Happy St. Patrick’s Day! That’s right: it is already March 17 and therefore a day to celebrate all-things Irish. St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the traditional feast day of St. Patrick, the bishop who brought Christianity to the shores of Ireland. The Irish (and those of Irish descent) celebrate today with parades, partying, feasting and drinking (primarily on food and beverages dyed green).
To celebrate the day, here are some of our favorite Irish Marvel heroes.
Probably the most well-known truly Irish character in Marvel comics history is the red-headed sonic screamer himself, Sean Cassidy AKA Bansee. Created by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth in 1967’s X-Men #28, Sean Cassidy takes his superhero name from Irish mythology: banshees were creatures who heralded the death of a loved one with a scream or shriek. Initially introduced as an antagonist to the X-Men, Sean rather quickly realizes the error of his ways and uses his incredible vocal cords to damage enemies’ hearing, cause physically harmful vibrations, and even somehow fly … though I don’t think anyone is quite sure on the physics of that one. Sean met his demise in 2006’s X-Men: Deadly Genesis miniseries, though he does leave behind a daughter with the same amazing vocal abilities.
How could you possibly have Irish superheroes and not introduce at least one whose power is luck? Although she is probably the least well-known out of Marvel characters with luck-based powers (Domino and Black Cat certainly take up the mantle there), Molly Fitzgerald is about as lucky (and Irish) as they come. Conceived by an impressive list of classic creators which includes Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant, and John Romita Jr. in Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions #1 in 1982, Molly was born to a member of the IRA (not the last time they’ll be mentioned here). Molly gains her powers from all of the spirits of Irish soldiers who have fallen possessing her and using their ghost-powers to effect the environment around her, ensuring that Molly always ends up on top. It’s like Rey Skywalker’s “I am all the Jedi” moment, except with Molly she is all the Irish.
Does Theresa Cassidy’s last name seem familiar to you? It should! Theresa, AKA Siryn, is the daughter of Sean Cassidy, the original Banshee and the first hero we mentioned in this list. Created by Chris Claremont and Steve Leialoha in Spider-Woman #37 back in 1981, Siryn has had quite the run in Marvel comics, notably taking up positions within both the X-Force team and X-Factor Investigations. Theresa, who was born with the mutant powers of her father, tragically lost her mother to an IRA bombing and was raised by Sean’s evil cousin Black Tom Cassidy, as Sean was unaware he had a daughter at the time. Eventually, Theresa and Sean are united as father and daughter and Theresa joins the X-Men to help hone her powers and use them for good.
Okay, so what if Matt Murdock isn’t actually from Ireland? Being raised Irish Catholic is a monumental part of part of what makes Matt Murdock who he is, and therefore I have to include him on this list. Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett back in Daredevil #1 in 1964, Daredevil has grown to be one of the most recognizable Marvel heroes (vigilante) on their ever-growing roster. Due to his upbringing, Matt grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong, and also horribly crippling Catholic guilt that comes along with the whole vigilante thing. Matt is pushed to vigilantism due to the death of his gambling alcohol boxer father (which is so many Irish stereotypes wrapped up into one character it’s almost impressive, albeit horribly dated). We regularly see Matt attending confession at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to atone for his sins (aka the way he violently beats the crap out of criminals). It simply doesn’t get much more Irish than Matt Murdock.
Who is your favorite Irish Marvel character? Be sure to let us know in the comments or on social media!