We know Watchmen was based on the Charlton Comics characters that DC bought out, but wouldn't let Alan Moore use in the way he wanted back in the mid-1980s when he was crafting his seminal story. Thus, Moore made up his own characters. The other Charlton characters – Blue Beetle, the Question and Captain Atom, among others – are still running around the DC Universe in some form (although these days, in forms scarcely resembling their original notions), but one guy is missing – the inspiration for Ozymandias, debatably the most complex and darkly compelling character in Watchmen.
That guy is Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt, and he's returning this September with a new series from Dynamite Entertainment, which will be co-written by Steve Darnall and Alex Ross, with art from Jonathan Lau. It seems that Cannon's originator, the late Peter Morisi, managed to retain the rights to his 1966 creation (a rarity in those days, as Moore will vociferously attest to in the case of Watchmen), and that's why Cannon is resurfacing at Dynamite instead of being wedged somewhere in DC's New 52. Although that's not to say Cannon has never been a part of the DCU.
"Peter Cannon, the original Thunderbolt, is one of my all-time favorite characters," says Dynamite honcho Nick Barrucci. "Having first read Crisis on Infinite Earths – a watershed series by Marv Wolfman – with beautiful art by George Perez, seeing that glimpse of Peter made me want to find out more about this cool looking character. Having read DC Challenge #5 with Peter Cannon, Dr. Fate, Adam Strange and others with art by Dave Gibbons, I was hooked and I sought out as many Peter Cannon comics as I could find! And when I learned that he was the archetype for Ozymandias, my love for Peter Cannon grew. Twenty-five years later, Dynamite is publishing Peter Cannon. We are giving Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt the respect he deserves by bringing aboard the most dynamic creative team possible."
"I have a great sentimentality for all of the Silver Age heroes," says Ross. "Peter Cannon belongs to that age of the heroic pantheon, and we have the chance to use him, and create a future for him. This is exciting new ground for us all."
"Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt fascinates me; for one thing, he's got the most amazingly colorful costume," adds Darnall. "More than that, however, Peter Cannon is a character with a lot of interesting facets, and I am excited to explore them in the series!"
Here's the synopsis blurb for the new series, to let you know their take on the character:
Peter Cannon is a world-famous author, an international celebrity, and the superhero known as Thunderbolt. He is acknowledged far and wide as the man who saved the world from destruction. Unfortunately, he has little interest in fame, even less interest in people, and the peace he has created is based on an illusion. Now, as old and new enemies plan to destroy his efforts-unaware of the secret he carries – Peter Cannon must fight to keep the peace and preserve his own existence, while fending off deadly foes… and mysterious admirers.
Check out these preview covers of Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 from Alex Ross, Ardian Syaf, Jae Lee and John Cassaday, and some preliminary interior art from Lau.