Chris Bradley lived the life of a normal teenager until the day his mutant nature first manifested. This drew the attention of the mutant heroes the X-Men, two members of which – Gambit and Jean Grey – were sent to monitor Chris. At school, Chris found himself unable to control his electricity-based powers and was overwhelmed, falling unconscious in the school’s bathroom. He was found by Gambit and Jean who subsequently took him home. With his parents’ blessing, Chris went to live with the X-Men at their mansion home. There, Chris trained with them in the use of his powers, and began to form close friendships with several of the X-Men, particularly Iceman. Eventually, Chris proved able to control his powers, but on the eve of his return home, the X-Man Beast discovered that Chris had contracted the mutant-killing Legacy Virus. A despondent Chris still sought to return to a normal life, and although alienated from his best friend, Chris found acceptance in his classmate Donna Funaro, who did her best to understand his situation, and they soon fell in love. After public anti-mutant sentiments grew to a near-fever pitch, Chris’ parents were forced to take him out of school. On a visit to the only clinic willing to help those infected with the Legacy Virus, they stumbled upon members of the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity movement who were intending to bomb the clinic. They were saved by the mutant mercenary Maverick (Christoph Nord), who was also infected with the Virus. With the Friends defeated, Chris used his powers to help defuse the bomb. Maverick then provided Chris with contact details should he ever need Maverick’s help in the future. Later, Chris’ home was burned down by mutant-haters, and he angrily sought revenge on the Friends, whom he believed to be the perpetrators. Iceman sought to stop him, but Chris rejected his offer of help, feeling that the X-Men had abandoned him. Instead, Chris sought out Maverick, unwittingly leading the Friends to confront them. Aided by Iceman and the feral X-Man Wolverine, they defeated the Friends, after which Maverick arranged for Chris and his family to be given new identities as the Johnsons and relocated to Altamonte Springs, Florida. Maverick also had his old ally, Doctor James Keller, begin analyzing Chris’ condition.
Chris settled into his new life as Brian Johnson, though the Legacy Virus soon affected his control over his powers. Eventually, Chris ran away from home to New York to be reunited with Donna, but became the target of the Friends once more. Saved by Maverick and Russian telepath Elena Ivanova, they were soon joined by Wolverine in opposing the Friends. An explosion allowed the heroes to escape, but also left Donna mistakenly believing Chris had died. For his protection, Maverick had Chris take a code-name, and he chose “Bolt.” On a subsequent visit to Keller’s clinic, Chris learned that Maverick’s powers had returned, forcing the Virus into remission. He then aided Keller in opposing a group of would-be burglars, using his powers to mask his true identity. Later, seeking to fight mutant persecution as a super-hero, Chris moved to New York and was again reunited with Donna. Soon after, Chris aided several other teen heroes in battling the alien warrior Blastaar, after which the heroes banded together as a new incarnation of the New Warriors. Initially, Chris kept his Legacy Virus infection a secret from his teammates. Having nowhere to live, Chris slept on the streets for a time before turning to Donna for help, after which she let him sleep on the floor of her room for a time. As a Warrior, Chris helped his teammates save Namorita from Genecide and her Eugenix soldiers, after which they became involved in a war between rival gangs Born 2 Die and Lobo's Boys, during which Chris’ teammate Aegis opted to save his friend James, one of Lobo’s Boys, instead of Chris, resulting in Chris being injured by a falling wall. Subsequently investigating the gang’s arms supplier, Harvey Traynor, a recovering Chris and his teammates clashed with the armored mercenaries Heavy Mettle, with Chris facing off against the energy arrows of Warbow. Traynor went to prison, where he was killed by an agent of Heavy Mettle’s employer, Silvermane. The Warriors were also involved in the “contest of champions” held by the alien Coterie, during which they bested fellow teen heroes the Slingers in a game of basketball only to be subsequently defeated in combat by the Black Panther (T'Challa). Chris and the Warriors later teamed with teen mutant heroes Generation X in opposing Fletcher Traynor, who sought revenge on the Warriors for his father’s death and was mutated by one of his father’s weapons into the monstrous Biohazard. After Biohazard’s defeat, Namorita learned of Chris’ lack of accommodation and offered him the spare room at her apartment. The Warriors next prevented an armored car heist by the Mutant Force during which Chris opposed Peeper. Media reports of the clash mistakenly referred to Chris as “Bulk,” much to his chagrin. Subsequently, the Warriors battled Heavy Mettle once more, with Chris besting the aquatic powerhouse Barracuda by electrocuting him.
Later, Chris was among the world’s mutants who were temporarily stripped of their powers by the High Evolutionary’s machinations, regaining them in time to rejoin his teammates in helping the Warriors’ former leader Night Thrasher against the would-be new Iron Fist and the ninjas of the Hand. Chris and the Warriors then opposed an attempted robbery by Blizzard (Donald Gill). During the clash, Iron Man joined the fight, but subdued Blizzard so brutally that the Warriors interceded, unaware that they were actually opposing a suit of sentient Iron Man armor which almost killed the Warriors until it realized what it was doing was wrong and left. Subsequently, the Warriors were transported to the extradimensional realm of Olympus by Hercules, who sought to test them in battle. Chris took the opportunity to ask the ruling god Zeus for help in curing the Legacy Virus; however, Zeus declined to involve himself in mortal affairs. Chris ultimately told his teammates the truth about his condition, and they – along with a returned Night Thrasher - pledged their resources to finding a cure. Eventually, the X-Man Beast created a cure which was released into Earth’s atmosphere by the sacrifice of the X-Man Colossus. Soon after, an intergalactic council attempted to convert Earth into a prison planet, during which a reinvigorated Chris fought with his teammates against Spragg the Living Hill and other threats before joining many of Earth’s heroes in opposing their would-be “warden,” Ronan the Accuser, and a horde of mutated Kree soldiers.
Upon learning of Maverick’s apparent death at the hands of Sabretooth, then an agent of the subversive Weapon X program, Chris swore revenge. Seeking out the mutant soldier Cable, Chris recruited his help as a combat instructor to better allow Chris to take up Maverick’s name and uphold his legacy. Chris immersed himself in the Maverick persona, doing his best to look, sound, and act like Maverick. Chris subsequently joined Cable's Underground resistance group in opposing Weapon X and its sadistic Director, Malcolm Colcord. Alongside Domino, Chris helped capture Weapon X operatives Reaper and Wildside, whom he proceeded to brutally torture in an effort to learn of Weapon X’s plans. The Underground then formed an alliance with rogue Weapon X operative Brent Jackson and a cadre of agents loyal to him in an assault on Weapon X’s headquarters, but they were ultimately betrayed by Jackson and captured. Chris escaped and battled Weapon X’s Agent Zero, unaware that he was secretly the former Maverick. After the Underground was co-opted by former Weapon X agent Marrow and restructured as Gene Nation, Chris tracked her down and confronted her. Marrow surprisingly invited Chris to join them, and he accepted, secretly intending to dismantle the organization from within. For his first mission, Chris was sent to aid in a terrorist attack on Grand Central Station. Seeking to stop the bomber, Chris was confronted by Agent Zero, who mistakenly believed him to be the perpetrator. In the ensuing confusion, Zero fatally shot Chris. As he lay dying, Chris was unmasked by Zero, who was shocked to discover he had killed his former friend. Chris died, never knowing Zero’s true identity.
Recently, Chris was revived with an alien techno organic virus.