With today being St. Patrick’s Day, and being of Irish decent myself, I figured it was only right to give a shout out to some of the best Irish comic book characters. While not usually given a lot of fanfare and typically based predominantly on stereotypes, there are actually a lot of great characters from the Emerald Isle.
Banshee (Marvel) –
Longtime X-Men member with the ability to create sonic screams. Infamous for using Scottish words and phrases, despite being from Ireland. It’s also unfortunate that his creators unintentionally emasculated the character from his inception by giving him the name of a female spirit in Irish mythology.
Black Tom Cassidy (Marvel) –
The evil cousin of Banshee. An on-again/off-again member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, Black Tom has the strange ability to control, bond with, and shoot heat blasts from plant life…which I think was just a ploy to get an Irish character to constantly carry around a shillelagh.
Bloodwraith (Marvel) –
Once the squire of the heroic Black Knight, he eventually drew the Ebony Blade (created by the magic of the wizard Merlin from a meteorite). The blade transformed him into Bloodwraith, a vengeful entity possessed by the souls of those that the sword has taken. He proved so powerful that the Avengers were not able to actually defeat him, but instead had to trap him in a dimension inhabited by the souls that possess him.
Cassidy (Vertigo) –
Preacher‘s resident vampire. One of the forefathers of the not-evil-vampire craze that seems to be all the rage nowadays. Also took part in the Easter Rising before being turned and prefers beer and whiskey…just in case you forgot he was Irish.
Cuchulain (Marvel) –
Based on the Irish folklore character of the same name. He has nearly unlimited strength and endurance, and once killed a giant dog with his bare hands. Just think of him as Thor without the ability to summon lightning…and from Ireland.
Hellstrike (WildStorm) –
Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he’s technically British…but we won’t get political about it. He has the ability to fly and shoot blasts of plasma. His power eventually grew so unstable that he had to be put in a containment suit to keep from exploding…the Irish are known for their explosive tempers…
Jack O’Lantern (DC) –
Similar to the original Green Lantern, Jack O’Lantern derives his power from a mystical lantern given to him by Irish fairies. The lantern gives him superhuman strength and the ability to fly, teleport, cast illusions, and create fogs.
Judge Charlie Joyce (Rebellion Developments) –
The laid-back, stout-drinking Irish counterpart to Judge Dredd. While appearing to be much more relaxed than his Mega-City companion, he proved several times to be quite capable in a fight…because if there’s anything Irish folk know, it’s drinking beer and fighting…
Shamrock (Marvel) –
The Luck of the Irish is always on her side. Literally. I’m serious. Her power is that she can alter probabilities in her favor. It may not seem like that great of a super power, but it has actually made her a pretty formidable opponent in hand-to-hand combat.
Silver Banshee (DC) –
Longtime foe of the Super-family. Like the mythological creature she is named after, Silver Banshee can create powerful shrieks. Only hers can cause comas, insanity, or even death. She can also kill someone just by knowing their real name. This power is inconsistent, however, as she as killed some characters by only knowing their aliases.
Siryn (Marvel) –
The mutant daughter of fellow X-Man Banshee. She has the same abilities as her father, along with a similar costume. She has also been on the bad end of some of comics’ worst storylines: once losing her son with the mutant Multiple-Man (who’s mutant ability is to create duplicates of himself that can only be absorbed back into the original through touch) by him touching the newborn baby for the first time…apparently his power applies to his progeny as well.