Marvel is sticking to their promise to diversify its characters. After they announced the Hulk would be changing identities to a Korean-American, the comic book publisher has revealed the return of Red Wolf as a solo action star.
The Native American hero was first introduced to the Avengers crowd in 1970 and had a brief, nine-issue stint in a solo series from 1972 to 1976. But starting in December, he will be getting his own book set in the American Southwest.
“There’s not a character like Red Wolf out there right now,” artist Jeffrey Veregge, who is working on covers, design and consulting with the creative team, 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.”
Veregge is a member of the Washington state-based Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and is also of Suquamish and Duwamish decent. And he’ll be offering a much-appreciated viewpoint from the native communities even though the book is not intended to be historically factual.
“Nobody should go to this looking as it’s historical,” the book’s writer Nathan Edmondson added. “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.”
When Marvel announced their official “All-New, All-Different” reboot this year, the advertisement showed iconic and lesser-known heroes like Black Panther, Iron Man, Daredevil, Ant Man, and Medusa.
The 55-60 new titles, which begin after the “Secret Wars,” are guaranteed to open with a shocking twist. Many of the familiar characters will have new identities, new locations, and new relationships with other characters.
Thor, for instance, gained a female version. Captain America was depicted as a black man. And the Hulk became Korean-American. Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso has even promised that Spider-Man and Wolverine would be re-introduced in major and shocking ways, though no clues have surfaced ahead of the big reveal.
The similarities and differences that we can expect from Red Wolf are still being kept tight-lipped.
In previous iterations, like “1872” #1, Red Wolf existed in an alternate reality and had many different backstories and powers, like communicating with wolves, for each release. But Edmondson and the team assure readers that their current portrayal of the hero will have his own unique story and capabilities with some supernatural elements.
Red Wolf will not be affiliated with any existing Native American tribe, but will exist in the same universe as other major characters like Spider-Man and Captain America. He will keep his origin from the alternate universe in “1872.”
The latest reveal is just another marker as to how Marvel Comics is far surpassing Marvel Studio when it comes to diversity. Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio’s president, admitted that an LGBTQ character would be seen “within the next decade,” while the Comics confirmed that Iceman was indeed gay back in April.
Expect to see a lot more culturally and socially diverse surprises in the coming months as the comic book publisher continues to reveal its new set of heroes.