James Proudstar, previously known as the second Thunderbird but also known as Warpath is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Sal Buscema, he first appeared in New Mutants #16 (June 1984).
An Apache Native American, Proudstar possesses mutant superhuman strength and speed, like his older brother, the short-lived X-Man Thunderbird, though Warpath's power-levels are much higher.
He originally blamed the X-Men for his brother’s death and joined the villain group the Hellions to get revenge. He later reconsidered his views and became a longtime member of the militant X-Men offshoot X-Force. After a long journey to the Shi'ar Empire with the Uncanny X-Men, Warpath is now a member of the new incarnation of X-Force.
Fictional character biography
James Proudstar was born at the Apache reservation
at Camp Verde, Arizona
. James' brother, John Proudstar
, was one of the "All New, All Different" X-Men. He was killed on one of the team's earliest missions. James angrily blamed the X-Men for his brother's death and made it his life's mission to murder its founder, Professor Charles Xavier
James later reappeared, donning his brother's costume, and kidnapped the X-Men's Banshee
to draw the team to Cheyenne Mountain
where John was killed. However, when the opportunity arrived, James was unable to kill Professor X in cold blood. Professor X offered membership into the New Mutants to James, but he declined. Instead, James became a member of the Hellions
, a team of young mutants led by the then supervillain The White Queen
, now reformed X-men
A quiet life interrupted
Months later, James came to realize that the Massachusetts Academy
wasn't the place for him. So, he left to return home to his family's reservation
. James enjoyed his stay at home so much, that he originally turned down Cable
's offer to join the New Mutants
. After the meeting, in New York
, James returned home, to find his entire tribe murdered. James originally thought that the Hellions committed the act to punish him for leaving the team, due to a foot soldier's mask he found alongside the bodies of his fallen tribesmen. He then joined the New Mutants, hoping to track down the Hellions and gain revenge.
Before long, the New Mutants cut ties with the X-Men and became the militant X-Force
and James changed his codename to Warpath. Warpath was a part of X-Force for the duration of the team. As a member of X-Force, James became more calm and controlled and struck up a close friendship with his teammate Siryn
(ironically Banshee's daughter). Despite his strong attraction to her, Theresa only saw James as a friend.
Coming to terms with life
James finally had a face to face with Emma Frost. The two talked about the deaths of his tribesmen, but Emma swore she wasn't involved. Warpath eventually met a woman, by the name of Risque
. Risque was instrumental in helping James with his confidence and the two began a love affair. Unfortunately, Risque was being blackmailed by a man named Sledge, who forced her to drug Warpath and bring him to his lair. Sledge gave him information about a member of the tribe that was still alive, but in turn James had to retrieve his partner, the Vanisher
, who had disappeared in another dimension. James found the Vanisher and in turn Sledge gave information on one of his tribesman, Michael Whitecloud, whom James had presumed deceased. Whitecloud told him that Stryfe
, X-Force's adversary, was behind the killing of his tribe. James went to Hell
to gain revenge, but was returned back to the living world by Blackheart
. When James found out Risque's involvement in the whole ordeal, he ended their relationship despite her deepest remorse. She would eventually reunite with X-Force on several occasions as an ally.
James returned to X-Force and stayed a devoted member. When the former British intelligence agent Pete Wisdom became X-Force's mentor, he helped James learn how to use his powers to fly. James was presumed dead in a violent altercation, along with most of his teammates.
After X-Force's disintegration, Warpath joined the Mumbai
branch of the international mutant agency, X-Corporation
, in India
. His new team was a mix of old and new friends: Feral
, and Thornn
. He stayed there with the X-Corporation for a while, helping to save Professor X's life, who was surprised that he was still alive. Later, he rejoined X-Force at Cable's request. X-Force has since disbanded, with Cannonball
, Cable, and Warpath joining separate teams of X-Men. Rictor
and Siryn have joined X-Factor Investigations
, and Meltdown
is in the superhero group Nextwave
after a brief stint as part of Cable's Underground
Warpath was one of the few mutants to retain their powers after the events of Decimation
, and soon after found himself living in the Mutant camp at X-Men's mansion. Shortly afterwards, he joined the ranks of the X-Men for the first time at Professor X
's request. Along with Professor X
, Marvel Girl
, and Polaris
, he journeys into space to track down Vulcan
. He shows his superb fighting prowess while fighting cyborg drones as the X-Men attempt to commandeer a Shi'ar
ship. During the final fight with Vulcan, Warpath fought bravely and in the end was on the spaceship with half of the team when Lilandra
sent it back to Earth.
Warpath is one of the X-Men who answers The Stepford Cuckoos' call for help when Hulk attacks Professor Xavier.
Warpath rejoins X-Force as they search a Cooperstown Hospital to pick up the trail of the fugitive Cable. Wolverine doesn't trust that Warpath will be willing to kill Cable should the need arise, and he asks Wolfsbane to keep an eye on him. She learns that while he won't like it, he'll do what needs to be done. As the X-Force finishes dispatching the remaining Reavers, Caliban
sacrifices himself to save Warpath by jumping into the path of a line of bullets meant for him. In the final battle, Warpath and the rest of the X-Force team are charged with taking down Predator X. James jumps on top of Predator X, stabbing it in the back. However, he realizes that Predator X has a healing factor. After the battle, Warpath enters into a relationship with Hepzibah
Divided We Stand
goes to San Francisco, California
, to meet up with Hepzibah, Warpath and Iceman
. All four are caught in the effects of a city-wide illusion created by Martinique Jason
, who thanks to her powers has transformed the city into a hippie
paradise. Now calling himself "Running Sun", he and the others are sent by Jason to confront Cyclops and Emma Frost. After Emma manages to break through Jason's illusion, Warpath and the other are returned to normal, after which they begin to re-establish the X-Men organization in San Francisco.
Warpath is one of the founding members of the revived X-Force, Cyclops's covert wetworks team, charged with finding and eliminating Purifiers cells. James joins out of a desire for revenge for the death of his friend Caliban at the hands of the Purifiers. While physically the strongest member, he has shown to be shocked at the amount of blood shed on his and his teammates hands.
Since the team was not allowed to contact anyone from the outside world, he is shown regret being with the team then being with his girlfriend, Hepzibah.
Powers and abilities
Warpath is a mutant who possesses superhuman senses, strength (used as his main power in X-Force, as the team 'strong guy'; he was paired with the likes of Strong Guy in battles), speed, agility, reflexes, endurance, and flight.
His power of flight was discovered by his one-time mentor and team leader Peter Wisdom, who analyzed his mutation after the High Evolutionary devolved and reevolved all mutants on Earth, and forced James to incorporate this ability in his fighting style. This power has not been depicted in recent comic storylines though, as current head X-Writer Ed Brubaker has said that he chose not to depict Warpath's flight power because he didn't understand how Warpath's speed and strength would allow it. However, his recent fighting style in the X-Men: Messiah Complex storyline has shown him to either return to using his flight powers, as the only alternative explanation is that he has gained a new ability to make extremely large leaps.
As a side note to his powers during the Messiah Complex, Warpath was shown thunderclapping which he used to topple a whole Sentinle (weakend early by teammates), this shown a great increase in his strength.
His super senses enable him to see in near-total darkness and hear whispers from great distances.
After nearly getting killed by Reignfire, Warpath experienced an increase in senses and speed that allowed him to perform feats he had previously not been aware he was capable of, such as run at high speeds for long distances and quickly climb building walls by rapidly digging his hands and feet into the bare concrete.
Aside from his natural physical attributes, Warpath is well versed in hand-to-hand combat. He has trained in the use of the staff at the insistence of Cable, and currently wields a pair of bowie knives composed of vibranium, given to him by Storm, with which he has proved to be highly proficient in combat.
Warpath made a cameo in the X-Men
episode "Slave Island
" as one of the mutant slaves. He also appears as a member of Magneto's
team in the opening credits.
List of titles
- Cable #21, 29 & 73-75
- Deadpool Vol. 2 #12, 22 & 61
- Excalibur #82
- New Mutants #16-17, 39, 43, 53-54, 56, 62 & 99-100
- New Mutants Annual #7
- New Warriors Vol. 1 #31 & 46
- New Warriors Annual #1
- Quasar #38
- Spider-Man #16
- Thunderbolts #25
- Uncanny X-Men #193, 294-296, 331, 379, 388, 416, 475-476, 478-479, 481-482, 484-489
- Uncanny X-Men Annual #15
- Wonder Man Vol. 2 #13
- X-Factor Vol. 1 #84 & 106
- X-Force Vol. 1 #-1, 1-7, 9-17, 25-53, 57, 69-87, 89-95, 97-115, 117
- X-Force Annual #1-3, 1995 Annual, 1997 Annual, 1998 Annual, 1999 Annual
- X-Force Vol. 2 #2-3
- X-Men vol. 2, #14, 17, 30, 41 & (New X-Men) 133
- X-Men: Prime
- X-Men Unlimited Vol. 1 #23
- Uncanny X-Men #193; "Warhunt 2" (May 1985, Marvel Comics) - James Proudstar kidnaps Banshee, to get revenge on the X-Men.
- X-Force Minus 1 (July 1997, Marvel Comics) - A young Thunderbird and Warpath investigate an unusual medical facility.
- Blaze #4-5 (November-December 1995, Marvel Comics) - He helps Wyatt Wingfoot and Johnny Blaze investigate a murder and faces a Wendigo creature.
- X-Force v1 42 (January 1995, Marvel Comics) - investigates the murder on his family in Camp Verde, discovers Stryfe is responsible and not Emma Frost, as he had thought.