Living Lightning (Miguel Santos) is a fictional character from the Marvel Universe. He is a former member of the Avengers West Coast, and is current a member of Texas' super-team, The Rangers.

Fictional character biography

Miguel Santos was born in East Los Angeles, California. Miguel's father, Carlos, was a member of an extremist group called the Legion of the Living Lightning. In a misguided attempt by the Legion to gain control of the Hulk, the group battled him. The Legion was thus destroyed, and Carlos was killed.[1]

Hoping to salvage his father's name, high school student Miguel broke into the Legion's headquarters to learn more about their work. While exploring, Miguel unwittingly turned on one of the Legion's machines and was transformed into a being of living energy. Initially, a confused Miguel clashed with the West Coast Avengers and was apparently killed during the conflict.[2] Later, he turned up alive and was captured by the villain, Doctor Demonicus, and was coerced to join the Pacific Overlords.[3] After a brief, unwilling foray into crime, Miguel aided the Avengers West Coast, and then joined the team.[4] Alongside the Avengers West Coast and Fantastic Four, he encountered Arkon and Thundra.[5] Alongside the Avengers West Coast and Doctor Strange, he battled the second Hangman, the Night Shift, and Satannish.[6] Alongside the Avengers West Coast and Darkhawk, he battled Professor Power's forces.[7] Alongside the Avengers, he took part in the Kree/Shi'ar War.[8] Alongside the Avengers West Coast and Spider-Man, he battled Death Web.[9] Alongside the Avengers and other heroes, he battled the Magus.[10] He eventually decided to become an Avengers reservist while attending college.[11] While he occasionally serves with the team, Miguel gave up active membership to concentrate on his studies.

Civil War

Miguel joined Captain America's Secret Avengers as one of twenty new members who opposed the Superhuman Registration Act. He worked with the team out of a series of safe-houses set up by Nick Fury. He was part of the final battle between the two main sides. After Captain America surrendered to the authorities, Living Lightning became an Initiative Recruit, joining the Texas Rangers. He appeared on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative issue #1.[12]

He was seen attacking HYDRA along with the Rangers.[13]



Art from GLA #2, by Paul Pelletier

During his tenure in the West Coast Avengers, Miguel dated women. Later, though, Miguel was approached by members of the Great Lakes Avengers, who hoped to recruit them for their team. When he heard the teams acronym (GLA), Miguel mistook them for the Gay/Lesbian Alliance and inadvertently revealed to GLA member Flatman that he was gay.

Writer Dan Slott commented in an interview about his decision to out Living Lightning: "He's gay. Get over it. Previous girlfriends? Beards. Or relationships that just didn't work - because Miguel hadn't come to terms yet with who he really is. Miguel is a gay superhero and a wonderful role model."[14]

Powers and abilities

Living Lightning gained superhuman powers when he absorbed energy from an experimental lightning weapon. Living Lightning has the ability to transform his body into electrical plasma, in which form he can fly at sub-light speed, generate electrical power as shocks or bolts, and surround himself with a protective electrical force field. He has the ability to control his body while composed of electrical plasma, at which time his mind exists only in astral form.

In his true form, Living Lightning is just that, a sentient electrical force with no mass. In this form, he can fly, reaching sub-light speeds, withstanding the vacuum of space, and is impervious to most physical and energy attacks. He also possesses the ability to fire and manipulate bursts of electricity and electrical fields of varying intensities in his solid form, however, he must wear a special containment suit to retain a solid form.

Miguel has knowledge of basic street-fighting techniques. He is bilingual in Spanish and English.


  1. Tales to Astonish #97-99
  2. Avengers West Coast #63
  3. Avengers West Coast #70, 72-73
  4. Avengers West Coast #74
  5. Avengers West Coast #75
  6. Avengers West Coast #76-79
  7. Avengers West Coast Annual #7; Iron Man Annual #13
  8. Avengers West Coast #80; Avengers #345; Quasar #33; Wonder Man Vol. 2 #8; Mighty Thor #446; Avengers West Coast #82; Wonder Man Vol. 2 #9; Avengers #347
  9. Avengers West Coast #84-86
  10. Fantastic Four #368-369
  11. Avengers West Coast #88
  12. Avengers: The Initiative #1 Character Map
  13. Avengers: The Initiative #2
  14. Gay League - Living Lightning

External links

fr:Living Lightning fi:Elosalama (sarjakuvahahmo)