Characters Appearing: Black Crow, Dr. Strange, Hotamitanio, Lobo (Will Talltree's 2nd Wolf), Owayodata, Red Wolf (Will Talltrees)
Doctor Strange #25
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #25
Red Wolf tracks down the perpetrators of a recent string of murders and finds gods from the Cheyenne pantheon.
They have come for revenge on the "white-skin" for "four hundred years of treachery, deceit and genocide". Red Wolf tries to stop them but is no match for gods. However, his pain is felt by Black Crow, who goes to Dr. Strange.
Strange says that Black Crow's arrival "disrupts the ancient Iroquois spirits which preside in the Earth upon which my mansion was built". For what it's worth, Red Wolf is Cheyenne like the gods he fought, and Black Crow is a Navajo.
Strange and Black Crow travel to Phoenix, Arizona, where Red Wolf was attacked. They find only the aftermath of a battle. Strange apparently doesn't think that Red Wolf or Black Crow represent their people properly.
The two split up, with Dr. Strange casting spells to locate Red Wolf while Black Crow retraces his physical steps. Strange winds up getting drawn into a dimension with the Cheyenne gods.
They've captured Red Wolf as well as Red Wolf's god, Owayodata.
Black Crow, meanwhile, traces Red Wolf's footsteps back to his apartment, where he finds his adorable new Lobo pup, from Marvel Comics Present #72.
Black Crow does something back on Earth that provides a power surge for Dr. Strange and Red Wolf, who fight the Cheyenne pantheon. Strange gets Owayodata to agree to join together with the white man's magic.
To the other gods, they make a distinction between justice and vengeance.
Strange uses the light of Agamotto to illuminate the pain that the Cheyenne are feeling, and Owayodata says that the anger is just, but that "our time is done. Better allow those that have triumphed -- for better or ill -- this opportunity to recreate paradise from the land they have ruined". It's said that the Cheyenne relent because "in order to ever succeed -- they would have to do to us over the course of centuries -- what we did to them". When it's all over, Black Crow feels a little "guilty -- as if I had betrayed an ancient trust". As they part, Strange and Red Wolf each recommend reading material to the other. Red Wolf recommends, Custer Died For Your Sins by Vine Deloria Jr. and Strange recommends Tobin's Manifesto on Spiritual Integrity.
The story ends with a scene some time in the future when a Red Wolf, in his civilian guise, is tossed out of a restaurant for dating a white woman. The fact that an African American guy is among the racist thugs feels a bit incongruous.
As for the overall story, this theme always makes me uncomfortable. I basically agree with the Cheyenne gods, not that they should kill all the white people, but that what happened in the US to Native Americans was a long-term atrocity. But obviously the nature of the "world outside your window" Marvel universe means that the Cheyenne gods can't win, and we can't even come to a compromise that would feel anything like justice. So we're left with the deeply unsatisfying and offensive conclusion that they should just give up and let "those that have triumphed" have the run of the place. It's pretty bizarre, and when you find yourself plotting a story and coming up with that as a conclusion, you might consider scrapping the whole thing and starting over. Dr. Strange's smug, superior attitude towards the Native American heroes is pretty unbecoming, too, and should have at least resulted in him coming to a better understanding about them, but that doesn't happen. Red Wolf and Black Crow have the potential to be interesting characters, and they deserved more than this. I console myself with the idea that this was a rushed fill-in and Marvel didn't really consider the implications.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after the Red Wolf story in Marvel Comics Presents #72.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
IMO, it seems pretty odd to have a fill-in occurring in a semi-milestone issue such as #25 of a series. It would have made more sense to either use it for issue 24 or issue 26.
Posted by: clyde | September 9, 2015 11:24 AM
I'm not sure how I feel about Red Wolf recommending Vine Deloria since Deloria believed in all sorts of crazy pseudoscience like dinosaurs being alive in North America in modern times- but come to think of it, that isn't crazy in the Marvel Universe.
Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2015 8:53 PM
Tobin's Manifesto on Spiritual Integrity is a Ghostbusters reference; the film cites a fictional book called Tobin's Spirit Guide.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 28, 2015 10:19 PM
I'm pretty sure "a Native American guy" who "is tossed out of a restaurant for dating a white woman" is Red Wolf himself (Bill, construction worker, what evidence more do we need?)
Posted by: fragsel | March 11, 2017 5:46 AM
Posted by: fnord12 | March 11, 2017 12:16 PM
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