It’s time for a pop quiz. Ready?
Name a Canadian superhero.
If you didn’t rhyme off names like Terry Fox, Laurier or Mackenzie-King, chances are you thought of this guy.
Now the hard part. Name another.
Not so easy, is it?
While Wolverine may be the most mainstream character that Canadians can call one of their own, there are some others worthy of mention. Marvel Comics also has a Canadian version of the Avengers in Alpha Flight. Aurora, Northstar, Shaman, Sasquatch, Puck and the flag-clad Guardian and Vindicator had their own original series for over ten years, but have struggled to maintain a following since 1993. Killed off in a 2006 issue of New Avengers by writer Brian Michael Bendis, the team was recently resurrected from the dead and currently star in a new limited series.
Another company, Comely Comix, launched the patriotically-garbed Captain Canuck in 1975. Empowered by aliens and tasked with defending the true north strong and free, Captain Canuck was the costumed agent of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service in the ‘futuristic world’ of 1993. Despite multiple attempts at a revival, the character remains a novelty at best.
And that’s about it.
Slim pickings, I know. This just proves that Canada needs more superheroes; characters that reflect the values of the nation today, and stand on guard for you and me.
In anticipation of Canada’s 144th birthday on Friday, here are three brand new superheroes that Canadians can look up to:
The Drill – Made rich by smart investments in Alberta’s oil sands, Mike MacDonald is regarded as Canada’s wealthiest and most irresponsible western-based playboy, until environmental protesters show him the error of his ways. Building a super-suit made of spare parts from abandoned oil rigs, Mike MacDonald becomes The Drill to protect the environment, fight corruption and keep gas prices down.
Confederation – Disgusted by the loss of popular support during the federal election of 2011, hardline Quebec nationals conduct nuclear experiments to create the Separatisté, the first of many new FLQ soldiers aimed at destroying Canada. Determined to keep the country together, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commissions the formation of Confederation, a super-team of Canada’s greatest heroes from every province and territory led by the fiscally-responsible superhero, Economy.
Council – In Toronto, you’re either a right-wing nut or a pinko commie. When conservative-minded Gord Ford and leftist Dave Vaughn find themselves at odds during a protest at city hall, a terrorist attack fuses them into the superhero Council. While maintaining their individual personalities within their new superpowered body, channelling popular opinion in Toronto determines who controls Council. Described in the media as “the Schizophrenic Superhero,” Council spends most of his time undoing what little good he’d done previously, ultimately accomplishing nothing of value.
Real or imaginary, who’s your Canadian superhero?
JW Ward is a Toronto-based writer, media personality and professional cynic. Follow him on Twitter at @jasonwardDOTca, through his website at www.jasonward.ca and every Thursday here at Biff Bam Pop!