Marvel Announces ‘Red Wolf’ Series by Edmondson, Talajic and Veregge
As Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars event continues, the publisher is still busy announcing titles for the All New, All Different Marvel status quo that follows it. Today, Marvel revealed another of those books, Red Wolf, written by Nathan Edmondson, with art by Dalibor Talajić, and covers and design work by Jeffrey Veregge.
Red Wolf, Marvel’s first aboriginal superhero, has had several iterations and identities over Marvel’s history, beginning with William Talltrees, who first appeared in 1970’s Avengers #80 and was most recently seen in Scarlet Spider. The new Red Wolf is currently active in the old west-themed 1872 miniseries tying into Secret Wars.
When Red Wolf was first revealed as part of All New, All Different Marvel in June, some criticism was levied for apparent visual stereotyping. I commented at the time that the inclusion of aboriginal people in the creative team could help avoid these issues, so it's encouraging to learn, via the announcement on Mashable, that the book’s cover artist and designer Jeffrey Veregge is a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe in Washington state, and is of Suquamish and Duwamish decent, and that he will act as a consultant on the series.
Veregge spoke about his excitement for the book, telling Mashable: “There's not a character like Red Wolf out there right now. 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."
A common issue with aboriginal characters is that they’re often given shamanistic, “spiritual” powers or stereotypical abilities, and Red Wolf has been no exception, often having a wolf companion named Lobo, superpowers given to him by a wolf spirit, and excellent tracking skills. While it’s unknown to what degree these elements may be present in the new series, Edmondson emphasized, “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."
Editor Jake Thomas spoke to the book’s setting, noting, “We don’t have a lot of characters who appear in the Southwest.” The book will be a “brutal, gritty crime series," with Edmondson drawing particular attention to Red Wolf’s resourcefulness, describing him as “the Jason Bourne of the West.”
While there may be some concern that Red Wolf won’t be tied to real world aboriginal communities and will be “a man apart” in the Marvel Universe, Edmondson notes, “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."