Teenage Cree Superhero Makes DC Comics Debut in April
Equinox, a superhero modeled on real-life First Nation teens, is set to make her debut in the DC Comics publication Justice League United.
Comic creator Jeff Lemire said in October that he was inspired by the legacy of the late Shannen Koostachin, of the Attawapiskat First Nation, who advocated for improved education for Aboriginal youth. Koostachin was killed in a car accident in 2010 at age 15.
In a CBC News article, Lemire said that Equinox is a 16-year-old Cree girl from Moose Factory. He did not mention Koostachin by name, but said that he drew inspiration from teens he met while visiting Moosonee and Moose Factory, Ontario. CBC News has a photo gallery of Lemire meeting and interacting with the children.
Lemire said that he wanted to create a character who seems real to Natives, rather than a general audience that might have its own misconceptions about First Nations people. Nathan Cheechoo, a musician in Muuse Factory, told CBC, "I don't walk around with beads and fringe and feathers and a loincloth. And that was something I wanted to bring to Jeff. ... We want our stories shared, and if this is another way to share it, then I think mission accomplished."
If the art released by DC Comics is any indicator, Lemire is on the right track. As one ICTMN reader wrote on Facebook, "I love it -- no buckskin or feathers necessary!"
Lemire also told CBC that he's not sure what will happen to Equinox after her five-issue stint in Justice League comes to an end, but that his visits with Aboriginal communities have given him a larger perspective: "If I end up going [north] a few times and teaching kids how to draw or about comics, and 10 years from now some kid from James Bay ends up writing or drawing [his or her] own comics, then none of that other stuff will matter because the project was worth it."
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