Marvel's Voices: Indigenous Voices (2020) #1
Today’s hottest Native American and Indigenous talent make their Marvel Comics debuts with a collection of super-charged stories as Marvel celebrates National Native American Heritage Month!
Celebrated writer and artist Jeffrey Veregge explores the legacy of Marvel’s incredible cast of Indigenous characters!
Hugo, Nebula, and Locus-award winning Black/Ohkay Owingeh writer Rebecca Roanhorse and Tongva artist Weshoyot Alvitre tell an Echo tale like none you’ve heard before.
Geoscientist and Lipan Apache writer Darcie Little Badger joins acclaimed Whitefish Lake First Nation artist Kyle Charles for a Dani Moonstar story that’s out of this world!
And Bram Stoker-winning horror writer Stephen Graham Jones of the Blackfeet Nation teams up with Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation artist David Cutler to revisit one of the darkest spots of X-Men history!
Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1 is composed of some of the most intriguing and broad stories that you can read. After Jeffrey Veregge’s ‘The Watcher’ introductory merging and tribute fades, the three stories that compose it take three different routes.
‘Echo: Hitting Back’ delivers the kind of Echo we have been wanting to see. Her history shows Echo as being the kind of character that becomes the scapegoat of story plots. Including being fridged (her second time being killed) to motivate Moon Knight in his title. Rebecca Roanhorse uses the opening page to address her past and the men who have controlled it. The story that follows is an opportunity for Echo to find her agency and become an active agent in her own life, though the impact is dampened by the events being orchestrated by an outside party. The ending is left open, leaving us hopeful that this version of Echo will be given the attention she deserves.
The art by Weshoyot Alvitre and colors by Lee Loughridge does a good job delivering the story. The panels convey a sense of movement that matches the story and works well with the fight scenes and the modern style it presents. The incorporation of ASL into the story as an acknowledgment of Echo’s intersectional identity was a highlight of the story for us.
‘Mirage: Multifaceted’ is one of the most incredible examples of dialogue with an established piece of art that makes it grow and expand. Going as far back as the “Demon Bear Saga” of New Mutants, a point of friction was established for Danielle Moonstar in how her mutant identity and her indigenous identity clashed, taking the form of horror stories and trauma stories. What Darcie Little Badger is presenting us here is not only a reconciliation of that vision and a reckoning with old narratives, but the posing of big questions that the main X-Men present continuity hasn’t touched on that much. Just in 10 pages, the main regret of this story could be that the resolution itself asks for more nuance and more stories to tell.
As an addition to a story that talks directly to Dani’s fears and hopes for her relationships and her community (including a wink to Dani & Rahne’s “soulmates” relationship), Kyles Charles’ art poses weight and terror where it’s necessary, choosing diffused backgrounds and shadowing as narrative to strongly inked first planes, with Felipe Sobreiro’s colours complementing it perfectly with a wide range of coloring, from washed out to vivid.
‘Silver Fox: Blue Moon’ tells a story of the title character and her husband covertly striking back at the colonizers invading Blackfoot land. Despite the title, Stephen Graham Jones seems to focus the narrative of Trigo, Silver Fox’s husband, and his ability to see future deaths- including the death of Silver Fox. David Cutter and Roberto Poggi,’s art is terrific where it needs to be, tense and heartfelt, giving the reader little rest. That makes said rest so much more emotional and like spaces of calm in the story of trauma it presents. Cris Peter’s colors shine with showing these powers and the transition between past and future, with the explosion of tone heat working with the art to make Trigo’s despair from what he sees felt and impacting.
If there’s something that this visionary and narrative challenging book needs is more. Each of the stories presented has the potential and the strength of bringing something new and different to the tapestry of Marvel, and each of the teams pulls out amazing work in so little space. So, after closing the last page, a question has arised on our side: when do these creators get to come back? And how do we get more trust in the enduring possibilities of pieces like the ones in this issue?
Marvel’s Indigenous Voices #1: Transformative Stories
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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