Sam Guthrie - Phase 1

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This page is about the Phase 1 incarnation of the character. For other uses, see Sam (disambiguation).

Sam Guthrie - Deceased
Portrayed by Ryan Kwanten
Codename: Cannonball
Affiliations: X-Men, Xavier Institute - Staff
Birthdate: July 18, 1981
Journal: x_cannonball
Player: (Former) Jeff

A small-town boy from Kentucky, Sam Guthrie became a teacher at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and an X-Man, acting as second in command to Cyclops. But he never forgot his roots, retaining strong ties to his family back home. He was killed during the attack on Muir Island in January 2015.


Character Journal: x_cannonball

Real Name: Samuel Zachary Guthrie

Codename: Cannonball

Aliases: None.

First Appearance: May 12, 2003

Date of Birth: July 18, 1981

Place of Birth: Kentucky, US

Citizenship: American

Relatives: Guthrie Family: Lucinda (mother), Thomas (father - deceased), Paige (younger sister), Jay (younger brother), Melody (younger sister), Elizabeth (younger sister), Joelle (younger sister), Jebediah (younger brother), Lewis and Meg (younger twins)

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, New York University.

Relationship Status: Dating Tabitha Smith

Occupation: English teacher at Xavier's.

Team Affiliation: X-Men



Sam grew up on a farm in Kentucky, with a multitude of brothers and sisters. His father died when he was young, and his mother has been running the place alone ever since, though recently her health has been declining and Sam has been returning home on a more regular basis to assist her with the farm and family. Upon the death of his father, Sam took on the 'man of the house' role, leaving school to work in one of the local coal mines.

Sam first discovered his powers as a teenager when he was trapped in a collapsing mine while working. He was able to blast out using a burst of thermo-kinetic energy that manifested as a rocket-like propulsion device. He was discovered by Charles Xavier after a little incident (about which Cannonball's fairly secretive) and brought to the school.

Living At The X-Mansion

Sam attended Xavier's as a graduate student and TA, acting as a bridge between the older staff and graduates and the younger students. His easy-going nature and love of children were especial assets in that regard. He experimented with his bisexuality in the form of a tentative flirtation with Piotr Rasputin, but then began a relationship with Alison Blaire. They drifted apart, however, under the demands of Sam's loyalty to his family and the team. He was away frequently in 2003 and 2004, either returning to the family farm to assist his mother or completing his pilot's training as part of his X-Man duties. When Alison later began dating Haroun al-Rashid, Sam suffered pangs of jealousy and regret, recognizing he had let a chance slip him by.

The arrival of his sister Paige at the school, whilst a happy event, led to tension between the siblings. Paige blamed him for abandoning her and the family, for which Sam felt guilty, and Sam disapproved of Paige's romantic choices, especially when she began dating both Jonothon Starsmore and Angelo Espinosa at the same time. They fought about this, and the relationship never really was the same again. Sam was marginally more successful with his brother Jay, despite the latter's hostility and persecution complex - the brothers eventually were able to work past mutual misunderstandings about lifestyle choices and became closer than they had previously.

Crisis of Faith

As Cannonball, Sam participated in numerous X-Men missions over the years proving himself to be capable, ambitious, and calm under pressure. This led him to become second-in-command to Cyclops, a position Sam both reveled in (he had hero-worshiped the older man for some time) and found frustrating, as Cyclops had a tendency to take too much work on himself and not use his XO to his fullest capacity.

Sam taught Flight, Government, and American History at the school. He shared a suite with Kurt Wagner, with whom he shared a sense of religious faith and family loyalty.

In September 2007 Sam received news that his mother had taken a bad fall and injured herself. After some argument, he was able to convince her that he would come home and help around the house since she was unable to move around. This lasted until June 2008 when Lucinda recovered enough to become mobile again. Sam returned to the school with her blessing to teach History and resume his place with the X-Men. Almost immediately he found himself involved in several missions, including saving his brother Jay's life when a medical experiment went horribly wrong and nearly resulted in his death. He became more protective of his brother but he often had demands on his time which proved to be a sore point for Jay who was both resentful of feeling smothered and angry about Sam's frequent absences causing many arguments between the siblings and Jay's disappearance and apparent death in November 2008 hit Sam hard, exacerbating his feelings of guilt in relation to his family.

When Jay returned in January 2009, drastically changed, Sam tried his best to be supportive however Jay was moody and often violent as he dealt with the blood lust that had been programmed into him. Sam's new relationship with Morgan/Vanessa was a comfort during several difficult months but her role in X-Force and Sam's difficulty in understanding his brother's new characteristics led to him feeling he appeared weak in comparison to his team-mates and friends because of his pacifism. This new obsession eventually lead to their split five months later, leading to an uncharacteristic display of anger from the X-Man. He saw the principles he felt X-Force embodied as responsible for the break up and went to the Brownstone to challenge anyone there to a fight; the challenge was met with amusement and ridicule from the X-Forcers and confusion from those in the mansion when the news broke on the journals, only serving to exacerbate Sam's feelings of impotence. A Danger Room 'test' of his ability to kill someone was interrupted by Kyle Gibney and resulted in an altercation and several broken ribs for the feral. Sam was suspended from the team and from teaching for a time while seeking anger management counseling with Charles Xavier to help address his difficulty with Jay's new condition.

Starting Over

Upon his reinstatement to team and teaching two months later, Sam focused on assisting the new wave of students. With the departures of many X-Men, including Scott and Nathan Dayspring, his expertise in training was needed, especially for the latest crop of trainees. He became something of a hermit, focusing on his teaching and on the team, taking part in several missions including the mass break out of mutant criminals, a manhunt for Simon Gutierrez, an old friend of Julian Keller's, and preventing a war between India and Pakistan. He resisted attempts to match him with various mansion residents and while Jay tried sometimes to get him to come out of his shell, even going so far as to set his brother up with Clarice Ferguson, Sam continued to maintain his low profile.

When Jay left for Muir Island in February 2010, Sam was torn between his loyalty to his family and his responsibilities to the team and the school. He joined Jay during the summer vacation of 2010 and when the new school year began, decided that he was of better use, for the time being at least, helping Jay with his issues and remained.

Welcome Back

Sam returned to the school in September 2011, leaving Muir Island as Jay seemed to be doing much better and he didn't need to be there to help looking after his brother 24/7. While away, Sam had taken further steps to look into his previous problems with anger management and obtained further treatment with that. The combination of not being required to stay there constantly with the progress of his treatment lead him to feel like he'd be able to better contribute his time and skills back at Xavier's.

When he got back he ran into a lot of his former teammates and students, and was assigned to teach English, with Adri having previously returned and filling the History teacher position. He resumed living together with Kurt in a suite did his best to try and fit back in.

He eventually found out that his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa, had been recently kidnapped and was still missing. Only recently returned himself, and not quite in the same shape he'd been when he left, he still volunteered to help in any way with finding her. Thankfully that wasn't necessary and Vanessa was soon discovered and rescued. He ran into her once she had recovered somewhat and, despite not having talked to or seen each other in months, they got along better than he'd expected.

Sam was on comms duty during the events of Hallowe'en 2011 and, with the assistance of Nico, helped to bring them to an end and restore things. He also took part in his first active duty as an X-Man with the team, which went well.

2012 started off with investigating an independent film based on Day Zero, where he worked with Tabby to foil the plans of the would be Friends of Humanity terrorists.

Genosha and Everything After

In March 2012, Sam and the rest of the X-Men attempted to capture the kidnappers of potentially dozens of young mutants, using the youngest X-Men as bait, and capturing two persons. Those persons were later rescued by a fellow teammate, leaving the X-Men empty handed and wondering what had happened. Not long after that, while at a protest over the treatment of mutants in Genosha outside of the Genoshan embassy, a bomb went off and in the ensuing chaos the contingent from Xavier's was kidnapped. Those who were captured were beamed to their captors by a strange blue glow which resulted in the captives arriving naked, without any clothing or items they had with them, including cell phones. No one had any idea where they were until Xavier found them via Cerebro, showing them in Genosha shortly before their mutant signatures winked out.

After some research and with the assistance of X-Force - at the cost of Vanessa's disappearance - the X-Men prepared their attack on the Genoshan Citadel. Sam lead an aerial team which started off on the right foot, much like the other prongs of their attack, until the Genoshans sprung their trap. Sam managed to grab John as the X-Men retreated but many of them were caught as they were forced to scatter.

John and Sam made their way to the safe house in the city, meeting up with the remainder of the X-Men who managed to escape. The regrouped mutants formulate a plan to try and rescue the increased number of captive mutants, with Sam aiding Callisto in an aerial mission to capture video evidence of the mistreatment of mutants in Genosha. Their evidence was later broadcasted once the mutants broke into a broadcasting station and took over the airwaves long enough to get their message out to the rest of the world.

Once their broadcast is made, the resistance once again attempts to storm the Citadel, discovering a grotesquely changed Thomas Moreau inside. The ensuing battle takes every single one of the mutants working together in order to first disarm, then disable and finally destroy the monster Moreau had become. After the battle the Genoshan government unveils the deceit of their former leader and peace at last arrived in Genosha. The X-Men and the rescued students all made their way back to Xavier's where Charles welcomed them back home and offered help to those that needed it.

Things were quiet for some time after Genosha, changing in July when Sam helped chaperone a trip to a local Renaissance fair. A young girl there, Elizabeth Rose, inadvertently influences those around her into believing they're actually living in medieval times. Sam became one of those people under her influence until Molly saved the day, breaking the spell under which he and the others had fallen.

Later in the same month, Sam and his fellow X-Men helped X-Factor with a missing persons investigation. The Storm Family requested their assistance in finding their kidnapped children, Sue and Johnny. Sam helped Franklin in his dealings with X-Factor Investigations and then helped lead the rescue effort once they discovered where the children were located. Sue would later stay on as a student at Xavier's.

In August, Sam accompanied several persons from the school to a mutant positive music festival called Joyful Noixe, where Sam and several others help out with security for the same. The Purifiers had made threats regarding the concert, and they eventually did attempt to cause trouble. Sam and the other X-Men dealt with the threat, with Sam and Angel rescuing people who were in danger of drowning and falling off of a nearby bridge.

What Am I Doing Here?

After everything that had happened in 2012, Sam went back home in later September, along with several of his friends, at his family's request. While home he had a run-in with a newly formed local chapter of the Friends of Humanity, which lead to him getting arrested. Aloysius Reed, the leader of the chapter, took things personal and attempted to both kill Sam and to destroy the Guthrie homestead. Thanks to the intervention of SHIELD Agent Barbara Morse and his friends, Sam escaped relatively unharmed and they were able to avoid any substantial damage to the Guthrie property. The event made Sam rethink his role with Xavier's, however, and to question whether he could be making better use of his abilities than what he was currently doing at the time.


The year brought with it the usual Xavier-like disasters. In February Sam accompanied a team to rescue Garrison and Adrienne from Avalon, and in December he joined a special team to go into faux-limbo and rescue a group of kidnapped Xavierites and associates. February 2014 saw Sam and Tabitha going out on their first for real date. Between all of that though, Sam enjoyed the quiet life.

The End

In January 2015, Muir Island was invaded by Magneto and the Brotherhood, and the X-Men launched a full-on attack to stop them. The battle took a turn for the worst, however, and in the midst of it Sam was killed by Barrage.

Physical Characteristics

Height: 6' 0"

Weight: 175 lbs

Eyes: Blue-grey

Hair: Blonde

Other Features: Tall and gangly build.


Sam's power creates a field of unknown energy approximately four inches from his body and anything he's in contact with of approximately equal mass. This field has a unique property of reacting with oxygen and carbon dioxide to create an exothermic combustion reaction. Sam has enough instinctive control to direct this reaction downwards along the length of the field as thrust, but cannot summon the blast field without the combustion reaction happening.

The external temperature of the field is proportional to the intensity of the combustion reaction. At highest intensity, the blast field is hot enough to melt bullets, thus Sam needs to shut his power off briefly to pick up a passenger in flight without hurting them.

The field is gas-permeable, and maintains a standard air pressure and temperature inside, allowing Sam to breathe at high speeds and altitudes so long as the field is up. The field is capable of deflecting solids that are not melted by the heat, as well as withstanding extremes of high and low pressure with little discomfort to Sam. Due to the nature of his power, he can even activate his blast field underwater, although he would need an external breathing apparatus, as his power does not generate breathable oxygen.

As a result of his powers, Sam's body has subtle physiological changes such as increased lumbar flexibility, to better direct his flight by twisting his body around in midair.


Sam often wears a pair of old World War Two pilot's goggles, given to him by his sister Paige.

External Links

Phase 1

xp_communication posts

xp_journal posts

xp_logs posts

x_staff posts

x_team posts


Sam is indeed a good old boy - he likes line dancing, mudding and has been known to tip cows when younger and still living on the farm.

Sam has rescued mansion inhabitants who have fallen off the roof twice in one month.

Sam's uniform includes a pair of steel toed boots, worn by suggestion of his father, in case a fight turns dirty.



X-Men Mission: Lowenstein


X-Men Mission: Plant Life

X-Men Mission: Firefountain

X-Men Mission: Wildchild


X-Men Mission: Adirondacks

Reavers (plot)


X-Men Mission: Things That Go Boom

X-Men Mission: Sangue Puro

X-Men Mission: Stalemate

Bad Blood

X-Men Mission: Air Xavier

Mutants and Molotovs


Not So Plain Jane

X-Men Mission: Trans-Siberian Hustle

Mutant Fight Club

The Enemy Within

X-Men Mission: Haunted House

Mommy Dearest Redux


X-Men Mission: Phalanx


Epiphany Frosts

X-Men Mission: Leverage

Most Dangerous Game

This Savage Land

Voodoo Child

X-Men Mission: Fin Fang Foom!!!


Seven Minutes In Heaven


Day Zero


Mechanisms of Revenge


Noise and Confusion

Santayana Effect

Lakshmibai Raj


What Goes Around, Comes Around

Sons of Liberty (plot)


X-Men Mission: Day Zero, the Movie

X-Men Mission: Amid These Storms

The End of the Beginning

Step By Step


Onwards to Victory

The Dawn of Liberation


Any Port in a Storm

X-Men Mission: Joyful Noixe

What Am I Doing Here?


Tropic of Capricorn

She Sells Sea Shells

Age of Apocalypse

Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart


A Touch Of Brimstone


Former Player: Jeff

Player Icon Base: Ryan Kwanten

Meta Trivia

Sam was introduced to X-Project by Lucy, and then played by Twiller from January 2005 to September 2007. Cross picked up Sam in June 2008, and let him go in September 2010 due to time constraints. Jeff picked Sam up in August 2011 and killed him off for the relaunch in 2015. Mari apped a Phase 2 version in 2023.