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Cú Chulainn

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Cú Chulainn, legendary hero of the Ulster Cycle,[1] has appeared in comics a number of times, with a variety of appearances and under a variety of spellings, and has inspired other comics characters.

  • William Simpson created CuChulainn the Hound for the small press anthology Ximoc in the early 1980s. What little I've seen of it seems to be a fairly generic fantasy adventure inspired by rather than based on the legends. Some episodes were written by Peter Morwood and Wendy Smyth.
  • Pat Mills' barbarian fantasy hero Sláine,[2] who first appeared in 2000AD in 1983, was based partly on Cú Chulainn, particularly his "warp spasm", which turns him into an unrecognisable monster when he's particularly exercised, and his use of the barbed spear known as the Gae Bolga.
  • Cuchulain, the Irish Wolfhound,[3] a mythological superhero in the vein of Lee and Kirby's Thor, appeared in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy series in 1993 and 94, in issues written by Michael Gallagher and drawn by Kevin West, Colleen Doran and Scott Eaton.
  • Writer Robin Wood and artist Enrique Alcatena began an Italian-language adaptation of the legends, entitled Ulster, in 1996, but it was never completed.
  • In Matt Wagner's semi-autobiographical superhero series Mage: the Hero Defined (Image Comics, 1997), each of the supporting characters is based, on one hand, on a mythological character, and, on the other, on a comics creator of Wagner's acquaintaince. A character called the "Ulster Hound", who shares Cú Chulainn's "berserker rage" and looks like writer Alan Moore, makes a brief appearance in issue 7.
  • Writer-publisher Colmán Ó Raghallaigh of Mayo-based publisher Cló Mhaigh Eo, created an Irish language graphic novel, An Táin, adapting the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley") and the tale of Cú Chulainn's death, drawn by Barry Reynolds and coloured by Adrien Merigeau, in 2006. Reynolds appears to have based his version of the character on the sculpture of the dying Cú Chulainn by Oliver Sheppard in the Dublin GPO.


  • Brent Bowman created a 3-page adaptation of Cú Chulainn's death story,One Man Stood Alone, on the web in 2007.
  • French Breton artist Mirlikovir and Parisian writer Cathbad are serialising their own webcomic, Cú Chulainn: L'histoire du chien de guerre d'Ulster, which began in May 2009. It seems to be telling the entire story of the character's life chronologically, and depicts him in cartoony fashion.
  • Another webcomic adaptation of the Táin, About a Bull by American writer-artist MK Reed, with flashbacks drawn by other artists, started in March 2011. It's running in monthly chapters, and Cú Chulainn hasn't appeared yet, so we'll have to wait and see how he's treated.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wikipedia on the Cú Chulainn of legend
  2. Wikipedia and ComicbookDB on Sláine
  3. Wikipedia, ComicbookDB and the Marvel Database on Marvel's Cuchulain

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