Sam Guthrie

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This page is about the Phase 2 incarnation of the character. For other uses, see Sam (disambiguation).

Sam Guthrie
Portrayed by Louis Hoffman
Codename: Cannonball
Affiliations: X-Factor Investigations
Birthdate: October 17, 1997
Journal: xp_cannonball
Player: Mari

"You can't individualize a systemic issue, but you can help individuals that're trapped in systemic issues. It's work worth doin' and I wanna be involved in it."


Character Journal: xp_cannonball

Real Name: Samuel "Sam" Zachary Guthrie

Codename: Cannonball

Aliases: None

First Appearance: July 28th, 2023

Date of Birth: October 17, 1997

Place of Birth: Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA

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 (younger brother), Cissie (younger sister)

The Guthries are a matriarchal Appalachian family, with all children deferring first to their mother and then to Sam as the oldest/father figure. Sam is closest to Paige, but also feels especially fond of Melody and Jay. His relationship is most strained with Jay who took up Sam's role as the "man of the house" following Sam's departure for the institute but with none of the years of preparation that Sam had had before taking up the role. Sam, Paige, Melody, Jay, Elizabeth, Joelle, and Lewis are all musically oriented in one way or another, while Jebediah and Cissie are very much not which leaves them feeling a bit othered from the rest of their siblings. While Sam tends to view Paige fully as his sister, he tends to view the other siblings either as something in between sibling and child (ex. Melody, Jay, Elizabeth) or simply as just his child (ex. Joelle, Jebediah, Lewis, Cissie). Lewis and Cissie are twins.

Education: High School Diploma

Relationship Status: Dating Clint Barton

Occupation: formerly a coal miner and union leader; formerly bartender at Kirby's

Team Affiliation: X-Factor Investigations



Sam grew up in a mining town in Kentucky. As the oldest of a large family, he watched his father struggle to hide the extent of his struggle with blacklung and knew long before it was ever asked of him that he had to step up to take care of the family. As his father's illness got worse, Sam's involvement in a fatherly-role for his younger siblings increased and he worked hard at school to graduate early so that he could join the workforce earlier. While Sam had heard about M-Day on the news, the anti-mutant sentiment in his area had already been very present and he didn't really notice much of a change. While the church the Gurthrie's attend had moved a bit away from the fire and brimstone snake-handling of Sam's early childhood, their new pastor was insistent that M-Day was God's punishment for mutantkind's hubris.

Lila Cheney (TW Grooming)

When Sam was sixteen he saved up enough money for tickets to a Lila Cheney concert. His mother had driven him to the city for the show but was late picking him up, thus allowing Sam to be in the right place at the right time to step between the upcoming rockstar and a would-be assailant. Lila ignored Sam’s protestations of “it was just the right thing to do,” and “I have work in the morning,” and insisted on paying him back somehow, in a manner that was decidedly flirtatious. Lila insisted on at least buying him a drink, when Sam told her that he wasn’t twenty-one, she said that she didn’t care and neither would a bartender with all that height and muscle. Before Sam left the bar Lila slipped her number into his pocket and kissed him. Sam returned home enjoying how grown-up Lila made him feel, and feeling extremely flattered that out of everyone in the world one of his favorite musicians picked him. For Sam’s eighteenth birthday Lila bought him his first smartphone. His younger siblings would try to steal it or get him to take pictures of them with it which made him nauseous for reasons he wouldn’t fully realize until he was twenty-one. In the months leading up to the mine accident (explained below), Sam and Lila’s relationship had become strained as a result of the distance and Lila’s penchant for thievery and substance use. After the mine collapse when Sam was 19, he broke it off with Lila because he didn’t think she’d like him anymore due to his injuries and because his life was so different now.

Lila Cheney (currently 29) is a London-born rock musician with the power of intergalactic teleportation which she would use to aid in her habit of thievery. After having gained fame from her rock career with her band, Cats Laughing, Lila became involved with an intergalactic human trafficking ring (with the goal of supplying them with Earth's entire population). Lila's relationship with Sam was built not just on the fact that she was four years older than him, but also in the power imbalance created by her fame and wealth. During their relationship Lila would write a song, "Sam," about Sam and would promise him that the song was just for him, but recorded it in secret- it became an overnight sensation.

Thomas Guthrie's Death and Manifestation of Powers

Within three months of M-Day, Thomas Guthrie would die. Following his father's death Sam would officially take up Thomas' job at the mine when it was offered to him out of courtesy due to Sam having "filled in" for his father for a little over a year at this point. Sam became heavily involved in the union, like his father before him, and would work long hours- sometimes unnecessarily so. While Sam wanted to take care of his siblings and help his mother as much as possible, he was also a young man who viewed family as a burden and something to run from and would try to find ways to do so while still providing for them- he was extremely grateful for his father's best friend, Lewis, who also worked in the mines and stepped up to act as a father figure for him. At the age of 19, Sam had taken a weekend shift at the mine with Lewis, when an improperly set explosive resulted in a tunnel collapse. During the collapse Sam realized that not only had he seriously injured his left shoulder but Lewis was non-responsive. He was wracked with guilt over having been the one to improperly set the explosive and thus having caused Lewis' injuries. His powers manifested as he tried to dig them out of the rubble- and he was able to blast them out of the collapsed mine shaft.

Arrival at the Mansion

The whole town was mystified when Sam and Lewis were able to escape the collapsed mine. Sam remained close-lipped about the experience fearing the experience of having the entire community turn their backs on not just him but his family. Once Lewis was conscious again he would tell everyone about Sam's quick thinking with a second blast to clear a way out for them, and how brave he was to ensure Lewis' safety as well during the escape. Sam would only tell his mother the truth in secret while he thought his siblings were sleeping, and things were tense between them for a few days until she came to the conclusion that anything that kept her son alive couldn't be that bad. While recovering from his injuries, Sam was approached by Charles Xavier and asked to come back to the institute. Despite feeling guilty over leaving his family, Sam took the chance to have a life of his own and agreed to go with the X-Men.

Muir Island and Adulthood

Once at Muir Island Sam elected to focus on learning to use and control his powers, and to try to have a normal life unburdened by the responsibility of caring for his family. He was naturally disheartened when many of his letters to his siblings (especially to younger brother Jay) went unanswered, but was also overjoyed at the possibility of getting to exist as a young person for the first time in his life. Once he felt comfortable in the knowledge that he wouldn't accidentally destroy anything if he returned to the states, he moved to New York to try to start his adult life. Because he did not join a team or attend university, Sam found work bartending at Kirby's in District X- he sends about a third of his paycheck back to his mother to help care for his siblings still, and tries to visit his family whenever possible. He lives in a small one bedroom apartment within District X. Sam has been considering pursuing a degree in sociology but is torn between going back to Kentucky or staying in New York to achieve that goal. He began volunteering at the community center in August 2023.

A Haven to Call Home and X-Factor Investigations

During the events of A Haven to Call Home, District X flooded. Having grown up around flooding in the hollers of Kentucky, Sam was quick to rush to the aid of his community along with newfound friend Alani Ryan. He spent most of the next two weeks rescuing people, moving supplies, and sleeping in the community center. He moved to the mansion in November of 2023 and almost immediately gained employment at X-Factor Investigations.

Physical Characteristics

Sam Guthrie is tall and lanky, never having outgrown the gangliness that comes with growing too tall too fast. He keeps his hair longer on top and pushes it back with goggles

Height: 6'0"

Build: Sam might be lean looking but it's all muscle.

Eyes: blue/grey

Hair: blond

Other Features: (piercings, tattoos, scars, tails, horns, wings etc) burn scar on his left shoulder and bicep as a result of the mining incident that caused his powers to manifest, gold hoop earring in left earlobe


Cannonball can generate thermo-chemical energy and release it from his skin in energy blasts. He can use these energy blasts to propel his body through the air at great speeds and heights. After much practice he also learned to maneuver himself while in the air. Originally Sam could only release these blasts from his feet, but can now generate them from any part of his body. Not only can this energy be used to propel Sam's body through the air, but he can also create blast fields (a force field that can be used as a shield to protect himself or others and also can be formed around someone to imprison them). As a result of the field of energy surrounding his body when using his powers, Sam possessed superhuman durability.

When struggling to push down his claustrophobia, Sam often finds himself unable to release energy blasts from anywhere but his feet. Sam can generate blast fields without propelling himself through the air but it takes all of his concentration, leaving him vulnerable to attack. Sam's powers cannot generate breathable air which puts him at a disadvantage underwater and in space. Sam can only sustain himself while flying for two hours at a time, at a top speed of 40mph, and only up to 10,000 feet above sea level.


Aviator's goggles.


At work he always cards everyone, even his regulars, because he doesn’t want to be complicit in what happened to him. He is constantly looking out for younger mutants.

Sam wants to fix his relationship with his younger siblings but isn’t sure how to explain all of the reasons he left. He knows that he became a father to his younger siblings (especially Jay, Melody, Joelle, Elizabeth, Jebediah, Cissie, and Lewis)- but is unsure on how to communicate to them that he never wanted to be their dad, but that he doesn’t regret it either.

He has a constant need to prove himself, especially after having moved north where his accent marks him as "other" and is often the reason that others think less of him and his intelligence. He knows that as a result of his upbringing that he has a lot of work to do on himself, and strives not to make that anyone else's problem.

Sam operates under the classic Appalachian sentiment of “if I’m not willing to fight you then I don’t respect you,” but most people just assume he’s a hot head.

As a result of the mine collapse, Sam suffers from claustrophobia (which he tries to hide)- this affects him not just in small, dark spaces but also in crowded places like cities.

He talks a lot without really saying all that much.

Sam hasn't told anybody about his relationship with Lila Cheney, not even his family.

External Links

Links to the tags for each character in xp_communication, xp_logs and xp_journal.


xp_journal posts





Player: Mari

E-mail: MariEmail.png

Player Icon Base: Louis Hoffman

Meta Trivia

I'm excited to be playing Sam because as an Appalachian person let me be the first to tell you that whatever Claremont wrote is not how we talk.

I am also excited to get to have Sam process his relationship with Lila in a way he's never been allowed to in the comics, particularly as a CSA survivor myself.