Red Raven is the name of three characters from Marvel Comics.
The first Red Raven, created by writer Joe Simon and artist Louis Cazeneuve, first appeared in Red Raven Comics #1 (cover-dated Aug. 1940), published by Marvel's predecessor, Timely Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. The title was canceled after its premiere issue, becoming The Human Torch with #2, dropping all features from the debut. The Grand Comics Database notes of the first and only issue, "No blurbs at the end of the stories in this issue indicate that there will be a Red Raven Comics #2. Instead they all advertise either Marvel Mystery Comics or in one case Mystic Comics, suggesting that perhaps Red Raven Comics was cancelled even before it went to press." The character remained unused for more than two decades before being revived in the modern day as an antagonist in X-Men #44 (May 1968). The Red Raven then battled Namor, the Sub-Mariner in Sub-Mariner #26 (June 1970). Although presumed dead for years, he eventually returned in Nova vol. 3, #4-5 (Aug.-Sept. 1999), and guest-starred in Defenders #6-7 (Aug. - Sept. 2001) and The Order #2 (May 2002) In Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976), Red Raven was retconned to have been a member of the stateside World War II-era superhero team the Liberty Legion. In that capacity he and his teammates guest-starred in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 (1976) and The Invaders #6 (May 1976). He appeared in flashback cameos in Thor Annual #12 (1984) and Fantastic Four #405 (Oct. 1995).
Fictional character biography
Original Red Raven
|First appearance||(historic) Red Raven Comics #1 (Aug. 1940);
(modern) X-Men #44 (May 1968)
|Created by||Joe Simon and Louis Cazeneuve|
|Team affiliations||Liberty Legion|
|Abilities||Flight using mechanical wings. Access to alien technology. Skilled hand-to-hand combatant|
The boy who would become Red Raven was a child from Europe, and the only survivor of a trans-Atlantic airplane crash. As an infant, he was adopted by a civilization of winged people who lived on a floating island in the sky, the Aerie, one kept aloft by antigravity drives and hidden from human civilization by artificial clouds. As he grew, he learned they were an avian offshoot of a human-alien hybrid race known as the Inhumans, who had long ago left the hidden Inhuman city Attilan, built their own abode, and learned to stabilize their genetics to reproduce only in this winged form. Calling themselves both The Bird-People and The Winged Ones, they made their adopted son a uniform outfitted with anti-gravitons for flight and metal wings for navigation. During World War II, fearing an escalation of Nazi Germany's efforts that would encompass his adopted people, the now-grown human wore a costume with large metal wings that enabled him to fly, and called himself Red Raven and joined the United States superhero team the Liberty Legion, battling foes such as the Red Skull.
The Bird-People, however, planned to invade human civilization after the war. Red Raven foiled their plot by using gas to place the tribe, including himself, in suspended animation, and sank their domed island to the bottom of the ocean, setting a timer to return them to the surface and reawaken them after several years. When the island eventually resurfaced near the end of the suspended-animation cycle, the superhero Angel of the X-Men stumbled upon the island. Angel and Red Raven clashed when the latter was startled by the former. Angel believed it would be more humane to revive the Bird-People, but Red Raven disagreed. He again sank the island to protect the secret of the Bird-People, continuing the suspended animation process, and set Angel adrift on a raft.
Sometime later, following an undersea earthquake, the Red Raven's suspended-animation capsule broke loose. It floated to the surface, where Red Raven was found by his old wartime ally the Sub-Mariner. The imperfect suspended-animation technology that he had used, however, had begun to drive Red Raven insane. He tried to awaken the Bird-People to join their crusade against humanity, but was thwarted by Namor. His condition worsened when he discovered that the Bird-People had all died. In a mad rage, he accidentally caused an explosion that engulfed him and the entire island.
Sometime throughout all this, Red Raven had a daughter who, under the same name, became a superhero.
Red Raven eventually reappeared alive, and revealed that he'd faked his own death, that of the Bird People, and the sinking of the island. The Defenders are later brought to the Red Raven's sky-island and clash with the Raven. The Red Raven also encounters The Order on his island.
|First appearance||Rawhide Kid #38 (Feb. 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee and Dick Ayers|
|Alter ego||Redford Raven|
|Team affiliations||Iron Mask's gang|
|Abilities||Gliding on artificial wings.|
In the Wild West, Redford Raven is a bank robber who led his own gang into a series of robberies until they ran afoul of Rawhide Kid who defeated the bank robbers and handed them over to the authorities. While in prison, Redford Raven shared a cell with a dying Navajo medicine man. The medicine man decided to share his secrets with Redford where he had designed a winged harness that could be worn by a man and permit him to glide upon the winds. The old Navajo trained Raven in the use of these wings until he passed away from his illness. Redford Raven tricked the guard into letting him escape by hovering to the ceiling and slipping out. Upon becoming Red Raven, he was able to safely escape the prison simply by flying out of reach of the guards. Red Raven's first action was to take revenge on Rawhide Kid. Not realizing Red Raven's new abilities, Rawhide Kid fired at Red Raven who dodged every bullet. Red Raven then shot Rawhide Kid and left him for dead. Rawhide Kid was saved and nursed back to health by a young Navajo who was the son of the Navajo medicine man who gave Redford Raven his powers. Upon being nursed back to health, Rawhide Kid was trained by the Navajo man into using the wings so that he can be on equal grounds with Red Raven. Upon finding Red Raven, Rawhide Kid was still trying to get a hang of operating the flying harness. Red Raven made a mistake of flying in front of the sun enabling him to shoot Red Raven's gun from his hand. Rawhide Kid then wrestled with Red Raven and brought him to the ground upon his defeat. The young Navajo man then burnt both wings in order to protect his secret.
Redford Raven later came to own a new pair of wings and had joined forces with Iron Mask's gang (consisting of Dr. Danger, Fat Man, Hurricane, and Rattler). Upon being inspired by Kang the Conqueror in their timeline, they began to commit high-scaled thefts until the time-traveling West Coast Avengers showed up and stopped the criminals in their tracks. Red Raven ended up fighting Iron Man and proved totally ineffectual against him where Iron Man tore off his wings and knocked him to the ground. Red Raven and the other criminals were arrested and handed over to the authorities in Tombstone, Arizona.
The third Red Raven is Dania who was hatched on the floating island of Aerie. At age 14, Dania spent most of her life watching the video feeds of Namor and thought that he was responsible for the death of her father who was presumed to be the original Red Raven. Namor's company Oracle Inc. sought to study the sunken Sky-Island and study their technology. However, the workers were attacked by Diablo (who sought to harness the technology for himself). Dania flew there to protect her people while Diablo resurrected the Bird-People from their suspended animation leaving Dania and Namor to fight them off. One of the Bird-People brought back to life was Dania's father which left Dania distraught until Namor defeated him. Diablo departed where he had set up explosive that destroyed Sky-Island. Dania chided Namor for his interference with Sky-Island (though she did win a grudging respect for the hero). Dania's father later organized his people into building a new Sky-Island.
As part of the Marvel NOW! event, Dania is among the teenage superheroes that were captured by Arcade and forced to fight for his amusement in the pages of Avengers Arena. She becomes the second casualty of Arcade's schemes when she tries to escape by flying upward and has her neck broken by an invisible forcefield. When Deathlocket stumbles into an underground facility, she finds a room where Red Raven's body is alongside the others who have died in battle.
Powers and abilities
The first Red Raven costume was reinforced synthetic stretch fabric containing miniature anti-gravity mechanisms, as well as large artificial wings which allowed the Red Raven to fly. He was armed with the birdmen's advanced weaponry, including a ray gun and an anti-gravity gun. He was proficient in basic hand-to-hand combat techniques uniquely styled to make use of his advantage of flight.
- Red Raven Comics (Marvel, 1940 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
- The Human Torch (Marvel, 1940 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
- Red Raven Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database
- Red Raven at the Grand Comics Database. Note: List includes unrelated DC Comics character.
- Thor Annual #12 (1984)
- Marvel Premiere #29-30 (April–June 1976)
- X-Men #44 (May 1968)
- Sub-Mariner #26 (June 1970)
- Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 3, #8 (Jan. 1992), in the Sub-Mariner story "Leftovers" by writer Scott Lobdell and pencilers Ken Lopez and Chris Wozniak.
- Nova #4-5 (Aug.-Sept. 1999)
- Defenders #6-7 (Aug.-Sept. 2001)
- The Order #2 (May 2002)
- Rawhide Kid #38
- West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #18
- Civil War: Battle Damage Report #1
- Avengers Arena #1
- Avengers Arena #2
- Avengers Arena #12
- Red Raven at MarvelDirectory.com
- Original Red Raven at Marvel Wiki
- Red Raven (Redford Raven) at Marvel Wiki
- Red Raven (Dania) at Marvel Wiki
- Red Raven (Redford Raven) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Red Raven (Dania) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Red Raven at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Nevins, Jess. Red Raven at A Guide To Marvel's Golden Age Characters
- Diamond Galleries Scoop: "Did You Know...?" (column of Oct. 25, 2002): "The Short Run of the Red Raven"