July 20, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #47: Bloodwynd

"I am the real terror that flaps in the night!"

The 90s have a lot to answer for.

During this time, superhero comics went for “edgy” characters that often had large guns, excessive pouches, and names that were often misspelled on purpose that suggested dark origins and the like.

Yeah, that’s where Bloodwynd came from.

The sad thing about Bloodwynd is that the most interesting time for him, it wasn’t even really him.

When the humor era of the Justice League ended, J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter was seen flying away to take a break from being in the League.  It turned out he didn’t get too far.  I’ll explain in a bit.

Bloodwynd’s origins go back a century or so to the time of slavery in America.  A group of slaves were owned by a particularly sadistic plantation owner, the sort that made Simon Legree think the guy was going a little too far.  How far did this slave owner go?  His slaves pulled out some ancient ritual and created something called the Bloodstone.  With its dark, mystical power, the slaves killed their owner and passed the stone down through the generations to the current Bloodwynd.

Inside the stone was some entity named Rott, living in his own little universe.  Being a bad demon guy, Rott caused problems.  I’ll explain in a bit.

Anyway, the League disbanded and reformed under the leadership of Superman, and during their first mission a mysterious man named Bloodwynd showed up to save the day.  Bloodwynd used his mystical powers repeatedly to fly, shoot eye beams, teleport, and even pass through solid objects like a ghost.  He also seemed to be pretty darn strong.  Blue Beetle was kinda suspicious of the guy, but the rest of the team seemed OK with him.

Beetle would have his suspicions confirmed in the battle with Doomsday when Doomsday hit Bloodwynd hard enough to show his true form.  Only Beetle saw it, and then Doomsday put Beetle into a coma.

So, what was going on?

Well, about the same time J’onn quit the League to find himself, Rott pulled Bloodwynd into the stone as a prisoner, then used the stone to possess J’onn and force him to impersonate Bloodwynd as he was flying away from the League.  Rott couldn’t get out of the stone, but reasoned that he could if he could find a powerful enough metahuman to give him the energy to leave somehow, and there were always powerful metahumans hanging around the League.

Don't pick up strange, glowing stones, boys and girls.
Don’t pick up strange, glowing stones, boys and girls.

Yeah, all of Bloodwynd’s “mystical powers” were just good, old fashioned Martian powers being referred to as mystical.  Even the teleportation, something J’onn can’t really do, was explained away as J’onn turning invisible, quickly moving somewhere else, and then reappearing.

The bloodstone, stuck to J’onn’s chest, was something of a problem, as attempting to remove it almost killed J’onn, so a team of two heroes, the Atom and the Ray, who could actually enter the gem’s subatomic universe went in and dealt with Rott.  J’onn was freed of the stone’s control, Bloodwynd and his terrible name were freed from Rott, and Bloodwynd joined the League.

However, with the mystery of Bloodwynd more or less settled, and his powers established as coming from necromancy, there wasn’t a whole lot to distinguish Bloodwynd from, say, any other mystical hero hanging around.

You know, when your most interesting time as a fictional character is when someone else is impersonating you, I’d say you have narrative problems.