EVENTS & DEADLINES
The Great, Yet Lesser Known Heroes
Everyone knows of Superman, Spider-man, Batman, etc. but there are some great superheroes that seem to be left in the shadows of these comic book giants, well today I want to shed some light on some of these incredible, but lesser known characters. Here are five characters from the DC and Marvel Universes that have a lot going for them, but just can’t seem to make into the superhero mainstream.
Etrigan the Demon
The first big appearance of this character, outside of the comic books, was in the animated TV show, Justice League Unlimited, that ran from 2004 to 2006, and did they portray him well! The thing about Etrigan is he isn’t like most characters. Etrigan is a demon, obviously, who has bound himself to a human named Jason Blood. While he is a demon, he more than not allies himself with the forces of good. During the fight for Camelot against Morgaine le Fey, Merlin summoned Etrigan when Camelot was about to fall. When it was certain that the castle was doomed, Merlin sent Etrigan away and bound him with a human named Jason Blood. However it was not until centuries later that Blood stumbled upon the tomb of Merlin and read a poem upon the crypt. Blood is a Gotham resident, often found teaming up with the Dark Knight to fight crime (even before teaming up with Etrigan.) Etrigan is such an interesting character because DC is able to have a story line that focuses upon Etrigan and Jason Blood, two very different people, but two very interesting stories.
Marvel has done something incredible with this character. We have seen Christian heroes, Jewish heroes, atheist heroes, heroes that had no religion because the world in which they came from did not have any, but no hero (to my knowledge) has been of the Muslim faith. I have got to say that is awesome. Sooraya Qadir, also known as Dust, maybe one of the first superheroes to come from Afghanistan. It reopens the idea that anyone can be a superhero, no matter what your background is. Sooraya was born into the slave markets of Afghanistan, a very unlikely beginning for most superheroes. She has the ability to turn her body into a large cloud of dust, as well as control sand around her. She first learned of her powers when a slaver attempted to take off her traditional garbs, known as a niqab. She is a currently a member of the Young X-men and a student at Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. She is a very quiet and nervous girl, which I can understand from being held as a slave for a majority of your childhood! Funny note, she is roommates with Surge (you will read about her next) who often is ridiculed and questioned her for wearing the traditional garments of her faith. Personalities will class I guess. But the greatest part about her is the fact that she is a rare example of a positive Muslim character, something that would be very fortunate to see in the comic book worlds: more acceptance of others.
There are good students in Xavier’s School who are “goodie goods” and there are some who are trouble kids, and THEN there are some who have found themselves in dark situation to deal with their mutant powers. Noriko Ashida, aka Surge, is the last type of person. Born in Japan, she was forced to rely upon acquiring prescription drugs illegally to reduce her highly accelerated mutant brain. As a child she ran away from home when her father refused to accept her genetic mutation. Since then she has had problems with authority and finds herself rebelling against it when she finds necessary. She has the ability to constantly absorb electricity, from the air, lights, fixtures, etc. She cannot control when or how much electricity she absorbs, therefore she must wear special gauntlets that help regulate her electrical intake. If she takes in too much electricity, it causes a mental overload (which is why she was initially taking illegally obtained prescription drugs) and she speaks too quickly as well as being unable to think straight or concentrate. Not only can she absorb electricity, but she can also release it in forms of electric blasts/channels that travel at lightning speed (pun intended). She is kind of like a Japanese Wolverine with boobs…and she can shot lightning from her hands! But personality wise, she is definitely like Wolverine! Ya know, clashing with peers and superiors, doesn’t do well with orders, etc.