A #NativeNerd tribute to Stan Lee: A list of Marvel Native Superheroes

A screen capture from the Marvel website tribute to Stan Lee video

Vincent Schilling

15 notable Native superheroes from the Marvel Universe -- A universe overseen by the watcher himself, Stan Lee

As a kid, I would sit in my room for hours perusing the latest issues of X-Men, Daredevil, The New Mutants and think about my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe that took me away from it all. It was tough being a little underdeveloped brown kid that was bullied, degraded and made fun of … but comics gave me an escape from the world that was at times too much too handle.

I could escape thanks to the world created by Stan Lee.

Stan Lee helped me by creating a world where my imagination could roam free. Stan Lee, the giant name behind Marvel Comics, died this week at the age of 95. There is now an empty place in my heart where Stan Lee once resided.

Reaching back in my memories now, I don’t have many memories of Native characters in comics other than Danielle Moonstar who made her appearance in the New Mutants. I didn’t realize the hero Forge was Cheyenne because it was rarely mentioned. The only other character was Apache Chief from the DC universe.

But Stan Lee created a world that grew wings to fly higher I am sure than Stan Lee could ever have imagined, it wasn’t until the later years of his life Marvel Studios began running at breakneck speeds.

When he died earlier this week, I knew immediately that I would be writing a tribute to him with an emphasis on Native Characters. I have been scouring online and was shocked to discover nearly fifty resided in the Marvel Universe. Currently there are over 8,000 characters that can fly, bend steel or (hopefully anyway) turn an evil villain into a chicken.

In tribute to Mr. Excelsior himself, Stan Lee, I have compiled a list of several Native American superheroes that have appeared at some point in time within the confines of the Marvel Universe.

All images are from Marvel Comics.

American Eagle

The Thing Issue #6 1981 featured American Eagle Image: Marvel Comics

Jason Strongbow
Navajo
Super strength, speed, agility, stamina, near-invulnerability, super eyesight, increased senses, crossbow proficiency


Thunderbird
John Proudstar
Apache
Strength, Speed, Tracking Abilities, Enhanced insight and senses
Special note: John Proudstar now appears in the Fox Series ‘The Gifted’ executive-produced by Stan Lee, he is the leader of the resistance force of mutants that post-date the existence of the X-Men. The show airs on Tuesdays.


Warpath
James Proudstar
Apache
Strength, Healing factor, flying, shaman / medicine man powers
Special Note: John Proudstar’s brother that appeared in the Marvel movie “X-Men’s Days of Future Past” and was portrayed by Boo Boo Stewart.

Black Crow


Jesse Black Crowe
Navajo
Shape changer / transformation through the Earth-spirit, teleportation, dimension travel

Centurious


Prince of an Amerindian Tribe
A soulless immortal, supernatural abilities, magic, strength, controlling elements, telekinesis, levitation, mind control

Red Wolf
Johnny Wakeley (19th century)
Thomas Thunderbird (1970’s)
William Talltrees (Contemporary)
Cheyenne
Super strength, speed, senses, tracking ability, wolf companion Lobo
Special Note: Native artist Jeffrey Veregge brought the comic back to Marvel!

Forge

Cheyenne
Super genius inventor

Psyche / Mirage / Spellbinder / Dark Rider
Danielle Moonstar
Cheyenne
Telepath, Creates mirages or imagery of a person’s deepest fears or desires to control them, communicate or see through the eyes of animals, psionic bolts that stun the nervous system
Special Note: Blu Hunt, an actress of Native descent, will be portraying Moonstar in Marvel’s New Mutants in 2019.

Echo / Ronin


Maya Lopez
Native American / Father Willie ‘Crazy Horse’ Lincoln
Though Deaf, She has photographic reflexes - meaning she can immediately duplicate movements, thus her expertise in martial arts, acrobatics and dance.

Moonstalker


Kiana
Inupiat
Run, fly at super speed, athletic movements, super-camouflage, expert hunter and tracker

Puma


Thomas Fireheart
Native American descent, likely Navajo
Genetically enhanced human abilities, transformation powers to become a humaniod Puma, increased senses, martial arts expert

Risque
Gloria Dolores Muñoz
Seminole and Cuban
Control gravity, control density of objects, concussion blasts, levitation of objects


Special Note: Risque was a love interest of Warpath as seen here. She has appeared in 89 issues.

Scalphunter
John GreyCrow
Comanche
Mutant that has super healing and regenerative powers, techno-morphing which means he can build electronic and mechanical devices from his bionic-style body gear, proficient with weapons of all types
Special Note: Not the most favorable of names for a Native character, but I do want to give a shout to Chris Claremont at Marvel, the creative force behind a majority of diverse characters at Marvel.

Shaman / Talisman


Michael Twoyoungmen
Canadian First Nation / Tsuu T’ina
Native medicine expertise as well as western medicine and surgical expertise, holder of medicine bag that holds all objects to summon into existence, can transform into an eagle, levitation

Silver Fox
Kayla
First Nation Blackfoot Confederacy
Super healing, will not age
Special Note: Silver Fox is a love interest of Wolverine.

Well, here is a decent list of ones that stuck out to me. Admittedly there are many more, feel free to take a look at the Wikipedia page, but be mindful Wikipedia is adjusted by the public, and I haven’t had a chance to verify all of the superheroes on the page.

I hope you found some inspiration as I have from years of loving the world championed by Stan Lee.

Thanks for everything Stan -- as you would always say on so many occasions: “Excelsior! ‘Nuff Said!”


Follow fellow Native Nerd, Vincent Schilling associate editor for Indian Country Today at @VinceSchilling - Make sure to use the Hashtag #NativeNerd

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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