“One young Anishinabe warrior who has lost all to the beast would lead them.”
That’s a line in Jay Odjick’s Kagagi: The Raven, just one story in a growing number of comics and graphic novels rooted in indigenous traditions.
Odjick was recently profiled in an article by Aljazeera America that said Aboriginal artists are changing the face of the comic book industry.
Odjick is from the Kitigan Zibi community in Quebec and based the main conflict in Kagagi on the Algonquin legend of Windigo. In the comic book, Kagagi is a 16-year-old Anishinabe boy who has the power to fly and has superhuman strength. He is the only one who can fight and defeat the Windigo, an evil creature that turns people into cannibals.
Kagagi and other stories (like the one of Equinox, a teenaged superhero from Moose Factory, ON) are great examples of how differently indigenous people are portrayed these days. Indigenous characters are no longer, necessarily, one dimensional. They aren’t just sidekicks and they don’t just play insignificant roles in stories.
Instead, they fight evil and kick ass.
If you could create a superhero, what kind of wrong would they put right?
Photo source: http://kagagi.squarespace.com/