Origin and First Appearance of Superheroes and Villains Beginning With N
Naga is a member of the water breathing humanoid race, Homo mermanus.
Naga was the ruler of Lemurian, but when he discovered the Serpent Crown, he was transformed into a hideous snake-like creature, with scales and green skin.
Becoming immortal, Naga ruled over his people for centuries, and they too developed green skin and scales.
Namor, the Sub-Mariner
Namor was the Prince of Atlantis, and before he ever appeared in the pages of any Timely Comics publication, he debuted in this odd, one-off, movie-theater comics giveaway that may or may not have actually ever been printed commercially.
Either way, Namor the Sub-Mariner is the son of a human sea captain and a princess of Atlantis. He has super-strength, the abilities of various aquatic animals, small wings on his ankles that allow him to fly for short distances out of the water, a huge ego, and a hot temper.
Usually at odds with the surface world, and something of an outcast among his own people, Namor is neither hero nor villain.
Bill Everett created the first true anti-hero in comics when he came up with Namor.
After being mugged one night, Josef Saint lost an eye and his ability to speak.
While recovering, Josef found that he could paralyze a person just by staring at them.
Armed with a 3-foot needle and his new paralyzing power, Josef becomes Needle, a vigilante, and seeks revenge.
Later, Needle goes on to join the Night Shift.
Nelvana of the Northern Lights
Origin and First Appearance, Nelvana of the Northern Lights
Triumph Comics #1, Dell Comics, 1941
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Nelvana was the first Canadian superhero, and among the first female superheroes, pre-dating Wonder Woman.
The comic is one of the so-called Canadian Whites. These were published during wartime, and are very rare.
She had the ability to travel at the speed of light "on a ray of the Northern lights," was telepathic, could become invisible, and could shoot heat rays at will.
She wore an arctic ensemble with a fur-lined skirt, as most of her adventures took place in the ice, among the Inuit people she lived with.
Nelvana only lasted until 1947, but her cultural impact in Canada cannot be underestimated.
Hart Druiter of the planet Myar was attempting to infiltrate the Legion of Super-Heroes, in hopes of bringing the organization down.
Instead, he was turned away.
Furious, he goes on to become a founding member of the Legion of Super-Villains.
Origin and First Appearance, Nero
Green Lantern (vol. 3) #132, DC Comics, 2001
Alexander Nero was an inmate at a mental institute when he was given a yellow Power Ring by the Qwardians.
The Qwardians were attempting to find someone to take down the Green Lantern, and thought that Nero was a good choice.
Later, Nero is killed and resurrected as a Black Lantern.
Neron is a demon from Hell and the "Lord of Lies".
He specializes in making deals with people in exchange for their souls. His ultimate goal is to reign over both Heaven and Earth.
Neron first appears trying to win the souls of several superheroes, including Batman and Green Lantern.
He offers to return their loved ones from the dead, but the heroes are able to resist.
The mainstay of Jack Kirby's Fourth World complex, the New Gods were a race of beings that lived on two planets, New Genesis, a lush, verdant paradise, and Apokolips, a blasted planet full of smoke and decay and death.
Highfather, the ruler of New Genesis, and his adopted son Orion are introduced in the first issue of New Gods, and the rest would play out over the following issues before New Gods was canceled with issue #11.
The Forever People, Mister Miracle, and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen all carried the saga of the New Gods.
Years later, the "Fourth World" storylines and characters were revived, especially that of Darkseid, the evil ruler of Apokolips.
Origin and First Appearance, New Mutants
Marvel Graphic Novel #4, Marvel Comics, 1982
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The New Mutants were a group of younger mutant characters from Charles Xavier's school, and initially consisted of the new characters Cannonball, Karma, Mirage, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane.
Later members included Cypher, Magma, Magik, and Warlock. Probably the best-known issues of the comic book were New Mutants #87 (first Cable) and New Mutants #98 (first Deadpool).
After more changes, including Charles Xavier's replacement at the school by Magneto, the comic would be canceled with issue #100, and then continue with many of the same characters as X-Force.
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The New Warriors are a super-team that function as Marvel's answer to the Teen Titans, composed of a rotating cast of young heroes.
Initially, the team consisted of Firestar, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Nova, and Speedball, all of whom had been around as heroes or sidekicks previously, and the new character Night Thrasher.
Night Thrasher forms the team after carefully choosing young heroes to help him combat crime.
The team had its own series for a short time, but continually reappears with an ever-evolving roster, including at various times more than 40 different members.
John Byrne's Next Men made their debut in an 8-page preview in the anthology title Dark Horse Presents #54, and ran as a mini-feature in that comic through #57.
The Next Men are Nathan, Jack, Jasmine, Bethany, and Danny, who are all escapees from Project Next Men, a secret program run designed to create super-humans out of babies put up for adoption, run by a US Senator and an alien who survived a crash landing on earth.
Nathan has enhanced vision, Jack has uncontrollable super-strength, Jasmine has enhanced agility and acrobatic abilities, Bethany is completely invulnerable, and Danny has superhuman speed.
Origin and First Appearance, Nick Fury
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1, DC Comics, 1963
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Long before he acquired an eye patch and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury was a Sgt. In the Army during WWII.
He was in charge of a ragtag platoon of soldiers called The First Attack Squad, but nicknamed "The Howling Commandos," named after their battle cry of "Wahoooooo."
Aside from tough and hard-boiled Fury, the Commandos consisted of Corporal "Dum Dum" Dugan, and Privates Izzy Cohen, Gabriel Jones, Dino Manelli, "Rebel" Ralston, and "Junior" Juniper, along with British Private Percy Pinkerton and German Nazi defector Eric Koenig.
Origin and First Appearance, Nightcrawler
Giant Size X-Men #1, Marvel Comics, 1975
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Nightcrawler was born as Kurt Wagner, a mutant with significant physical differences that as a child he could not conceal.
Raised by circus people, he was relatively safe, in spite of his blue skin, three-fingered hands, two-toed feet, and devilish-looking, prehensile tail.
As an adolescent, he gained the ability to teleport, which was generally accompanied by a small burst of brimstone, enhancing his already Satanic appearance.
By the time that Charles Xavier recruited him, Nightcrawler had perfected his skills as an acrobat, aided and abetted by his night vision, ability to stick to walls, and ability to blend into shadows.
For a time, he kept masks and gloves so that he could pretend to be a normal-looking person, but this ruse was eventually dropped.
He remains active, and although he has "died," is not truly dead.
Night Eagle is a mysterious character who first appeared to Superman while he was battling Satanus to save Metropolis.
Night Eagle appeared to Superman in the form of an owl, and then as a masked Native American woman in a feathered costume.
She assisted Superman throughout his battles with Satanus, until the Man of Steel proved victorious, and then vanished, seeming for a moment to look like Satanus' sister. She has not been seen since.
She can fly, and is described as an "agent of flight," connecting the world of the living with the afterlife. She can see magic, and see into the afterlife. She can dispel black magic with her owls, who obey her commands.
She cannot be touched, and remains invisible to all but those she chooses to appear to.
Nightmare lives in the dream dimension, where he torments humans during their nightmares.
Nightmare is one of Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider's major enemies.
Nightshade was introduced as a partner for Captain Atom.
He real name was Eve Eden, and she could manipulate darkness, transform herself into a shadow, and teleport.
She remained a mystery until years later, when it was revealed that her mother was from another dimension where these powers are not uncommon.
She was rebooted years later in the DC universe as part of the Suicide Squad, and has been subsequently further rebooted and retconned.
Origin and First Appearance, Nightwind
Generation X #53, Marvel Comics, 1999
Nightwind is a trained mutant ninja with the ability to generate a sword made out of darkforce.
Nightwind was also a member of the Rising Sons, until she was disempowered by the Scarlet Witch after M-Day.
After Dick Grayson is dismissed from the role of Robin, he goes on to form another identity, Nightwing.
Nightwing's suit is technologically advanced, and makes use of Dick Grayson's natural acrobatic skills and fighting style.
Over the years, Nightwing and Batman are often at odds with each other, mostly due to Batman dismissing Grayson.
More recently, the two seem to be coming to terms with their differences and history.
The name Nightwing was once used by a Kryptonian superhero. Dick Grayson was inspired by Superman to use the name.
NKVDemon is a Russian assassin, trained by KGBeast.
His goal is to kill ten politicians, including then-president Mikhail Gorbachev.
While closing in on Gorbachev, he is pursued by Batman and then killed by police.
Later, two other people become incarnates of NKVDemon.
Natalia Knight was working at the Gotham City Observatory when she was exposed to an advanced radioactive laser, causing her skin to turn white and giving her extreme sensitivity to light.
Together with her boyfriend (Night-Thief), she turns to a life of crime to help fund her expensive medical bills.
After being defeated by Batman several times, she gives up her life of crime.
Later, she becomes romantically involved with Bruce Wayne and even adopts Jason Todd.
Norman Osborn is the original Green Goblin and father of Harry Osborn.
Norman was born into a brilliant family, but was frequently abused by his father.
After creating Oscorp, Norman attempts to develop a serum that would increase his intelligence and strength.
The experiment is a success in that in turns Norman into one of the most intelligent men in the world, but the serum turns his skin green and he is driven insane.
Over the years, after several battles with Spider-Man, Norman manages to cure his Green Goblin persona through chemical means and amnesia.
However, this is usually temporary.
Later, Norman creates the Iron Patriot persona to work as a superhero.
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Origin and First Appearance, Northguard
New Triumph Featuring Northguard #1, Matrix Graphic Series, 1984
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Northguard was Philip Wise, a young Canadian man who found himself in the midst of international intrigue.
A private Canadian corporation (PACT, an acronym for Progressive Allied Canadian Technologies) is attempting to foil a conspiracy called "ManDes" (short for Manifest Destiny) that aims to force the USA and Canada to merge into a totalitarian racist theocracy.
Philip is given a device known as a Uni-Band, which gives him super-powers. The Uni-Band allows the user to teleport, create an energy shield, and shoot blasts of energy, as well as giving the user super-strength.
He insists on taking the name Northguard, although this would later be changed to Le Protecteur in an effort to make the hero defending Canada more French.
Northguard's costume, like many Canadian heroes before him, incorporated the red and white of the Canadian flag as well as the maple leaf.
Northwind is a human-Feitheran hybrid and the godson of Hawkman.
For a number of years, Northwind worked alongside superheroes, even helping defeat the Silver Scarab.
Later, he becomes a loyal follower of Black Adam.
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