Oklahoma, a state with a strong Native American population, may appreciate a forthcoming venture by Marvel Entertainment.
In November, Marvel will celebrate Native American history with a comic book (Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices) written and illustrated by Indigenous creators. Bonus: In conjunction with the celebration, special variant covers that pay tribute to Native American heritage will appear on select Marvel titles in November.
Writer and artist Jeffrey Veregge, who just wrapped up his exhibition (“Jeffrey Veregge: Of Gods and Heroes”) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, is leading the Marvel’s Voices book alongside a team of acclaimed creators to explore the legacy and experiences of Marvel’s cast of Indigenous characters.
“I am truly grateful for the platform that Marvel has not only provided for me and my work, but with this edition of Marvel Voices, all of Native America,” Veregge said in a news release. “This is an opportunity to share the cultural influences that we as Native artists and writers grew up with that will add more depth and dimension to the Native Heroes in the Marvel Universe.”
Veregge said he and Marvel editor in chief C.B. Cebulska started talking about various Native American projects a year ago when discussing his art exhibit at the Smithsonian. This venture follows a critically acclaimed Marvel’s Voices anthology earlier this year that featured BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) talents telling stories about Marvel characters. Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices will kick off the next phase of the Marvel’s Voices program to introduce fans to more inclusive stories and talent.
“Marvel’s Voices started in 2018, which grew and evolved from a popular Marvel podcast into a larger program within our comics,” Cebulski said.
“Marvel’s Voices No. 1, our first anthology in this program, was released this past February, and the reception from fans was incredible. It was clear we needed to do more to lift up more voices and talent and increase representation in and behind our stories. This book is the first step of our next expansion of the program to not only elevate the diverse talent we already have at Marvel, but also discover new writers and artist who can bring their voices to our characters, both old and new. And this is only the beginning.”
In addition to the new Marvel’s Voices comic, Veregge illustrated Native American heritage tribute variant covers for other comic titles that will feature Dani Moonstar, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor depicted in his Formline style.
“The story of the hero is an ancient one,” Veregge said. “Starting with the very first cave drawings, artists and writers from across the globe have both captured and shared the fateful acts of their people’s heroes. Being from the Pacific Northwest, my own people, the S’Klallam Tribe, have used the art style known as Formline to record and share the stories of our people since time immemorial. The art style I use in my own work today is an extension of the same shapes and forms used for hundreds of years by Native artists from and around the very same region.”
As a lifelong comics fan, artist and Native American, Veregge said he is honored to work with Marvel.
“Not only to create pieces that represent a voice for Indigenous people in honor of Native American Heritage month, but also for the opportunity to share the same storytelling spirit of my ancestors by sharing the tales of some of today’s heroes.”
Contact a local comic shop this month to pre-order the new Marvel’s Voices comic and the comics with the Indigenous-themed covers. Area comic shops include Comic Empire, Impulse Creations, Mammoth Comics, Wizard’s Asylum, World of Comics, Gardner’s Used Books & Music and Mad Wook’s in Owasso.
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