September 09, 2015

Marvel to relaunch Red Wolf

Red Wolf, Marvel's first Native American hero, is getting his own comic book

By Josh DickeyMarvel's first and primary Native American character is getting his own book starting in December, Mashable can exclusively reveal. Native Americans have a long history in the comic books, but Red Wolf—who's returned to the fray this year in its current alt-universe Western-themed "1872" run—hasn't had his own series since 1976.The details:The creative team includes writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Jeffrey Veregge, a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe based out of Kingston, Washington, who's also of Suquamish and Duwamish decent. Veregge is doing covers, design and consulting; the artist on the book is Dalibor Talajić

"There's not a character like Red Wolf out there right now," Veregge told Mashable. "As a native, I’m really excited to see that he can do things, he can figure out things and stand with Captain America, and hold his own in this universe. That’s what’s awesome about it: You have all these characters of different nationalities and ethnicities, but it’s not all about their culture. It’s about them being a hero."

Though there have been various iterations of Red Wolf over the decades, this character will have his own origins, backstory and powers. For instance, the Red Wolf of old had the power to communicate with wolves; whether that's the case remains to be seen with this new run.

Though there will be supernatural elements, "we’ve made him a little bit of a regular Joe. We’re not too beholden to the Red Wolf of old—this is our take on that character," Edmondson said.

Though he'll be existing in the same primary Marvel universe as Spider-Man, Captain America and the other Avengers, Red Wolf will be from the same alternate universe as "1872," meaning he's not connected to any existing Native American tribe.

"Nobody should go to this looking as its historical," Edmondson said. "He comes from another dimension, after all. But it's very important for us to approach it in as authentic a way as possible. Jeffery offers this, and not just for consultation, but with his creative input—his covers jump out from 100 feet away."

"Above all, he’s resourceful," Edmondson said. "He’s kind of in a sense the Jason Bourne of the West, who can find a way out of any situation, or a way to use the resources of whatever room or position he may be in—he’s not a gunslinger, but he might use a gun if he has to. ... But beyond all that, he’s just a brawling, tough-as-nails fighter."
Kitsap artist creating Marvel comic covers

Marvel Comics brings back Native American superhero

Red Wolf, first Native superhero with his own comic book series, uses grit and wits to battle crime

By Renee Lewis
Nathan Edmondson, the Marvel writer working on the new book, said Red Wolf will not be linked to any existing Native American tribe—a scenario that some found troubling.

“I think it’s worth pointing out that character from made-up tribe is no win for diversity,” Navajo journalist Lita Nadabah Beck said on Twitter.

Although industry experts have noted that large publishers including Marvel and DC Comics have been including more Native American characters in recent years, the publishers have also drawn some accusations of presenting stereotypes.

To counter those, Native American writers have been producing their own comic books with Native heroes. Moonshot, published this year by Toronto-based Alternative History Comics, was a collection by 18 Native writers and artists from a variety of different cultures depicting traditional indigenous stories and legends—set in the future, and in space.

Jay Odjick's "Kagagi," published in 2011, included the usual villains and superhuman power themes, but its characters and storyline were deeply rooted in Algonquin culture. Jon Proudstar's 1996 series "Tribal Force" was a story of five young people given superpowers to protect their land from being destroyed by the government.
Comment:  For more on Red Wolf, see Same-Old, Same-Old Red Wolf and All-New, All-Different Red Wolf?

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