Raina

RainaNew episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week, and this time, unlike the previous one, we’ve got another character from the comics. In Girl with a Flower Dress, one of the main antagonists is a woman named Raina, portrayed by Ruth Negga. In the show, she’s a member of the mysterious organization Centipede, who kidnaps a guy with superpowers to experiment on him with Extremis. Well, in the comics she’s a really different character: first of all, she’s not even human. And she surely doesn’t dress with flowers patterns. Actually, it’s unlikely she’ll ever put on a dress. Let’s see together who she is in the comics.

Raina was a Saurid, member of the sub-species known as Hauk’ka. All the Saurid were born when the first nuclear bomb hit New Mexico for tests: some lizards evolved at an incredible speed due to radiations, and became the first Saurians. Afraid of mankind, this pacific breed built underground cities, and then moved to the Savage Land, where their life became even more endangered, since they were prey to the Mutates living there. The Saurians also spawned another race, the violent and cannibalistic Hauk’ka, who had more traits in common with the Savage Land’s dinosaurs rather than with the original Mexican lizards. Even among the Hauk’ka there were mutants, exactly the same as with homo sapiens, and Raina happened to be part of this particular breed: a power house with incredible speed, strength, stamina, agility and durability, blessed with the natural gifts of her people (fangs, claws, hardened skin), Raina was a chief hunter and a warrior of her tribe. She met the X-Men when they came to the Savage Land investigating about the mysterious resurrection of one of their own, Psylocke. Raina, along with two teammates (telepath Kaidan and flyer Masano), as well as some giant, cyborg dinosaurs, attack the intruders, knocking out Rachel Summers; she was immediately attacked in turn by Bishop, and the two started arainacomics1 savage fight. Thanks to R’Chel (a mind-controlled Rachel), Raina and the others rapidly subdued Nightcrawler, Storm and Bishop, with only X-23 and Psylocke avoiding capture.

While watching over the prisoners (the normal Saurians wanted to eat them, but Raina insisted they treated them with respect), Raina expressed concern over the mental state of Rachel, since she seemed too unstable even to her. Kaidan, however, reassured her: R’Chel believed to be a Hauk’ka, and represented no menace…not to the Saurids, at least. They then proceeded to run genetical examination on R’Chel, but Raina became even more worried when she realized the girl was powerful enough to change her proteine sequence in order to mutate into a Saurian, following her delusional belief controlled by Kaidan. In that moment, Storm started a massive squall, forcing the three to intervene. R’Chel subdued Storm, mind-controlling her to start a new Ice Age over the Earth, killing mankind and allowing Saurids to take their place as dominant species. The other X-Men, however, freed themselves, and allied with other captives, both Saurians and humans, and were soon joined by Ka-Zar and the Mutates. A battle ensued, and Raina managed to defeat both Ka-Zar rainacomics2and X-23, before being knocked out by Psylocke. Unconcious, Raina was abducted by the X-Men. After a brief disadventure with Brainchild and Leash, Raina, worried by the weather condition, agreed to help the X-Men stop their teammates, Storm and Rachel. Raina arrived to the point of pleading her fellow Hauk’ka Kaidan and Masano, who at first believed her to be mind-controlled: when the snowstorm began to destroy the same Savage Land, however, even the other two agreed to stop a now mad R’Chel. The following battled ended the moment Storm and Rachel managed to stop one another with a psychic fusion, and Raina, in the name of the Hauk’ka people, formed a treaty with Nightcrawler, promising to live peacefully with the other races in the Savage Land. At least, they would have tried.

Raina is a powerful and honorable warrior, who’s regarded as a superhero from her people. With all the abilities of her humanoid dinosaurs’ race, plus incremented strength, agility, speed, stamina and durability, Raina is an amazing fighter, able to subdue even opponents apparently much bigger and stronger than herself. Characterised by a strong sense of honor, Raina is able to mantain full control of herself even in the midst of a battle…something that can be quite helpful when her comrades fail to do so.

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