Publisher: Griot Enterprises
Created by: Jiba Molei Anderson
1st appearance: The Horsemen #1, 2002
Nationality: Liberian and African American
Team Affiliations: The Horsemen
Legal Status: Citizen of the New African Union with no criminal record; labeled a terrorist by the United States government
Height: 6’1” Weight: 185lbs
Eye color: Black Hair color: Black
Skills and abilities:
Eshu (Jani Varney Massaquoi)
Eshu is Elleggua is Elegba the divine trickster-linguist, the chief engineer of the Da force and master of the nommo. That which is chaotic, absurd, unpredictable, and impossible is attributed to Elleggua. He is the personal messenger of destiny. All ceremonies begin and end with Him. Elleggua lives at the center of the crossroads.
Eshu (Jani Varney Massaquoi)
Eshu has the ability to travel the Crossroads. This means that no door is closed to him whether the door is physical, digital, or spiritual. He can travel any distance, any realm. In addition, he has the ability to befuddle his opponents leaving them disoriented, confused, and ultimately, beholden to Eshu’s will. Eshu is also extremely agile. His fighting style is a combination of acrobatics, Capoeria, Tae Kwan Do, and pure physical improvisation.
We have lost our way.
It’s not our fault. We’ve been lied to. We have been blinded to our true purpose, our heritage, and our destiny. Our minds have been clouded and our attentions have been diverted. We have been told to occupy ourselves with things physical rather than spiritual. We have been taught to worship politics, commerce, technology, war, sex, life, death, and organized religion. We have become slaves chained with invisible shackles…
…And we serve them. They are the shadow government. They are the Illuminati. They are the Quaballah. They are the Deitis.
When the Earth was newly formed, a nomadic race settled on this heavenly body. As sentient life began to rear its ugly head, these beings decided to leave well enough alone and let nature take its course. The beings, known as the Orisha, didn’t want to interfere with the process of evolution. The Orisha were a race of beings that had complete control of their molecular structure and eons ago, decided to abandon corporeal form. They had, in fact, become the essence of the soul… pure energy.
As time passed, it became clear that a grubby little monkey-type creature would become the dominant species. The Orisha watched this little animal with great interest for one day; they would have to make their presence known to the little beast that would become Homo sapiens. Their mission was to guide Humanity to enlightenment, to have Humanity take its place in the pantheon of the divine.
When Humanity evolved to the point where the Orisha felt that they could handle the knowledge of another race, they made their presence known. Adopting a shape familiar to Man (often an idealized version of the human form or an animal), they approached Humanity in the hopes of establishing a sense of friendship and community. Humanity’s reaction was the last thing the Orisha expected. No, Humanity did not attack the Orisha but rather fell to their knees and worshipped them. The Orisha were more beautiful than what Man had ever known. They had abilities that Humanity never thought would possess themselves. Therefore, these beings could be nothing but divine. The Orisha became the basis for all world mythology.
So, for untold millennia, the Orisha became divine. Some of them did not want to be worshipped so they cast aside their physical form and returned to a state of energy. Others, however, decided to keep their physical forms and interact with Man … sometimes with intentions that were far from beneficial.
This new offshoot of the Orisha called themselves the Deitis, created a spiritual engine called the Elysium that collected the energy derived from the essence of worship. This energy had become the foodstuff by which the Deitis needed in order to survive. Without it, the Deitis would perish. The Deitis began to create realms of power. These realms had been placed all over the planet from Olympus to Valhalla, Neopolis to the Happy Hunting Grounds, and Nirvana to Heaven. The Deitis began to grow cold and cruel, and they began to torment man.
The Orisha saw this and knew that Man had to be protected. So seven of the Orisha possessed human form and created a realm of their own known as Akebulan, the blessed land, and waged war with the Deitis. The war was hard fought and the Earth wept as her body was ravaged. Man almost perished due to flood and the rending of the land. But, in the end, the Deitis were cast out, at a heavy cost. The Orisha were severely weakened by the war and left the planet. Despite this, it seemed as if Humanity was free to chart its own destiny once more…
…But that was not to be.
Eight of the Deitis emerged from the ruins of the war. They were able to adapt to the petty desires of Humanity. They manipulated us, tempted us, and took us off of the path of enlightenment. Because of this, they were able to control us. They stopped us from reaching our true potential. We were supposed to be gods. They, the Deitis, denied us of our glory.
Meanwhile, the Orisha, weakened by the Great Conflict, did not leave, but rather found refuge in the Land of Folklore and the Garden of Dreams. They learned to hide in plan sight, to adapt, adjust, and transform in order to survive. They were still being worshiped (though not to the degree that they were during the Alphanic Dynasty). They still had the ability to possess their devotees from time to time. They knew that the Deitis survived as well and had grown strong. They also knew that the Deitis were choking the life force of this planet, perverting the original mission of the Orisha. So they made their own plans. They would combine their essence with seven souls still in the womb. They would become the synthesis of mortal and Orisha thereby becoming even more powerful because, unknown to the Deitis, the power of a mortal’s soul is infinite. It just needs a catalyst and an Orisha’s energy would do just nicely.
The Orisha have returned to save humanity from itself…whether we want them to or not. They will show us a different way, a better way, to live. They will bring the conspiracy to light. They will do battle with the gods that have oppressed us. They will wage war. They will drag us, kicking and screaming, to the light. It will be brutal. Lives will be sacrificed. They will be spit upon, vilified, and labeled terrorists. But, they will not falter because it was written:
Who controls the eight immortals but the number seven?