Jill Tomahawk: woman, cop and Native American … Marvel really tried all the possible combinations in the 70’s, didn´t they?
I confess that the reason why I chased Red Wolf #8 was King Cycle (more about him some other day, just look at the cover below, the urgency of the “NOW! SET IN THE HOLOCAUST OF TODAY!“, brilliant stuff), but Jill Tomahawk captured my imagination by surprise.
Much like Lucretia Jones, here we have one of Marvel’s attempts at creating “strong” women as background characters that never really took off. In Jill’s case, and as far as I know, only appeared in this issue and the next one. This is one of these cases where I feel really curious about what was going on behind the scenes, as there are just too many possible scenarios … I mean, sure, there seems to be an editorial effort to include libbed women in the 70’s, but were they aware of how many times the word “pig” (coming from a woman in reference to a man’s behaviour) appeared in Marvel Comics each month? Did they decide it was not very subtle or did they move on to the next thing?
Before we get to the Jill Tomahawk story, allow me to include another example:
The Avengers page and Red Wolf #8 both appeared in 1973, as did the couple of Daredevil issues with Lucretia Jones (who didn’t call any man a pig, but only because she was lucky enough to work with suave Ashley Sanders). Both Lucretia and Jill disappeared shortly after from the Marvel Universe, the Scarlet Witch being too established a character for them to be able to put aside. Am I going crazy or did something happen in 1974? Maybe someone at Marvel didn’t like feminists? Or maybe it was the readers?
Anyway, this is by no means an analysis, I will leave this to brainier minds with a bit of time in their hands … I mean, there’s probably someone who wrote about this already somewhere else.
Didn’t plan to write that much (saying so little at the same time, but that’s the problem with stream of consciousness blogs), so here’s the first part of Jill Tomahawk’s story:
You will agree with me, that’s a pretty meaty first appearance for a character you are not planning to use, but to be fair, Red Wolf was cancelled with issue 9. After this scene, Red Wolf goes back to his flat and talks to his best furry friend and gives him a piece of his mind about his new friend:
Here’s my (very humble) tribute to all the female characters of Marvel that were forgotten in 1973 … You still live in our hearts: