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Where Did General Ross Get His Thunderbolt Nickname?

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are all abuzz now that General Thaddeus Ross has finally been cast for the upcoming "Captain America 4." Ross will be played by Harrison Ford, who enters the MCU after decades of franchise experience portraying Han Solo as part of the "Star Wars" saga.

Fans might be curious about the tough-as-nails general. Comic lovers might think they know plenty about him; his connection to his daughter, Betty Ross, his intense devotion to the military, and how his hatred of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) eventually turns into an Ahab-like obsession. And the Hulk has always been Ross' Moby Dick; at the publication of this article, Ross and the Hulk have been chasing each other for the better part of 50 years in the comics. The general even becomes one of the Hulk's greatest adversaries, Red Hulk. All the while, Ross is entirely unaware that his daughter Betty's beaux, the nerdy scientist Bruce Banner, is, in fact, the man he's been chasing after for so many years. There's currently no word as to how the history of the MCU version of Ross may be altered. 

What hasn't been altered throughout the years is how Ross got his nickname, which has stayed fairly consistent throughout his Marvel Comics run.

Ross' lack of mercy earned him his nickname

Marvel Comics fans learn that "Thunderbolt" Ross got his nickname from his fellow troops as a young soldier. He became known for striking quickly and without warning while displaying deadly accuracy — thus, like a thunderbolt.

Since Ross is a career soldier from a military family, it's probably not shocking that he's deadly and efficient on the battlefield and good at protecting his own men. Before he ran afoul of the Hulk, Ross was a decorated colonel who served in several wars and was beloved by the men in his ranks. 

That was all before he was stationed at Los Alamos in New Mexico, where he witnessed the birth of the Hulk and found himself acting as a military supervisor for the gamma bomb project. Everything that's controlled his life in the years after the Hulk's emergence stems from that single assignment. Since that day, his nickname has had a new meaning, pointing out his fierce determination to track down the Hulk at any cost.