Real Name: Bendigeid Vran (translated as "Bran The Blessed")
Occupation: British Chieftain, Warrior, patron god of warriors and craftsmen
Legal Status: Citizen of First Century Britain
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Bran except as a semi-legendary being.
Other Aliases: The Raven
Place of Birth:
possibly Harlech, England
possibly Harlech, England
Place of Death: possibly Tara, Ireland
Marital Status: Unrevealed, possibly Married
Known Relatives: Llyr (father), Iweriadd (mother, deceased), Branwen (sister), Manawydan, Lodan (half-brothers), Efnisian, Nisian (half-brothers, deceased), Matholwych (brother in law, deceased), Gwern (nephew, deceased), Pwyll (uncle, deceased), Pryderi (cousin), Caractacus Arviragus (son, deceased), Beli Mawr (maternal grandfather, deceased), Brutus, Aenenas (ancestors, deceased), Arthur, Mordred (Fifth Century descendants, deceased),
Group Affiliations: ally of Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu, Taliesen, Ynawag, Gruddieu and Heilyn,
Base of Operations: Harlech, England
First Appearance: She Hulk IV #24
History: Bran the Blessed is the son of Llyr, a member of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Tuatha de Danaan, who were worshipped as gods by the ancient Celts, and Iweriadd, grand-daughter of King Llud of ancient Britain. Llud had received the throne from his father, King Beli-Mawr, but died early when neither of his two sons, Androgeus or Tenuantius, were old enough to take the throne which instead fell to Cassivelaunus, Llud's brother. During his reign, Britain was invaded by the Roman Empire under Julius Caesar. Llud's granddaughter, Iweriadd, wife of Euroswydd and sister-in-law of King Pwyll of Dyfed, was seduced by Llyr to give Britain a champion against the Roman armies. She conceived two children named Bran and Branwen.
Despite his pagan beliefs, Bran was credited with trying to bring Christianity to Britain. He developed a reputation as a warrior on the battlefield alongside several of Britain's foremost champions which included Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu, Taliesen, Ynawag, Gruddieu and Heilyn. He surrendered his sister, Branwen, as a wife to Matholwych, an Irish chieftain under King Criommthinn of Eire. At their wedding, Bran gave Matholwych a mystic cauldron as a wedding present, but Matholwych was inadvertently insulted by Bran's half-brother, Efnisian. Once he returned to Eire, he locked Branwen away and treated her cruelly as revenge. Learning of her suffering, Bran formed an army and crossed over to Eire from Wales to rescue her. During the resulting war, there was heavy casualties on both sides, but Matholwych used the cauldron to restore his armies to full strength and vigor. Once Efnisian destroyed the cauldron, Bran laid seige to Eire, slaying nearly everyone in his path.
Bran was eventually taken down by a poison dart, and as he laid dying, he took a vow from his allies to carry his head to London and bury it at the White Mount facing France where it could protect Britain. As he lay dying, his head continue to dispense prophecies of fortune upon Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu, Taliesen, Ynawag, Gruddieu and Heilyn, who kept their promise to bury his head at the White Mount in London as a mystical defense to Britain.
In Bran's place, his son, Caractacus Arviragus, succeeded to the British throne around 40 AD and fought the returning Roman Empire under Emperor Claudius. It is believed that under the name, Agrestes, he welcomed Joseph of Arimathea to Britain to introduce Christianity and that he founded what would be Camelot, naming it after Camaalis, another British ruler. His Fifth Century descendant, King Arthur Pendragon, reportedly removed Bran's head from the White Mount in London, preferring to be the sole protector of London, and reburied it in the foundations of the Tower of London. However, later belief is that Arthur never recovered the head and it still rests at the White Mount guarded by ravens, sacred birds to the Celts.
At some unknown point, both Bran and Branwen were restored to life as gods among the Tuatha de Danaan; Bran became a god of warriors while Branwen became became a goddess of love. It is entirely possible Bran was granted godhood by Llyr in order to aide the Danaans against the Fomore, their eternal enemies. The Danaans were also erstwhile enemies of the Olympian gods of the Roman Empire and the Asgardian gods of the later invading Vikings and Saxons. Mystical spells by the Olympians, the Asgardians or by both prevented the Celtic gods from manifesting on Earth, but Bran found a way to return by placing his life force in that of an American man named Bran Murphy who was possibly a descendant. A trait of borrowing Murphy's likeness was the manifestation of a green tattoo that appeared as as a side affect of the possession. Murphy was the bodyguard of an Irish terrorist named Arthur Moore linked with the criminal underground. As the She-Hulk was investigating a bombing caused by Moore, Hercules was investigating Bran, coming to blows with him in a bar fight that spread to the streets. After the She-Hulk realized the significance of Murphy's tattoo, she and Hercules joined forces to exploit Bran's mortal weakness due to his decapitation and defeat him. After his Earthly form was destroyed, Bran Murphy was restored to normal, and Bran was returned to Avalon, the home of the Celtic Gods.
His later activities are unrevealed.
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 385 lbs.
Strength Level: As a mortal, Bran possessed extra-ordinary but not superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) around 1000 pounds. As a god, he has superhuman strength approaching that of Hercules who can lift (press) well over 100 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Bran possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Celtic gods. Like all Danaans, he is extremely long-lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods. He has aged at an extremely slow rate since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. 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, Leir or Dian Cecht or for a number of Celtic gods of equal power working together to revive him. Bran also possesses superhuman strength and his Danaan metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Danaan flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Celtic gods.)
Bran seems to have limited knowledge and mystical ability to practice magic, but his main mystical power seems to be the ability to visit Earth by forming a psychic bond with a person native to Earth; in doing so, he can create a mystical threshold enabling him to exist on Earth in that individual's body in a form resembling possession. A side effect of this link is the form of a Celtic tattoo green in color around the left arm of the host. Bran can after time project his essence into another avatar or physical form separate from this host body while retaining a bond with it, thereby co-existing separately from it. In this avatar, he possesses all the powers and limitations he has an a Celtic god. It was such an avatar that Hercules destroyed while Bran Murphy was convalescing in another location. Upon breaking this link, Bran's host body returns to normal and his essence returns to Otherworld, the universe of the Celtic Gods until he restores the link to the previous host body or to another individual.
Abilities: Bran is an accomplished warrior in both
armed and unarmed combat.
Weapons: Bran is well-versed in all forms of British and Welsh weaponry.
Comments: Bran has appeared almost entirely in Marvel Comics. He has not yet appeared in DC Comics.
Clarifications: Bran the Blessed is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 07/07/10
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