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Born into the wealthy family of a police chief, Neal Shaara has no worries, until the day he
returned home to find his brother, Sanjit, was missing. Not satisfied waiting for the authorities to track down Sanjit, Neal set off to locate him using clues he had uncovered in his brother's diary. Sanjit was a reporter, and Neal learned he had been working on a story involving disappearances among Calcutta's impoverished citizens. The trail led him into the arms of bandits, but Karina, an operative of Neal's father, saved his life. The two began to fall in love as they searched together for Sanjit. Ultimately, their quest brought them face-to-face with Bastion, in the midst of Operation Zero Tolerance.
Bastion transformed Sanjit into a Prime Sentinel, one in a series of cyborgs bent on eliminating all mutants; the villain intended the same fate for Neal and Karina. While the process worked on Karina, it instead triggered Neal's latent mutant abilities. His power emerged in an explosive fury, decimating Bastion's hidden base. Neal battled Bastion and the Prime Sentinels, but would have been overcome if his brother, fighting the Sentinel programming, had not saved him. Sanjit sacrificed himself so Neal and Karina could escape. However, Karina was beginning to succumb to the Sentinel programming, and Neal was forced to flee India for his safety. His parents recommended he travel to Muir Island in Scotland to seek help from Moira MacTaggeret, a leading specialist in the field of mutation. There, he met the X-Men and was convinced to join the team.
Powers: Thunderbird can generate and manipulate super-fiery plasma for a variety of effects. Neal Shaara has the ability to absorb ambient heat energy and transform it into plasma bursts or flames.