Samhain challenges the Guardians

Real Name: Samhain

Identity/Class: Extratemporal (Earth-691) Celtic demigod (see comments) (possible demon)

Occupation: Celtic spirit of death

Group Membership: Celtic pantheon (?)  (Earth-691)

Affiliations: Blue Banshees (pawns)

Enemies: Cuchulain, Guardians of the Galaxy (Aleta, Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Nikki, Talon, Yellowjacket), Shamrock

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: 31st Century Ireland;

Celtic (?) netherworld

First Appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3 (1993)

Powers/Abilities: Yellow in skin color with flowing gray hair, Samhain was arrogant and the self-proclaimed Celtic spirit of the dead who ruled the kingdom of the dead. Apparently immortal, he was unaffected by having his physical body pierced with a spear although he did spill green blood. He was capable of fast flight, notably when in a panicked state. Samhain sought the legendary Book of Kells and commanded a vast army of Blue Banshees.

Samhain taunts ShamrockHistory:

(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3 (fb) - BTS) - Samhain was worshiped as a pagan god of the dead. (For the initial origin and history, see the Samhain of Earth-616 profile.)

(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3 (fb) - BTS) - Desiring to acquire the Book of Kells, Samhain silently observed and followed the Guardians of the Galaxy when they were on Irish soil looking for the fabled book to help in the education program in Manhattan of the 31st Century. He sought the Book of Kells to destroy its apparent religious propaganda (potentially its destruction - or even possession - may have granted him more power.)

(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3) - Samhain confronted the Guardians of the Galaxy (Aleta, Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Nikki, Talon and Yellowjacket) and Cuchulain after they located the Book of Kells, which was coincidentally on the winter solstice. Speared by Cuchulain but unharmed, he launched an attack against them using his Blue Banshees who engaged the heroes in battle while Samhain crept away to enter the old tomb where the book was kept. Snatching a burning branch from the fire to use as a torch, he entered the tomb hoping to steal the precious tome but was challenged by Shamrock who was standing guard by the book.
Samhain shrieking in retreat

Samhain taunted the Irish heroine, deriding her command over the spirits of the war dead, claiming that they would eventually be his. The defiant Shamrock. then released all the souls within her simultaneously. Each poltergeist within her bore a vision of senseless slaughter and they bombarded Samhain all at once. The Celtic lord of the underworld was ill-matched for this and was overwhelmed by the onslaught. He shrieked as he retreated, shooting out of the tomb to return to his netherworld.

Comments: Created by Michael Gallagher (writer), Colleen Doran (penciler) and Steve Montano (inker).

Further discussion on the nature and history of Samhain and his derived power can be found in the Samhain profile for his Earth-616 counterpart. The profile presented here focuses on his Earth-691 appearance and makes no assertion as to the development of the character in the alternate future timeline (see below).

Presumably this guy is the same as the demon who troubled the Vision and the Scarlet Witch despite his moderate change in appearance and powers, although I'm not so sure... He calls himself the Celtic spirit of death (admittedly no real evidence there) and Vance Astro calls him the pagan god who inspired Halloween (possible confusion there) and he *seemed* bound to Irish soil. Nevertheless, his returned physical manifestation may be the result of an (as yet) untold story. Perhaps he was eventually freed from the Land of Dead (with greater power aligned with the winter solstice) and later upgraded from being a demon to demigod status? Perhaps his claim to be the Celtic spirit of death was exaggerated. To me, there is no clear cut evidence either way (same or different Samhain), although this may never be fully resolved in Marvel continuity. Suggestions?

There is a Celtic god of death, but his name is not Samhain as that is the name of the ritual that occurs on All Hallows Day, Nov 1. There is a god of death, but his name is Anpao, according to my big book of Celtic Mythology A-Z by Mike Dixon-Kennedy.

Anpao is also mentioned in my book International Directory of Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck as a spectral vision of death which roams part of Northern Brittany in a spectral horse-drawn hearse looking for souls to carry into the underworld.

My guess is in the Marvel Universe that Anpao changed his name to Samhain to exploit the supernatural power on All Hallows Eve (Halloween). His Marvel likeness looks nothing like his mythological likeness which looks more like the Ghost Rider in tattered robes and tainted armor.
--Will U

Profile by Grendel Prime.


Samhain of Earth-691 has no known connections to:

Blue Banshees

Blue Banshees

The Blue Banshees were blue-colored long-haired wraiths with no facial hair (probably female) and were commanded by Samhain. They only screamed when they had specifically targeted somebody and then only the victim could hear them. They were called an army and seemed limitless in number. They had a physical manifestation as they were pushed back by the punches and stabs of Charlie-27 and Cuchulain and were affected by the energy blasts of Vance, eventually disintegrating before the nova intensity of pure light from Aleta.

--Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3

images (with ads):
Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3, p44, panel 1 (main)

p49, panel 3 (head talking)
p51, panel 1 (screeching)
p47, panel 2 (Blue Banshees)

Guardians of the Galaxy Annual#3 (1993) - Michael Gallagher (writer), Colleen Doran (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

Last updated: 11/30/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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