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Thunder (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
First appearance1984
Voiced byNeil Ross
AffiliationG.I. Joe
File nameMatthew Harris Breckinridge
Birth placeLouisville, Kentucky
RankE-5 (Sergeant)

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Thunder is a character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and animated series. He is the G.I. Joe team's self-propelled gun artilleryman and debuted in 1984.


His real name is Matthew Harris Breckinridge, and his rank is that of sergeant E-5. Thunder was born in Louisville, Kentucky.

Thunder was originally the driver for the "Slugger", a self-propelled gun, and his primary military specialty is artillery. His secondary military specialty is bandsman (drummer). Thunder has a fondness for loud noises; he grew up next to a foundry, and has a passion for heavy metal music, peanut brittle, and even cars with bad mufflers.[1]


Thunder was first released as an action figure in 1984, packaged with the Slugger artillery vehicle.[2]

Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #51 (September 1986).[3] In that issue, he is first seen guarding the Dreadnok disguise expert Zartan, deep in the Joe HQ called "the Pit". After Zartan makes his escape, several Joes leave to pursue him. Zartan, masquerading as Sgt. Slaughter leaves Thunder in charge before leaving the pit.[4]

Later, Thunder is sent with several Joes on a multi-week weapons testing mission. He works with Tunnel Rat, Grand Slam and Clutch. While being escorted home in a G.I. Joe convoy, they are attacked by Cobra Commander in a 'P.O.G.O.' craft. The battle ends in a draw.[5]

In issue #109, Doc, Thunder, Heavy Metal, Falcon, Crazy Legs, Crankcase, Cross Country, Quick Kick, Duke and Breaker are captured by Cobra forces during a mission in the fictional country of Trucial Abysmia. They are kept in a sandy pit. A misunderstanding between the Crimson Twins and Cobra Commander convinces the Twins the Joes are to be killed instead of let go. A S.A.W. Viper steps up to take over where the Twins' courage fails. He kills Doc, then fires into the crowd of prisoners. Thunder and Heavy Metal die instantly.[6] Only Duke, Falcon and Cross Country survive the resulting running battle.

Thunder, like all deceased Joes, is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Animated series[edit]


He first appeared in the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe animated series in the 'Revenge of Cobra' mini-series.[7]

In the episode "Battle for the Train of Gold", Thunder's friendship with a Kentucky horse farmer is essential to the plot.[8]

In the 2-part episode "Captives Of Cobra," Thunder has to deal with his brainwashed parents and sister trying to kill him. This is part of a plot that involves the relatives of Joe Team members being brainwashed.[9]


  1. "Filecard Gallery - Thunder". YoJoe. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  2. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 100. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. Jamar Miller. "Thunder". JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  4. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #51 (September 1986)
  5. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #59 (May 1987)
  6. "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #109
  7. "1984 Characters". Half the Battle. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  8. "Battle for the Train of Gold". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  9. "Captives Of Cobra Part 1". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

External links[edit]

  • Thunder at JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page

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