"Where do you get your ideas?"


A shopworn cliché, 'tis true, but a legitimate query nevertheless.

Mid-Winter, 1984. My 18-year old self often walked to and from high school along a stretch of railroad tracks (now long abandoned) not far from where I lived. Just before the tracks reached the main road, there was a small hole surrounded by concrete where the foundation of a train platform where the West Side Railroad Station, (Fulton, NY) had been, roughly 100 years earlier. For no apparent reason (boredom, perhaps?), I began fantasizing about a kid finding a mystic amulet in that hole, being transported to an otherworldly realm, and eventually returning to earth as an armored superhero.

My then-unnamed character's original appearance took its inspiration from an issue of The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu #17. That particular issue had a splash page on the inside front cover featuring the Sons Of The Tiger surrounded by various enemies, one of which were "The Guardians" It was from these armored beings I drew my initial inspiration, using their likeness as a model for the nascent design of my character. Mind you, nothing had been committed to paper. The scant ideas I had for my superhero existed solely in my head (a scary place!). Naturally, I never followed through with it....

Flash forward to August 2022. After a 25-year hiatus, I returned to comic book collecting in November 2021, and was AGHAST at the state of comics in the 21st century! Given the ABYSMAL quality of comics from The Big 2, DC (Defective Comics) and Marvel (it's a "marvel" they're still in business!), my purchase of modern comics quickly dwindled to ZERO. Apart from facsimile editions, the only modern comic that appealed to me was Absolute Comic's intermittently published White Widow.

Then someone emailed me a New York Post article concerning writer, content creator and musician Eric July. On Monday, July (the month) 11th, July (the person) officially launched his first comic book "Isom #1" through his own publishing company, Rippaverse Comics; within 4 days, Eric's campaign brought in more than $1.7 million in pre-orders in just the first four days! Although the Post article's headline labeled "Isom" an "anti-woke" comic book, it is not. If anything, Eric's vision harkens back to the pre-21st century days of yore, when storytelling was paramount, and various socio/political topics were woven into the stories WITHOUT detracting from the story, AND without bashing the reader over the head with said topics.

I googled Rippaverse Comics, checked out what Eric had to offer, and quickly pre-ordered "Isom #1." 18 months and THREE successful multi-million dollar campaigns later, the Rippaverse is going great guns, and the Big 2 are floundering. At the same time, the idea of writing my OWN comic book popped into my head. But what to write ABOUT? I then recalled my teenaged knight of nearly 40 years(!) earlier....

The Hound Of Ulster

The mythology of Cú Chulainn and The Ulster Cycle has always fascinated me, ever since the late, lamented Philip Lynott mentioned him on the title track to Thin Lizzy's Black Rose album.

🎶Pray tell me the story of young Cú Chulainn,
How his eyes were dark his expression sullen
And how he'd fight and always won,
And how they cried when he was fallen🎶

In 1987, Guitar GOD Gary Moore (Philip Lynott's erstwhile partner, who also performed on the Lizzy's Black Rose album) had a song on his Wild Frontier album called "Thunder Rising," which specifically dealt with Cú Chulainn.

🎶Long ago the legend has it,
how the mighty Ulster man
battled with the King Of Connacht,
fighting to the bitter end🎶

Suidakra, a German melodic death metal band that blends traditional Metal with folk elements, released their 2009 album "Crógacht," From Wikipedia: "It ("Crógacht") tells the story of the hero Cuchulainn's journey to the Hebridean island of Skye, where he seeks to learn the arts of war from the Scythian warrior woman Scáthach. The decisions he then has to make set the events in motion that will lead up to his son Conlaoch's tragic fate." ("Crógacht", the Irish word for bravery) Tina Stabel was guest vocalist on the song "Feats Of War," which concerns the legendary warrior-woman Scáthach and her training of Cú Chulainn.

🎶Oh, brave young Cú Chulainn,
Day by day you learn more,
Such courage and such vigour,
I'll train and I'll teach you all feats of war🎶

So you see, Cú Chulainn's been tappin' me on the shoulder for a while now! Being of Celtic stock myself, I decided to couple my teen superhero/knight concept with Irish mythology. Grabbing my pen and notebook, armed with several books on Irish mythology raided from my personal library as a guide (as well as Stan Lee's "How to Write Comics," J. Michael Straczynski's "The Complete Book of Scriptwriting," Aristotle's "Poetics," downloaded copies of Stan Lee's "Secrets Behind The Comics" and Stan Lee's "Secrets Behind The Comics," as well as "The Elements of Style" and "The Elements Of Grammar," both by Strunk and White), I fired up my laptop, and set to work with a will. Scáthach, Oisín, king of Tir na nÓg, and other legendary figures of Celtic lore insinuated themselves into my evolving narrative.

What's In A Name?

So what to NAME our hero? During my research (both online and hardcopy), I happened upon numerous references and stories concerning the great Celtic triple Goddess known as the Mórrígan, whose fates seem intertwined with Cú Chulainn's. (although the Morrigan do not appear in issue #0, they WILL figure heavily in BattleRaven's oeuvre) One aspect of the Mórrígan is Badb, sometimes referred to as Badb Catha, which means "battle crow." Further research uncovered a forerunner of Badb named Cathubodua, a Gaulish Goddess whose name means "Raven of Battle," or......."Battle Raven.

And there it was; easy, peasy, yep 'n easy!

Tools Of The Trade

BattleRaven's sword, Fragarach (known as "The Whisperer", "The Answerer", or "The Retaliator"), was, in the mythologies, the sword of Nuada, the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann ("tribe of the gods"). Nuada later gave to Fragarach to Lugh, who turned out to be Cú Chulainn's dad!

(Click on the video below to learn more about Fragrach!)

I imagined BattleRaven having a shield that glowed or somehow him of danger. This eventually led me to Ochain, owned by which "moaned" to warn its bearer of danger. Conchobar Mac Nessa, the king of Ulster in the Ulster Cycle. In some of the legends, his father is the druid Cathbad, who is associated with none other than Cú Chulainn (Cathbad also gave Cú Chulainn his name, which means "Culann's Hound"). Conchobar appears in the epic saga Táin Bó Cúailnge, A.K.A. The Cattle Raid of Cooley, whose main protagonist is.....Cú Chulainn. I decided that Ochain also enables its bearer to fly or, as Scáthach explains to Danny O'Hara, "walk the air."

(Click on the video below to learn more about Ochain!)

I also wanted BattleRaven to be able to "cloak" himself, ie, turn invisible at will (in a manner similar to the title character from The Predator films). My research uncovered Féth fíada, "a magical mist or veil in Irish mythology, which members of the Tuatha Dé Danann (THEM again!) use to enshroud themselves, rendering their presence invisible to human eyesight." I hit upon the idea to have Féth fíada woven into BattleRaven's armor, tunic, and weapons.

(NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, Cú Chulainn did NOT wield Fragarach, Ochain, or possess the Féth fíada (the guy was terrifying enough with the weapons he already had!), nor did Scáthach have any (known) association with Oisín or Tir na nÓg. Scáthach's home/training facility, Dún Scáith, A.K.A. "Fortress of Shadows," is located on the coast of the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, NOT in Tir na nÓg. I took a few "creative liberties" with various aspects of Irish mythology; but then, Irish mythology has taken a few creative liberties with ITSELF over the centuries!)

These weapons and abilities, coupled with super-strength (of course!) make BattleRaven a force to be reckoned with, and allow for virtually limitless storytelling possibilities. He is a noble character, with a strong sense of justice and a steadfast determination to do the right thing, even if it's not the EASIEST thing. His alter-ego, Danny O'Hara, is a 19-year-old slacker with a good heart, a ne'er-do-well who, through extraordinary circumstances, learns how to be a good MAN.

BattleRaven #0 And Beyond: What's Next?

I spent much of Fall 2022 brainstorming, researching, outlining, hastily scribbling barely-intelligible notes on scrap paper, note paper, the ColorNote app on my phone, as well as the Notepad app on my computer, plus going through what seems like a CASE of copy paper, and several printer cartridges, I felt REASONABLY confident I had my origin story. Once I had the basic structure, the characters, essential plot elements, and all the various accouterments that go into storytelling, it was time to go to work. From late October '22 to mid-January '23, I toiled away on what would become BattleRaven #0-"Show Me A Hero," finishing it up by the third week of January. Over the next several months, I would revise #0 several times, doing a major overhaul of the artists' descriptions, plus trimming a few scenes and bits of dialog in November 2023, until I was COMPLETELY happy with BattleRaven's debut.

Even as I hammered out #0, I was thinking up and jotting down plot lines, ideas, and possible characters (friends and enemies) for Danny O'Hara/BattleRaven to contend with. After I finished #0, I started in on BattleRaven #1. #3 was finished in late February, #6 was finished in late March, #8 was finished by the end of April. I began work on #9 in early May. An unexpected hospital stay threw a wrench into everything, but the delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I came up with new ideas and better plot devices, which completely changed the story for the better. BattleRaven #9 was finished in mid-August 2023. #13 was finished in late November. From that point 'til mid-December, I went through the manuscripts for all 14 issues, adding, eliminating, correcting, simplifying, nitpicking. As of this writing (January 16th, 2024), I've started work on BattleRaven #14-#15, have the basic structures and plot lines ready for issues #16-#21, with definite ideas for #22-#29!

Reflections Of A Hero

Upon going over all 14 scripts, it struck me; I created a whole universe. Not with a Big Bang, but with the steady (and at times outright ANNOYING!) tap, tap, tap of the keyboard keys on my HP All-In-One. In that time, I have come to know the people in that universe, how they look, speak, act, feel. The personalities seemed to develop on their own. Sure, I had a hand in crafting the basic psychological makeup of each character, but their voices, their thoughts, feelings, and movements, all veered off in directions I hadn't intended. And I like it. I like THEM, even the not-so-nice ones.

But most of all, I like Danny O'Hara. I think you will, too.

There is SO much I want to say about Danny/BattleRaven, about their friends, their enemies, their loves, their fears, their triumphs, their world. I need your help to make that happen. Your contribution, big or small, brings us closer to this dream. I'm deeply grateful for your consideration and support in bringing this vision to life.

With respect,

David O'Mara


Matthews, Caitlín; Matthews, John. The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom: The Celtic Shaman's Sourcebook. Element Books Ltd, 1994.
Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids. Eerdmans Pub Co, 1995.
Stewart, Robert John. Celtic Myths, Celtic Legends. Blandford Pr, 1996.
Zaczek, Iain. Chronicles Of The Celts. Sterling Pub Co Inc, 1997.
Aldhouse-Green, Miranda. The World of the Druids. Thames & Hudson, 1997.


BattleRaven #0, #Show Me A Hero," will be dedicated to the memory of 16-year-old Brady Niver, who passed away on May 8th, 2023.

Brady was recently named an honorary member of the Big Red during the team's dual meet against Virginia Tech recently at Newman Arena in Ithaca. His idol, Cornell Wrestling team alumni Yianni Diakomihalis, attended the event.

Create your website for free! This website was made with Webnode. Create your own for free today! Get started