Thunderbird, aka John Proudstar, was among the initial Giant-Size X-Men team when the book was first rebooted by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. This was the comic that brought Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee, and Sunfire to the team as well. Thunderbird was a dedicated member of the team, but he was killed early on during a crisis involving Count Nefaria. He is presumably back thanks to the resurrections on Krakoa, but his new role in the X-Men is uncertain.
Warpath, aka James Proudstar, was John’s brother and joined up with Emma Frost’s Hellions when his powers first manifested. He became an antagonist of the New Mutants, but he later joined up with Cable’s X-Force. He has been a regular on both the X-Men and X-Force in the time since, though his role in Krakoa has not yet been shown.
10 WARPATH: Power Set
The first argument for Warpath is a simple one: he is literally stronger than Thunderbird. While Thunderbird does have a measure of super-strength, Warpath has been shown to be stronger.
Plus, James Proudstar can fly, has a more powerful healing factor, and is impervious to most damage. Warpath is one of the great powerhouses of the X-Men, even if most seem to forget about that.
9 THUNDERBIRD: Original Giant-Size X-Men
On the other hand, John was one of the earliest X-Men. He joined up with the team when their numbers were few and the original lineup needed a rescue. He stuck with the team even after the original team, sans Cyclops, left and Sunfire did the same.
He was a loyal teammate from the get-go, and he proved himself to be a great asset to the fledgling X-Men.
8 WARPATH: X-Force
Warpath has shown himself willing to do things that other X-Men won’t. He’s been a part of three X-Force teams lead by Cable and then Wolverine. He has put himself on the dark side of the mutant world and done things that needed doing, even if the task was bloody.
He eventually became disgusted with Wolverine’s more violent X-Force team, but he since returned when young Cable reunited the classic team shortly before Dawn of X.
7 THUNDERBIRD: He Laid Down His Life For The Team
Most heroes are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and many are forced to make that decision for real. Thunderbird was one of them. When he was still new to the X-Men, Thunderbird was asked to take on Count Nefaria with the team.
When Nefaria tried to make his escape, Thunderbird lept upon the villain’s jet and destroyed it from the inside. The explosion took Thunderbird’s life, but Nefaria escaped.
6 WARPATH: Last X-Men Standing
While Thunderbird was there for the team’s early days, Warpath was there when the team was on the brink. After M-Day, there were very few mutants left to fill the X-Men‘s roster.
Warpath, then a part of X-Corporation, was brought into the core team of X-Men. He wasn’t comfortable with the role, but he was still willing to do what needed to be done for mutant-kind.
5 THUNDERBIRD: Battle On Krakoa
When he was first brought onto the team, Thunderbird took on one of the X-Men’s deadliest enemies in Krakoa, the living island. This was the creature that captured the original X-Men and the reason that Xavier needed to recruit a new team.
Even though the team was still uncertain of one another, Thunderbird still played a vital part in defeating Krakoa and saving Iceman, Angel, Jean Grey, and Beast.
4 WARPATH: The Demon Bear
While taking a short break from Wolverine’s X-Force team, Warpath took a spiritual journey. During this time, he encountered a malevolent spirit in the form of a demonic bear.
While James was unable to harm the creature at first, Ghost Rider appeared to help him connect with the spiritual powers of his ancestors. Warpath was then able to take on the powerful demon bear and win the day.
3 THUNDERBIRD: The Chaos War
Thunderbird was among the X-Men resurrected by Chaos King, and he aligned himself with the side of good to bring down this destructive god.
In doing so, Thunderbird channeled the powers of his god, the Thunderbird from which John takes his name, and he brought down the Carrion Crow, a powerful lieutenant under the Chaos King.
2 WARPATH: Necrosha
Thunderbird was resurrected once before the Chaos War, and that was during the Necrosha storyline. Selene, the Black Queen, resurrected several dead mutants and controlled them with the “T-O” Virus.
Warpath fought against Selene and her new army and even sent his own brother back to his grave. He later took down Selene herself and liberated her undead army.
1 THUNDERBIRD: Less Power, More Skill
While Warpath is undoubtedly the stronger brother physically, it is worth mentioning that Thunderbird has, as a result, had to rely on his own skill more than James.
Without the benefit of the immense strength, flight, and invulnerability, Thunderbird has had to use his wits, will, and fighting prowess to be an asset to the X-Men, and he succeeded.
Thunderbird, aka John Proudstar, and Warpath, aka James Proudstar, are both incredibly strong characters from the X-Men comics. But who is stronger?