacTaggert and travelled to Muir Island. Neal was uncomfortable with the idea of being a mutant, and was initially shocked to see that the X-Men were also mutants. His reasons for taking the name of Thunderbird are unknown. Concerned about his powers, Neal would often hold back in battle. However Psylocke assisted him with training. The two became close as Betsy's relationship with Angel ended.[2][3]

X-Treme X-Men

Neal agreed to join Storm's X-Treme X-Men team to search for Destiny's diaries. Psylocke's death at the hands of Vargas greatly depressed Neal, but Bishop was able to get him to refocus and continue to train. Bishop mentioned in his future Neal was a well-known mutant.[4]

Neal met and became close to Heather Cameron while the team was looking to protect her and her brother. When Davis agreed to have Sage 'jumpstart' his powers, Neal cautioned him. Davis was not comfortable with himself or his sister's transformation into Lifeguard, and left after the team battled Khan.[5]

Neal eventually joined the X-Corporation's Singapore branch, where he found the Camerons. While part of the X-Corporation Xavier contacted him while in Genosha.[6]


He was one of the few mutants to retain their powers after the events of M-Day.[7]

He was still involved with Heather, and both were presumed to be still on the trail of Davis at the time of the Second Coming.[8]


Heat Conversion and Solar Energy Mimicry/Generation: He has the ability to convert ambient heat into solar plasma. Neal can transform his body into solar plasma, enabling him to release and manipulate thermal discharges, focused beams, or shaped plasma fields from his eyes or limbs. He is able to fly via directed thrust, and can radiate blinding light or explosive energy from his entire body.[9]

  • X-Men Declassified #1 contained conflicting and potentially disturbing information about Neal's history. According to files recovered from Operation: Zero Tolerance, Neal was born in the state of Assam to a prosperous family owning a successful tea plantation. He and his brother were bullies to poor mutants in Calcutta, and he later attended and completed studies at the Oxford University, England. Declassified was full of misinformation about the X-Men, however, deliberately seeded by Bastion, so this intelligence should be considered suspect.

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