Raza Longknife

razafilmTime for the last character appearing (albeit only in a photograph) in the short All Hail to the King. When Jackson Norriss effortlessy tries to explain to the slow-witted Trevor Slattery what the real Ten Rings are, he shows him many pictures and files: above them, there’s clearly visible a photo of Raza, portrayed by Faran Tahir. He appeared in the first Iron Man movie as the secondary antagonist: he’s a member of the (real) Ten Rings, leader of the cell that kidnaps Tony Stark and tries to force him to build weapons for him (with the only result of turning him into Iron Man). He’s later revealed to be an accomplish of Obadiah Stane, Stark’s mentor and enemy, who is betrayed and killed by later on. In the comics, he couldn’t be more a different character: he’s no terrorist, and has no realtion to the Mandarin in any way. Did I mention he’s an alien?

Raza Longknife was born on a remote planet in the Shi’ar Empire, along with his wife and his son, Rion. He lived a normal and quite life, working with his brother and enjoying his time with his family. His days of peace, however, ended when razacomics1the Majestor (emperor) of the Shi’ar, D’ken Neramani (who would have later been remembered, by right, as D’ken the Mad), ordered a genocide against Raza’s people. While the most were killed, many others organized a resistance, and fought desperately against the Shi’ar troops and the dreaded Imperial Guard, an elite formed by the best warriors from all the Empire’s planets. There were some traitors too. Raza became part of the resistance, while his wife and son got killed…but his brother betrayed him, and allied himself with the Shi’ar, becoming Zenith of the Imperial Guard and starting a life-long grudge with Raza, who swore to kill him. The resistance, as it was forseeable, didn’t last long, and Raza and his men were utterly defeated. Raza himself was badly injured, he lost an eye, an arm, and many other parts of his body in battle. He was cured, his missing limbs were replaced by cybernetic implants, and he was locked in the slave pits of Alsibar.

Life in the pits was clearly hard, but Raza used it to fuel his rage against the Shi’ar Empire, and to strenghten his own body and resolution. As time passed, Raza met other prisoners, unjustly slaved like him: Corsair, a man from Earth, whose wife had been killed by D’ken; Ch’od, a lizard-like scientific genius; and the beautiful and lethal Hepzibah, allied and companion of Corsair. The four, together, shared their experiences, and formed a bond destined to be long lasting. They decided to help each other escape from the prison, and to strike back the Empire with all the suffering D’ken had brought to all the systems he ruled. Putting together their unique abilities, Raza and his new friends managed to steal a battle ship from the security guards, and finally escaped from Alsibar. They became the Starjammers, a group razacomics2of space pirates fighting for freedom against the repressive Shi’ar Empire. They kept acting as a disturbance, attacking cargos and hijacking D’ken’s administration over his territories, until they crossed their paths with the X-Men. Corsair found his lost son, who was now the X-Man Cyclops, and the two teams allied to take down D’ken. After an all-out war against the Imperial Guard, the X-Men and the Starjammers finally emerged victorious, D’ken was took to trial and imprisoned for his crimes, and, to his place, the Shi’ars put on the throne his exiled sister, Lilandra. Under the rule of a Majestrix who actually cared for her people, Raza and the Starjammers quit with their pirate activity…only to become an added force to the Shi’ar’s military power, alwas mantaining their independence and freedom.

Raza Longknife is a grim and vengeful man, whose anger has kept him alive for years in the slave pits. As a cyborg, he possesses superhuman physical attributes (strength, speed, stamina, durability) and an enhanced vision; a computer in his brain guides his movements, thus making him a terrific combatant, whose reflexes and responses are far beyond normal ones. His left hand is a cybermorphic implant, able to turn into a dagger, a long sword and a plasma blaster, three weapons Raza has complete mastership over. A pirate, a freedom fighter and an adventurer, Raza fights for the memory of a family he’ll never see again, and to prevent the Empire from falling back to the darkness of old times.


1 Comment

  1. […] named C’hod, the Lupin (a squirrel-like alien) Cr’reee and a Shi’ar cyborg, Raza Longknife. As different as they could be one from the other, the prisoners shared a deep grudge against […]

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