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Paying homage to ye ol’ Irish (ish) comic characters

February 27, 2019
By Evan Bevins , Graffiti

St. Patrick's Day is a holiday marking the fifth century death of its namesake, credited with bringing Christianity to his native Ireland.

Over the years, it has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture, then a celebration of wearing the color green and drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

It is with that same amount of research and attention to detail that I put together the following list of the top 10 comic book characters for St. Patrick's Day:

10. Green Arrow

Or Green Hornet. Or Green Llama. Or Green Goblin. None of these guys are getting pinched on St. Paddy's Day.

9. The Riddler

Despite the lack of standards for this list, I'm still not sure the Riddler belongs on it. But he wears green and our fearless leader Erin says he has to be. (Editor's note: I just wanted a chance to gush over Cory Michael Smith, who I'm sure can claim Irish heritage somewhere along the line).

Making lemons out of lemonade, it does give me an excuse to put in writing that Riddler wearing a suit is objectively better than Riddler wearing a green unitard adorned with question marks, much the same way that Doctor Octopus in a suit is the best Doctor Octopus.

8. Ragman

Rory Regan is of Jewish descent, but his grandfather shortened the family name from Reganiewicz when they came to America in hopes of avoiding persecution. Unfortunately, the Irish weren't very highly regarded in that era, either. Also his costume is green. Ish.

7. The Maltusans

One faction of this ancient alien race formed a colony on Earth that wound up inspiring the legend of leprechauns. The most famous Maltusans, the Guardians of the Universe, created the Green Lantern Corps.

6. Hulk and She-Hulk

About that whole pinching thing: Does it count as wearing green if you are green? In the case of Bruce Banner and his cousin, Jennifer Walters, I would suggest the answer should be yes. Pinch them at your own risk. You wouldn't like them when they're angry.

5. Jack O'Lantern

You hear that name and you think Halloween, but that's Marvel's Jack O'Lantern. DC's was Ireland's representative on the Global Guardians, and got his powers from a lantern given to him by an Irish fairy, who apparently successfully defended a copyright lawsuit from the aforementioned Guardians of the Universe.

4. Guy Gardner

Not only does this Green Lantern wear green, but he has red hair. He comes from a family of police officers. And he runs a bar! "In brightest day, in blackest night, I'll nail every Irish stereotype..."

3. Black Tom Cassidy

A longtime X-villain, Juggernaut pal and brief "Deadpool 2" punchline, Black Tom has the mutant ability to generate force blasts through wood, often using a shillelagh as a focal instrument. But I had to look that up. His main power is being Irish.

2. Shamrock

The national hero of Ireland in the Marvel Universe, Molly Fitzgerald was gifted with good luck powers when her militant nationalist father entreated gods to grant his son the power to defeat their enemies. Molly didn't learn she received the abilities until she was in college. She's had a few moments in the spotlight - like defeating Captain America in the original "Contest of Champions" - but gave up heroics for hairdressing once her powers apparently faded. At some point, she also owned a bar.

1. Banshee and Siryn (aka Banshee)

It's hard to top Shamrock, but if anyone can do it, it's Sean Cassidy. Black Tom's brother, Banshee joined the internationally diverse, all-new, all-different X-Men and became a mainstay of the team. His sonic scream power is better known than his brother's... whatever it was, just go back a few paragraphs. But he's best known for his Irish accent and calling people "boyo" a lot. His nickname is even "Irish," just in case, you somehow missed his ethnicity.

His daughter Theresa inherited his powers, as well as the Banshee moniker after his death. Eventually, she took over the role of the Morrigan, a Celtic goddess of war and death.

Thanks to Brett Dunlap for assists on this list.

Evan Bevins is the writer of the webcomic "Support Group."

 
 

 

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