Monday, August 20, 2012

Dragon's Wing


Name This Marvel Villain??

When this character's first cover appearance was captioned "Is He Hero, Villain--or BOTH?!", you knew he was going to be another of those misguided villains sicced on one of the good guys by someone. But aside from having some stolen tech for his costume, his only real weapons were his zealous nature, and devotion to the group that indoctrinated him.

Consequently, Wind Eagle had a short history, and only went up against one hero in a storyline that I don't imagine anyone was really interested in. I bet that artists hate it when they come up with a decent costume for a character, only to see that character kicked to the curb.

Wind Eagle appeared in the last issue of the Jungle Action series featuring the Black Panther. The book was cancelled with Wind Eagle's appearance, and his conflict with the Panther wasn't picked up again until a little bit into the Panther's own subsequent book.

Wind Eagle's background wasn't explored until an issue of Marvel Premiere. Unfortunately, by then it was a moot point--he ended up getting shot and killed by a sniper outside the Panther's embassy. Suffice to say that Wind Eagle (real name: Hector Ruiz) started out on the wrong side of the tracks (criminal enforcer, street gangs, armed robbery, drug addiction) before coming under the influence of the Dragon Circle, which gave him a costume based on the technology used in the Falcon's flight costume. (Which the Panther, of all people, apparently didn't notice in their first conflict.)

Of course, Wind Eagle's speech pattern didn't exactly thrill you when you read it: "If the air could cleanse your spirit, I would not be forced--to return you to the hell from whence you came! Your death will darken my life--but that will be the last life you burden!" Yeah. Even for a cultist, that's a little over the top. Compounded by the fact that Ruiz had no abilities to speak of, outside of his flight suit (whereas the Falcon was trained by Captain America), his days were numbered.

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