It is no secret that Canadians are under represented in the mainstream comic book world, with perhaps the exception of Marvel Comics, which has a significant amount of Canadians in their Universe, besides their Canadian superteam Alpha Flight (although most of the females are in Alpha Flight).
And when it comes to female superheroes, they are a rare breed indeed all across, although Marvel can be commanded again for having a team that is more or less balanced in terms of genders and several of their team members do figure prominently in our little list.
While we try our best here at Heroes of the North to keep a balanced team with a healthy dose of kick ass heroines, we thought it would be cool to make a list of our top ten favourites.
Without further ado, here is our list of top ten Canadian female superheroes:
10. Lady Canuck:
This should be more an honourable mention more than anything but we could not even find ten real female Canadian superheroes! There are a few variations of Captain Canuck as a female floating around the web, apparently the result of some contest.
Writer Jeff Lemire is apparently creating a Cree superhero called Equinox for his Justice League of Canada book but since we have not yet read it, it is hard to pass judgement at this point. Definitely an odd costume choice though.
9. Marrina (Alpha Flight)
Marrina is from an alien species known as Plodex. Her egg was found by Tom Smallwood, a fisherman in Newfoundland, who gave it to his wife Gladys. When Gladys broke the shell she imprinted Marrina with Human female DNA. Marrina grew up mostly normal, except for her odd appearance. She came to the attention of Alpha Flight and was part of the team in the first incarnation and has been on and off ever since.
Being an alien, she has a complicated history (not to mention a cheesy origin) and her powers are more or less linked to water: she is an amphibian, able to swim at tremendous speeds and has limited control over water. She also secretes at will a substance that renders her attacker temporarily blind and has some shape shifting abilities.
Not the most interesting character but there are so few female Canadian heroes, she is worth a mention.
8. Talisman (Alpha Flight):
Yet another Alpha Flight Member, Talisman is the daughter of Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen aka Shaman, another member of Alpha Flight. She is an archeologist who focus on First Nations findings and artefacts. She has a strained relation with her father, who could not save her dying mother as a child, despite promising her he would. She has inherited some mystical powers and as a result, been forced to re-establish contact with her father. She is a reluctant superhero most of the time, one of the rare Alpha Flight members not trained by the Canadian government, and quite frankly, a bit of a First Nation cliché character.
7. Nanook (Northern Guard)
Created by our pal Ty Templeton because of rights issues in regards to Nelvana and therefore strongly reminescent of both Nelvana and Snowbird, Nanook Iluak is also an Inuit goddess, both powerful and somewhat at odds with the human woman she shares her form with. As Anne Knight, she is the romantic interest of Johnny Canuck in the story that was attempting to revive the old Canadian Golden Age heroes. While the characterization was very interesting and we would have like to see more of her, there is one thing that always stood out: the costume is silly, even for a northern goddess and despite the obvious Frazetta-esque inspiration… Sorry Ty!
6. Snow Bird (Alpha Flight):
Strongly inspired by Nelvana (her mother is Nelvanna - see how clever that is?), Snowbird is yet another Inuit demigodess with strangely blonde hair that shares a body with a human, she is a shape shifter destined to fight the mystical evil forces of the Ancients Ones. While not the worst character of its ilk - it falls prey to the typical cliché of First Nations characterization: make the character mystical and mysterious, throw in some primordial deities and call it a day. We have nothing against using religious symbols, rituals and deities but when it is almost the only thing that defines the character as First Nations, it is lazy. Characters are individuals, first and foremost and while being of First Nations will certainly influence who they are, wrapping that up with just a veneer of folkloric deities is an easy way out. That being said, SnowBird was given a few stories to shine in, especially during the John Byrne Alpha Flight run, hence why she runs fairly high in the list.
This very hard to find (and as far as we know) unfinished series started as a webcomic experiment by writer Mark Shainblum and PEI illustrator Sandy Carruthers. Unfortunately, most of the material has disappeared from the interwebs and they were never published per say. Having read most of the run, we can only go from memory but the story was quite convoluted, dealing with other dimensions and Canadiana was the embodiment of the “spirit” of Canada, with flight and super strength powers. It was an interesting experiment that strayed from the typical superhero fare while retaining some of its elements. The costume was definitely something refreshing and not your conventional female superhero outfit. Definitely a breath of fresh air.
Heather McNeil is the now estranged wife of James Hudson (Guardian), leader of Alpha Flight. She herself led Alpha Flight for quite a while, changing names and costumes a few times in the tenure and enjoys a similar power set than her husband, which includes flight and some level of enhanced strength amongst other things, courtesy of the technology in the costume developped by her husband.
4. Vindicator (Alpha Flight):
She is an interesting character because she is a take charge type of person, although the early incarnation made her also weirdly smitten by her scientist husband, she eventually grew on her own as a strong independant woman, until the character got mucked up in silly alternate universe and alternate histories timeline that kind of destroyed the potential of the character in our humble opinion. Hopefully down the line they will give her back some dignity.
3. Aurora (Alpha Flight):
Possibly the most interesting of all the female Alpha Flight characters, and not only because she has a split personality disorder, is French speaking (she is from Quebec), is a Marvel Universe mutant, has a twin (Northstar) and was raised by abusive Catholic nuns and separated in a young age from her brother.
Her powers consist of flight, superspeed and when she joins hands with her brother, they can create a bright flash of light for no particular reason, although it is useful to blind enemies.
Her multiple Personality Disorder is what makes her interesting. As Aurora, she is a carefree, sexually liberated woman with very little inhibitions. As Jeanne-Marie, she is a repressed, borderline bigot, conservative who is afraid of men and pretty much anything. The Jeanne-Marie personality seems to manifest itself in times of intense stress or fear, especially in restricted spaces as Aurora is claustrophobic.
2. Fleur-de-Lys (Northguard):
Yet another Canadian female superhero character created by Mark Shainblum, Fleur-de-Lys is an accomplished French Canadian martial artist that trains Northguard after his first not so successful adventure. She eventually takes the mantle and costume of Fleur-de-Lys and becomes sort of the unofficial sidekick of Northguard, a role she seems to relish and enjoy. Unfortunately, the character will never really fully reach its potential as the character was never further explored. It has also the distinction of being the sole female Canadian superhero to have its own Canada Post stamp.
1. Nelvana of the Northern Lights:
Adrian Dingle was inspired to create Nelvana of the Northern Lights after his friend, Group of Seven artist Franz Johnston, told him stories about the Inuit legends Johnston had learned during a trip to the Arctic. Putting his own spin on said legends, Dingle turned Nelvana into a superhero, and sent her off to fight Axis forces and Nazis (again, this was during the 1940s). How did Nelvana get her powers? Well, her father was a god, Koliak, King of the Northern Lights. Her powers include flight, immortality (being a half-goddess), super-speed, invisibility, and can call upon the powers of the Aurora Borealis to do other stuff.
Notable for being one of the first female superheroines (there was a few more obscure characters that made it before her but she did beat the amazon Wonder Woman by three months!)
So there you have it! What do you think of our list? Who is your favourite Canadian superheroine? Let us know in the comments below!
This year we are contributing a cover featuring Fleur-de-Lys and drawn by Brad Coffey as well as a little seen 2 pages Fleur-de-Lys story by Yann Brouillette and Andre St-Amour. Additionally, writer/actor Yann Brouillette and actress Christina Sciortino (Acadia) will be there for the day and available to autograph your copies!
Long time no talk!
We have been incredibly busy behind the scenes trying to overcome several challenges on many fronts. It has been a while since we put out one of those “keeping you up to date” posts but here it is:
PRODUCTION: Completing the financing for the show for one has proven to be much harder than anticipated. Location hunting - especially finding a suitable studio at a price we can afford - has also proved to be much more difficult and it is causing delays in production of the minisodes. We are trying to iron out the issues and we hope to resume a stable release of episodes soon. We will make it up to you by producing two more minisodes, one involving 8 Ball and a mysterious new character as well as TERRA NOVA episode. Meanwhile everyone is hard at work prepping for the moment they will called...
EVENTS: We will be attending Free Comic Book Day at Fantasy Realm in Cornwall, Ontario and at La Boîte à BD de Laval this year. The event is on Saturday, May 3rd this year. We also contribute a cover for la Boîte à BD Free Comic Book Day special edition comic featuring Johnny Comix, of course, but also our very own Fleur-de-Lys, illustrated by Brad Coffey. We will also be attending the Ottawa Comicon and the Moncton Comicon this spring.
PROMOTION: The Nordik figurine is now on sale at 50% off! Get one while supplies last! It also helps us fund the show so everybody wins! MEMBERS get an even better deal in the SPECIAL OFFERS section.
COMICS: Our LEGACIES trade paperback is now available for preorder - it will be available for the Free Comic Book Day.
ROKU: Roku owners rejoice! Your favourite web series will soon be available on the ROKU network! Keep your eyes peeled for updates!
- The second part of the Nano serial is now available in the MINI-COMICS section;
- A whole lot of new offers have been added to the SPECIAL OFFERS section. Even if you are not interested in the offers themselves, it is worth a visit because you will find some casting news and interesting tidbits of info there. Take our word for it, you will not regret it!;
- GOLD MEMBERS will get to see more pictures of the progress on the Crimson figurine with members exclusive photos in the SHOOTING LOG.
The Heroes of the North wishes our fantastic cast and crew, artists, collaborators, friends, fans and supporters happy holidays and the very best for 2014!
Following in the footsteps of Bianca Beauchamp, we are happy to confirm the return of Edith Labelle as the Province of Quebec’s very own superheroine, Fleur-de-Lys… Welcome back Edith, we missed you!
From the outside, it may look like not much is happening but in fact, quite a lot is. We are in the finishing stage of wrapping up everything related to Season One, including Episode 20, the Season Finale comic, the DVD, the 440 pages mammoth trade paperback of all the stories pertaining to Season One, prepping Season 2, and updating the site in a major fashion. So please be patient in the next week or so as we have a lot of broken links. Our goal is to make the site easier to navigate, more efficient yet still packing punch! Let us know how we are doing!
Also, on April 13 and 14, Yann and Michel Brouillette, co-authors of most of our comics and several of the show’s episodes, will be in Quebec City for the Festival de la BD de Québec. They will introduce a 60 pages, extremely limited edition Fleur-de-Lys comic which they will be on hand to sign on Sunday, April 14th from 12h00-13h00 (Dimanche 14 Avril de 12h00-13h00). Also present at the event will be Marie-Claude Bourbonnais (Hornet), who will be in charge of a cosplay event.
Here is the latest Heroes of the North illustration by Michael Dooney! His interpretation of Fleur-de-Lys is simply out of this world! We are always amazed at the man’s work and look forward to his other contributions!
Trouble is brewing in Montreal as Fleur-de-Lys fights Miss Canada right in the terminal!
Here is yet another sneak peek at the upcoming artwork for the last Heroes of the North Omnibus, CODA, coming out in December. In this story by Yann Brouillette, gorgeously penciled and inked by Patrick Hénaff, Fleur-de-Lys meets her match while trying to prevent a potential terrorist attack… At least, it is the official plot line. Since the story is told backwards, you will not find out until the end what it is all about… Prepare to be shocked...
The Heroes of the North 80 pages behemoth, Omnibus volume 2, will hit the comic book stores everywhere in North America this fall - September to be precise. Yet, you should nag your favourite friendly comic book store this month (July) about it. Or, alternatively, if you live abroad or do not have a comic book store nearby, you can also pre-order it from our online store.
This is the wraparound cover for the second Omnibus, by Geof Isherwood.
Why now? What is the rush?, do you ask? Because the way it works is as follows: The book is currently being solicited now in comic book stores all across America in a magazine/catalog called Previews and published by Diamond Comics - which is pretty much the sole distributor of comics in North America for the retailers.
Retailers ie your favourite comic book store, must collect their orders during that month and submit them at the end of it to Diamond, who will in turn, inform the publishers of the minimum amount of copies the publisher needs to make to fulfill the demand, in order for everyone to minimize their risks, especially on lesser known titles like ours.
Now here is the rub: comics are a tough business these days and most retailers are pretty conservative. They usually stick to what they know and that is why they are still in business. They do not want to get stuck with stuff that does not sell and so on. And no one can blame them for that. But if their clients ask for it, they will order it. Maybe a few more, because there is a demand. And that is good for us and the show, for many reasons. Keep reading to find out why...
For the first Omnibus, the book was under ordered by a lot of retailers - most stores had ran out of the books three weeks after its release! - and they had to order more the next month. Thankfully we over printed a bit for conventions and so on - and we were (barely) able to meet up the demand. Whatever we had left for conventions has been selling like hot cakes with the end result that we have almost none left! If you want to get your hands on it, you can always visit our store or perhaps we will have some at the next convention, but that is the extent of it: a few dozens left.
The cover of the first Heroes of the North Omnibus, released in February 2012.
Now you may be thinking that we are making lots of money going through Diamond , with its extended distribution market that is so much wider than anything we could humanely cover on our own, but the truth is we are not: once you factor in the printing fees, Diamond’s own, huge distributor’s cut (60%!), our publisher’s share and other expenses like the fees of the artists and other contributors themselves, not to mention the cost of shipping at almost every steps, there is really not that much left, quite frankly. Not enough for a profit.
But going through Diamond allows us to get the book far and wide and spread the news of the shows to people we could never afford to reach otherwise. And that is why we do it and it is also why we ask you to order it from your retailers instead of through us, even though we technically lose money when you do it at this point.
As the books get more popular, get great reviews and so on, the show also gets more known and it helps on many fronts - people end up buying merchandise that is not available anywhere but in our store, they talk about the show to their friends and neighbours, they buy the next comic and so on… Allowing us to continue our growth.
And who knows, one day we might reach the critical mass in comics sales to an extent sufficient to make us a decent profit once all the people in the chain have taken their fees and all expenses are paid. We are not there yet but we are not that far off either. And with your help, we can definitely get there.
We want to do more comics and we want to keep going with the show. It is difficult but also a lot of fun and very rewarding on so many levels.
So, what can you expect in this new book, besides comics that are already on the site? As it turns out, a lot! In the first book, we only had one extra stories that appeared nowhere else. We have several more for this book. Here is a run down:
The book will feature five of the 12 pages book currently (or soon to be!) available on the site. They are:
- Nordik and 8 Ball Team-up: Chilling me softly, written by Yann Brouillette, with art by David J. Cutler, colours and lettering by Keiren Smith.
- 8 Ball and Black Terror team-up: The Bang Bang Theory, written by Yann Brouillette, with art by Gibson Quarter (with some inks by Guillermo Ortego), colours and lettering by Keiren Smith.
- The Archie style hilarious romp called Zombots being schooled, written by Yann Brouillette, with art and colours by Dan Parent and lettering by Zen.
- The tragedy packed Acadia: Pretty Clear, written by Yann and Michel Brouillette, with stunning art by Geof Isherwood, and colours and lettering by Keiren Smith.
And, last but not least, a superb story of the Canadian written by Canadian comic legend Ty Templeton, definitely the man for the job, illustrated by Daniel Wong. Those five 12 pages stories make up some two-third of the book’s sixty pages. There is twenty more to go. Here is the line up for those:
- A 12 pages, psychedelic and bat shit insane crazy Black Terror story called The Dark Alley, written by Yann Brouillette, illustrated by Zach Fisher, coloured by Aljoša Tomić and lettered by Zen. What happens in this one is so insane, we would not know where to start if we tried to explain it. So we won’t. An image should suffice:
- There is a fun little mystery three pages story called Blood Bath, featuring 8 Ball and Alpha Q, written by Yann Brouillette, illustrated by Geof Isherwood, coloured by Aljoša Tomić and lettered by Zen.
- A short but gorgeous Pacifica story called ASAP written by Yann Brouillette, with art by David Cutler, coloured by Aljoša Tomić and lettered by Zen.
- and we round up the book with a New Felquistes Halloween tale called October Crisis, written by Jean-Dominic Leduc and illustrated by Geof Isherwood.
With this line-up, we managed to feature every single characters featured on the gorgeous cover above, illustrated by Geof Isherwood. Every single one of our Heroes, and indirectly, our current main villains, made it in this 80 pages collection!
And you get all that Canadian superhero madness for six bucks! Canadian! We are not kidding, folks! As a reviewer said (about the first book): “Heroes of the North is the best bang for your buck right now in the comic book world!”. We may be biased, but we strongly agree with that! And we are bold enough to think we even topped it for the encore!
So spread the word! Like this post, tweet it, google plus it, whatever you need to do to let it be known that the time to get the book is NOW! And order it now yourselves, regardless of the way you choose to do so!
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support. And we look forward to entertain you with the book this fall!
The Heroes of the North Team
Here is the lineup of the book:
- Nordik and 8 Ball Team-up, 12 pages, by David J. Cutler, Keiren Smith and Yann Brouillette.
- 8 Ball and Black Terror Team-up, 12 pages, by Gibson Quarter, Guillermo Ortego, Keiren Smith and Yann Brouillette.
- Acadia: Pretty clear, 12 pages, by Geof Isherwood, Keiren Smith, Yann and Michel Brouillette.
- The Canadian, Fleur-de-Lys and Nordik Team-up in Zombots being schooled, 12 pages, by Dan Parent, Keiren Smith and Yann Brouillette.
- The Canadian and a CDO agent team-up,12 pages, by Richard Pace, Keiren Smith and Ty Templeton.
- ??? (12 pages): Cannot announce this one yet as we have three books currently being finished and the first one that is done wins.
plus three short stories written EXCLUSIVELY for this book!
- 8 Ball and Alpha Q in Blood Bath! by Geof Isherwood, Keiren Smith and Yann Brouillette.
- Pacifica in ASAP!, by David J. Cutler, Keiren Smith and Yann Brouillette.
- and the New Felquistes in October Crisis, an Halloween tale of mayhem, candies and lost opportunities, by Geof Isherwood, Keiren Smith, Christian Viel and Jean-Dominique Leduc!
Our figurines for the characters of Crimson (played by Bianca Beauchamp) and Fleur-de-Lys (played by Edith Labelle) are now officially sold out! We would like to thank everybody who got one. We have currently a few Canadian and Hornet figurines left and are imminently awaiting a fresh shipment of Nordik and 8 Ball, with several of the other characters figurines on their way, including Black Terror, Madame Doom and the Canadian Shield.
Olivier Raymond is selling his unsold Heroes of the North conventions sketches in our store! Get your favourite Heroes or Villains!
We will also be introducing a new section for original art. The first items will be pieces from the Fleur-de-Lys comics by Olivier Raymond and a Crimson original by Armando Huerta.
As you have no doubt noticed, the entire website is undergoing changes so this new pieces will be added over the next few days!
As for the major changes underway on the website, a blog post will go through them in details, beyond the apparent cosmetic changes. Thank you for your patience!
Well, it took a while but part three of the Heroes of the North Season One saga is now complete with the release today of Episode Fifteen: Wardrobe Malfunction.
It was one of the hardest episodes to complete for some reason, as several complications prevented us from releasing it when we wanted. But the important thing is, it’s HERE now.
This episodes sets various things in motion that will be resolved throughout Part IV: Medusa Rising next month. It is important to watch the episode all the way to the end, including after the usual logos, as it sets up events for episode sixteen and beyond.
This is one of the biggest episodes so far, over seven minutes in length, and featuring most of the main cast: Madame Doom, Crimson, Masquerade, Seymour and the Seymourettes, the New Felquists and an aggressive Zombot rounds up the villains side while 8 Ball, The Canadian and Fleur-de-Lys complete the Heroes side this time around.
Do not be shy to share on Facebook, rate or comment the episode! We love to hear what you think! As a matter of fact, you may even comment below!
The second of our brand new series of FREE WALLPAPERS is out! It features Fleur-de-Lys, as it was decided by a poll of fans who participated in an impromptu poll we held on our Facebook page. Fleur-de-Lys was a clear winner there and so here it is. Other wallpapers will follow, in order of polling numbers - so expect Nordik and the Canadian Shield next!
As usual, there is a sneak peak, of inked pages. We cannot wait for you folks to read this story, one of the best we have written so far!
Here’s the first page of the coloured version of the comic.
As usual, there is a sneak peak, of inked pages. We cannot wait for you folks to read this story, one of the best we have written so far!
Here’s the first page of the coloured version of the comic.
Since the colours are not 100% complete, we will not show them yet, despite the fact that they are already stunning. But we will give you a little sneak peek nevertheless at the first page, inked and lettered, complete with a small grammatical error that will be fixed for the final version.
Dan Parent, writer and illustrator of several Archie Comics books, and more specifically creator of Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Riverdale, has agreed to do a cover for an upcoming comic book currently entitled Zombots getting schooled by Yann Brouillette. We met the groundbreaking writer and artist at the MegaCON in Orlando this March and we must say that it has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with the man, not to mention his Canadian (and more specifically Quebec) Connection.
The fun-filled cover is ready and features The Canadian, Fleur-de-Lys and Nordik. It is our pleasure to show it to you in all its glory:
The comic will not be online for a little while however as we have to release a Fleur-de-Lys and a Hornet story before that but you can also view the piece in higher resolution from our newly revamped Galleries or procure it from our store as a reproduction.
The Heroes of the North Team