Real Name: Thomas Lovejoy
Identity/Class: Human technology user (World War II);
citizen of the United Kingdom
Occupation: Costumed adventurer
Group Membership: Crusaders (Captain Wings/Roger Dicken, Dyna-Mite/Roger Aubrey, Ghost Girl/Wendy Hunt, Spirit of '76/William Nasland, Thunderfist/Patrick Mason)
Affiliations: Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Spitfire/Jacqueline Falsworth, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Toro/Thomas Raymond), King George VI
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Alfie's boat on the River Thames in London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom (place of birth)
First Appearance: Invaders I#14 (March, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Tommy Lightning had the superhuman ability to absorb electricity through his fingertips into his powercharged body. He could then use the stored electricity in his battles. His abilities were ultimately manipulated by a special belt that Alfie wore.
Height: 5'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 130 lbs. (by approximation)
(Invaders I#15 (fb) - BTS) - Thomas was approached by an Englishman who called himself Alfie (secretly a Nazi agent working on finding a way to get the American superheroes the Invaders out of Great Britain). Alfie offered Thomas superhuman abilities if he agreed to serve the crown as one of the Crusaders. Thomas accepted and was granted a suit in which he could absorb electricity and use the stored electricity in his battles.
(Invaders I#15 (fb) - BTS) - Tommy Lightning regularly met with the Crusaders aboard Alfie's dingy looking boat moored at the docks of the River Thames.
(Invaders I#14) - Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders tried to keep civilians safe in London during a heated dogfight between Nazi bombers and British airplanes. Captain Wings, Thunderfist and Tommy Lightning sprung into action to help a group of struggling English soldiers doubling as firemen to douse the flames of a building. In order to stop the fire from spreading Thunderfist charged at the building, causing it to collapse while Tommy Lightning focused on the live wires from the building. Tommy activated his abilities forcing the electricity to leap from the deadly wires through his fingertips into his powercharged body. Captain Wings flew into action and rescued several civilians. Afterwards, they were approached by the Invaders members Captain America, Bucky and Spitfire who had witnessed the Crusaders in action and wanted to introduce themselves to learn more about these new superheroes. But when Captain America asked the Crusaders about their strange powers they quickly fled the scene, unaware their teammates had already encountered the other Invaders.
(Invaders I#14 - BTS) - The next morning Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders went to the palace, asking King George VI for a chance to replace the Invaders as his majesty's guard of honor. Unsure the Crusaders were up for the task, the king allowed Dyna-Mite to serve as his personal bodyguard to test his capabilities.
(Invaders I#14) - King George VI took a ride in his limousine through St. James Park where he was assaulted by an anarchist (hired by Alfie). However the tiny Dyna-Mite was hiding in the car as well. He attacked the man foiling his attempt to kill the king. Mere seconds later Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders arrived, breathing a sigh of relief to find the king was safe. Ghost Girl concluded they had just finished their first mission. However, the Invaders also arrived unaware what the Crusaders were doing with king George until they told the American team of their plans to replace them as the majesty's honor guard. The Invaders were incredulous, only their British born member Spitfire seemed to understand.
(Invaders I#14 - BTS) - Later that day it was announced the Crusaders would indeed succeed the Invaders as the majesty's guard of honor. Their first official task would be to be present during the dedication of the battleship Hornblower.
(Invaders I#15) - Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders convened at Alfie's boat wondering why Alfie had given them superpowers in the first place. Just then Alfie walked into the door, having heard the conversation he noted he was their liaison officer. Thinking Alfie was secretly working with the government Captain Wings asked the man why they still had to meet in secret given their new public status. Ghost Girl added that it was odd they even took orders from someone who lacked powers himself. Upset, Alfie asked Ghost Girl to give them all a show of her powers which he interrupted midway through by yanking the insolent Scottish lass by the hair. This made the others wonder if Alfie was really their friend. Alfie then took to the stage and explained he'd recruited all of them to serve King and country, going on to show how he didn't need powers when he could simply control theirs with a device on his belt. He then revealed the Invaders were secretly Nazis themselves, showing doctored pictures as evidence. The Crusaders all seemed to buy this and left to deal with the Invaders, only Dyna-Mite wasn't convinced. He stayed behind, tiny and unseen in Alfie's pocket, to find out what he was up to.
(Invaders I#15 - BTS) - Later that evening Dyna-Mite discovered Alfie was the one working for the Nazis and that the bottle of champagne the king would be using to christen the Hornblower was an explosive. Dyna-Mite successfully made his way over to the Falsworth Manor to warn the Invaders.
(Invaders I#15) - The next day Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders minus Dyna-Mite gathered at the docks for the christening ceremony, but just as King George VI was about to hit the battleship with the champagne, the Invaders arrived. Still believing Alfie's lies about the Invaders being Nazis, the Crusaders immediately attacked, leading to an all-out battle in which Tommy Lightning fought Captain America and successfully hit the man with his electricity. King George was told to get out of harm's way, but decided to fulfill his duties amidst the chaos and threw the bottle anyway. The Human Torch caught the bottle just in time and disposed of it before it went off. The explosion distracted the combatants long enough for the fight to stop. Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders realized what had gone on but failed to notice Alfie tried to get away. The Human Torch threw a fireball in his path, causing him to swerve and drive off the London Bridge. Alfie seemingly died when his car exploded as it plunged into the water. Alfie's powerbelt was also destroyed, causing Tommy Lightning and the Crusaders to lose their powers. Realizing they in fact had been Nazi agents, the Crusaders immediately took off their gear and threw it in the Thames. The Crusaders offered their apologies to King George and Captain America after which they took their leave.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (Writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer inks).
Spitfire identified Tommy Lightning as being cockney. His real name was revealed in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC#3.
The Crusaders were created as counterparts to the Freedom Fighters, Golden Age characters originally owned by Quality Comics which would end up becoming part of DC. In the same way the Squadron Supreme mirrors the JLA, each member of the Crusaders is an analogue for one of the Freedom Fighters. Tommy Lightning was meant as an homage to the Ray.
The Crusaders received a profile in the Marvel Legacy The 1970's Handbook and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC#3.
Profile by MarvellousLuke
Tommy Lightning has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Invaders I#14, p8, pan5 (mainimage)
Invaders I#14, p8, pan6 (powers)
Invaders I#15, p13, pan3 (fighting Captain America)
Invaders I#14 (March, 1977) - Roy Thomas (Writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer inks)
Invaders I#15 (April, 1977) - Roy Thomas (Writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer inks)
First Posted: 01/27/2018
Last updated: 01/23/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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