- "Water cannot defeat fire. Nor can your spirit. And I will break your spirit, I promise."
- —Benatu Eshu to Mari McCabe[src]
General Benatu Eshu was a former warlord and later a Zambesi ambassador who sought the Totems of Zambesi. Upon gaining the powers of the Fire Totem, Eshu renounced his ambassador status and tried to burn down the city of Detroit in his hunt for the Anansi Totem, but was defeated by Mari, the totem's guardian.
Attack on Zambesi
As a warlord, Benatu Eshu learned about the totems of the Zambesi Village and sought their powers for himself. In 1992, he attacked the village, destroying it and killing nearly all of its inhabitants, including Amaya Jiwe and her son-in-law, who tried to stand up against him. Eshu battled Esi, who possessed the Anansi Totem, but she managed to fend him off. Esi was injured during the fight, forcing her to flee with her youngest daughter and the totem.
Claiming the Fire Totem
Arriving in Detroit years later under the guise of a Zambesi ambassador, Eshu continued his search for the totems and discovered there to be more than just the Anansi Totem in the vicinity of Detroit. He hired a collector, Jones, to steal the Fire Totem from the Detroit Museum of Natural History. When Jones showed his collection of jewels to Eshu, he pushed all but the Fire Totem aside, which he placed around his neck, claiming its power. When Jones demanded his payment, Eshu shot him with blasts of fire, pushing him out of the window and incinerating him. Vixen then showed up, fighting through his security. Upon seeing her face, Eshu remarked how much she looked like her mother, before they began fighting. While at first they were on equal footing, Mari became overpowered by the Fire Totem and was forced to flee.
Some days later, with Mari out of town, Eshu began to go on a rampage throughout Detroit, setting buildings on fire. Eshu began broadcasting to the entirety of Detroit, shedding himself of his ambassador title and announcing his search for Mari and her totem. From high on a skyscraper, Eshu jumped down, running at Mari and company. The Atom and Black Canary assisted Mari, but they were both knocked down. Suddenly, Kuasa appeared, possessing the Water Totem. Though determined, she was soon defeated, incinerated to nothing along with the Water Totem. Vixen and Eshu continued fighting, taking it to the skies. The former redirected the combat to the ocean, which caused Eshu to lose his power. While there, Mari was able to steal his totem. Before Eshu could follow her to the surface, Vixen channelled the power of her totem and kicked him in the head, sending him to the depths of the ocean, where he presumably drowned.
Powers and abilities
- Fire Totem: Benatu's powers came from the Fire Totem, a totem that channels and harnesses the power of fire.
- Diplomacy: Benatu Eshu's legal trade was that of an ambassador in the United States.
- Leadership: Eshu became a warlord in his home country, and later an ambassador to the United States.
- Skilled swordsman: Benatu Eshu showed himself proficient with a blade, but it wasn't enough to defeat the amulet-using Esi.
- Water: The fire totem somehow made Eshu himself susceptible to damage while submerged in water, allowing Mari to drown him in the channel's waters, presumably to his death.
- Fire Totem: All of Eshu's powers came from his necklace, which allow him to summon and manipulate fire.
- Amaya Jiwe (original timeline)
- Mari McCabe's father (original timeline)
- Jones (original timeline)
- Kuasa (original timeline)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Eshu is a trickster god and one of the Gods of Africa, affiliated with Firestorm. Benatu Eshu appears to be based loosely on this character, bringing mischief and possessing the fire-based powers himself.
- In Yoruba religion, Eshu is an Orisha (a spirit that reflects one of the manifestations of the Supreme Divinity). The aforementioned DC comics character is based on this mythological character.