American Eagle (comics)
American Eagle first appears in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #6 (October 1981), by Doug Moench and Ron Wilson. In a story entitled "An Eagle from America!" Strongbow gains superhuman powers and becomes American Eagle. He joins with Thing, Ka-Zar, and Wyatt Wingfoot to defeat Klaw.
Fictional character biography
Jason Strongbow, a member of the Navajo Nation (born in Kaibito, Arizona), attempted to stop a mining company from excavating a mountain sacred to his tribe. He discovered that the villain Klaw was in league with the mining company. Klaw needed uranium to augment his sonic powers. Strongbow's brother, Ward, did not agree with him about preserving the mountain. Inside the mine, an argument erupted between the brothers and Klaw which led to violence. During the fight, Klaw used his sonic blaster on the two brothers. Somehow a combination of the sonic energy of the blast and the exposure to the uranium gave both of the Strongbow brothers enhanced strength, endurance and senses. Klaw fled with his crew, including Ward, to the Savage Land in hopes of gaining vibranium to augment his powers. Jason emerged from the mine and, taking inspiration from a flying eagle, took up the mantle of American Eagle. He followed Klaw to the Savage Land. There he met Ka-Zar, the Thing, and Wyatt Wingfoot. The four joined forces and defeated Klaw and his minions, but during the battle, Ward was shot and killed by one of the miners.
Powers and abilities
American Eagle has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, sturdiness, and senses as a result of radiation-induced mutation. He also carries a crossbow which fires special bolts.
Later comics establish that he's Navajo, but this isn't in his origin story. He's the epitome of a one-dimensional character: pure cardboard. He isn't a savage, at least, but he has less depth than Tonto or any other generic Indian.
As you can see below, American Eagle's original costume is generic too. It's actually a decent costume--or would be, if American Eagle were a Plains Indian chief. But since he isn't, it's stereotypical.
The only thing worth noting (until recently, that is), is the name Jason Strongbow. This is somewhat more original than the usual names involving a wolf, bear, or hawk. It hints that the character could become something better.
For more on the subject, see Comic Books Featuring Indians.
Below: Black Bison? No, Super-Chief.
Super-Chief? No, American Eagle.
Hiya. New reader.
Would be interested in your take on Chris Claremont's ... damn. What do we call his attempts to portray race and culture? "Appropriation?" Everything the man wrote that involved non-white American middle- or upper-class characters was a stereotype.
Oops. I jumped ahead of your own interpretation. Sorry.
Anyway. Mirage in the New Mutants and X-men. Whatcha think?
See Chris Claremont's Indians for my response.
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