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CUCHULAINN

Real Name: Sedanta (“CuChulainn” translates as “Hound of Culann”)

Occupation: Knight, warrior in the reign of King Conchorbor (c. 75-50 BC)

Legal Status: Citizen of Ancient Eire in the First Millennium BC

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of CuChulainn except as a figure from Irish myth and legend.

Other Aliases: Cu Chulainn (original spelling), The Hound of Ulster, the Irish Wolf-Hound

Place of Birth: Emain Macha (modern Newgrange, Ireland)

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Lugh (father), Deichtire (mother, deceased), Sualtam (step-father/uncle, deceased), Dara (half-brother, deceased), Conchorbor (foster father/uncle, deceased), Forba, Cormac, Follaman (cousins, deceased), Emer (wife, deceased), Conla (son, deceased)

Group Affiliations: ally of Loeghaire Buadhah, Conall Cernach and the Red Branch Knights,

Base of Operations: Emhain Macha in Ulster of 1st Century Eire (now part of modern Ireland)

First Appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #3

History: CuChulainn is the son of Lugh, a member of one of the extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Tuatha de Danaan, who were worshipped as gods by the Celts, and Deichtire, sister of King Conchorbor of Ulster. According to later myths, Lugh had lured Deichtire from Emhain Macha, the court of King Conchorbor, at Tara. She is later discovered by the men of Ulster as they went hunting and became lost in a snowstorm. They are welcomed by Lugh at his home at Brugh na Boynne where Deichtire gives birth to an infant named Sedanta. Lugh allows the knights to return Deichtire with her son to Ulster, but her son is a bit of a scandal as she is still betrothed to Sualtam mac Roich, half-brother of King Conchorbor. Sedanta became the ward of King Conchorbor who raises him to be a knight and warrior.

Due to his divine birth, Sedanta proved himself to be of divine birth by defeating fifty youths in his uncle’s court. Raised on a farm on the Miurthemne Plain, he earned the name of CuChulainn after slaying the watchdog that belonged to Culann the smith. As penance for its death, he had to take the place of the dog for twenty years and protect Culann from harm. Desiring fame, CuChulainn eventually was released from his sentence in time to defend Eire against the three sons of Nechta Scene who were terrorizing the land. At seven years of age, CuChulainn heard from the sage Cathbad that whoever raised a sword that day would live on in fame. CuChulainn gained a sword and chariot and sword from his uncle to face the three sons and slew them by cutting off their heads at once. Unfortunately, CuChulainn has not heard the rest of the prophecy. He will live on in fame, but his existence will be cut short. He returns to Ulster with the heads of his conquest hanging from his chariot as a trophy. Queen Mughain, one of the wives of King Conchorbor, tames CuChulainn by treating him hospitably. When CuChulainn averts his eyes to avoid viewing her naked body, the men of Ulster grab him and force him to a bath to wash off his bloodshed.

As a man, CuChulainn is considered the most handsome of the knights of Ulster, and the other knights rally to find him a wife that he won’t be tempted to take one of their own. CuChulainn soon desires Emer, the daughter of Forgall Monach, who resents his choice as his son-in-law. He tries to marry her off to King Lugaid of Munster, but the ruler is too chivalrous to take her from CuChulainn. For CuChulainn can prove to be worthy husband for Emer, he travels to Alba in Caledonia (modern Scotland) and serves as a student to the female warrior, Scathach. She sends him to clash against her rival, Aoife, a female warrior, and defeats her by distraction. He spares her life on grounds that he end her grudge with Scathach and that she bear him a son. CuChulainn departs her during her pregnancy, and she eventually gives birth to his son Conla. CuChulainn also tries to capture mystical birds as gifts for Emer, but he is punished by the Celtic goddesses Fand and Li Ban for trying to harm them. When CuChulainn returns to Eire, Forgall still refuses him to take Emer as a wife. As a result, CuChulainn storms his castle and defeats his men and sizes his treasure, but he does not slay Forgall who instead falls to his death from the ramparts.

On his return to Eire, CuChulainn has several more adventures. He rescues Derbforgaill, a Scandinavian princess and gives her as a wife to his foster son, Lugaid. He defends Ulster from the armies of Connacht when Queen Medb of Connacht attempts to steal the sacred bull known as Donn Cuailnge. After one battle, he is cured of his injuries by Lugh who confesses to being his father. CuChulainn soon becomes allies with two other warriors, Loeghaire Buadhach and Conall Cernach. The three of them were bribed to claim the honor of carving the roast of Bricriu, a minor hero, with the malicious intent of turning them against each other. The heroes clashed as he had planned as they went to Queen Medhbha for best judgement on who was the best warrior. She chose CuChulainn, but the other two were sure he had bribed her so they went to King Roy of Munster for a second opinion. He also chose CuChulainn and they seemed to accept this judgment although their feud was left unsettled.

King Roy resorted to mystical means to prove his choice. He sent a giant to challenge the three warriors. The giant fought Loeghaire and was beheaded by him. Reclaiming his head to reattach it, he returned the next night and claimed the right to claim Loeghaire’s head. Loeghaire asked Conall for help against the giant and he again severed the giant’s head from his body. Recollecting his head, the giant returned a second night claiming the right to take both their heads. Loeghaire and Conall fled to CuChulainn for help and all three of them killed the giant once more by cutting off his head. Reclaiming his head, the giant returned to claim all of their heads. As CuChulainn stepped forward to take his punishment, King Roy appeared and declared CuChulainn the true champion of Eire for being able to concede defeat.

By now, CuChulainn’s son, Conla, had grown to manhood. He came to Eire to take his father’s place as the greatest champion of Eire. Besting Conall Cernach in combat during his search, he was recognized by Emer as CuChulainn’s son, but Conla had taken a vow from his mother to not reveal his identity to his father. CuChulainn clashed with Conla to exact revenge on the death of Loeghaire and delivered a fatal blow. Dying, Conla finally admitted to being the son of CuChulainn, his body was presented to the men of Ulster for a noble burial.

CuChulainn later fell in love with Fand of the Celtic Gods, wife of the sea-god Manannan, after rescuing her from the Fomore, the enemies of the Celtic gods. Emer jealously plots to slay her, but upon seeing the strength of their love, she backs down and Fand instead returns to Manannan. CuChulainn serves King Roy further by invading Caledonia (modern Scotland ) and returning with several treasures, among them, the Shield of Lugh, by then in possession of Fingal, who he clashes with over the shield. When CuChulainn refuses to share his spoils of war with King Roy, the wily ruler sought to teach him a lesson by having him buried in the ground up to his head. His head shaved, CuChulainn swore revenge on his former ally by conquering Munster and taking his wife, Queen Blathnad, as his mistress. Fercherdne, the royal bard, avenged King Roy by slaying Blathnad for allowing herself to be taken so easily and for giving herself to CuChulainn.

CuChulainn continued to protect Ulster from outside invaders and threats, often fighting by the side of the Craobh Ruadhu (Red Branch Knights) sworn to defeat Ulster. During war with King Ailill and Queen Medhbha’s invading armies, Morrigan, Queen of the Celtic Gods, appeared in the battle in her form as the war-goddess, but when CuChulainn refused to recognize her, she cursed him with madness on behalf of Queen Medhbha, who had conspired with Lugaid, the son of King Roy, to lure CuChulainn to his death. CuChulainn tries to break the curse by eating the flesh of a dog, which ended up weakening his godly endurance. Realizing he was about to die, he tied himself standing to a pillar in order to fall in battle standing up. It is only until a raven lands on him that his enemies believe his dead. Lugaid severs CuChulainn’s head from his body after death, but Lugaid’s hand is severed from his arm as the sword of CuChulainn falls from his hand. Conall Cernach later avenges CuChulainn by slaying Lugaid.

In an alternate future of the 31st Century, the Earth has been ravaged by Martian invaders and humanity has to rebuild civilization. CuChulainn is restored to life through the Book of Kells by the heroine Shamrock and join the Guardians of the Galaxy to preserve the Earth’s place in the universe. Despite several adventures, CuChulainn opts to return to Earth and defend the planet than follow them on interstellar adventures. It is unknown if this occurs in the mainstream timeline.

Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 430 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Red

Strength Level: CuChulainn possesses superhuman strength giving him Class 100 strength, enabling him to lift (press) over 100 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: CuChulainn possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Celtic Gods or Tuatha de Danaan. He has incredible strength, stamina, endurance and resistance to harm. Olympian gods. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as the Dagda, Llyr or Arianrhod or for a number of Celtic gods of equal power working together to revive him. CuChulainn also possesses superhuman strength and his metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities.

Abilities: CuChulainn is an exceptional warrior with a sword and in unarmed combat.

Weapons: CuChulainn carried a staff called gae-bolg which he could wield as a spear or club.

Comments: This bio describes CuChulainn of the Marvel Universe; he has not yet been seen in the DC Universe.

King Conchobor of Ulster (King of Eire c. 73 BC) was the son of King Fachtna of Ulster and Nessa, the daughter of King Eochaid Buidhe of Dal-Riada (modern Scotland). Fachtna had been the Chief Physician of King Eochaidh Airemh of Eire around 130 BC, according to The Encyclopedia of the Celts. He was followed by King Crimthann of Eire who ruled at the time of the Crucifixion according to The History of the Irish Kings. (Jesus Christ said to be born in the seventh year of his reign.)

In Druid #2, King Lugaid is referred to as King Lewey of Munster.

Aoife, the rival of Scathach, is not to be confused with Aoife, the daughter of Bodb who is married to the sea-god Leir.

King Roy, associate of CuChulainn, is not to be confused with Rob Roy, @ 1671-134 AD

 

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