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Nerd Talk – Comic books have surprising amount of Canadian influence

Posted on June 30, 2016 by Maple Creek

Who says comic books are not up to date? Who says Canada isn’t represented in the pages of graphic novels and comic books?
In a hilarious attempt to garner support of younger voters and to be seen as “up with the times,” Canada’s own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be seen in the pages of the next issue of Marvel’s “Civil War II.”
The issue with Trudeau will come out Aug. 31. The variant issue – a comic with a different than normal cover – will even have the PM on the cover.
In the comic he will be joined by Canadian Marvel superheros Sasquatch, Aurora and Puck, all members of Alpha Flight.
The current prime minister isn’t the only one to grace the pages of a Marvel comic book. In fact Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father can be seen in the pages of “Uncanny X-Men” comic from 1979.
The Canadian peacekeeping force of superheroes Alpha Flight ask for the Prime Minister’s advice as the group feels they are Canadian first and foremost. Despite being members of an internationally agency.
The issue is written by Edmonton-born artist and writer Chip Zdarsky, who said he didn’t want the appearance to feel like a walk on. Which is why there is a substantial plot point written around the leader of the country.
The office of the Prime Minister does not officially endorse the comic, but they are perfectly alright with it being printed with the PM’s likeness on the pages.
This got me thinking, what other Canadian figures have been seen in comic books? All I came up with, unfortunately, are the two Trudeaus.
So I got to thinking once again. What Canadian superheros can be found in comic books? Are there any that are very popular or have important roles?
The answer to that is a resounding “Yes.”
Established in DC’s New 52 comics, the time-traveling hero (and obnoxious loudmouth) Booster Gold is from Canada. This character, even though it breaks my heart, is important in the DC comic book world.
As I’m sure you can tell, I’m not a fan. However I can not deny the time-traveling hero has had a huge part to play. He did save both Superman and Batman at some point.
We have Alpha Flight, a team made up entirely of Canadian superheros. The group was originally introduced in 1979 in “Uncanny X-Men.” Now the group is seen as a peace keeping group, much like our own armies.
Alpha Flight also introduced to the world the first openly gay comic book character, Northstar. He was also later the first gay comic book character to ever be shown getting married. So go Canada!
America has Captain America, but we have Captain Canuck. Captain Canuck debuted in 1975 in a costume of red and white with a red maple leaf smack-dab in the middle of his chest. This makes him look like a walking talking Canadian flag.
Captain Canuck is owned by Comely Comix based out of Winnipeg. There are rumours a movie is trying to be green-lit, so there is that to look forward to.
The last two superheros on my list are probably the most popular Canadian heroes in the world of comic books. X-Men’s Wolverine and, of course, Deadpool.
Wolverine is found in many, many different Marvel comics and is often used for special team-up issues. Not only that, but he is integral to the X-Men team. He even took over as leader of the team at one point, too.
Lastly we can’t leave out Deadpool. The Merc with the Mouth has been revealed as a Canadian just like Wolverine, whom his regenerative powers are based on.  It was revealed in the Deadpool movie, which came out on Valentine’s Day this past February, that he is actually from Regina.
There has been no confirmation as to whether or not this is canon, or just something Ryan Reynolds, a Canadian actor, decided would be funny.
Comic books are surprisingly up to date with the politics of the time as well as the social pop culture, not just in America but around the world.
Also we as Canadians can be proud to have some of the most awesome and influential characters in the comic book world hail from the Great White North.

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