The real name of the man known as Red Raven is lost, but his bizarre origin is still remembered. As a child, the future Red Raven was on a flight over the Atlantic with his parents. The plane flew into a fog bank and struck the floating island of the Bird-People. Everyone aboard the plane was killed except the young boy. Mario R. Trabucco explains more on the origin of the Bird-People: "3000 years ago, a race of winged Inhumans appeared in the island of Attilan, then located on the ocean. They were arrogant and considered themselves superior to the rest of Inhumans. They left Attilan to live in a floating island, Aerie, anchored to Attilan by a long pylon. Hostilities grew among both peoples, as Aerians usually dumped their garbage in Attilan. Eventually, a race of bat-winged Aerians developed among them, and were regarded with prejudice. War erupted between feathered Aerians and bat-winged Aerians, who were slaughtered by king Kylus. Cheiros, a red winged leader, preached for peace and was martyred.
"The Attilaneans separated themselves from the floating island by breaking the anchor-pylon, and thus Aerie became a [true] floating island. Centuries passed, and in the 1920's, [Red Raven's] plane crashed [into] it . [He] was given red bat wings in honor of Cheiros. He was raised to become Aerie's redeemer as the superhero known as the Red Raven." The Bird-People adopted him as one of their own, outfitting him with artificial wings that allowed him to fly. He was nicknamed 'Red Raven' due to his flaming red hair. When he became an adult, he left the floating island and explored the world of normal humans. He became a crimefighter (see his original costume below), battling villains like Zeelmo the Gold Tyrant, and eventually joined the Liberty Legion, where he served faithfully until the end of the war.
However, the inhumanity he saw during the war years turned him against the human race, and he returned to the home of the Bird-People. There he discovered the Bird-People planned to attack and conquer the human race (while it was still weary from WW II). Red Raven tried to convince his people that the humans would crush them, but they refused to listen. Desparate to save them, he put the entire race into suspended animation for 20 years. He sank the island to the bottom of the Atlantic and remained in suspended animation himself. Eventually, the island rose and was discovered by the X-Man Angel. Red Raven explained his situation and decided the Bird-People weren't ready yet to emerge. He again sank the island, for another 20 years. But only a few years later, an undersea earthquake tore the Raven's own capsule loose and it floated to the top of the sea. It was discovered by the Raven's old ally the Sub-Mariner. However, the extended suspended animation had driven the Red Raven mad. He now agreed with the Bird-People and wanted to destroy mankind. When he tried to revive his people, he was horrified to discover that the suspended animation hadn't worked and that the entire race was dead. Now fully insane from grief, the Red Raven lashed out a control console with his metal wings. It started a fire that caused the Bird-Island to explode. Sub-Mariner had escaped, but the grieving Red Raven was seemingly killed in the explosion.
I recently received e-mails from Mr. Modok and Bill Lawrence saying that Red Raven is alive after all, along with the Bird-People. Red Raven faked his death so that mankind would no longer disturb him or his people, although he returned to the public eye to prevent men from destroying the earth. The super-hero Nova persuaded Red Raven and the Bird-People that war with mankind was pointless, and Red Raven agreed as long as there were still decent people left in mankind willing to fight for justice. He and his people then returned to their new floating island.
First Appearance: RED RAVEN COMICS #1 (1940)
Other Appearances: INVADERS #6,35-37; X-MEN #44 (1967); MARVEL PREMIERE #29-30 (1976); MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #1, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #20 (1976); SUB-MARINER(vol. 1) #26 (1970); THOR ANNUAL #12; NOVA: THE HUMAN ROCKET #8 (1999)
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