December 04, 2008

Firehair, Joshua Brand, and Turok

A fanboy reviews three Native-themed comics--SHOWCASE #87, SHAMAN'S TEARS #1, and TUROK, DINOSAUR HUNTER #0--and finds two recurring themes.

Of Neglected Traditions:  Comics Starring Native American Heroes & Thanksgiving1. Each issue boasts a tradition vs. progression diatribe, specifically between two characters that epitomize either side of the conflict. Firehair versus the Shaman. Josh versus his mother. Turok versus his apprentice.

2. Similarly, each issue contains a definitive element of the supernatural, often contrasted by science, as if Native American culture is a source or beacon for all earthen spiritual phenomena.
Comment:  You probably could find the "tradition vs. progress" debate in the vast majority of Native-themed comics set in the post-Columbian era. This debate has been an issue ever since Euro-Americans began forcing Indians to fight or switch, which happened soon after their arrival.

You probably could find supernatural elements in the vast majority of Native-themed comics also--especially superhero, fantasy, and horror comics. I don't know if Indians are more religious than non-Indians, but they may wear their religion on their sleeves.

In other words, they may talk about religion more and relate it more to the world around them. This makes them seem more spiritual, which leads to the usual fiction about shamans, evil spirits, and burial grounds.

For more on the subject, see Comic Book Featuring Indians.

Below:  SHOWCASE #85 and TUROK #1 (not the issues reviewed).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recall "Turok" as a child growing up in the Sixties, and I was most amazed then to discover that the American Indian fought dinosaurs, too.

I was hospitalized frequently for asthma beginning when I was eight years old until I was twelve, and my mother bought the first editions of a seeming multitude of comic books for me to read as I spent many days away from my family (sometimes in an "oxygen tent") - and to this day I often wonder how much all of those first editions would bring me now in terms of monetary value if I still had them.