June 05, 2015

All-new, all-different Red Wolf?

I was a bit slow, but I soon noticed the character on the bottom right of this illustration:

He looked like a cross between Conan the Barbarian and Red Wolf the Native superhero. Turns out I was half right.

'All-New, All-Different Marvel' Spotlight: Meet Red Wolf

The somewhat obscure character first appeared in 1970's Avengers No. 80.

By Graeme McMillan
Looking at artist David Marquez's teaser art for Marvel's "All-New All-Different Marvel" relaunch, one question might be on a lot of people's minds: Who is that guy on the far right that looks a bit like Tarzan crossed with Turok? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the somewhat obscure Red Wolf.

Red Wolf's first appearance came in 1970's Avengers No. 80, helpfully titled "The Coming of Red Wolf!" For all writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema's clear intent to diversify the predominantly white Marvel Universe of the time with the introduction of William Talltrees, a Cheyenne tribal leader out for revenge on the man who killed his family, the story is very much of its time, complete with well-meaning but awkward attempts at invoking a culture outside their own experience. ("Oh, the Anglos watched all the war dances—the ones done especially for them," Talltrees says at one point, explaining his origin to the Avengers, "but they did not look within our hearts—they could not read our minds —!")
It would appear that it's the wild west Red Wolf that will inform the version of the character that appears in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe this fall; before Marvel puts a spotlight on the character with its high-profile relaunch (although it's unclear where he will appear), a Red Wolf will show up in 1872, a tie-in to the publisher's Secret Wars event set in an alternate reality where versions of familiar Marvel heroes like Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man exist in a wild west setting.

That Red Wolf is returning to Marvel at a time when the publisher is pushing the diversity of characters as a selling point is oddly fitting; he was, after all, one of the earliest examples of the company trying to move beyond its core demographic and try something else. That he's been forgotten in the many years since only makes his return feel all the more important.
You can see a preview of 1872 #1 here:

It's High Noon On Battleworld In This 1872 #1 First Look

It appears Red Wolf is dragging a box of explosives. Steve Rogers the sheriff arrests him--perhaps for sabotage or the threat of sabotage? While the others may want to shoot Red Wolf or string him up for his alleged crimes.

More on this new version of a classic Native superhero coming up.

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