Tabitha Smith ( Time Bomb, Boom Boom, Boomer, and Meltdown )

Tabitha Smith

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Tabitha Smith
250px Meltdown01 Tabitha Smith ( Time Bomb, Boom Boom, Boomer, and Meltdown )
Tabitha Smith on the cover to Weapon X #11.
Art by Georges Jeanty.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Secret Wars II #5 (November 1985)
Created by Jim Shooter (writer)
Al Milgrom (artist)
In story information
Alter ego Tabitha Smith
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Nextwave
New Mutants
Fallen Angels
Notable aliases Time Bomb, Boom-Boom, Boomer, Meltdown, Firecracker, Mutate #35
Abilities Creates “balls” of psionic energy that explode with concussive force.

Tabitha Smith is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Jim Shooter and Al Milgrom, the character first appeared in Secret Wars II #5 (November 1985). She later appeared as a member of the X-Force and, more recently, as a member of Nextwave. Since her first appearance, Tabitha has used a number of different codenames, including Time Bomb, Boom Boom, Boomer, and Meltdown.


  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 Early Life
    • 2.2 Fallen Angels
    • 2.3 New Mutants
    • 2.4 X-Force
    • 2.5 Peter Wisdom
    • 2.6 Weapon X and the X-Force mini
    • 2.7 Nextwave
    • 2.8 The Initiative
    • 2.9 X-Men
  • 3 Powers and abilities
  • 4 Other versions
    • 4.1 House of M
    • 4.2 Marvel Zombies
    • 4.3 Rahne of Terra
    • 4.4 X-Men: The End
    • 4.5 X-Force: Shatterstar
  • 5 In other media
    • 5.1 Television
      • 5.1.1 X-Men
      • 5.1.2 X-Men: Evolution
      • 5.1.3 Wolverine and the X-Men
    • 5.2 Film
      • 5.2.1 X-Men 2: X-Men United
  • 6 Toys and games
  • 7 In other languages
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Publication history

Created by Jim Shooter and Al Milgrom, the character first appeared in Secret Wars II #5 (November 1985). She next appears as a main character in the Fallen Angels limited series. This leads to her becoming a supporting character in the X-Factor series beginning with issue #11, which in turn leads to her becoming a member of the short-lived X-Terminators team in the X-Terminators limited series. Following this series, she appears as a member of the New Mutants for the remainder of the New Mutants title; the team then became X-Force and she remained a member of the team for most of the X-Force series. Some time later, she appears as a member of Nextwave throughout the Nextwave series.

Fictional character biography

Early Life

Tabitha was born in Roanoke, Virginia. She is depicted as a rebellious but normal teenager in her first appearance. Daughter of divorced parents, Tabitha’s mutant powers manifest at 13, and her parents immediately show their disgust, her father even beating her. She runs away from home, giving herself the alias “Time Bomb”, and meets the cosmic entity known as the Beyonder. He brings her to Charles Xavier, headmaster of the School for Gifted Youngsters, who ignore her to combat the Beyonder. Just before she can commit suicide over this second rejection, the Beyonder stops her, taking her with him on his cosmic trip. The Beyonder confronts the Celestials, and at her behest, returns Tabitha to Earth. She helps the Avengers ambush the Beyonder. She leaves the battlefield when she learns that the Beyonder felt betrayed by the actions of “his only friend.”[1]

Fallen Angels

Living on the streets, Tabitha becomes involved with Maurice “Tiger” Antonini and, after he threatens Tabitha and murders her friend Gina, she uses her powers to kill him. The villain known as the Vanisher then recruits her for his band of thieves, called the Fallen Angels, and she officially takes on her codename “Boom Boom”. She eventually betrays the Vanisher, calling in the help of X-Factor, whom she stays with afterwards.[2] Tabitha’s former teammate in the Fallen Angels, the alien Ariel kidnaps the Angels to her home planet, to be experimented on by her planet’s scientists. Ultimately though, she can’t go through with the plan and helps them escape. The Angels return to Earth and go their separate ways.[3] Tabitha is kidnapped by the Right, an anti-mutant organization. Tabitha, X-Factor, and other mutants regain their freedom.[4] Later, Tabitha joins her fellow X-Factor trainees as the X-Terminators. The team battles N’astirh’s demons. During her tenure with the team, she is capable of stopping Rictor from committing suicide.[5]

New Mutants

After the events of the Inferno saga, Tabitha and some members of the X-Terminators, Rusty, Skids and Rictor, join the New Mutants.[6] During her time with the New Mutants, Tabitha falls in love with her teammate, Cannonball. When the team is transported to the mythical realm of Asgard, it is partially through Tabitha that the team is able to foil a plot to kill Odin.[7] They encounter the man known as Cable,[8] and when he starts to mentor the team, Tabitha gains greater control of her powers. Tabitha is captured by Stryfe and the Mutant Liberation Front, but is rescued.[9]

During “The X-Tinction Agenda” crossover, in which the mutant-hating country of Genosha begin attacking mutants in the United States in retaliation for an earlier fight with the X-Men, the Genoshan Magistrates kidnap Boom-Boom and some of her teammates, namely Rictor, Wolfsbane and Warlock, transporting them to Genosha.[10] The incident receives international coverage, and Tabitha’s father is even interviewed, still voicing his disgust for his daughter. Although stripped of their powers, she and Rictor manage to escape, whereas Wolfsbane had been processed as a mutate slave. Warlock does not survive. On the streets of Genosha, Rictor and Tabitha meet Jubilee, and Tabitha and Jubilee’s similar attitudes clash. They eventually make their way to the Genoshan citadel, where the other X-Teams gather to defeat Cameron Hodge, the villain who orchestrated the entire ordeal. Once returned to the United States, Tabitha spreads the ashes of her friend Warlock over the grave of Warlock’s best friend Doug Ramsey, a New Mutant that had died.


The New Mutants team, under the continued tutelage of Cable, is soon reformed into X-Force.[11] The team undergoes a revamp, employing new, more aggressive methods. During this time, Tabitha acts on her crush on Cannonball, and the two have a relationship. Although questioning the team’s new methods, Tabitha sticks with the team, rechristening herself “Boomer”. She battles the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants alongside her new team in one of their early missions.[12]

During the “X-Cutioner’s Song” crossover, the X-Men confront X-Force, whom they believe are involved in an attempted murder of Professor X. Boomer was defeated in combat by Rogue, and taken prisoner by X-Factor.[13] When her team is jailed by the X-Men, Cannonball chooses Tabitha to fight with him alongside the X-Men, against the Mutant Liberation Front. Soon they discover that Rusty and Skids have joined the MLF, and Boomer’s jaw is broken in combat by Skids.[14] After this event, Tabitha is confronted by Cannonball’s ex Lila Cheney, who gives the couple her blessing. Showing how serious Cannonball is himself, he takes Tabitha along for a vacation on his family’s farm, during which they are confronted by the Gamesmaster and the Upstarts, and team up with the New Warriors to defeat them.

Eventually, the team’s headquarters are blown up twice, and without a home the team moves back into Xavier’s mansion. Shortly after, Cannonball graduates into becoming an X-Men member, and their relationship waters down. Seeking comfort, Tabitha spends most of her time caring for the lobotomized Sabretooth, also confiding in him. Her teammates attempt an unsuccessful intervention.

Sabretooth reveals that he’s faking the ordeal however, and fully healed, escapes by deceiving Tabitha in destroying his bonds. In his escape, he eviscerates the X-Man Psylocke, who barely survives her wounds.

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Cover to X-Force #51, featuring the revamped Tabitha Smith. Art by Adam Pollina.

In an effort to deal with the guilt from this incident, Tabitha travels home to visit her father. The two reconcile, but in a fight with Sebastian Shaw and Holocaust, her father is critically injured. With more guilt on her mind, Tabitha underwent a radical change, renaming herself “Meltdown”, designing a new costume and gaining better control of her powers along with a more brash and assertive attitude. This new attitude is displayed by Meltdown when she fights the Blob, threatening to kill him, and eventually having two time-bombs explode near his eardrums.

With Cannonball spending his time with the X-Men, Tabitha grows closer Sunspot and they have a short fling. Cannonball finds out and is initially angry but reconciles with both his friends, rejoining X-Force in the process. After an incident in which the High Evolutionary shut off all mutant powers, Tabitha and Cannonball come close to rekindling their relationship.

Peter Wisdom

In the meantime, the sudden power loss really hit home for Cannonball, as to just how little they had been doing lately to help mutant-kind. He got back in touch with Pete Wisdom, and together they devised a plan for reactivating X-Force as a covert strike team. Meltdown, along with Warpath and Bedlam, agreed to enter into this new arrangement, and they took up residence in an abandoned Nevada Hulkbuster base for extensive retraining for martial combat and the use of their powers. In particular, Tabitha learned how to direct the explosive force of her power into streams of guided energy, and was also heavily trained in computer hacking and manipulating digital information. The revamped X-Force fought the shadow wars that other people couldn’t even see, against the likes of meat-spore storm-troopers, mutagenic bioreactors and assassins who carried the mutant gene for murder. After she almost lost Sam to that last threat, Meltdown confessed she couldn’t bear to see him die, and the two of them became lovers again. While most of their missions were successful, they weren’t without their share of troubles – Wisdom was apparently killed on their first mission back in San Francisco since leaving, and on two separate occasions their enemies tried to kill them in massive explosions.

The team’s undercover status turned out to be a weakness, though, for some new organization consisting of mutants that wanted to get rich and famous thought the name up for grabs. After buying legal rights to use “X-Force” as their name, this group went public and soon became popular. When the original X-Force learned of this, they came out of hiding and confronted the new guys about the name and violating the original concept behind the team, it was already too late. Apparently, the original X-Force disbanded after this, retreating from their recent hardcore offensive stance on mutant issues. Sam and Tabitha also went their separate ways.

Weapon X and the X-Force mini

When Cable discovers hints regarding the existence of a revamped Weapon X program, one designed to use mutants to hunt down and intern other mutants, he creates an organization to investigate the program and the existence of its internment camp, Neverland. He dubs the organization the Underground, and invites Meltdown to join his elite group. Ultimately, Cable’s Underground group is joined by Weapon X agent Brent Jackson, who hopes to stage a coup against the project’s Director and has formed his own resistance group with fellow agents Washout, Marrow, Wild Child, and Sauron. Jackson betrays the Underground team however after the coup is successful and alters/wipes their memories of the events.

Sometime thereafter, Cable learns of another threat to mutant-kind, the voracious creatures known as the Skornn, a creature that was going to threaten Earth. He gathers and reunites X-Force in order to deal with them. Meltdown is among the former members he recruits. While both Cannonball and Sunspot are also involved in the conflict, Tabitha’s feelings for either weren’t brought up. However, she reveals to have learned a new trick with her mutant powers when she channeled one of her time bombs through Shatterstar’s blade straight into the chest of a seemingly unbeatable opponent. After the Skornn was also defeated, some of X-Force remains together, assisting Cable on Providence, an island nation he created. Afterwards, she helps them attack the headquarters of the Black Box, though the occupant turns out to be a robot.

Tabitha is one of the few mutants who retain her powers after the events of M-Day.


150px Tabitha Smith Tabitha Smith ( Time Bomb, Boom Boom, Boomer, and Meltdown )

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Tabitha Smith character design, for the comic book Nextwave. Art by Stuart Immonen.

Shortly afterwards, after an initial period of wild arrogance, Tabitha seems to mellow out and settle back into her earlier, more bubbly personality. She even develops a tendency to use chat room-like short-hand when speaking out loud, such as “OMG,” “ZOMG”, and “OH NOES!”. She also begins to start saying “Tick, tick, tick, tick– BOOM!” when using her powers. Tabitha also grows her hair long and eschewed her codename and re-appears as a founding member of Nextwave, a new off-beat and more than slightly satirical super-hero team featured in an eponymous comic book series created by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen. The Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, or H.A.T.E. (a subsidiary of the Beyond Corporation©) formed the team. Tabitha Smith’s new team includes other second-string characters taken from Marvel limbo, including Monica Rambeau (formerly Captain Marvel, the leader of the Avengers), Elsa Bloodstone, Aaron Stack, and new character The Captain.

Everything seemed on the up-and-up until Tabitha began snooping around, and discovered the marketing plan of the Beyond Corporation, H.A.T.E.’s financial backers. It turned out that Beyond Corp evolved out of the former terrorist cell known as S.I.L.E.N.T., and was planning to use H.A.T.E. and Nextwave to further its own sinister agendas. Tabitha brought the files she stole to the squad leader, Pulsar, and Nextwave hijacked a Shockwave Rider transport ship and defected from H.A.T.E. Tabitha and the others fought against their former employers, and defended the country from the unusual WMDs unleashed by the Beyond Corporation on the general populace; the first biological weapon was revealed to be Fin Fang Foom, a giant lizard which clambered from underground and proceeded to wreck the building site.

After putting an end to the threat of Fin Fang Foom in Abscess, North Dakota, Nextwave moved on to Illinois. Tabitha managed to subdue Mac Mangel, a corrupt police officer who had been taken as a host by the Ultra Samurai Seed, with a time bomb. The Ultra Samurai metallic shell disintegrated, leaving Mangel crushed on the ground. Upon learning that he was a police officer, Tabitha and Aaron began to beat Mangel, with Tabitha seemingly revealing she’s unaware stealing is a crime, before Rambeau intervened.

The team were later attacked by ‘The New Paramounts’, a team consisting of Not Brand Echh characters including Forbush Man, The Inedible Bulk and Charlie America. Forbush Man attempted to use his mind control powers on Tabitha, but was shocked to find they didn’t work on her as she apparently has no mind. Tabitha subsequently killed Forbush Man, saving her teammates. When they awoke, she explained “The little guy did something to your heads. I gave him the explodo because I am clever.” Not long after, they eventually exposed and destroyed the true mastermind behind S.I.L.E.N.T.

Writer Warren Ellis said that he picked Boom Boom to be in Nextwave, because Boom Boom is his favorite super hero name in the history of comics for its sheer oddness and silliness, and he loved it when she was in Uncanny X-Men when Joe Madureira was the artist.

“ “I wanted a character who could blow things up,” he said of his choice of Boom Boom. “I was also looking for a team structure where the women outnumbered the men. I liked her white-trash criminal background, which had uses in the plot set-up. But mostly I wanted a character who could blow things up. I mean, these are characters who no-one at Marvel had any use for, and I could have been stopped at any time, Jen. But a skinny-ass blonde mutant with a kleptomaniac streak had both plot and entertainment value to me. Especially when played against the others.”[15] ”

Despite the appearance of Nextwave characters in other Marvel titles, in 2006 Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada stated that Nextwave’s setting was in a universe separate from the main Marvel continuity.[16] However, recent issues of Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, as well as Civil War: Battle Damage Report, consistently place Nextwave’s activities in mainstream continuity.To further complicate matters, Nextwave’s entry in Civil War: Battle Damage Report states: “Recent intelligence suggests some or all Nextwave members unknowingly had their memories and/or personalities altered by their new employers (H.A.T.E.)”.

The Initiative

Tabitha Smith has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear on the solicited cover of the comic book Avengers: The Initiative[17]


New press material has confirmed that Boom Boom will appear in the new upcoming series X-Men: Manifest Destiny.[18]

Powers and abilities

Tabitha Smith is an Alpha-Level mutant who originally had the power to create psionic balls of energy, which she calls her “time bombs”. These “bombs” explode with concussive force. She can produce marble-sized “bombs” which have little concussive impact and which she uses for playing pranks. She has produced “time bombs” ranging up to the size of beach balls, which, when they explode, can smash tree trunks and even metal objects. Tabitha can control the amount of time between the creation of one of her “bombs” and the time it detonates. She can mentally muffle the sound of the detonation.

She is a fair hand-to-hand combatant, coached in unarmed combat by Cable. She is an excellent player of video games. She is an accomplished thief, trained by the Vanisher.

Under the direction of Pete Wisdom she learned to focus her power as streams of concussive force.

In Nextwave, her powers are summarized as “the mutant ability to blow things up and steal all your stuff.”

Other versions

House of M

Tabitha appears as a member of the NYPD strikeforce known as the Brotherhood.[19]

Marvel Zombies

In Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #2, a zombified Tabitha is shown feasting on a dead body alongside other infected heroes. Behind them, the Blob is running for his life, while lots of infected heroes and villains are chasing him, to eat him. [2] However, Tabitha is also shown in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #3 with her Nextwave team, all uninfected, in order to save Ash from a zombified Power Pack. The entire team are “humiliatingly and ruthlessly dispatched off panel” moments later.

Rahne of Terra

In the “heroic fantasy” universe visited by Wolfsbane and Wolverine in Rahne of Terra and Knight of Terra, “Tabby” is the lady-in-waiting and best friend of Princess Rain. She has no known powers.

X-Men: The End

In X-Men: The End, a series set ten to fifteen years in the future, Meltdown is once again a member of X-Force along with Warpath, Domino, Shatterstar, Feral, and Rictor when the team meets their end. After their aircraft is shot out of the sky, (which X-Force barely survives), Meltdown is absorbed by the strange entity called Divinity, who uses Tabitha’s powers against her teammates. Not much later, though, Divinity is killed by Apocalypse while Meltdown is still trapped inside him.

X-Force: Shatterstar

In the X-Force: Shatterstar miniseries, Tabitha is still known as Boomer and she is seen as a part of Cable’s rebel forces against Spiral, in an alternate universe where Spiral has conquered and now rules Earth. On that Earth, Spiral has also killed most of that world’s heroes and mutants. Together, the team eventually defeats Spiral. Tabitha also seems to have developed telepathic powers in this timeline.

In other media



Tabitha appears in the X-Men animated series as a young child, along with Rusty, Whiz-Kid, and Skids in the episode “No Mutant is an Island” . She was among the mutant children that Cyclops’ old friend Sarah takes care of, and Scott has to rescue her and the other kids from Kilgrave. A mutant himself with telepathic abilities, he wanted to use the children to make them his army to destroy all humans in the world so that mutants are accepted. Killgrave brainwashes the four and uses them to storm the governor’s mansion so he can make the governor his mind-controlled slave. Scott was able to snap Boom Boom and the others out of Kilgrave’s hypnotic brainwashing in the end and saves the mutant children.

X-Men: Evolution

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Tabitha Smith, in an episode of X-Men: Evolution.

In the X-Men: Evolution animated TV series Boom Boom was voiced by Megan Leitch. Originally one of the New Mutants, Tabitha has a troubled past and a criminal father. Her father took advantage of her mutant abilities to commit crimes when she was younger. She eventually found a home at the Institute, although her stay was short-lived. While not evil or malicious, the lack of discipline and mischievousness made her a troublesome guest for anyone willing to take her in. She spent an episode flirting with Kurt Wagner, whom she saw as someone similar to her since they were kind of outcasts (him, because of his looks; her, because of her family life and her rebelliousness).

At the end of this episode, she felt that she didn’t fit in and moved in with the Brotherhood of Mutants, who were more her style, saying that there were too many rules at the Institute. She often played practical jokes on the boys (such as shaving off Blob’s Mohawk while he slept) and abused their hospitality, though they did little to stop her. Also, at times she’d aid them; she took the always rejected and laughed at Blob and Toad as her dates for the party in Shadow Dance. Tabitha never actually took up a villainous role, though, and she was evicted upon the return of Mystique. She even discovered some of Mystique’s plans and, after blowing up her bedroom, she went to the X-Men manor and tried to tell them, but failed.

Her role in the series was significantly diminished afterward; she lived on her own and appeared mostly in the company of her best friend, Amara a.k.a. Magma from the New Mutants, appearing in several episodes of the series afterwards with no serious loyalties. Finally, according to the season finale, she took the decision of returning to the X-Men’s side.

Wolverine and the X-Men

New press material has shown that Tabitha will appear in the new upcoming series “Wolverine and the X-Men” .


X-Men 2: X-Men United

While Mystique goes through the files on Yuriko’s computer, closer inspection reveals that Stryker is keeping Boom Boom’s files.

Toys and games

While Boom Boom was not included in the X-Force action figures collection from the X-men series produced by Toy Biz in the 1990s, but she was later included in the series Xplosion (released March 2003-retired December 2004) by HeroClix a collectible miniatures game produced by WizKids, Inc. where each player constructs a “team” of heroes and villains.

In other languages

  • In Brazil, Tabitha Smith had only two codenames: she is better known by the codename Dinamite instead of Time Bomb, Boom Boom, or Boomer; and later changed it to Fusão (Fusion) instead of Meltdown.
  • In France, Tabitha was known by the codename Big Bang before she changed it to Meltdown.
  • In Spain, Tabitha was known as Bum-Bum and then shortened to Bumi instead of Boomer. Later, she was known as Meltdown.


  1. ^ Secret Wars II #5
  2. ^ X-Factor #11
  3. ^ Fallen Angels #3-8
  4. ^ X-Factor #22-23
  5. ^ X-Terminators #1-4
  6. ^ New Mutants #77
  7. ^ New Mutants #78
  8. ^ New Mutants #89
  9. ^ New Mutants #93-94
  10. ^ New Mutants #95
  11. ^ New Mutants #100
  12. ^ X-Force #7, 9
  13. ^ X-Force #16
  14. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #15
  16. ^ Wade Gum (2006-07-01). “Heroes Con: Joe Quesada Panel”,
  17. ^ [ Avengers: The Initiative #1.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ House of M: Avengers #2

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