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.
Crime-Buster was mentioned as serving in the board of directors of the Penance Corps. Fellow board of directors members include Águila, Black Tiger, Crime-Buster, and Justin Alphonse Gamble.  The Penance Corps board of a directors reportedly posed for a picture. 
Thunderbolt possessed superhuman speed. He was able to run at roughly 85 mph, although this is not likely to be his top speed, as on one occasion, he was able to spin fast enough to use his super-speed to create a powerful updraft to slow a rudderless hovercraft's descent, which was about to crash into the Fifth Avenue library (an apache helicopter has a rotor tip speed of about 800 feet per second, or 545 mph and the hovercraft was much heavier than a helicopter, meaning he was spinning much faster, implying an even greater top running speed--(Power Man I#43). He was also described as being able to out run bullets, will travel at about 1700 mph. His entire body was acclimated to superspeed.
Thunderbolt was skilled in hand to hand combat from his Marine training.
Thunderbolt possessed superhuman strength primarily in his lower body as part of his body's adaptations for running at superhuman speeds. With his upper body he possessed little more than the normal human strength of a man his physical age, height, and build. He could leg press approximately 1000 pounds under optimal conditions.
Thunderbolt's visor could produce intense blinding light. He would use this 'thunderbolt lightning flare' only as a last resort.
- 9 Appearances of William Carver (Earth-616)
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