Coming from an affluent family and the son of a Calcuttan police chief, Indian national Neal Shaara has not been a follower of Charles Xavier's philosophies for long, but appears to be one of their most dedicated supporters, nonetheless.
It began when his journalist brother, Sanjit, disappeared. Sharra took it upon himself to find him. When the investigation turned deadly, Sharra was saved by his father's best detective, Karima Shapandar, who was ordered to shadow him. The two continued the investigation together and developed a romantic relationship.
They were eventually captured by the mutant-hunter Bastion, who had previously captured Sanjit. Bastion planned to turn his victims into cybernetic/nanotech Prime Sentinels in order to serve as moles for his mutant-hunting cause. The shock of the procedure activated Sharra's latent mutant powers, and he attempted to free himself and his friends. Sanjit, who had already been transformed into a Prime Sentinel, fought his programming long enough to disable the other Sentinels, but was fatally wounded in the attempt. Karima told Sharra to leave her, as it was too late to save her and could not hold off her transformation for long.
Sharra, unsure of himself and his powers, contacted Moira MacTaggert, an old friend of his family's, and soon found himself on her Muir Island mutant research facility. There, he met and was invited to join the X-Men, whereupon he took the code-name Thunderbird. Soon after, however, he split with the team to join several of their number in searching the world for the lost diaries of the late mutant seer, Destiny. During his adventures with the team, he developed a romantic relationship with his teammate Psylocke before her death.
Later, Sharra began to develop a relationship with his teammate Lifeguard. During one adventure, Lifeguard discovered that she may be, in part, alien in origin. This fact upset her brother, Slipstream, who ran away. Sharra and Lifeguard left the X-Men to search for her brother and for the truth of her background.
Shaara was a member of the X-Corporation stationed in Mumbai before its closure.