Johnny Thunder was a character in the old west, who would fight against the land grabbers of the small ranches and farms.
The name of his wonder horse was Black Lightning.
Jonathan Tane was a son to William Tane, the Sheriff of Mesa City. His father held a firm belief that the only way to deal with crime involved bullets. His (unnamed) mother believed that books and education was better than bullets. Pointing that several of the Western criminals lacked formal education and job opportunities away from crime. His parents passed both belief systems on to John. Making sure that their son would get both a proper education and marksmanship training. His lightning-fast draw was a good addition.
When it came time to choose a career for himself, a conflict with his father was established. William expected his son to become his new deputy and eventual successor as Sheriff. On the other hand, John had made a fateful promise to his mother on her deathbed. He would strive to become a schoolmaster and give-up his six-guns. His father rejected him as a coward.
Johnny did achieve his dream as Mesa City's resident school teacher. But realized his aging father was in desperate need of help against younger criminals. Johnny created a second identity for himself to act as a vigilante when needed. As a school teacher he was blond and appeared plain-looking. As a vigilante, Johnny donned a colorful outfit, dyed his hair black and could use his six-gun at will. He resolved his two identities were separate persons. The second not bound to any promise to his/their mother.
His most challenging opponent was Madame 44/Jeanne Walker, styling herself as a female Robin Hood. They ended up in love and married to each other. They had two children, Charles and Rebecca Tane.