"To say there is room for improvement for Indigenous representation in current popular media would not adequately address how much disparagement still occurs," Sheyahshe said. "Nor would it adequately suggest that there is an urgent need for more Native authors, artists, writers, and everything in between to get out there and make things better by infiltrating the entertainment industry and reshaping those old, worn out stories into ones we can truly call our own.
"Sure, things have improved marginally overall in comics as well as many other genres, Sheyahshe continued. "But this slight improvement is not enough; it is far too little too late. We are way overdue for a major breakthrough and change across the board in every media source. I look forward to reading comic books that shatter all of these misrepresentations."
But naturally, I take exception to a few things:
You could argue that there wasn't enough room to mention all these things, but this is a Web-based article. More to the point, it wasn't necessary to start with a historical overview. If you're going to do an overview, take a paragraph to sum up the whole history.
Ironically, Waid's Super-Chief is one of the more stereotypical Indian superheroes in recent years. This character is a standard warrior-veteran with a magic-based grandfather straight out of the Thunderbird/Butcher/Scout era of the late 1970s. Sixties characters such as Pow-Wow Smith and Wyatt Wingfoot were more original and they appeared more than 40 years ago.
So if you enjoy SCALPED because of its authenticity, he'll take the credit. But if you criticize SCALPED because it's stereotypical, he won't take the blame. Sorry if you're offended, I imagine him saying, but it's just entertainment.
I'd say the critical situation is no worse for Indians than it is for any other minority. To which the publishers might respond, "Yes, which is why we don't do minority-themed comics in general." To which I might respond, "Minorities aren't as hyper-sensitive as you depict them. They criticize your minority-themed comics only because you don't do them right. Start doing them right and you'll get praise rather than pans."
Anyway, this article was a great undertaking with good results. Kudos to writer Emmett Furey, who covers the Native American beat for Comic Book Resources. (Yes, there is such a thing, apparently.) I'll try to keep you posted whenever he writes about Indians in comics.