October 30, 2013

Cree activist inspires DC superhero

New DC Comics superhero inspired by young Cree activist

Shannen Koostachin is a real-life role model who will provide inspiration in comics, MP saysA new comic superhero for DC Comics will take the form of a teenage girl from James Bay. Toronto cartoonist Jeff Lemire says Shannen Koostachin—a young Cree activist from Attawapiskat—helped inspire him.

Lemire said the 15-year-old, who led fellow students to Parliament Hill to lobby for a proper school, isn't far from his thoughts in drawing up the new superhero.

“I think if I can capture some of that heart and some of that essence in this character, perhaps she'll almost be a guiding spirit in the creation of this character,” he said.

He came up with the idea of a Cree superhero because he was fascinated with the culture he saw while visiting Northern Ontario as a child, he said.
DC Comics Basing Native Superhero on Cree Activist Shannen KoostachinLemire is the author/artist of the acclaimed indie graphic novels Essex County and The Underwater Welder for Top Shelf Comics, and since 2009 has been working within the DC universe (where the superheroes live) as a writer for various titles. His blog is at jefflemire.blogspot.de.

Koostachin's legacy is Shannen's Dream, a social justice campaign that seeks to improve funding for education for First Nations children. Koostachin and Shannen's Dream are the subject of Alanis Obomsawin's 2013 film Hi-Ho Mistahey!
Comment:  I'm not sure this will work out well. Lemire doesn't know what powers this character will have. He seems to be reacting mostly to the news about Koostachin. Which suggests the character will be superficial--a typical generic Native superhero.

Let's hope I'm wrong about that. We'll see.

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