Character Name: Cannonball
Played By: Captain Whitebread
Real Name: Sam Guthrie
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Weight: 181 lbs
Face Claim: Ryan Kwanten
Affiliation: New Mutants; X-Men: X.S.E; Mutant Liberation Front,; X-Corporation; X-Force; Hellions; Hellfire Club
History: Sam Guthrie is a mutant whose superhuman powers first emerged when he was trapped with co-workers in a coal mine collapse. His emerging powers allowed them to escape. He was then recruited by Donald Pierce, a renegade member of the Hellfire Club, to use as a tool to destroy other young mustants he had discovered, and Professor Charles Xavier, who had also discovered these mutants, new recruits of Xavier’s. However, during the battle, Guthrie refused Pierce’s order to kill them, and Pierce tried to kill him in retaliation. Xavier saved the entire group by defeating Pierce.
Xavier realized that Guthrie was not evil, and invited him to join his newly formed training group, The New Mutants. With the NM, Guthrie had many adventures, including trips to the future and past, to alternate worlds, to Asgard, and into deep space. Guthrie quickly rose to the position of co-leader of the group. He was with the group up until they disbanded and became X-Force under the leadership of Cable.
As X-Force, the group continued to adventure, but demonstrated considerable growth, both in character and ability. The group had ’grown up‘, and finally took the reins away from their adult leaders to strike out on their own. Sam became the group’s leader in every way until he was “graduated” to the X-Men by Professor X.
Sam spent only a short time with the X-Men, eventually returning to his friends in X-Force after Operation: Zero Tolerance, once more becoming that group’s mainstay. Recently the group has undergone a dramatic change, and has placed Pete Wisdom, the British Black Air agent, as it’s overall leader. Sam has experienced some subtle changes to his abilities, as he has discovered some more subtle (and not so subtle) uses.
In their first mission, however, Wisdom was killed by the mad geneticist, Nilas Roman. X-Force continued to operate without him for many months, even faking their own deaths and acting as a pro-mutant terrorism group, going so far as to kill groups and companies that abused and killed mutants. To avoid recognition, Sam dyed his hair and beard black, which led to him looking quite a lot like the late Pete Wisdom. After a disastrous encounter with Wisdom’s sister, Romany, however, X- Force broke up and went their separate ways, though they still got into a fight with the new media-friendly X-Force (now X-Statix) over the team’s name.
Sam eventually joined the European branch of the X-Corporation, operating out of Paris, France with some former X-Force and Generation X members, as well as some new faces. The mutants were lured into a trap in the tunnel connecting Paris and Great Britain by the Weapon Plus project - an incident that cost dozens of lives among the humans and the life of another member of X-Corporation.
After helping with the relief work, Sam decided to retire from the world of mutant affairs. He happened across his old flame, Lila Cheney, and spent some time travelling the galaxy with her rock band. Eventually returning to Earth, the couple, back together again, took up residence in Paris. Cannonball kept himself updated on the various adventures and mishaps the diverse X-teams were facing and finally decided he could not hide from his old life anymore. He contacted Storm and signed on as a member of her outsider group of X-Men, as he figured that their dream of making sure that humans and mutants played nice with each other was right up his alley.
More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/universe/Cannonball_%28Sam_Guthrie%29
Personality: Cannonball is the only remaining original member of the original New Mutants squad. Though he often seems a hayseed farm-boy overly supplied with naivete, he has a plethora of otherwordly experience, has been to space and other dimensions, and has been a (short-lived) member of the X-Men. His determination in the face of overwhelming odds never wavers, and he remains his generation’s staunchest supporter of Xavier’s Dream.
Sam was a country boy who saw the world through the veil of his own naivete, but who had dreams of something bigger, ala Luke Skywalker. And just like Luke, the dreams came true bigger than he expected. But he has grown into what may be called a soldier for the Dream. He has been influenced by many different mentors and friends, from Cable to Xavier to Magneto, and his world view encompasses almost everything he has seen and done. To consider him Cyclops, Jr. is not far off the mark.
Sam is brave, gentlemanly, considerate, loyal to his friends, unassuming, unpretentious, and so on. Because he has seen that life is too short and too precious for anything but your best.
Sam has been best friends with former teammate Roberto DaCosta (Sunspot), and until recently had a romantic relationship going with Tabitha Smith (Meltdown).
Powers/Abilities: Cannonball possesses the ability to bodily generate thermo-chemical energy and release it through his skin. Accompanied by smoke, flame, and condensation, the equal and opposite reaction to this energy release propels his body through the air like a human rocket. Originally, Cannonball was unable to stop the propulsion until his immediate store of energy was depleted or until he hit an object of sufficient mass to stop him. With practice, however, Cannonball can now cut off his propulsive power at will. As a side effect of forming the thermo-chemical energies over the surface of his body, Cannonball is rendered virtually invulnerable while in flight. Accompanying the release of energy is a half-inch thick energy field that channels the explosion and protects his skin from the direct effects of the blast. It also negates momentum and related effects, thereby cushioning his body from any impact up to a half-minute from the depletion of his energy. Cannonball's "blast field" extends to any person or object with which he is in physical contact, and he can extend it further by concentrating to form a protective shield, even while standing still. Cannonball is also able to absorb kinetic energy through the field he generates and use it to either strengthen his field or redirect it as concussive force. Cannonball once recovered from mortal injuries that left him seemingly dead. It has been theorized that Cannonball's recovery was an indication that he was an External, one of a group of immortal mutants. However, since it has subsequently been demonstrated that even Externals can be permanently killed, doubt has been cast on his alleged immortality.