Characters: Menthu

Name: Rashan N'shanga

Occupation: Professional football player, part time adventurer

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 250 pounds

Hair: Black

Eyes: Brown

Ethnicity: Black (American of African descent)

Known relatives: Anhur (father), Tamila N'shanga (mother), Anpu (uncle), Ausar (uncle), Auset (aunt), Set (uncle), Nebthet (aunt), Heru (cousin), Sobek (cousin)

Education: Bachelor's degree in communications from Notre Dame

Aliases/nicknames: Menthu

Distinguishing characteristics: None

Skills/abilities: Rashan inherited a series of super powers from his immortal father and from the original deity bearing the name Menthu. He can concentrate to transform himself into his super-powered form through a method called "khepera," possessing no extraordinary abilities in his human form. Menthu is a member of a pan dimensional group of divinities worshipped by the ancient Egyptians. Having received this double-portion of immortal might makes Rashan potentially one of this pantheon's most powerful beings. As such, Rashan has superhuman strength (easily able to press 50 tons), durability (he can survive direct impacts from multiple artillery shells) and stamina. While holding his breath (which he can do for 3 or 4 hours if a situation demands this) or with a breathing device, Rashan can survive extended time in space. As well, as a reincarnation of the ancient divinity Menthu, Rashan has a host of abilities based on light—as both a wave and as particles, including flight, the ability to control photons for a variety of effects (including solidifying them to use as a kinetic blast, blinding opponents and moving at almost the speed of light). 

Best known for: Going third overall in the NFL draft, being runner-up in the Heisman Trophy award his junior year and a finalist his senior year, stopping numerous crimes as well as supernatural and super powered menaces around Los Angeles

Place of birth: Los Angeles, CA

Marital status: Single

Ambitions: To win a Super Bowl; to live up to his exalted legacy

Brief personal history: The son of a former WNBA star turned community activist and an ancient Egyptian war god, Rashan N'shanga grew up acutely aware of his diverse heritage. His mother made certain he was never far from her community, showing him the challenges of homelessness as well as the wonders of a culturally rich heritage in and around Los Angeles' Leimert Park. This led him to have a spirit of giving, volunteering at soup kitchens throughout his junior high and high school careers, even while becoming a gridiron star. His sole vices -- a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of professional wrestling and superhero movies -- were easy enough to keep under control. A big reason Tamila kept her son well grounded and close to her social efforts is that they both believed his father Anhur was murdered. It's learned later that, despite covering up his presence on Earth for nearly a decade, some immortals had discovered where Anhur stayed so long, looking to meddle in the life he left in Los Angeles.

Realizing that Rashan nor Tamila were not ready for the powers, the heritage and the danger they would encounter if the great spiritual powers had any inkling of his long-term plans, Anhur faked his "death" on earth and returned to the pantheon, trying to take any potential attention away from the boy. Anhur continued to closely watch his son from afar.

Rashan received a full athletic scholarship to Notre Dame, resisting similar offers from schools closer to home to experience more of the world. He was a finalist for the Heisman award his junior and senior years and had a distinguished career in college athletics. Despite pressure to leave college for the pros early on, he completed his degree in communications at Notre Dame before becoming the first pick of his hometown team, the Los Angeles Archangels. Elated at the chance to come home, he embraced returning to the community he loved, buying a home in the Ladera Heights area.

The trek that led to Rashan's assumption of his powers and knowledge of his full self began at his college graduation, when a sketchy delivery person handed him a large, manila envelope. Inside, he found a handwritten note from his father—on recently time-stamped stationery, information about an expedition heading to Egypt's Temple of Karnak within two weeks and all the appropriate tickets and travel documents. On that trip, [REDACTED].

After returning from Egypt, Rashan stopped in Chicago on his way home. It's there that a noted Egyptian scholar and devotee of the """old knowledge," Prof. Ghali, finished off the first stage in Rashan's odyssey of self-awareness. However, Set, the spirit of opposition became aware that something important was afoot due to the energies Rashan wielded being loose on earth. Sebeq, spying for Set, travels to Chicago and attacked Rashan, implying that it would affect his father and forcing him to change for the first time into his immortal form, Menthu.

Despite being inexperienced, Menthu defeated Sebeq and informed his mother and his agent that he would be doing more travel in Africa (omitting from his conversation with her that he developed super powers and heard implications that his father still lives). Rashan detoured through Cairo but eventually ended up on Lake Victoria, near Ripon Falls. Here, at dawn, he was able to "khepera" (or "transmigrate") himself into Egypt storied underworld.

In this new state of unreality—where rules of time no longer exist, Rashan ends up traveling the length of the Tuat with Anty, the Oar Man. Set, from his throne room, monitored the tyro Menthu's progress (as did his father Anhur from his mansion). Set orchestrated circumstances so that ill-tempered Kheti, a giant, fire-breathing snake, tried to eat Menthu as the young immortal neared the end of his travels on the Tuat. Kheti and Menthu fought and Kheti swallowed Menthu, but the young hero exploded from within the serpent, grievously harming the creature. Since Kheti is a tough immortal, he did not perish. Rashan was surprised to be fished out of the water by Anhur, totally wiped out due to his hardships.

Once Rashan woke up in his father's mansion, Anhur and Rashan reunited. Anhur filled Rashan in on both the good and the bad, concerning the pantheon, Anhur's time on Earth, Rashan's origins and the like. All the Ta-Djesart's gods and goddess were heading to Ausar's royal palace, the Hall of Maati. Anhur and Rashan meet up with Anhur's brother, the messenger god Anpu and proceeded toward the hall so the pantheon could decide whether or not to formally include this new immortal into their ranks. Many of the primary gods' and goddess' attitudes about Menthu-Rashan were revealed in the process as less than positive. Set objected to these proceedings due to a technicality called Set-Qesu, and demands the right to a mortal combat with Menthu. Anhur regretfully told his son that refusing the challenge was not an option.

Anhur knew that Rashan, as Menthu, had the power to defea" "crusher of bones," but Rashan's inexperience with his powers could well cost him his life. Though Set towered above Rashan in the battle, he held his own until bad luck allowed Set to gain a death grip on Rashan. Just before dying, Rashan was able to intuit many secrets of his powers in a vision. Like one of the wrestlers he loved to watch as a child, Menthu was able to come back and defeat Set. Anhur confronted Set over his duplicity. Set offered his own warning and disappeared.

Despite a couple of other bumps (primarily dealing with Ra), Rashan was provisionally allowed into the pantheon, with the formal name of Menthu-Rashan. Anhur took time to start mending his relationship with his long lost son over what Rashan thought was a couple of weeks. Rashan then returned to earth to resume his life.

First performing acts of heroism in secret, Rashan was compelled to reveal himself to the world as Menthu when he was forced to openly confront his Haitian super-adversary, Trouble Man.

Written by Hannibal Tabu
Character design by Robert Roach
Portrait by Todd Harris