Comics/Books

5 Maple Leaf Canadian Superheroes


Just like the US has Captain America and the UK has Captain Britain, Canada also has her share of costumed heroes who proudly wear the flag on their body. And yet, no one can ever get them straight. Here’s a handy reference guide of Canadian superheroes for next time you see a cosplayer wearing a maple leaf and don’t know whether to call them Captain Canuck or Guardian.

Canada Jack

Title: Canadian Heroes
Publisher: Educational Projects (Montreal)
Creator: George Menendez Rae
Created: 1943
Where’s the leaf?  Red Maple Leaf on shirt

Long before the maple leaf was Canada’s official flag, it was still an emblem and symbol of our country, and the character called Canada Jack wore it proudly. Canada Jack was created to inspire Canadian children during the war to do their part and be responsible citizens. He had no super powers, but fought Nazis using his wits and his strong left hook. In addition, children were encouraged to join the Canada Jack Club, where writing in with proof of your good deeds to support the war efforts was rewarded with prizes. Surprised that Canada had a Golden Age of Comics? Check out more of them in last year’s post: Top 5 Canadian Golden Age Superheroes or read about the character that barely beats out Canada Jack in beefcake-ability with Brok Windsor.

 

Captain Canuck

Title: Captain Canuck
Publisher: Comely Comix (Winnipeg)
Creator: Richard Comely
Created: 1975
Where’s the leaf? Red leaf on forehead, red leaf on belt

Captain Canuck was a young man minding his own business when he was captured by aliens and given super powers. Very quickly, the Canadian government put this to their own use, sending Captain Canuck to battle all enemies to Canadian soil. Our longest lasting superhero character, Captain Canuck was recently revamped as a webseries featuring some of the top names in Canadian television, and will have an upcoming comic series this year headlined by Toronto artist Kalman Andrasofszky, who I interviewed about the book several months ago. And guess what? There’s a special Canada Day issue available in select Canadian comic stores and libraries right now!

 

Northguard

Title: New Triumph
Publisher: Matrix Comics (Montreal)
Creator: Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette
Created: 1984
Where’s the leaf?  White leaf on forehead, white leaf on costume

Northguard was created as a commentary on the superhero genre in the 1980s, intended to bridge the gap between Anglo and Quebecois tensions by artist Gabriel Morrissette (a Montreal Francophone) and Mark Shainblum (a Montreal Anglophone). He was given his powers by the implant of the Uniband which gave him enhanced powers including energy bolts. Northguard’s alter ego was a comic book nerd, which gave him ample ideas when he received his new powers, and he received the inspiration for his costume from an issue of Captain Canuck! If you want to read Northguard’s original adventures, visit http://www.shainblum.com/comics/

Guardian & Vindicator

Title: Alpha Flight
Publisher: Marvel Comics (USA)
Creator: John Byrne
Created: 1978
Where’s the leaf?  Half red maple leaf on costume

Guardian, aka James “Mac” Hudson, was a government scientist when he discovered how to make a cybernetic suit to enhance his powers. Like Northguard, the creator admits that the characters outfit was inspired by Captain Canuck.

Heather Hudson was his long-suffering wife, and love interest to Wolverine (hey, she is a red-head!). After her husband explodes a few issues into Alpha Flight, she takes over his duties to run the super-team. Soon realizing that a civilian in the midst of alien and deity battles is a bad idea, she dons her husband’s suit and becomes the amazingly take-charge leader, Vindicator. Despite most people associating the costume with her husband, Heather led the team for far longer than he ever did and was a strong, capable, and still-human leader. She was pretty kick-ass, and deserves more cosplay than she gets!

 

Captain Canada

Title: Atlantis
Publisher: NTV (Newfoundland)
Creator: Geoff Stirling
Created: 1980
Where’s the leaf?  White maple leaf on chest

I can’t really tell you more about Captain Canada, and his boss Captain Newfoundland than you can read from the official website on the character.

Are you back? Do you understand now what he is?

OK, neither do I. Captain Canada is our nation’s greatest mystery, a personification of the philosophies of  Newfoundland media magnate Geoff Stirling given form in the late 1970s in the form of television commercials on NTV, and then in his own limited comic book, which is in fact, a gorgeous piece of work. Apparently he also was in a television movie in the 1980s which I would give almost anything to see, if its at all like the commercials promised:

Captain Canada was given his powers by the powerful other-world deific character Captain Newfoundland who charged him with protecting Canadian citizens once he proved himself worthy.

And if I could have this Boris Vallejo interpretation spray painted onto my van, I would have it done in a heartbeart.

So while Canada has its fair share of heroes, not all of them choose to don the maple leaf.  Do you have a favorite Canadian hero?  Let us know in the comments below!

(Visited 795 times, 1 visits today)