Yes, it’s Canada Day, faithful readers! And that means it’s time to celebrate her super-heroes. Some of you might not realize this, but our neighbors to the North have delivered quite a few interesting heroes over the years. So, for your enjoyment, here's a list of five of our favorites.
CAPTAIN CANUCK: Though many American readers might not be familiar with the character, Captain Canuck has a strong fan-base behind him. Introduced in 1975, Tom Evans was an agent of the Canadian International Security Organization who was later given enhanced strength and speed by aliens. The C.I.S.O. funded Evans to become the anti-terrorist superhero Captain Canuck and his adventures were published sporadically over the next several years. He was even featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times in 1980.
In a later time-travel adventure, Evans accidentally altered history so that the C.I.S.O didn’t exist and his career as Captain Canuck had never happened. Stuck in this new version of reality, Evans made a new career by publishing “fictional” comic books based on his old adventures. Though he continued acting as a superhero, he now operated more clandestinely.
In 1993, “Captain Canuck: Reborn”, the athletic Darren Oak was inspired by the comic books of Tom Evans to become the second Captain Canuck. In 2004, “Captain Canuck: Unholy War” introduced the third hero to wear the mask, RCMP Constable David Semple (who some called the “West Coast Captain Canuck”).
NORTHSTAR: Jean-Paul Beaubier was a mutant born with super-human speed, flight and energy manipulation powers. Originally a domestic terrorist, Beaubier realized the error of his ways and dedicated himself to being an Olympic skier. Later, he and his sister Jeanne-Marie became members of the Canadian government sponsored superhero team Alpha Flight, taking on the code-names of Northstar and Aurora.
Eventually, Jean-Paul decided to use his fame to promote civil rights and announced to the media that he was a gay man. Northstar later worked with the X-Men for a time and also published an autobiography focusing on his life as a gay mutant, entitled “Born Normal.”
TALISMAN: Elizabeth Twoyoungmen was the daughter of the Sacree mystic superhero Shaman, a member of Canada’s team Alpha Flight. An encounter with mystical forces revealed that Elizabeth was a “mortal channel through which the gods can fight," giving her incredible power over magic and the spirits of nature. With this incredible power, Elizabeth became “Talisman” and served alongside Alpha Flight for many years before most of the team was injured or killed during a battle.
Since then, Talisman has worked with the newly-formed Omega Flight to keep Canada (and the world) safe from all menaces, human or supernatural.
NELVANA OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS: The first Canadian superhero, Nelvana made her first appearance in 1941. She was also among the first female costumed crime-fighters, beating Wonder Woman by a few months. A character inspire by arctic legends, Nelvana could turn invisible and travel at the speed of light by surfing across the famous Northern Lights. She fought criminals and Nazis for several years before being retired in 1947. Canada Post issued a stamp of her in 1995.
WOLVERINE: Born in Alberta, Canada, James Howlett eventually discovered that he was a mutant, born with increased healing, heightened senses, retarded aging and a set of bone claws that made him deadly in a fight. Leaving home, he called himself “Logan” and as a teenager he earned the nickname of “Wolverine.” Over the years, Logan fought in several wars and for several government agencies before he was subjected to the Weapon X program, his memories forcibly buried as his bones were laced with the unbreakable metal adamantium.
After several more years working as a Canadian secret agent and super-hero, Wolverine became a member of the U.S. based X-Men team. But he still feels strongly about his roots and makes frequent return trips home for one reason or another.
Have any other favorite Canadian superheroes? Tell us all about 'em in the comment section!