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A former Marine, Bill Carver worked to take down members of a violent street gang that had attempted to recruit him. He served as an assistant DA under Foggy Nelson. One day, Bill's brother Lonnie was shot by a hitman. While chasing after the gunman, both were struck by lightning.

An experimental treatment was needed to save Bill's life. He was exposed to a cobalt ray developed by Stark Industries. A radiation leak was discovered, but Bill seemed fine, and recovered quickly.

Carver found that the exposure had given him superhuman speed. He set out to look for his brother's killers, calling himself Thunderbolt. However, he soon learned that he was aging rapidly due to his powers.

Luke Cage and Iron Fist discovered that "Big" Ben Donovan had ordered Lonnie's death. Donovan's younger brother, Paul, had been one of the gang leaders that William Carver had sent to prison. Paul Donovan was killed in prison, and his brother Ben blamed the assistant District Attorney for that death. In revenge, he sought to deprive Carver of his own brother.

Having confessed to the crime, Donovan pulled a gun on Thunderbolt. As the two men struggled, the gun went off, accidentally killing Donovan. His mission complete, Thunderbolt died from his body's accelerated aging. He died content that his brother's murder had been avenged.

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