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When you think of comic book supervillains your mind immediately goes to the greats. The Joker, Bane, Lex Luthor and, of course, Green Goblin
However, many amongst us forget that there is an Irish supervillain that's been rearing his nasty head in the Marvel universe for over four decades now. Black Tom Cassidy is a sworn enemy to many fan favourite Marvel heroes including Deadpool and the X-Men, of which his cousin Banshee is a member.
Originally hailing from a prominent family in Co. Dublin, Thomas 'Black Tom' Samuel Eamonn Cassidy is said to be a ladies man who fleed the nest to enjoy an elite education at Oxford University. He was lucky enough to inherit 'a fortress-like castle in the sparsely populated coastal area of County Mayo' according to the official Marvel website.
Unfortunately, he ended up losing his entire inheritance in a throw of dice gamble between him and cousin Banshee. Safe to say he's not the first Irish man to move to the UK and end up losing the run of himself!
He does make a play to win back his Mayo Castle at one point by partnering with fellow supervillain, and foe of the X-Men, Juggernaut but their efforts are sadly in vain as they are easily defeated with the help of the castle's resident leprechauns...
Things go pretty downhill from there for Black Tom who lives a life of crime and peril no matter what comic or film he's popping up in. Despite being capable of issuing concussive blasts with a wooden object, usually a shillelagh (what else?), Cassidy is seen to be thwarted time and time again by his benevolent superhero counterparts.
Film fans may remember actor Jack Kesy's turn as Black Tom Cassidy in the 2018 Ryan Reynolds blockbuster Deadpool 2. We first meet him in the film as an inmate in the Icebox, a prison for mutants, where he is forced to wear a collar that prevents him from activating his superpowers.
As if he wasn't down on his luck as it was - spoiler alert - he ends up meeting an untimely death by an accidental gunshot in a fight. Where was the luck of the Oirish that day says he?
We suppose that's just the life of a supervillain. By contract, the retirement plan for an Irish superhero seems positively idyllic. Take for example another Irish Marvel character Shamrock, real name Molly Fitzgerald, who eventually packs it in to run a superhero hair salon! She had the right idea and is it any coincidence she hails from Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath?
If we were considering pivoting towards a life of evil before, a quick review of our Irish comrades' life paths has set us right back on the straight and narrow.
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