And help is on the way according to this outstanding new “super stories” anthology: the Grey Hoodie hails from Toronto, Hudson Hawk is up north in Yukon, Muscle Girl patrols Manitoba, the Seamstress has a shop in Vancouver, Captain Polar and Kid Wonder call Maple Leaf City their home, Circe can be found in Calgary, Lars Mackenna is from Saskatchewan, and from all corners of the Dominion, the Guardians of Canada are always on patrol. Clearly, there’s more to Canada than just Captain Canuck and Wolverine.
Superheroes are commonly considered to be a quintessential American creation. Starting from the day Superman leapt over his first tall building back in 1938, the superhero genre has captured the imagination of the entire culture. But superheroes don’t belong solely to the United States of course. Joe Shuster, the co-creator of the most iconic superhero of them all, was Canadian. And his heritage and upbringing undoubtedly informed the Man of Steel with a uniquely un-American perspective. There’s no getting around it, there’s a little bit of Canada in Superman.
When you think about it, Canada might actually be a better home for superheroes and their wacky idiosyncrasies. In the U.S., the melting pot encourages homogeny. But in Canada, the cultural mosaic embraces diversity. And nothing could be more diverse than the Intrepids, the warriors of Xun Long, and Keira, the Shield Maiden. In Canada, these heroes can proudly carry their guidon into battle. In the U.S., superheroes must live in semi-exile in a dank bat cave or a spooky sanctum sanctorum.
With this in mind, the editors of Mask Mosaic have assembled a book of short stories about superheroes and their shared Canadian identity. It is a terrific accomplishment. Every single story looks at superheroes in a new light. And every single story successfully redefines what it means to be a Canadian hero. And as an added bonus, the stories are split evenly between male and female authors. A tip of the RCMP cap to both Claude Lalumière and Camille Alexa for flexing their mighty editorial muscles. Canada has always deserved its own superhero community beyond Alpha Flight and Wolverine.
[Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories / Edited by Claude Lalumière and Camille Alexa / First Printing: February 2013 / ISBN: 9780991836901]