As a massive comic fanboy, I always look to discover new characters and appreciate new perspectives. Learning about characters of different heritages can be interesting because you come to appreciate a different culture. Although Marvel and DC have a history of stereotyping certain groups, it doesn’t take away from the importance of the characters. So, with that said, here are four awesome Native American characters you might not have heard about.
James Proudstar is an Apache and part of the X-Men. Originally a member of Emma Frost’s Hellions, Warpath fought against the X-Men because he believed they were responsible for getting his brother John killed. Eventually, he joined the X-Men and matured into a valued member of the team. His powers include superhuman strength, speed, speed and senses. He also wields two Vibranium knives given to him by Storm. Warpath also possesses shamanistic abilities that possibly grant him magical potential. He’s featured prominently in the 2008 – 2010 X-Force series.
Dani Moonstar, code named Mirage, is of Cheyenne descent and another member of the X-Men. Dani was an original member of the New Mutants and had the ability to create illusions of her opponent’s fears and wishes. During M-Day, Dani is one of the mutants who loses her powers and is faced with a lack of purpose. However, she rescued the Asgardian horse Brightwind and became a Valkyrie. Dani’s connection to Asgard is intriguing and her abilities allow her to perceive the coming of death. In addition, she’s an experienced hunter and leader.
Maya Lopez is half Cheyenne and one of the few deaf characters represented in mainstream comics. She’s best known for having a connection with Daredevil, but is a strong character in her own right. Maya was raised by the Kingpin and sent to manipulate Matt Murdock. The two of them fall in love and developed a history. Echo possesses a photographic memory that allows her to mimic the moves of her opponent.
Jason Strongbow Is a member of the Navajo Nation and possesses superhuman attributes due to a radiation based mutation. Similar to an eagle, he has hypersensitive eyesight and can see at a distance of 800 metres. Strongbow was one of the Native American characters who was dressed stereotypically during his early appearances. But over the past couple of decades he’s been reinvented. He now wears ordinary clothes and a helmet that looks like the head and beak of a bald eagle.
Editor Lauren Sankovitch described American Eagle best.
“For a character whose total appearances I could count on my fingers, not to mention having some of the worst costumes in the history of tacky superherowear, I felt American Eagle had such a tremendous potential within the Marvel U as a whole. With his strong identification to his Native American heritage and disaffected attitude towards the larger superhero community, he’s a principled man with his own brand of justice. Pair that with his bone-dry sense of humor and take-all-comers power set, he is a force to be reckoned with.”