"The line in the sand between man and beast gets very blurry during war. You don't get to hold your moral ground when 'thou shalt not kill' is no longer an option. That doesn't make me uncomfortable. Never has."
General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross is a United States Army General who was head of the former Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project that sought to create modern-day supersoldiers. Having served in the Vietnam War, Ross climbed the ranks even after the War, eventually reaching a high position in the Army and seeking to recreate the success of the Super Soldier Serum developed in WWII. Having indirectly created the monster known as "The Hulk," General Ross is tasked with tracking down the creature and containing it.
In Universe 44290, General Ross is instead an Air Force General, in charge of the Air Force branch tasked with aiding the military effort to contain the BLACKLIGHT Virus in New York Zero.
Early LifeEditThaddeus Ross was born on March 20, 1950, to a New Hampshire family with a proud tradition of military service. As a boy, Thaddeus Ross immersed himself in the study of military history. As a teenager he learned how to fly by barnstorming at county fairs. He then attended the United States Military Academy, and did well when he graduated. His first duty station was stateside under the command of Captain Lee, an officer in the Army. Ross had regarded Captain Lee well as a leader, and would eventually cement his respect by falling in love with his daughter, Karen Lee.
Ross rapidly rose in rank and was a captain when he went to fight overseas in the Vietnam War. It was during the war that Ross made his great reputation as a leader in combat. His troops during the conflict gave him the nickname "Thunderbolt," since, they said he "struck like a thunderbolt" when leading them into action. Ross also helped liberate the prisoners of a concentration camp. By the end of the war, Ross had become a major.
He eventually returned to the United States, where Ross finally married Karen Lee. They had a daughter, Elizabeth Ross; she would end up going by the name Betty, and made her parents proud in her pursuit of college, aiming for science.
After the Vietnam War, Ross intended to augment the United States Military in great ways to better allow America to defeat its enemies in war. Though initially he was involved in weapons development alongside Stark Industries, he would be most known for his involvement as head of a modern day Super Soldier project modified from a similar experiment in World War II.
Thaddeus Ross was involved in an Army research and development program intended to recreate the "Super Soldier Serum" first developed in World War II. The project was known as the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project. In the beginning of the scheme, the military had been using captured terrorists of Al-Haquid to test out various serums. However, pictures of the project came out and the United States Congress killed it.
General Ross arranged for recruiters to seek out and talk to his daughter and her partner, Bruce Banner, hoping to use their newly developed educational skill to the Army's aid in recreating Super Soldiers. Ross decided to recruit Banner since he figured Gamma Radiation would have to substitute for Vita Radiation in the Super Soldier project, given the loss of Vita Radiation since World War II; Banner's rising expertise in Gamma Radiation was unprecidented, even when compared to long-time experts. Though Banner initially declined, at the last minute he showed up to the arranged meeting with Ross and Betty due to being unable to find work in his desired field. Ross was initially unimpressed with Bruce until he demonstrated his knowledge in Gamma Radiaiton and physics directly to the General, after which Ross integrated the pair into working for the Army.
Throughout the development of the "Radiation Resilience" project, General Ross became aware of the recurring relationship between Bruce and Betty; disapproving of their intimacy and believing it was distracting them from their work, Ross had several discussions with first his daughter, then with Bruce as well in regards to the relationship, eventually coercing Betty into breaking the relationship from pressure. This resulted in an uneasy wedge being driven between Bruce, Betty, and the General, though did soon show results in a marked increase in progress that Ross was hoping for.
Eventually, the secret Super Soldier project was finally finished and ready for testing. General Ross intended for the subject to be an Army personnel, however he was apalled to see that Banner himself submitted for the testing; intrigued, General Ross allowed the testing to commence on Banner, who was so confident in his work that he was willing to subjugate himself to the risky procedure.
The result was a complete failure on the part of the Super Soldier project; through unknown sabotage, Banner was subjected to lethal levels of Gamma Radiation tuned far higher than desired, with Ross expecting him to die shortly after. Even though Banner had somehow survived and recovered very quickly, General Ross made it clear during a hospital visit that the project was a complete failure, confusing Betty and Bruce since, in their eyes, the "Radiation Resiliant" formula had clearly worked.
Seeking to regain approval and favor in General Ross, Banner continued to work for the Army, this time applying himself in weapons development. He ended up working for Ross once more, in a Nuclear Test facility in New Mexico to develop a Gamma Bomb. However, due to sabotage from the same unknown source, Banner was subjected to another dose of Gamma Radiation, this time triggering his altered genetics into inducing a transformation into a huge green monster. General Ross and several other military personnel were lucky to be alive, sustaining injury during the creature's escape.
General Ross then tracked Bruce to a nearby hospital, informing him that he was going to be brought in for containment pending investigation on the Gamma incident, reminding Bruce that he was still United States property. After leaving the room to gather personnel to apprehend Banner, Ross soon realized that Bruce had escaped, and was on the run from the military.
General Ross was therein assigned to capture both Bruce Banner and the green monster. Sometime into the pursuit, Ross realized that Bruce Banner and the monster, dubbed by Ross himself as the "Hulk," were the same individual.
History (Earth-44290) Edit
At some point during the first outbreak of the BLACKLIGHT virus on New York City, General Ross had limited involvement, often relaying assets and support to Lieutenant General Peter Randall, the head of operations during the outbreak.
General Ross was then reassigned to take direct action against the second outbreak, working in league with Blackwatch commanders and the conventional military force of the combined United States Armed Forces, acting as the head of Air Force operations.
Decisive and ruthless, Ross is an objective man; his main goal is to capture and contain Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk. Largely motivated by his own personal feelings and his vendetta against the Hulk, he can be single-minded and shows a certain inability to learn from his mistakes.
Though he loves Betty dearly, he has destroyed his relationship with her over the course of time due to arranging for her separation from Bruce Banner, followed by hunting him as a fugitive. This is made worse in the fact that he was the one who made him a fugitive in the first place.
During his younger years, Ross was extremely fit and well-built, being incredibly strong and deadly compared to the average Army Soldier. Though in his older years now, he still shows a compitent physical physique equal to military personnel a decade younger.
Ross is a skilled leader, showing in his achievements throughout his service which earned him the rank of General.