The Irish Heroes & Villains of the Marvel Universe
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, meet a few heroes who were born in Ireland or have Irish heritage, including Banshee, Captain America, and Daredevil!
Over the decades, Ireland has produced a fair share of the heroes and villains who inhabit the Marvel Universe. With Saint Patrick’s Day upon us, today's your lucky day! We’re celebrating eight characters who were either born in Ireland or have Irish heritage. See if you know them all!
Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil
Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, Matt Murdock debuted in DAREDEVIL (1964) #1 and has since become one of Marvel’s most iconic characters. The blind vigilante is of Irish-American descent, a fact that comes up fairly often in his stories, especially due to his relationship with Catholicism. Many of Daredevil’s best stories showcase his struggle with his religious identity as it relates to his morally ambiguous actions.
Sean Cassidy, AKA Banshee
Created by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth, Banshee debuted in X-MEN (1963) #28 as a mutant with the power to create sonic blasts. The character hails from County Mayo, Ireland, specifically a family estate called Cassidy Keep.
In his early history, Cassidy worked for Interpol. Following the death of his wife in an attack by the Irish Republican Army, though, he ended up on the wrong side of the law, which led to a showdown with the X-Men.
Banshee didn’t remain a villain for long. Instead, he joined the X-Men and has remained a prominent mutant hero ever since. Then, during the Krakoan Era, he was possessed by the Spirit of Variance and became Vox Ignis, a Ghost Rider-like being.
Theresa Cassidy, AKA Siryn
Created by Chris Claremont and Steve Leialoha, Theresa Cassidy debuted in SPIDER-WOMAN (1987) #37 as the daughter of Sean Cassidy—although she wasn’t aware of that fact at first. Like her father, Theresa started out as a villain who can create powerful sonic blasts with her voice.
Luckily, Theresa learned the truth about her parentage after a confrontation with the Marvel Universe’s heroes. Following that revelation, she reunited with Sean and has remained a key mutant hero ever since, working alongside such groups as X-Factor.
Tom Cassidy, AKA Black Tom
Another member of the Cassidy family, Tom Cassidy debuted in Claremont and Dave Cockrum’s X-MEN (1963) #99 with the ability to channel concussive force and heat through wood. Like so many other members of his family, Black Tom started out as a villain, working with the Brotherhood of Mutants and teaming up with Juggernaut on numerous occasions.
Although he’s generally been depicted as a villain, Black Tom has been distinctly more heroic since Marvel’s mutants moved to Krakoa, where he has played a key role in maintaining the island nation’s security.
Miguel O’Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099
After an incident involving genetic splicing, O’Hara received several different spider-like powers that resemble those of Peter Parker. Since then, he’s served as that dystopian future’s version of Spider-Man.
One of the Marvel Universe’s newest additions, Cam Long was created by Vita Ayala and Rod Reis, with their first appearance taking place in NEW MUTANTS (2019) #15. Cam, who is of Irish and Chinese descent, is a mutant whose physiology resembles a tiger. Since being brought back by Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols, Cam has trained with the New Mutants and Bishop’s War College.
Molly Fitzgerald, AKA Shamrock
Debuting in MARVEL SUPER HERO CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS (1982) #1, Shamrock was created by Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, Bill Mantlo, and John Romita Jr. The character—who originally hails from Dunshaughlin, Ireland—is the daughter of an Irish nationalist. Her superpower allows her to manipulate probability in her favor, allowing her to create her own brand of Irish luck.
After working as a crime-fighter for several years, Shamrock retired. Recently, she opened an Irish pub in New York City.
Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America
One of the Marvel Universe’s oldest and most renown heroes, Steve Rogers debuted in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS (1940) #1 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Rogers was born in New York City to poor Irish immigrant parents, making him first generation Irish-American.
There are several series that have dealt with Rogers’ upbringing, such as CAPTAIN AMERICA (2012), which explored the tumult of his early life in-depth. Eventually, Rogers participated in Project: Rebirth and received the Super Soldier Serum. However, he’s never forgotten his humble beginnings.
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