- Height- 6'0
- Weight- 181 lbs
- Eyes- Blue
- Hair- Blond
Samuel Guthrie was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky, the eldest of eleven children to Lucinda and Thomas Guthrie, a coal mine worker. After the death of his father, sixteen-year-old Samuel Guthrie became the man of the house to his large family, which included former X-Men characters Husk and Icarus. To help support his family, Guthrie decided to work in his father's occupational field as a coal miner. The dangerous nature of the occupation caught up with him one day when Sam found himself trapped in a collapsing mine shaft. While trying to rescue his fellow worker, a friend of his father's who had introduced him to the job, Sam subconsciously activated his mutant ability to propel himself at superhuman speeds and used it to escape the pair to safety. This incident brought Samuel to the attention Donald Pierce, who hired him as a mercenary for the Hellfire Club. Pierce intended to use him in a plot to attack the the X-Men junior team, the New Mutants. Sam's kind nature brought him to his senses and he eventually turned against Pierce. Professor Charles Xavier saw the good qualities inside Sam, citing Pierce's manipulation as the cause for his misdeeds, and asked him to join his New Mutants. Cannonball left his large farming family in Kentucky to join the team.
As part of the New Mutants, Sam formed close friendships with his fellow teammates Sunspot and Wolfsbane. Although initially a slow learner at using his mutant abilities, eventually Sam had an ongoing rivalry with Danielle Moonstar (then known as Psyche) as the two acted as the team co-leaders. He also supervised other teammates, including Magik, Karma, the late Cypher, and Magma, among others. Early on in his career with the team, Cannonball visited Nova Roma and encountered his future teammate Magma. With the team, he soon met the New Mutant rivals, the Hellions, a team structured as the future of the Hellfire Club (the Hellions were also the anti-thesis of the New Mutants, with Jetstream his supposed equivalent). With the New Mutants, Cannonball also encountered the Gladiator, the Shadow King, Loki, the Enchantress, and other major villains. Sam also meets a young intergalactic rock star named Lila Cheney, with whom he eventually shared a romance. Guthrie also teamed up with Spider-Man and defeated the nefarious Incandescent Man. The New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of Magneto at the behest of Professor Xavier. Magneto's heavy handed leadership did not sit well with the team, and Cannonball began to display a measure of independence and rebellion against authority. These traits would grow stronger as he matured. The ancient entity, the Beyonder, encounters the New Mutants, and in his curiosity, kills them. They are resurrected by the Beyonder soon after but this trauma leaves the team deeply shaken. For a time they go with Emma Frost, to her Massachusetts Academy to join the Hellions. They eventually recover from the trauma, especially after a fight with the Avengers, in which they are forced to rescue Warlock and Magneto. Over time with the New Mutants, Sam develops a brotherly affection for Rahne. He remains oblivious for some time that Rahne harbors much deeper feelings for him. They worked with the Power Pack when the latter group needed help dealing with a team of minor demons. Sam leads the group in chasing the Impossible Man around the world, who had gotten into a potentially deadly one-upmanship competition with Warlock. Sam even meets (and fights) his older self when an alternate future version of the team travels to his time. This adventure is erased out of his mind by the future version of his friend Karma. Sam meets with Lila again. A jealous admirer of Lila drugs Sam, intending to kill him. The resulting fight leads to the accidental release of the creature Bird-Brain who would join the team for a while. Unfortunately for the team, taking Bird-Brain back to his island home ends with the shooting death of Douglas Ramsey by the Ani-Mator, Bird Brain's creator. The team also battles Cameron Hodge and the Right. Defying Magneto, the team sneaks out to another Lila Cheney concert. They are swept up in a kidnapping of Lila and dealings with the powerful entity known as Gosamyr. In preventing Gosamyr's relatives from endangering innocent lives, Lila seemingly dies. Returning to Earth, the team got caught in the events of Inferno. They team up with the X-Terminators who would eventually merge into their team. They help neutralize the demonic invasion plan by rescuing kidnapped infants high above New York City. One of the new members, Boom Boom, soon became a primary romantic interest. The New Mutants fight the Hellfire Club on the remains of the X-Mansion, formally rejecting Magneto's leadership. Danielle's adventures in Asgard, most of which took place while Sam had been healing, involved her rescuing Brightwind, one of the horses ridden by the Valkyrie. Brightwind chose her as her new rider, granting her Valkyrie powers. This leads to the team being involved with the realm once again. The death goddess Hela managed to overwhelm all the Valkyries, including Danielle. With behind-the-scenes assistance from Doctor Strange, the team heads to Asgard yet again. Sam's feelings for Kindra get the team in trouble. When he sees her being threatened, he rashly rushes out to save her and all the New Mutants are captured by Hela's forces. The group is split up but Sam manages to lead his half safely through many dangers, later reuniting with his friends. They manage to save Odin, who was vulnerable, from a murder attempt. Soon after returning to Earth, the team first encounters Cable. They then assist Cable in fighting the Mutant Liberation Front. Wolfsbane, Warlock, Rictor, and Tabitha are kidnapped from the grounds of the X-Mansion by Genoshan forces under the control of Cameron Hodge. Warlock soon perishes, murdered by Hodge in an attempt to get his powers. Sam joins the X-Men on a rescue mission and Genosha's government is toppled. Rahne stays behind to help the fellow victims of Genosha's regime.
Cannonball and the other New Mutants left the X-Men's supervision, and joined forces with the mysterious Cable to become the hard-edged X-Force. Cable named Cannonball Second-In-Command and field leader of the team. It was early during this time that Sam was impaled and killed by the mutant Sauron during a clash with an incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. However, only a few minutes later, he had healed and returned to life. Cable revealed the he had chosen Sam to lead the New Mutants initially because he suspected Cannonball to be an External - a particularly rare type of mutant who is virtually immortal. Cable had come to train Sam to fight Apocalypse, another External who, in Cable's future time, had conquered the world. Many other Externals, such as Saul and Gideon, also came to believe Sam was one of them. It was also around this time that Sam's sister, Husk, was revealed to have mutant powers. Cannonball's existence as an External was disputed by Selene, who once claimed that he was not an External. However, she is not a particularly trustworthy source and no alternate explanation has been given for his surviving the wounds Sauron had inflicted. His immortality was later brought up as the reason he survived 3 gunshot wounds to the chest. Sam's time in X-Force was not easy, as he was considered 'out of line' by the X-Men and X-Force were considered outright criminals by S.H.I.E.L.D. This even devolved into a fight between a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Nick Fury and supported by veteran superhero War Machine. Later, any rivalries were put aside as Sam was instrumental in helping the other X-Men, particularly Forge and Wolfsbane defeat the Phalanx.
X-Force soons reestablished ties with the X-Men. Sam later officially accepts an invitation to join the X-Men. Initially, Sam is excited, this having been his dream since first arriving at Xavier's school. During this time, he was also a supporting character in Wolverine's own comic. During this time, Sam becomes unsure of himself and his abilities. He privately expresses doubts about his abilities to Iceman, causing the veteran X-Man much discomfort. Sam battles the head of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Gladiator to a standstill, despite being overpowered, thus facing his doubts about his abilities, only to be left behind as the rest of the X-Men were taken into space to save the Shi'ar empire. This led Sam to again question his place on the X-Men. During his time with X-Men, Cannonball found his relationship with Tabitha strained. It was so strained she turned to Sam's best friend, Sunspot, for "support". Sam returned to the X-Men, for a brief period until he left the team to help his ailing mother. During his time with the X-Men, he also infiltrated the presidential campaign of anti-mutant candidate Graydon Creed, using the alias "Samson Guthry". Despite the rather transparent alias, Sam was able to remain undetected until Creed was assassinated on the eve of the election. Sam was there when the mutant entity Onslaught erupted from Xavier's mind. The entity, before attacking, had enjoyed several minutes of tearing apart Sam psychologically. Cannonball rejoined X-Force, now independent of Cable and operating in San Francisco. Cannonball eventually became team leader again, after the injuries sustained by Siryn. The team eventually found a new mentor, by the name of Pete Wisdom, who introduced the team to the world of espionage. During this time, Sam and Tabitha had gotten back together. After Wisdom's alleged death, Sam led the team again and attempted to continue Wisdom's crusade. Eventually, Sam and other members of X-Force have to fake their deaths.
After X-Force’s dissolution, Cannonball joined several of his former teammates and former members of X-Force and Generation X, in the Paris, France branch, of Professor X's international mutant task force X-Corporation. His time with the X-Corporation wasn't a pleasant one. En route to a mission, later found to involve the Weapon Plus program, his teammate Darkstar poked fun at him for eating a sandwich that would have rather distasteful consequences for "everybody who went out without an umbrella in downtown Beauvais". This moment of levity at Cannonball's expense did not last, as on that same mission, Darkstar died. At the funeral of Darkstar, Xavier gave Cannonball a note, with the whereabouts of Lila Cheney. Sam decided to take time away from the X-Corporation, as the strain of his life began to get to him. He worked for a time cleaning up damages to the France-England tunnel, AKA the Chunnel, which was partially destroyed in the very same mission which killed Darkstar.
While away, Sam rekindled his romantic relationship with Lila Cheney for a time. Sam couldn't find peace with his life so he was asked by Storm to join her X-Treme X-Men, a group of X-Men operating outside of Professor X's leadership. For a time, he even was partnered with his old friend Wolverine during an adventure where they pursued long time X-Man foe William Stryker. Sam also found himself having a reunion of sorts with former teammates, Sunspot and Magma. He and his teammates rejoined the central X-Men, after the events of Planet X. Sam is injured on a mission and once again decided to break for some peace. He uses the time to work on his own farm, which he had bought with his X-Corporation paychecks. While on the farm, Sam found himself teaming up again with Cable and reformed X-Force against the threat of the Skornn. Sam and former X-Force teammate, Siryn, went in search of Cable with the mercenary Deadpool, who could track the missing man via a unique teleportation bond the two shared. Deadpool derisively refers to Sam as "Cannonballs". Sam has once more joined the active roster of the X-Men, whose team is co-led by Nightcrawler and Bishop. For a while he literally and figuratively watches over the younger, more carefree students at the X-Mansion. He also functions as a member of the XSE. He has already participated in helping the 198 and fighting the Shi'ar Death Commandos. He soon suffers the death of his brother Jay, who is killed by William Stryker. Cannonball goes with the X-Men to Central Park, where they fight the Foursaken, who then capture the X-Men and sent them elsewhere. After escaping, Cannonball accompanies the X-Men to Africa to help Storm assist mutant refugees.
Cannonball later served on Rogue's team of X-Men. The team was formed as a rapid response unit, sent to sudden and emergent threats. The team's unorthodox lineup, which included ex-villains like Mystique and Lady Mastermind, brought Samuel closer to fellow veteran X-Men Rogue and Iceman, both of whom he had been teamed with previously. After defeating the Children of the Vault, Rogue announced the departure of her team from the mansion. Sam explained his personal feelings about leaving to Cyclops, saying that he felt he needed to leave the mansion as his former home had become a grave site for his brother Jay and the constant reminder became too much. Following the defeat of a villain named Pandemic, the team then fought the alien mummudrai called Hecatomb. Coupled with injuries sustained against Pandemic, Rogue suffered a huge mental injury from Hetacomb, leading the team to rest in Rogue's childhood home in Mississippi. During this time, Mystique and Lady Mastermind betray the X-Men and join the Marauders in an attack and retrieval mission to acquire Destiny 's Diaries. After the surprise blitz, Emma Frost, disabled by a neuro-toxin, uploaded everything she picked out of what was at the edges of the Marauders' psi-shielding into Sam's mind and takes limited possession over his body, causing him to unwillingly flee (along with Iceman) from the battle. Aboard the Blackbird, the two are engaged in midair by Sunfire, who cripples the jet. Cannonball manages to escape and battle Shiro, who reveals that he killed Cable. Cannonball shakes it off, explaining that it "wouldn't matter who told me that, ah'd still be sayin' 'show me the body.'" Sam and Iceman, telepathically prompted by Emma Frost, attempted to recover the Destiny Diaries which are hidden in a dilapidated brewery. The Marauder's master, Mister Sinister, used a reverse engineered version of Xavier's Cerebro to track the pair of X-Men to the brewery. The Marauders attacked Sam and Iceman and overtook them. After the battle, Sinister attempted to telepathically erase Sam's mind so that the X-Men would find him as an empty shell. This would serve as a lesson to them and to the Marauders as well. However, Sinister was distracted by Iceman, allowing Sam to activate his power to rocket his way out of the brewery and escape. Iceman was also able to escape, but it was revealed that Sam, who crashed through one of the brewery's walls, was seriously injured. It was discovered that his blast field, which protects him from concussive impact when he uses his power, was not working properly. As a result, Sam received compound fractures of the upper and lower legs, a broken collar bone, and other injuries. Sam lies unconscious in the X-Mansion's infirmary. Dr. Henry McCoy attends to his injuries and evaluates his condition. He notes that Sam's brain scan indicates sluggish and non-continuous activity. However, at the end of the issue, Sam is shown conscious, alert, and speaking clearly to Iceman. He quickly recovers and is capable of taking part in the final fight against the Marauders. It has yet to be seen if he has suffered any lingering mental effects from his ordeal at the hands of Mr. Sinister.
After Cyclops disbands the X-Men, Cannonball goes home. His sister Paige picks him up at the airport, extremely happy to have him back with the family. Sam is moody and withdrawn following the tragic and traumatic events of Messiah Complex and the disbanding of the X-Men. As they drive, he asks Paige to stop at a local bar. As soon as he walks in, the local men begin to glare at him, and the bartender asks him not to start anything. Paige knows that Sam came to the bar for a fight, as it's filled with members of the Cabot family (rival family whose daughter had a Romeo & Juliet-esque romance with Sam's brother Jay). Soon the Cabots confront Sam, and he pushes them to attack him, which they happily do. Paige refuses to participate, and Sam defeats all four men alone, trying to prove something to himself after he was helpless and hospitalized during the X-Men's last big battle. Paige demands to know what's wrong with him, and he angrily blasts off into the sky, saying he should have never come home. Sam is soon called by Cyclops, informing him that the X-Men are reforming and establishing themselves now in San Francisco. Sam agrees to join this new team. He arrives in San Francisco just as Magneto is attacking the city with a group of antique Sentinels. Sam manages to plow into Magneto, disarming his artificial magnetism suit, and allowing the X-Men the upper hand in the battle, unfortunately, Magneto still manages to escape.
The Brotherhood of Mutants vs. The Young X-Men
After Messiah Complex, the X-Men were disassembled, including the New X-Men. The newly formed Young X-Men team faced with a new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. An ominous clue as to the identity of the new Brotherhood of Mutants suggests that the new Brotherhood may not be "new" and that they are led by the new Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club. In the first issue of Young X-Men, the last page reveals Sunspot, Magma, Moonstar, and Cannonball as members. The hint alludes to the fact that the New Brotherhood were also once New Mutants. However this was only a ruse of Donald Pierce who had disguised himself as Cyclops and gathered the Young X-Men for his own ends.
Reforming the New Mutants
After receiving an anonymous tip in Colorado about a young mutant endangering a small town, Dani and Shan are sent to investigate and calm the locals. During their mission, Magik reappears back at the X-Men's base in San Francisco after teleporting off into the future after the events of "X-Infernus". Upon her return, she informs Sam and Roberto that Shan and Dani are in trouble and it will result in their deaths. When asked what he thinks about the situation, Sam says that when it comes to the New Mutants, he doesn't need to think about it. He assembles a team consisting of himself, Sunspot, Magma and Magik to go find them. While searching for them, Sam and Roberto come across a tied up and unconscious Shan in the back of a bar, while Magik and Magma are tricked into freeing Legion from a box. The personalities in Legion's mind want to kill Dani because she can help Legion get them under control. Legion locates Dani in a jail cell and is about to kill her when Sam stops him. Dani tells Sam to let her out but Sam refuses, saying she'll be safer in the cell since she doesn't have her powers anymore. Sam and Roberto go off to fight Legion leaving Dani behind. Unbeknownst to them, one of Legion's personalities has the ability to project himself and is stalling them while he prepares to kill Dani only to be stopped by Magik and Magma. They free Dani as Legion retreats, Sam apologizes but gets punched in the face by an angry Dani. When asked where she's going Dani replies "to make myself useful", she returns brandishing numerous firearms and tells the others that they're going after Legion. However Sam tells Dani to go, she isn't a mutant anymore and to stop pretending she is because one of the most powerful mutants on earth wants her dead. Dani, upset gets into a van and drives away only to turn back minutes later after Sam and the rest of the New Mutants are badly beaten. After Legion is caught, Sam tries to apologize but Dani limps away, ignoring him. Sam confesses to Cyclops he feels as if he has messed up but Cyclops congratulates him on keeping everyone alive and that's all that matters.
Powers and Abilities
Thermo-Chemical Energy Field Propulsion: Cannonball possesses the ability to bodily generate thermo-chemical energy and release it from his skin. This energy is used as thrust to cause his body to be propelled through the air, like his namesake, at great heights and speeds with considerable maneuverability. He can control his speed and direction through sheer act of will. At first he could only release this energy from his feet, but now he can fire it from almost any part of his body, to a wide variety of affects.
Blast Field: This energy also manifests itself as an impenetrable and virtually indestructible “blast field”. He can use this blast-field to function as a personal shield or extending it to encompass others, shape the field around another person to imprison them, or absorb outside kinetic impact into his own energy supply, and then re-channel it to increase the bludgeoning power of his blows or create explosive shock waves upon impact.
Metahuman Durability: possesses metahuman durability due to the energy field which forms over his body.
His power levels have varied over the years - but at his peak, he has been able to defeat the Shi'ar Imperial Guard leader, Gladiator (Kallark), and devastate several city blocks by plummeting to the ground from high altitude. It has been theorized that Cannonball may be one of the Externals, and therefore immortal (although evidence for this is somewhat questionable).
Cannonball does not seem to possess any extraordinary talents.
Cannonball possesses the normal human strength of a young man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. However, when he uses his powers to apply thrust beneath him, the force thus generated enables him to bear aloft over a ton of weight in addition to his own.
- New Mutants
- X-Force formerly
- X-Treme Sanctions Executive formerly
- X-Corporation formerly
- Mutant Resistance (earth-11326)
- X-Men formerly
- Bratpack formerly
Appearances in other Media
X-Men: The Animated Series
- Sam Guthrie played a small role in X-Men: The Animated Series. The X-Men and anti-mutant forces competed for a role in Sam's life
- Sam is one of the New Mutants at the Xavier Institute, first appearing in the second season. His tendency to crash into things is somewhat of a running gag, and he demonstrates a skill at motocross racing, almost beating Wolverine in a race once, until his bike hit a rock when he wasn't paying attention, and he crashed. In the final battle against Apocalypse, Sam did not participate in any of the actual fighting. Instead, he accompanied Rogue in her part of the mission to find Dorian Leech so that she could absorb his powers and use them to stop Apocalypse. Sam's only significant role was flying her into the Sphinx where the fight was going down.
X2: X-Men United
- Sam's and his sister, Paige's names appeared on the list of mutants that Mystique scrolled through on William Stryker's computer.
X3: The Last Stand Novel
- Although not seen in the movie itself, Sam will appear in the Epilogue of the movie novelization with Moonstar, Sage, Gambit, Shadowcat, and Colossus just before a Danger Room session with Logan.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
Main article: Cannonball/Gallery