Tabitha Smith was raised in Roanoke, Virginia. Her parents divorced while she was still young and her father remarried. Her relationship with her parents was tumultuous at best, and further declined after her mutant powers manifested. Her friends had already given Tabitha the nickname Boom-Boom, due to her 'highly explosive' personality. When her mutant power developed, she discovered she could create balls of explosive combustive energy. During a time of high social anxiety, distrust and fear over mutants, her parents were not pleased that their daughter would randomly destroy things with her time-bombs. Boom-Boom's father wasn't a well-educated man, and he tried to beat the mutant power out of her. She resented him for it and placed a small explosive into the tray of his TV dinner. The resultant explosion enraged her father, who beat her so severely that she decided to run away from home and tried to adopt the code name “Time Bomb”.
Boom-Boom first appeared in Secret Wars II #5 and was created by Jim Shooter and Al Milgrom.
Major Story Arcs
Secret Wars II
Boom-Boom used her power to detonate telephone booths and vending machines to collect small change. She used the money to buy a train ticket to New York where she hoped to find a secret mutant school. However, as the train passed through Washington DC it suddenly flew apart, safely placing everyone and their belongings on the floor. Amongst the confusion Boom-Boom spotted a man walking down the railroad tracks and realized that he had caused the train's peaceful destruction. She joined the Beyonder as he continued his journey, thinking that he was a mutant. That night he created an instant camp site, and the two swapped life stories; Boom-Boom explained how things had been difficult, but that she wasn't ready to give up like her friends who had rotted away slowly on drugs. She had devised a game to give yourself 10 points for every bad thing that happens to you. Their conversation convinced the Beyonder to leave for his own dimension, and as the two hugged Boom-Boom sneaked a time-bomb down the back of his pants. It detonated after he returned to his empty dimension, but he wasn't angry for long.
The next day, the Beyonder found Boom-Boom hitchhiking and gave her a ride to New York. He decided to take her to Xavier's School for the Gifted in Westchester, as the X-Men's mansion was the secret mutant school she had heard rumors of. However, when she arrived at the school, the combined forces of the X-Men and New Mutants attacked the Beyonder, who was bored by yet another mutant attack and drove off. Boom-Boom fled the ensuing chaos, and ended up wandering through the nearby woods alone and depressed. She called for the Beyonder, who, being omniscient, should have been aware that his name was being mentioned. When he didn't answer, Boom-Boom threatened to commit suicide. After her first bluff failed, she made a genuine attempt to commit suicide by creating the largest time-bomb she could muster. The bomb detonated, but she wasn't harmed; Boom-Boom had been saved by the Beyonder.
To cheer her up, he drove his car through space, where other alien life-forms recognized his power. When Boom-Boom casually pointed out that the Celestials didn't move, let alone acknowledge his power, the Beyonder flew up into space and threatened to destroy everything unless the Celestials recognized his presence. The Celestials reacted at the last moment, diving to attack the Beyonder. He casually brushed them aside and returned to the boardwalk with Boom-Boom as if nothing had happened. Being confronted by gigantic aliens was scary enough, but the Beyonder's flippant attitude to destroy everything terrified Boom-Boom. In an effort to calm her down, the Beyonder manipulated her body and face. At first he made her more pretty, and then he aged her into a 21 year-old. However, still scared by his abundant power, Boom-Boom demanded that he return her to normal. Once they were back on Earth, Boom-Boom left the Beyonder. Returning to New York City, Boom-Boom called the Avengers' hotline and warned them about the Beyonder. In a sad parting, Tabitha led him into an ambush. The heroes attacked him. Once again, she was left alone, and the Beyonder had lost his only friend.
Boom-Boom was still homeless and wandered around the city until she was discovered by the Vanisher. He recruited her into his gang of teen aged street thieves, the Fallen Angels, where she relished the chance to use her time-bombs as a distraction while the others would pick pockets and steal purses. The Vanisher became lazy and reaped the benefits of all their hard work.
Tired of his lazy attitude she called X-Factor who the public believed to be a human group of mutant hunters. The Vanisher soon disappeared when Iceman & Beast arrived dressed as mutant hunters. Instead of fighting the Vanisher, they found Boom-Boom who placed one of her time-bombs down the back of Iceman's shirt. They chased her around town until she reached a dead-end. Although she bluffed them with a non-exploding time-bomb, they scolded her and made her cry. She lamented of her broken family and having lost her only friend, the Beyonder. Although she didn't really need much training to use her powers, Iceman & Beast took her back to X-Factor to learn self-control and restraint of her powers.
The Fallen Angels
While staying with X-Factor, Boom-Boom had a crush on Iceman. This, combined with her rowdy personality, meant that she could not resist the chance to cause trouble for either Iceman or Beast, his best friend. After she, Skids & Rusty saw Cyclops talking to himself, she went to fetch Iceman & Beast. However, when they ignored her she left a time-bomb in one of Beast's experiments to get their attention. As they chased her through the building her old friend Ariel appeared through a teleportal-doorway, stealing Boom-Boom away for an adventure with her old team, the Fallen Angels.
There Boom-Boom met Sunspot and Warlock, who had run away from the New Mutants, and she developed a crush on Jamie Madrox even though he was still dating Siryn. They lazed around their base in the Beat Street Club and feasted on stolen fast food. Soon they followed Ariel into an adventure in space, where her over-enthusiastic use of her powers landed her into trouble. She was experimented on by a race of aliens who wanted to know the secret of mutation. Boom-Boom was rescued by her new friends, and helped coach Chance to use her new mutant powers. Ultimately, Boom-Boom chose to return and face the music back at X-Factor.
Return To X-Factor
However, upon Boom-Boom's return the X-Factor complex had been attacked by 'smile-face' soldiers from The Right. She found Caliban unconscious, and stowed away on board the Right's jet where she met Rictor who had been restrained and had his powers neutralized. She realized that the other kids from X-Factor would also be tied-up & powerless, so she remained hidden. Upon landing, Boom-Boom managed to follow them to the Arlington Interactive Science Museum where she would blend in with the regular school kids. However, she was discovered while playing around with one of the hands-on exhibits which was secretly a mutant detector. Boom-Boom managed to sneak into the Right's secret base before their soldiers located her, and used her time-bombs to remove the power inhibitor helmets from Rictor, Rusty and the other kids. However, they were soon cornered by Cameron Hodge, leaving Boom-Boom hanging onto Rictor's legs as he held on to the edge of a broken bridge. Their only options were to pull themselves up and be captured again, or drop to their deaths. Rictor, who had previously been tortured by The Right, preferred to die than go through the experience all over again, but it was Boom-Boom's pleas that she didn't want to die which stopped him from committing suicide. Although Boom-Boom was imprisoned along with the other kids, they were soon rescued by the adult members of X-Factor.
As soon as the fight against the Right had concluded, the adults were mysteriously teleported away, leaving the kids to make a long journey back to New York. When they had returned, their old home had been destroyed and replaced by Apocalypse's Ship. However, soon after the Ship repaired itself after the battle against Apocalypse and his Horsemen, the Ship began to attack anyone inside it. Artie used his telepathic based powers to lead the way into the Ship's main brain, and indicated that the Ship had been enslaved. Boom-Boom used a precisely aimed time-bomb to free the Ship's mind from the bonds controlling it, allowing Ship to verbally communicate with X-Factor for the first time. The adults were then able to work in conjunction with Ship to remove the bomb that Apocalypse had left to destroy them and the Ship.
After that, Ship was happy for all of X-Factor and their wards to live there, and would often provide any facilities that they asked for. On one occasion Ship gave them a high net to play Volley Bomb with an over-sized dud time-bomb. On another occasion, when Boom-Boom was shouting at the others for using her records as pizza trays, Ship locked the kids in their den. X-Factor's roster had been reduced to just Iceman, Cyclops and Marvel Girl. While the three of them were under attack from aliens who had cloned the Avengers, they had given Ship strict instructions not to let the kids out. Boom-Boom, Rictor and Rusty had to break down each door with their powers until they could convince ship that as X-Factor were out-numbered that they needed their help. The kids had the element of surprise, and quickly dispatched the Carbon Copy Avengers. Boom-Boom was pleased that she easily defeated the fake Thor by throwing a time-bomb up on the replica Mjolnir as it returned to its' master.
During Christmas, the X-Factor kids appeared on the local news. As X-Factor had become local celebrities, many people sent in presents for X-Factor and their wards. Even though it was only Christmas Eve Boom-Boom began opening presents in a materialistic frenzy. When Rictor & the others insisted that they give the presents to those who had less than they did, Boom-Boom put up a fight, but slowly relented when they agreed she could keep her new sweater. She then helped the others sneak out with a trolley loaded in presents, and was ready with her time-bombs to frighten off local street thugs.
It wasn't until all of X-Factor's wards were separated that they gave themselves a group name; the X-Terminators. Boom-Boom, Skids & Rictor had been sent to Angel's old boarding school, but left in the middle of the night when a boy named Taki appeared in his flying car. He claimed that Artie & Leech had been kidnapped by demons and wanted their help to save them. Taki adapted his flying car to be powered by Boom-Boom's time-bombs, and soon they were on their way to battle legions of demons who had been unleashed from Limbo during the Inferno.
On route to Manhattan the kids stopped to 'borrow' refreshments and clothes from some local stores. While Taki paid for everything, Boom-Boom gave the team a stylish new make-over. However, Taki was kidnapped by Crotus and given to N'Astirh to create a machine which would enable the demon sorcerer to create faster & more complex spells. A giant portal above Times Square was held in place by tiny mutant babies at each point of an inverted pentagram. As the X-Terminators flew in Taki's adapted flying machines to save the babies, they were joined by the New Mutants. The two young teams swapped roles; the New Mutants went to save the babies, while the X-Terminators went to save Taki. Together with the New Mutants, they closed the portal to Limbo and restored normality to the streets of New York. Afterwards, Boom-Boom and Rictor teamed-up with the remaining New Mutants to help save Magik from her Darkchilde destiny.
During the Inferno, Xavier's School for the Gifted had been destroyed leaving New Mutants homeless. They returned to X-Factor's ship in the hopes of finding a place to rest. Instead, the X-Terminators had been exploring underwater and discovered an ancient horn. All the X-Terminators had taken it in turns to blow the horn, but had failed to make a noise. When it was Boom-Boom's turn, her lungs managed to blast a mighty note out of the horn. Unexpectedly the horn had summoned a giant sea monster from the deep and it began to drag Ship under water. The New Mutants arrived in time to help, and with the aid of Namor they managed to destroy the giant squid. Boom-Boom found that her time-bombs moved slowly underwater, because of the resistance caused by the water. However, they put her power to more effective use when Sunspot & Warlock threw them like torpedoes. Having successfully worked together for a second time, the New Mutants accepted the X-Terminators' offer to stay with them on board Ship.
Soon after the X-Terminators accepted an offer to join the New Mutants. For a little while they hung around on board Ship, using their powers on each other to train. Boom-Boom would throw time-bombs into the air while Cannonball flew through the obstacle course that Warlock created. Beast, Cyclops & Iceman berated her for endangering Cannonball with her time-bombs. She protested that they were duds & she knew that nothing could harm Cannonball though his blast field. Cannonball re-assured the members of X-Factor that he knew Boom-Boom would never do anything to harm him. Marvel Girl believed that Boom-Boom had matured, but Iceman was more jaded and stated that she'd found someone new to have a crush on.
When the New Mutants returned the infant Illyana Rasputin to her parents in Russia, Mirage & her Pegasus Brightwind were suddenly struck down by a mysterious disease. They rushed her back to New York where Ship recommended that they visit Doctor Strange. Boom-Boom objected to an implication that she was too immature to talk to Doctor Strange. However, the doctor couldn't see them as he was meant to be dead. She didn't believe Wong's claims and threw a time-bomb into the Sanctum Sanctorum, which was defused by the Doctor while hiding in the shadows. He observed how both Boom-Boom & Rictor were arguing, and he recognized how they were both particularly sensitive to the evil magic that was effecting Mirage.
Mirage regained consciousness, but was possessed by an evil fiery spirit. She attacked the local citizens and the New Mutants. With Doctor Strange's help, she was able to fight the spirit and encase herself in ice. He then teleported the New Mutants to Asgard. There, Boom-Boom continued to complain about how much she hated it in Asgard. The others tried to cheer her up, but when Sunspot attempted to show off how his strength was amplified they were attacked by dwarves. Boom-Boom freaked out and was unable to fight. Even though the dwarves turned out to be allies from the New Mutants previous adventure in Asgard, Boom-Boom was still unable to warm up to her new allies. When they were attacked by a troop of possessed Valkrior, Rictor had to taunt Boom-Boom into fighting by calling her a cowardly dwarf.
However, the New Mutants were captured by Moonstar, who couldn't fight the demonic spirit any longer. They were taken to Hela's fortress and held in a magic cell that froze their bodies like statues. Despite being unable to move, Boom-Boom could still talk. Her complaints about Cannonball's leadership angered Wolfsbane who snapped back. This irritated Boom-Boom so much that she held a grudge against Wolfsbane for many weeks afterward, as she couldn't stand her holier-than-thou attitude. It also caused Boom-Boom to create a time-bomb; the cell had frozen their bodies, but not their mutant powers. Unfortunately, Boom-Boom couldn't move away from the time-bomb as it rolled underneath her and exploded. She fell into the store room under their cell, where she was free to move. Boom-Boom was tempted to leave the others behind, but begrudgingly detonated the rest of the floor and freed the rest of the team.
The New Warriors Three
As the New Mutants escaped they found Prince Hrimhari imprisoned in another cell. They quickly freed him, and fled Hela's fortress. However, they were soon divided into two teams. Boom-Boom was forced to travel Asgard with Warlock and Hrimhari. The wolf-prince was often frustrated by Boom-Boom's ignorance of Asgard, and she was quick to anger when he spoke to her as if she as dumb. However, they managed to effectively work together by using his lupine strength to hurl her time-bombs at aerial enemies.
They received advice from the Hildy, who told them to find Tiwaz the giant sorcerer who lived in the icy wastes. Boom-Boom was knocked unconscious during a brief fight with ice giants, so when she woke in the icy lair of Tiwas she mistook him for another ice giant. She threw a time-bomb at him, but he turned it into a living ice-statue of a fairy. Although Tiwaz was unable to join Boom-Boom's small team, he was kind and Boom-Boom liked him. She began to see a friendlier and magical side to Asgard, and gave Tiwaz a kiss goodbye. He sent them to the hive of Queen Ula. There Boom-Boom's team saved the Warriors Three from execution and recruited Queen Ula's swarm as an army to fight Hela. Boom-Boom, Hrimhari & Warlock led the combined forces of the Warriors Three, Queen Ula's swarm, Balder the Brave, and Karnilla's kingdom of living statues into battle. The other New Mutants stopped Moonstar from executing Odin while he slumbered in his Odinsleep. They were rewarded with banquets, and Boom-Boom developed a crush on Fandral the Dashing. However, they soon left Asgard and returned to New York.
Rictor's Unrequited Love
While Boom-Boom was traveling across Asgard looking for an army to fight Hela, Rictor & Wolfsbane had grown close. Wolfsbane confronted Rictor with the fact that he was attracted to Boom-Boom. He surprised her by saying that Boom-Boom's gregarious attitude was a front to hide her self-doubts. Rictor confessed to Wolfsbane that Boom-Boom had saved his life (when he was ready to commit suicide instead of being captured by the Right) and therefore he wanted to save her. He had made attempts to ask Boom-Boom out in the past, but she had been oblivious to his emotions and often thought he was too childish.
However, Rictor & Wolfsbane had grown attracted to each other by the time the New Mutants had arrived back on Earth. When Moira MacTaggert (possessed by the Shadow King) demanded that Wolfsbane should return to Muir Island immediately, Rictor tried his best to console her. Boom-Boom couldn't stand Wolfsbane's wholesome attitude, but accompanied Cannonball & Sunspot on a shopping trip to buy Wolfsbane a farewell present. Boom-Boom pictures herself wearing diamond earrings, but was scared off by the prices. She then found a crystal wolf figurine which seemed perfect for Wolfsbane. As they made their way home, they came across members of Freedom Force attacking a man with a cybernetic arm. They rushed to his defence, but instead he started to command them in combat. Having defeated Freedom Force with Cable's help, they took him back to Ship where he convinced Moira MacTaggert to leave Wolfsbane under his command. He then returned the team to the site of Xavier's School for the Gifted, where they began to live in the surviving underground complex.
Romance Lost & Romance Gained
Boom-Boom grew quickly grew jealous of Rictor's growing romance with Wolfsbane. She designed herself a sexy little dress to be her new uniform. The boys all swooned over her, but Rictor was oblivious because he was too busy talking to Wolfsbane. Rictor commented that he wasn't attracted to Boom-Boom in her new outfit because she was more like a sister to him. Offended, Boom-Boom argued with Rictor until Wolfsbane calmed her down by complimenting her daring new outfit.
Boom-Boom continued to hold a grudge against Wolfsbane, even though Wolfsbane was unaware of it. However, Boom-Boom did care for her. When Wolfsbane's mind had been swapped with that of herself from a fantasy alternate universe, the New Mutants all thought she had gone insane. Cable refused to let any medical professionals see to her, so Wolfsbane had been left to scream and cry herself to sleep. Boom-Boom would watch over her as she slept and take her food & blankets. Yet, she did object when the reality-displaced Princess Rain stopped half-way through a passionate rant to mock Boom-Boom's name. Although she wouldn't openly admit it, Boom-Boom had grown protective of Wolfsbane and admired her passion.
On a mission to Madripoor, the New Mutants teamed up with Sunfire to fight Stryfe's Mutant Liberation Front and stop his plans to taint the world's water supplies with the deadly drug Sleet. Typically, Boom-Boom was instantly attracted to Sunfire. When the team split into two, she enjoyed being included in the aerial assault team and rode on Warlock's back. Boom-Boom remained oblivious to the others when they reasoned that she had been excluded from Cable's stealthy ground team. However, the aerial team were soon apprehended despite putting up a good fight.
They were bound and left hanging by their wrists in a warehouse on the docks, with Warlock & Sunspot held together and Boom-Boom & Cannonball held together. There, Dragoness flirted with Cannonball and kissed him before she left. Boom-Boom was outraged at how Cannonball was attracted to Dragoness. She grew angry when he commented on how good Dragoness' kiss was, that Boom-Boom spun him around and planted a kiss on him to prove she was better. What she wasn't aware of was that he'd been teasing her; Cannonball had played along with Dragoness to steal the keys to their manacles, but continued his charade when Boom-Boom had over-reacted. Free from their manacles, they rejoined the other New Mutants, Sunfire & Wolverine and soon destroyed the weapons and Sleet stored inside the warehouse. Afterwards, Boom-Boom and Cannonball became a couple and dated for many years to follow.
Under Cable's guidance the New Mutants had became more militaristic and confident in combat even without their mutant powers. The X-Men were believed to be dead because of televised events in Dallas, but they soon returned to live in the mansion with the New Mutants. The younger mutants resented being treated as second class citizens by their elders, and having to share their space and time with a team who had abandoned them. Boom-Boom & Rictor were among the most vocal, especially when the X-Men refused to let them train in the Danger Room giving priority to testing Storm's abilities in her child-like body.
While relaxing on the lawn and playing games in the summer sun, Boom-Boom, Rictor, Wolfsbane, Warlock and Storm were ambushed and kidnapped by Genoshan magistrates. Storm prevented one of Boom-Boom's time-bombs from striking a magistrate, because she had recognized that he was the missing X-Man, Havok. Boom-Boom would constantly remind her of this later, while they were left powerless in prison. However, by the time Cable and the X-Men reached the lawn, there was nothing left of Boom-Boom or the others. They had been transported to Genosha, stripped of their powers & clothes and were due to stand trial for the "crimes" that the X-Men had previously committed in Genosha years earlier. During their imprisonment, Boom-Boom and the others offered to give their life-force to Warlock in order to keep him alive long enough for the X-Men to save them. However, Cameron Hodge had joined forces with the Genoshan government and he killed Warlock in an effort to steal his shape-shifting abilities. Boom-Boom later escaped and used her training to survive on the streets of Genosha.
Even with Cable's training, neither Boom-Boom nor Rictor stood a chance of survival against heavily armed magistrates, but they were saved by Jubilee, Wolverine and Psylocke. The two adults left the New Mutants under Jubliee's care, which aggravated Boom-Boom as her powers and personality were very similar to Jubilee's. Eventually when they regained their powers they were instrumental in destroying Cameron Hodge's data banks, and therefore weakened him enough for the X-Men to gain the upper hand. After the events of Hodge's X-Tinction Agenda had subsided, Wolfsbane was left on Genosha. She asked Boom-Boom to take Warlock's ashes back to America and scatter them over Cypher's grave. Boom-Boom honored the memory and death of her friend accordingly.
Under Cable's leadership the New Mutants had already become a more militant team. Warlock had died in Genosha and Wolfsbane was forced to stay behind. Upon their return to the school they also lost Rictor & Sunspot. However Boom-Boom stayed with Cable & Cannonball, and watched as Cable recruited newer & more aggressive members.
When Shatterstar arrived and attacked them, Boom-Boom begged Cable not to hit in the face. She was wary of Domino (who was Copycat in disguise), and later threatened to use her time-bombs to curl Feral's tail in self-defense. The New Mutants changed their name to X-Force. They would no longer wait for their enemies to find them, but pro-actively pursued villains; something that seemed perfect for her explosive powers.
The team changed its name, and so did Boom-Boom. She was called Boomer instead of Boom-Boom, and she began to wear wrist attachments that would allow her to fire her time-bombs with more accuracy at the enemy. X-Force fought Masque & the Morlocks who had teamed up with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It was during this fight that Cannonball died and came back to life as an External. After this her relationship with him intensified although she was never sure what it meant to date someone who would never die.
However, nothing would prepare her for the confrontation against her former friends. After Stryfe shot Professor Xavier, X-Force were attacked by the newer incarnation of X-Factor, in which they had to fight their old friend Wolfsbane. Boomer was thrilled to see her again, but was shocked to see the change in Wolfsbane's once quiet demeanor into a savage and ferocious animal. Unfortunately, X-Force were defeated by their old friends, and were placed under house arrest in the Danger Room. Of all the members in X-Force, only Cannonball and Boomer were approached by the X-Men to help bring down the Mutant Liberation Front.
Boomer & Cannonball were again forced to fight against old friends; Rusty & Skids. The fight was bitter, and Skids broke Boomer's jaw. Afterwards the others teased her that even with her jaw wired shut, Boomer was still unable to keep quiet. Despite their banter, she still designed new colourful outfits for the rest of the team.
Very quickly X-Force saved Sunspot from Gideon's laboratories, after it transpired that he wasn't the fated External from the New Mutants. Rictor had joined Weapon PRIME hoping to have revenge upon Cable, which put him at odds with his old friends in X-Force. However, he soon realised that Cable was no longer with the team. Therefore both Sunspot & Rictor were reunited with their New Mutants team-mates.
Sadly, Rusty & Skids weren't the only New Mutants who had sided with the Mutant Liberation Front. Moonstar had returned from Asgard and joined the MLF. So when X-Force attacked, she caught them unawares. Rusty & Skids had been brainwashed by Stryfe, but Boomer was shocked that Moonstar had willingly sided with the terrorist team. It was a betrayal of trust that she carried with her for a long time afterwards.
Dating An External
X-Force met up with Cannonball's long-time ex-girlfriend Lila Cheney. Boomer had started dating Cannonball when they believed she had died when teleporting Gosamyr's monstrous family into the local sun, but she had survived and helped the team leave the custardy of the X-Men. Naturally she was jealous of Lila's fame, and was convinced that she would try to steal Cannonball back. However, Lila had a quiet word with Boomer and re-assured her that she was welcome to date Cannonball.
Despite Rictor's machismo attempts to seduce Boomer, she remained faithful to Cannonball. They were a tight couple, but she was kidnapped twice because of their relationship. Together with Siryn and Warpath, Boomer was kidnapped by Gideon and the Externals as they returned to Camp Verde from a shopping trip. They were bound and held on the edge of a cliff. The other members of X-Force had to come & rescue them before they drowned in the rising tide.
Boomer met the rest of Cannonball's family, even though life on the Guthrie family farm was very different for the city girl. It was when Cannonball was trying to get her to swim in the pond that they were suddenly attacked and kidnapped by the Upstart known as Siena Blaze. They were prizes collected in a competition organised by the Gamesmaster. They were temporarily saved by Karma, who had been collected in Madripoor. Boomer couldn't hide her jealousy at Cannonball's joy to see Karma again. However, they were also joined by Rusty, Skids & Moonstar. Although they agreed to set aside their differences to escape, the Gamesmaster saw through their plan and telepathically took control of their bodies. The combined forces of the New Warriors and X-Force were defeated by Boomer and the others, but ultimately they were saved by a gamble between Sam's little sister Paige and the Gamesmaster.
Soon after, Cannonball and Boomer came face-to-face with more Externals. Saul & Absalom paid a visit to the Guthrie farm to discuss Cannonball's responsibilities to the other Externals. Many of their members were dying from the Legacy Virus, and believed that he held the key to finding a cure. Boomer recalled how she had been kidnapped by them previously, so she was quick to threaten Absalom when he grew agitated. The Externals saw her as nothing more than an insect, whose life passed too quickly. Although she remained brave & defiant to them in person, she was still worried about her relationship with someone who was guaranteed to outlive her. After the Externals peacefully parted, she kissed Cannonball and told him that she loved him for the first time.
Cable returned to the team and moved X-Force back to the mansion to strengthen ties with the X-Men. Like the others, Boomer received a new gold & purple uniform, while Cannonball received a promotion to the X-Men. The time that the two spent away from each other began to form cracks in their relationship. Boomer began to skip missions in order to see Cannonball, but he would be forced to leave her alone in the mansion while he aided the X-Men in their next adventure. With nothing else to do, Boomer would visit Sabretooth, who had apparently been reduced to a man-sized kitten after Wolverine lobotomized him with one of his claws. She would routinely take him a bowl of milk, tell him her problems and watch over him as he rollicked in the simulated fields inside the Danger Room. When this was uncovered, her team-mates confronted her, demanding that she cease making the visits for her own safety. Despite what felt like her most rational arguments even Cannonball, Professor X & Storm all insisted that she stop her visits with immediate effect.
The codes to the Danger Room were changed, and with no-one else to turn to Boomer started to turn to her father for attention. She began to make telephone calls to him, but was too afraid to talk as soon as she heard his voice. Eventually she learned that her mother hadn't died but left when she was still little. Unfortunately the combined forces of Sebastian Shaw and Holocaust attacked her father's trailer. Boomer and the rest of X-Force were kidnapped, telepathically brainwashed, and trained to hunt Cable. Even though her mind was restored thanks to a telepathic stunt by Cable, Boomer's father remained hospitalized and in a critical condition.
Returning to the mansion, Boomer began to visit Sabretooth again. However, he had already begun to heal and he waited until her guard was down. His verbal taunts goaded her to destroying his manacles with her powers and he immediately attacked her. Despite being saved by Psylocke, Boomer saw the savage assault she received from Sabretooth. A mixture of her own naivety and the horror of the violence haunted Boomer for a long time after wards. She withdrew to her room, hidden away in the darkness, refusing to see or speak to anyone. She finally emerged from her dark cocoon after having cut her hair, and altered her uniform. Her attitude was moodier, with a more sadistic streak while fighting enemies. Her new codename to go with her new attitude was Meltdown.
Road Trip & Black Ops
With her new change in character came added control over her powers. The time-bombs were no longer spherical, but were any malleable shape she wished for. She could even re-absorb any energy that she didn't detonate. She single-handedly defeated the Blob after he had received power enhancements, and when the team attacked a SHIELD helicarrier she detonated several explosives around the vehicle in mid air at the same time. This shattered the hull in several places simultaneously allowing the team access to the helicarrier and ultimately saved Cyclops. However,soon after she was quickly rendered unconscious and placed into stasis by Operation: Zero Tolerance's Prime Sentinels. Once rescued, Domino left the team and the others rejected new civilian identities from Cable; Meltdown in particular objected to the prospect of becoming 'Nancy Forrester'. Therefore X-Force with Dani Moonstar went on the road without any guidance.
However, her more severe attitude added with the reduced time she spent with her boyfriend meant her relationship with Cannonball began to suffer. While on the road with X-Force Meltdown continued to write to Cannonball. Living in close quarters with the others, she began to grow closer to Sunspot. In a letter home, she invited Cannonball to join them at the Burning Man festival. At the desert festivities she began to play with her powers in public to gain attention & applause from the crowd. Caught up in the revelry, Meltdown & Sunspot soon found themselves dancing and kissing. Although no-one saw them, they both felt guilt-ridden by the time Cannonball arrived. However, it wasn't long before he caught his best friend kissing his girlfriend, and flew away hurt and enraged. Although ashamed of what they had done Meltdown and Sunspot became a couple. This made her a particular target when the whole team has been kidnapped by Reignfire (uncovering the truth behind Sunspot's clone).
It was a long time before any form of reconciliation, but eventually Sam rejoined the team he had previously led. In Cable's place, X-Force took on a new leader; Pete Wisdom, a British born mutant and former Black Air agent. While Cable's teachings were aggressively militaristic, Wisdom taught the team sly skills to oppose black ops and underground organizations. It was on one such mission that the team appeared to perish in an earth shattering explosion. However, the team had faked their death.
Despite the devastating events known as M-Day, Meltdown was one of the mutants that retained their powers. Gradually she gave up the name and attitude of Meltdown. Calling herself Boom Boom again, she grew her hair long, and returned to being the shopaholic city girl. Boom Boom was recruited by H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort) and joined NextWave. However, when she and her new team-mates discovered that H.A.T.E. was actually run by S.I.L.E.N.T. part of the Beyond Corporation. They rebelled and took off on their own, fighting U.W.M.D.s (Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction), Fin Fang Foom, Broccoli Men, killer koalas, Dirk Anger, Forbush Man, and ultimately Devil Dinosaur. During her time with NextWave, Boom Boom seems to have lost all of her military and black ops training, as her head is filled with pointless celebrity gossip. However, this brain inactivity saved the team from Forbush Man's crippling psychic attack.
Boom Boom was spotted in San Francisco soon after the X-Men moved there from New York. There, she insisted on verbally relieving all her troubles on to Beast, much to his chagrin. During a shopping trip, the former Chinese freedom-fighter Nuwa appeared as she was stealing from a local store. Boom Boom over-reacted and accidentally destroyed the goods on sale with a time-bomb. Without any information on Nuwa, Boom Boom was caught off-guard and sent to sleep by her opponent's mutant powers. With a little help from Beast, Boom Boom used the internet to research her opponent and (after complaining about how Nuwa had more friends on "FaceSpace" than she did) planned how to defeat her. Returning to the local fashion stores, Boom Boom soon found Nuwa. Immediately she feigned drowsiness, and appeared to fall unconscious. However, as Nuwa was leaving the scene of the crime, Boom Boom revealed that she was able to fight off the psionic sleep attack by drinking copious amounts of coffee. As Nuwa's powers no longer had any effect on Boom Boom, she was conscious and clear-headed enough to create her time-bombs and quickly defeat the Chinese mutant.
Some time later, Boom Boom was part of the Leper Queen's plans to undermine Bastion's control over her. Bastion had used the Leper Queen & her Sapien League to kidnap explosive mutants, injected them with the Legacy Virus, and released them. The virus would react in their mutants bodies, causing them to detonate killing thousands of innocent people. Bastion would then organise stories of mutant attacks to flood the media channels.
The New X-Men Surge and Hellion had been drugged, kidnapped, injected with the Legacy Virus & sent to the UN Building. However, the Leper Queen hated how Bastion controlled her & how thousands of innocent humans were dying. Therefore, when Boom Boom was drugged & kidnapped she wasn't sent to any public sites. Boom Boom was kept as bait, to lure X-Force to the Leper Queen and orchestrate their movements into killing her; an overly complex suicide bid to escape Bastion's control.
Boom Boom was kept sedated, tied to a chair, with the needle in her neck, ready to inject the Legacy Virus. When X-Force arrived they confronted the Leper Queen & demanded Boom Boom's instant release. However, the Leper Queen refused to let go. During the skirmish, Cyclops radioed a message to Wolverine. Cyclops had located located Cable & Hope in the future, & that mission took priority. Despite Wolverine's vehement protests & the team's valiant efforts to defeat the Leper Queen, Cyclops ordered Beast to teleport X-Force into the future.
Without X-Force to stop her, the Leper Queen's plan had failed. Confronted by the realisation that she would still be under Bastion's control, she began laughing maniacally. As Boom Boom slowly began to regain consciousness, the Leper Queen confessed that she was supposed to die in order for the kids to live. Her plans in ruins, the Leper Queen shot Boom Boom at point blank range in the head, killing her instantly.
When X-Force arrived in the future, they had remained in the same place. X-23 used her Adamantium claws to mark the concrete pavement with a large X. After defeating Stryfe & ensuring Hope's survival, X-Force began to return to the present, scattered around New York. Before removing their temporal displacement devices X-Force divided into teams to save Hellion & Surge at the UN Building, and Boom Boom in the Leper Queen's lair. X-23 returned the spot where she had carved an X into the floor and removed her time device. As she flew backwards through time, X-23 began to hear the slow groans of Boom Boom regaining consciousness and the Leper Queen's maniacal laughter. However, instead of confessing her failure, the Leper Queen was suddenly distracted by a strange noise behind her. When she turned to see what caused the noise, X-23 fell through the dimension rift and began shot the Leper Queen through the head & chest.
Still incapacitated by the Leper Queen's drugs, Boom Boom slowly regained consciousness. X-23 had ensured that Boom Boom wasn't executed by the Leper Queen, before falling unconscious after the exertion from the Messiah War & the ravages of time travel. Suddenly, an explosion was heard outside the Sapien League's hideout and agents of HAMMER invaded the building. Still heavily sedated, Boom Boom managed to inform the HAMMER agents that she'd been drugged. She tried to warn them about the other mutant kids who'd been primed to detonate, but the drugs in her body caused her to stumble over her words. Instead, the HAMMER agents took X-23 into custody.
Despite Agent Morale's reassurances that she would be taken to a hospital, Agent Young ordered there should be no witnesses to X-23's arrest. Two HAMMER agents were assigned to collect a genetic sample from Boom Boom, but one of them attempted to rape her instead. Arriving in the nick of time, Warpath showed no mercy & killed both HAMMER agents. Saved yet again & safe in her friends' arms, Boom Boom fell unconscious once more.
Given the chance to recuperate, Boom Boom was later dressed in an old X-Statix t-shirt and interviewed over the whereabouts of X-23. Sassy, annoyed & seemingly uncooperative, Boom Boom hated being treated like a dog. Yet she still managed to recall information she'd heard from the HAMMER agents. Her hazy recollection was enough to help track X-23, and enabled her safe extraction from the Facility.
After being saved from the Leper Queen, Boom Boom was evacuated from Graymalkin Industries along with the rest of the X-Men. During the Dark Avengers' attack, she was teleported to their new home; the floating island of Utopia.
There, Cyclops extended an invitation to all mutantkind to live peacefully on Utopia. When Madrox' X-Factor Investigations arrived, Boom Boom received an unexpected greeting from an old friend. Shatterstar hadn't seen her since they'd left X-Force. Since then, he had discovered the pleasurable experiences of intimate relationships. So when he saw Boom Boom for the first time in years, he pulled her close for a surprise kiss. As Boom Boom had been one of the first humans on Earth to appreciate Shatterstar's pretty face, she didn't object. She & Surge then spent the rest of the day hanging around Shatterstar (with Rictor following closely behind, to keep an eye on him) until X-Factor departed back to New York.
However, life on Utopia wasn't the peaceful utopia for mutantkind it was meant to be. Soon, the X-Men came under attack from a group of Predator X's. The X-Men rallied the forces, resources & powers. During the fight, Boom Boom had fun with her powers, letting loose for the first time in a long time. She used the propulsive force of blasting plasma away from her hands in order to create lift, temporarily defying gravity. The attacking Predators were soon defeated. Boom Boom has continued to live in relative luxury on Utopia, even during the opening events of Second Coming.
When the X-Men's island of Utopia came under attack from Nimrod sentinels, Boom Boom rallied to defend their home.She defended Utopia but preventing the futuristic Sentinels from invading through the subterranean tunnels. She attacked a Nimrod with the help of Sunspot, Husk and Avalanche .She managed to survive the attack, as she was later seen attending Cable's funeral after Hope Summers had defeated Bastion.
Cable and the X-Force
Boom Boom has now joined Cable's rogue X-Force team and she helped free a wanted alien from the Raft and prevented an alien fleet coming to Earth to claim the bounty. She is teamed up with Domino on a mission to prevent another disaster after managing to escape from the Avengers due to a distraction from Cable. Boom and Domino kidnap a new mutant, whose powers will manifest in a short time in the future and destroy the hospital. Boom Boom arrives to pick up Domino while simultaneously fending off the cops. Boom manages to empty a bridge they are stuck on of traffic and the kid's powers go off and they fall into the river. Domino calls a boat and they drive off safely.
Boom Boom is next seen with Colossus and Domino where they defeat a giant monster. Boom Boom performs the clean up of the creature, and after its defeat, the three of them regroup with Forge and Dr. Nemesis. They then break into Avengers Mansion to save Cable. She fights the Avengers as Cable is eventually rescued thanks to Hope. Boom Boom is in the new headquarters of X-Force with Forge and Dr. Nemesis. Something happens with Forge during a new neuro-sync device to warn the team of Cable's visions. Boom Boom and Nemesis discover another being is in there with them.
Boom Boom can psionically create plasma energy which often takes the form of spheres which range in size from marble to large sports balls. She can cause these boluses of energy to detonate at will within a 3-10 second time period. She can also absorb the detonations if need be and is now immune to their explosive powers. She also has used wrist launchers which enable her to project her plasma energy across greater distances with explosive force.
House of M
In the alternate reality constructed by the Scarlet Witch's spell, Boom Boom was an official member of the NYPD. She worked in a specifically mutant strike-force called The Brotherhood alongside Avalanche, the Blob, Feral and their leader Thunderbird. She was introduced to The Punisher, their token 'Sapien' member, but wasn't seen on missions when the others ambushed Luke Cage's Avengers and Shang-Chi's Dragons.
Instead, Boom Boom stayed undercover for years. At first she was an over-weight blonde wearing Fame style off-the-shoulder tops and baggy leggings. She re-emerged years later as an athletic and strong young woman wearing a yellow overcoat & boob-tube with painted stars on her face. During her time undercover, Boom Boom had successfully infiltrated the Sapien teams. When the Pride's kids from Los Angeles contacted the Wolfpack, she posed as Karolina Dean. Upon first contact with the Wolfpack she revealed her identity and a fight broke out. She forced Rafael Vega to order the surrender of all the Wolfpack members, but threatening to disfigure them all with her explosive powers.
Boom Boom later informed Thunderbird of the Sapien jail break, and was seen fighting Hawkeye during the massive battle between the Avengers and the Brotherhood.
Wolverine: Rahne of Terra
Some time before the X-Tinction Agenda, Wolfsbane's psyche was swapped with that of herself from an alternate reality. The girl known as Princess Rain was trapped inside Earth-616 Wolfsbane's body and she screamed to be returned to her kingdom. Cable didn't believe her and kept her restrained in a straight jacket while the New Mutants worried for Wolfsbane's mental health. Boom-Boom watched over Wolfsbane, but took offence when she mocked her codename.
Back in the alternate reality, Wolfsbane had been brainwashed into thinking she was really Princess Rain and lived happily in a fantasy kingdom. There, she was surrounded by a royal guard comprised of alternate reality versions of the other New Mutants. Her hand-maid was a blonde girl known as Tabitha. She woke the Princess and helped her bathe every morning. She had become the Princess' most trusted aide. When 'the beast' (who was really Wolverine displaced from Earth-616 and brainwashed by Magneto's counterpart) arrived to slay the Princess, Tabitha was the last line of defence for the Princess. She through bottles at Wolverine's head. Although the impact did little to slow him, the bottles had contained lamp oil. Tabitha had successfully drenched Wolverine in flammable fluids and through a burning torch at him. Wolverine burst into flames, buying Wolfsbane more time to regain her true memories and appeal to Wolverine's own true mind.
When Shatterstar chased Spiral into another dimension, he encountered Cable & the surviving members of X-Force in a different reality. There, Tabitha was still known as Boomer and had entered into a long-term relationship with Sunspot. However, Sunspot had been sent into Spiral's lair as a mole, to gain information as her sexual partner. When he finally escaped Boomer reassured him that they would continue to be a couple regardless of what he had done with Spiral.
Boomer had a chance to face use her time-bombs in close quarter combat to defeat Spiral. She later used her powers to interrogate Spiral and learn of the technology that would return Shatterstar to Earth-616 in the present day.
X-Men: The End
Set in the future, Meltdown is still part of X-Force with Domino, Feral, Rictor, Shatterstar & Warpath. Their aircraft was shot out of the sky, and after the crash Meltdown is absorbed by Divinity, who then uses her powers to destroy the rest of the team. Divinity is then killed by Apocalypse, killing Meltdown was still trapped inside him.
Boom Boom was still part of NextWave, and the team rush to save Ash from Power Pack who have been turned into zombies. The gruesome fate of Nextwave is unseen, off-panel.
X2: X-Men United
Boom-Boom's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
X-Men: The Animated Series
After the death of Phoenix, Cyclops returned to the orphanage where he grew up. He finds that the orphanage is now home to troubled young mutants, and he connects with a young pyrokinetic boy called Rusty. However Rusty and his friends are later kidnapped and brainwashed by a local man known as Killgrave, who is really the Purple Man. Cyclops saves the children and returns them to the safety of the orphanage. Boom Boom and other X-Terminators are among Rusty's friends, but they do not have a speaking part.
Tabitha appears with the New Mutants as new recruits to the Xavier institute. She is sassy and likes to use her powers a lot. She was best friends with Magma and often flirted with Nightcrawler. When the students from the Institute went on a cruise, Magma grew increasingly sick from being disconnected from the land for too long. Boom-Boom arranged for them to escape to a local exotic island to help her recover (although it resulted in the awakening of the island's volcano). Boom-Boom was also instrumental in the creation of an all-girl vigilante group known as the Bayville Sirens. She, Magma, Shadowcat, Jean Grey & Rogue wore stylish black leather outfits & sunglasses to secretly combat crime with their mutant powers.
However, Boom-Boom later left the institute when her father persuaded her into helping him with one last robbery. Although his scheme is foiled, she left the safe confines of the institute and ended up bunking with The Brotherhood. There she would play tricks on the boys with her time-bombs, although she was never mean and even took Blob & Toad as her dates to the school dance. She was later expelled from the Brotherhood by Mystique, and as a parting gift Boom-Boom destroyed her bedroom. Doing so she stumbled upon Mystique's plans and tried to notify the X-Men, but failed.
During the X-Men's final assault against Apocalypse and his horsemen, Boom-Boom was reunited with the X-Men. She was included in a strike-force against the possessed Professor Xavier. She created an endless stream of time-bombs and passed them to Multiple Man's many duplicates. The duplicates lined up to receive a time-bomb each, which they would then shoot with a slingshot. After Apocalypse had been successfully defeated, she walked back into the X-Jet arm-in-arm with Colossus.
Wolverine and the X-Men
Held prisoner by the MRD (Mutant Response Division), Boom Boom was freed by Wolverine and Beast as they save a non-mutant family.
During the escape she created her patented time-bombs which Pyro subsequently manipulated in order to destroy the hanger, allowing their stolen helicopter to fly to freedom.
X-Men: Battle of the Atom
Tabitha is featured in the mobile card game "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" based on the comic book story with the same name. Her cards are:
Boom Boom is a non-playable character in the game, voiced by Kari Wahlgren.