X-Men’s Cannonball once destroyed Marvel’s Superman after the warrior crashed on Earth, and Cannonball quickly took advantage of his weakness!
With the launch of the new age X men hold the new mutants came a mutant with the power to redirect kinetic energy to powerful explosions, and that mutant took Marvel’s version of Superman. Over time, the mutant named Cannonball graduated from the New Mutants team and joined the cable-based X-Force, then switched to a full member of the X-Men. During his first stay with the X-Men, Cannonball was entangled with the hero Gladiator and destroyed him.
IN Creepy X-Men # 341 by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira, Cannonball and other members of the X-Men enjoying a quiet winter night in New York to celebrate Christmas. In the midst of the festivities, Shi’ar warrior Gladiator crashes to the ground and Cannonball rushes to the point of attack. Gladiator grabs Cannonball aggressively and says he needs to talk to X-Men, but Cannonball responds instead to Gladiator’s threatening gesture, triggering a complete fight between them.
To begin with, Gladiator hits Cannonball, while Sam’s best maneuver is simply to escape the Shi’ar warrior. Gladiator’s powers are very similar to Superman including super strength, flight and even heat vision. In fact, Gladiator is almost a replica of Superman except for one thing, his weakness. Gladiator’s powers are driven by his confidence, the more confident he is, the more powerful he becomes, but the opposite is also true. When Gladiator begins to lose confidence in his abilities, his powers diminish, which is what Cannonball is eventually able to take advantage of.
While Gladiator prepares to land the final blow on Cannonball, Sam is able to kick his powers into high gear. Cannonball absorbs Gladiator’s most powerful blows by redirecting his kinetic energy and using it to create a massive explosion. When he sees that his most powerful attack had no effect on the X-Men member, Gladiator loses focus and loses more disabling confidence in himself. Cannonball uses this opportunity to break down Gladiator, slamming him into the ground with a hugely powerful blow and ending the fight right there and then.
Until that time in Marvel Comics, Cannonball had never received a major spotlight on how powerful he really is. Sam was always a big asset to which X-team he was a part of, but never really stood out alone. After his confusion with Gladiator, Cannonball proved the sheer power of his power and quickly became a prominent member of the X-Men in the eyes of fans, unable to believe that the kid from New Mutants was able to defeat one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. X-Men’s Cannonball once destroyed Marvel’s Superman which stands as one of the most epic moments in X men comic book history.
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