Marvel Comics and Oklahoma writer celebrate Native American Heritage Month

By MATTHEW PRICE

From the Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 edition of The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma writer is among the creators of “Marvel’s Voices: Heritage,” a collected edition of comics stories created by indigenous storytellers and focused on indigenous characters released in connection with Native American Heritage Month. 

Steven Paul Judd is Kiowa and Choctaw, and writes a story of the later days of the hero American Eagle, a hero from the Navajo reservation wondering if he still can make a difference even as his super abilities have waned. The art for the story is by David Cutler. 

Judd is a filmmaker, director, screenwriter, writer of fiction and visualist. Judd served as a staff writer for the Disney’s XD Comedy Series, “Zeke and Luther” and was the writer/director of the short film “Ronnie BoDean,” starring Wes Studi, which was filmed in Oklahoma. Judd is also the co-creator of “Rez Detectives,” a middle-grade graphic novel published by Oklahoma City’s Literati Press.

“Marvel’s Voices: Heritage,” released in time for 2022’s Native American Heritage Month, collects “Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices,” “Marvel’s Voices: Heritage,” “Champions” Annual #1, “Werewolf By Night” (2020) #1, “Phoenix Song: Echo” #1, variant covers from previous Native American Heritage Months, and material from “United States Of Captain America” #3 and “Marvel Comics” #1000.

Dr. Lee Francis IV, educator and founder of Indigenous Comic Con, writes an introduction for the collection. 

“Not only does ‘Marvel’s Voices: Heritage’s global platform center on the stories of Native and Indigenous characters, it goes beyond just just highlighting cultural elements,” Francis writes. “Characters who have often been overlooked and underutilized appear on these pages not just as heroes but in their full multidimensional identities.” 

Superheroes featured in the collection include a wide swath of Marvel’s Native and Indigenous heroes, including Echo, aka Maya Lopez, previously both an opponent and an ally to Daredevil; and Dani Moonstar, formerly of the New Mutants.

According to the Native American Heritage Month web site, in 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name including Native American Heritage Month, have been issued each year since 1994. More information can be found at https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Marvel Voices: Heritage [Marvel Comics]

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