Even Canada has Better Superheroes Than Ireland

I’m out of here. For the next couple weeks, I’m taking a little sojourn to Ireland. Before I leave this three man operation to the other two men, I thought I would find out some of the top Irish superhero characters. It turns out there are ten. And two of those are Buffy characters.

So it seems like the best we can muster, heritage-wise, is Banshee, and he’s dead. I remember being a kid, and thinking that this was an Irish superhero who I wish was a bit cooler, and at the very least had a better costume. Now, he’s a good character, and has a long history in the Marvel Universe, but he’s just shy of being awesome. He couldn’t carry his own series, for example. But I do like it when they take a character and age them, and move them to the older generation of characters, which they they had to do in order to let his daughter, Siryn, make any sense, since she’s all grown up and hanging out with X-Factor. Her, I quite like, but haven’t been reading about her long enough to know very much. I like how she’s part of the ensemble in the book, but that might just be Peter David. But at least she isn’t a former cop, or Catholic priest.

Until I started doing this, I had almost completely forgot about Hellstrike, from Stormwatch. Now here’s an Irish character I can get behind. Granted, he was a former cop, which is the most rote backstory for any Irish character. Still, he was badass for a man “what’s made of gas.” I don’t actually remember all that much about him, but I do remember that he was tough, and kicked some butt, and didn’t have a drinking problem, because he was mostly vapor. Then, of course, he was killed off by Warren Ellis when The Authority took over for Stormwatch. Apparently, he’s back now somehow.

But after all that, they left off my favorite Irish character of all time. And while it’s not Garth Ennis, that’s a close guess. I guess he’s not a superhero, but Cassidy has to be my favorite Irish character of all time. He’s dense, interesting, neither all good, nor all evil, and definitely flawed. And all that is before you even mention he’s a vampire. For me, Cass was my favorite character in Preacher, and one of my favorite characters in all of comics. The fact that he was Irish mattered more than a punchline to some jokes. Rather, the situation where he grew up, fighting for Irish Independence, and what he went through shaped who he was, and how he turned out. His backstory was fascinating to me, and is the kind of thing that really made Preacher stand out from the pack as a story worth reading.

I’ll be back soon. Have fun!

By the way, I’m just joking with you Canada! Your list is impressive.


  1. I clicked on the wikipedia link, and have two words:
    Gay Ghost.

  2. They’re Irish. The rest of us are just glad they didn’t drink up all the liquor and beat the crap out of us….

    Totally kidding Josh and Conor!

    What takes you to Ireland–work or vacation?

  3. That’s a paltry sum. They missed Blarney Cock from The Boys, but honestly that’s so offensive it’s probably best left off the list. I felt like there were more, but I must be mashing the Scots in there too. What about Irish-American superheroes? Isn’t Matt Murdock Irish ethnically?

    So, have fun in Ireland. I hear that the Guiness brewery tour in Dublin is very nice. (It hadn’t opened yet last time I was there). If you get to the Cliffs of Moher, look for a seaside restaurant called the Lazy Lobster. Very nice if you like seafood.

  4. This is all that matters, as far as Canadian Superheroes go:

    Category:Canadian superheroes

    Wolverine (comics)

    So no matter how many American super guys there are, we’ll(Oh Canada) always have Wolverine and, therefore, always be cool.

  5. You saved yourself from a whole lotta trouble with that last sentence, Flanagan 😉

    Side note: Syrin had/has a drinking problem….

  6. I agree – Cassidy is probably the best Irish character there is. But really, with all that drinking and fighting going on, is there even really a need for superheroes? (I say that as a proud Irishman.)

    I hear that the Guinness brewery tour in Dublin is very nice.

    Very true, and very tasty. Did the tour at 10 a.m. and followed it up with a tour of the Jameson distillery. Needless to say, we were pretty toasty by lunch. The Guinness we get here is like pisswater compared to how it tastes there.

    There’s also a pretty decent comic shop (at least there was when I was there) right on the Liffey in downtown Dublin – I think it’s on the north side of the river, but I can’t remember for sure.

  7. The Gay Ghost is a big hit over here in Ireland. There’s a fifty foot statue of him in St. Stephens green.

  8. Enjoy your trip man. I love the country so much I’ve been here since I was born.

  9. The Guinness we get here is like pisswater compared to how it tastes there

    Dude. The Guinness there is like ambrosia unto the gods. Oh man. I could go for one right now.

  10. Hey, I get to go for one right now. I’ll have one for ya.

  11. Aaaaaah, ya’ bastich!

  12. As a half Irish American, 1/4 Qu

  13. I can’t remember her name, but there was an Irish superheroine who went up against Cap in Marvel’s Contest of Champions miniseries from the 80’s. Embarassingly, her power was that she warped the laws of probablility wherever she went, and therefore had the luck o’ the Irish.

    Have a Guiness in Ireland if you must, but you won’t be able to drink it when you get back to the states.

  14. What about Black Tom? isn’t he bro’s with “bug on a windshield” Banshee?

  15. Black Tom is Banshee’s cousin.

    “bug on a windshield”

    nice, really nice.

  16. Hey Josh, have fun in Ireland. Not sure whereabouts you’re headed but if you’re in the area be sure to visit a place called The Winding Stairs just outside Dublin… best fish you ever tasted!!!

  17. Too bad, Josh – I just got back from Dublin last week.

  18. Cassidy is probably the best character around.

    He’s Irish like me, and one of the only other male Cassidy’s I can find. Plus, he just kicks some serious ass.