The Return of Captain Thunder
As you may recall, way WAY back when I started the Crinoverse, Captain Thunder decided he was going to take a little hiatus from heroics and went into seclusion with his wife following an adventure where she was kidnapped into The Netherworld by the villainous Hellqueen, and Captain Thunder mistakenly believed that he had killed her in battle to save his wife.
Its been two years since that event, and the questions about Captain Thunder still circulate; where is he? What is he doing? Will he ever come back? One person above all others is wondering about this.
And that person is Captain Thunders arch nemesis Dr. Stratos.
Quiet frankly, Stratos is bored. He's devoted so much of his life to destroying Captain Thunder, that without him he has nothing else to do. He's tried to torment Thunder's son Bolt, but it just isn't the same. Even running the Crime Union, the secret confederation of America's super villains, hasn't been enough to divert Stratos' attention away from his number one obsession.
So, after two years, Stratos has had enough; He has devised a master plan to either draw Captain Thunder out of hiding, or drag his name so through the mud that the people of Freedom City will hate Captain Thunder as much as he does.
The plan began with the assistance of Toy Boy, who created a near perfect Captain Thunder robot, who did battle with Dr. Stratos high above the streets of the Freedom City and ended up being destroyed in battle, shocking the Freedom League and especially Bolt, who believed that Captain Thunder had truly perished. Distraught, Bolt left Freedom City searching for his mother to find out what happened to her. Meanwhile, Raven, convinced Captain Thunder would never perish so easily, decided to go and do some investigating of her own, finding out more about what Stratos had been up to in the last two years.
With the world believing Captain Thunder dead, Stratos set about part 2 of his plan; with the aid of fellow Crime Union Council member Mindbender, Stratos mesmerized numerous electricity based super heroes and heroines to come to Freedom City and try to become the new Captain Thunder, Mindbender also implanted in them special mental triggers which would cause them to become violent and belligerent towards other would be Captain Thunders. To shore up the numbers, Stratos also sent numerous electricity manipulating super villains in to join in the fun. Within a week of Thunders death, Freedom City was in utter chaos, filled with countless heroes and villains fighting one another for the right to be the next Captain Thunder.
But where was the real Captain Thunder during all of this you might ask? Well, the place he's been the last two years. In the Canadian Wildnerness.
Ray and Nancy Gardener had been living in a secluded Cabin in the middle of Southern Ontario. No phone, no TV, no connection to the outside world. Ray and Nancy spent their time reconnecting, enjoying nature, going on hikes, and doing other things that can't be mentioned in polite conversation. (Also, Ray grew a beard). In truth, Ray hadn't used his powers once since coming there, and he was genuinely enjoying his new, simple life. A life without super villains and daily crises and other such chaos.
Unfortunately, it was not to last, as Bolt busted in on the pair about two weeks after the Fake thunder fight.
Ray Jr. had found the place based on letters and postcards sent to him on Christmas and other holidays by his folks. At first, Bolt didn't recognize his dad, and lashed out at him. After a brief fight Ray Sr. straightened things out, and Bolt explained what happened.
The reunion was cut short when James Howlett made the scene to tell Captain Thunder the current situation in Freedom City. Ray nodded thoughtfully, entered the bathroom without a word, and did not exit for fifteen minutes.
When he returned, he was in his Captain Thunder costume, and clean shaven.
The vacation was officially over.
Meanwhile, back in Freedom City, the rest of the Freedom League had not been idle. Raven had tracked down Toy Boy and found out about the Captain Thunder robot. Meanwhile, Pseudo had discovered that many of the would be Captain Thunders were under mental coercion and began performing on the spot psychic surgery on them in order to remove their destructive obsessions. Sensing his plans were going awry, Stratos ordered Mindbender to send the remaining Captain Thunder Wannabees to amass on Freedom Hall, intent on destroying it through superior numbers. The army of Thunder wannabees was met by the Freedom League and every super hero in Freedom City. Soon a massive fight to end all massive super fights broke out, with heroes and villains and brainwashed heroes throwing down against one another. The battle was suddenly brought to a halt when a lone figure floated down from the heavens, standing on the roof of Freedom Hall.
It was Captain Thunder.
"I here one of you folks want to be the new Captain Thunder", Ray said as he floated down, "Now shouldn't I get a say in that?"
The sight of Captain Thunder alive and well was enough to shock the brainwashed heroes back to normal, but it was too little too late; as Stratos enacted the final part of his plan, activating a machine which drained the thunder power out of the various thunder based heroes and villains, killing many of them and depowering many more, forming their combined energy into a single humanoid entity: Zzzax
Thunder and Zzzax fought a running battle across Freedom City. While Zzzax had the size and power advantage, Thunder had was the wily veteran, luring the electricity monster away from innocent people and into liberty park, where the pair could fight without fear of harming innocent people (As that section of the city had been abandoned by the fighting with the false Captain Thunders). In the end, Captain Thunder ended the battle by absorbing the entirety of Zzzax's being into himself, seemingly overloading the hero and sending him into a three day coma.
When Ray awoke, the city was already being rebuilt, and Bolt and Nancy had already moved back into their old home. Ray apologized to his son for being away for so long, and Bolt just smiled and said he understood (he didn't really, but he was just glad his dad was back).
Thunders first task coming back to Freedom City was to rejoin the Freedom League. Of course his spot was reserved, but since he had been gone for so long Thunder insisted he go through the evaluation process like any other applicant, and to that end he proceeded to go through the normal Freedom League trial process. During the trials he was shocked to discover that his powers had increased exponentially. Tests from Daedalus revealed beyond any doubt; by absorbing Zzzax, Ray had amped his powers up to Mithrian levels.
After officially rejoining the Freedom League, Raven let Ray and the rest of the league in on what she had learned during the event; Stratos had assembled the villains, resources, and mentalists for this scheme that would have been impossible for even the entire Crime League to assemble on their own. Which meant there was only one logical explanation: The criminals of North America had formed a super villain conglomerate.
The news was chilling to say the least, but Captain Thunder was not phased in the least.
"Well, its a good thing I'm back then, and now, I'll be here to stay."
And what of Dr. Stratos? the evil mastermind behind this scheme?
Well, he didn't stick around after Zzzax was defeated of course; there were way too many super heroes for even him to deal with. So he fled back to a secret location to plot his next move. When he discovered Thunder had woken up and rejoined the Freedom League, he got onto the Crime Union webpage to contact the Crime League, only to find out his connection was being blocked. He also discovered he had an email from the council of 13.
The email reads as follows:
Bad Horse! Bad Horse! Bad Horse! Bad horse!
You've really done it this time, the spit has hit the fan,
The Union's been exposed because of your dumb plan
And when the chips were down, you turned your tail and ran...
So pack your bags, we wish you luck,
And Syndrome thinks you really suck
Bad Horse! Bad Horse! Bad Horse! He's bad!
The council held a meeting, the vote was 12 to none,
Your membership with us has been now undone
The Union and the Crime league, you're not in either one...
Give up, retire, or we'll use force,
You've been blacklisted
Love Bad Horse.
And that's how Captain Thunder came back. Tomorrow, I'll describe some of the electricity based heroes and villains who partook in this little escapade.