Let’s face it, in general, Canadian superheroes either suck fermented horse testicles or they’re simply super, super lame. Of course the years have not been totally unkind to us as we’ve been blessed with the two obvious exceptions to lame testicality in the forms of Wolverine and Captain Canuck, but we can’t exactly hang our hats on those two bad asses forever. And, really guys? Don’t make me mention the fact that it’s been FORTY freakin’ years since those dudes were created. You’d think that somebody somewhere in the majestic vastness of the Great White North would’ve been able to cobble together at least one more iconic hero to capture the imagination of not only young Canucks but folks around the world… And, no, Scott Pilgrim doesn’t count.

Alas, they have not, and at this point it’s getting more than a little sad. It’s not like we don’t have a lot to work with or anything.

Get out of here, Benton Fraser! You dreamy bastard!

As a proud Canadian I know there’s more to us than just politeness, hockey, and wicked awesome free health care but our contributions to the world of superheroing have rarely reflected that. Our heroics in wartime are legendary, our advances to science and technology are disproportionately massive when compared to our population, and the contributions we’ve made to awkward cinematic man-boys are distinctly Michael Cera-shaped. Where are our heroes that reflect these accomplishments? Where are our heroes that celebrate them?

The answer is here, and it’s called TRUE PATRIOT.

TRUE PATRIOT (FREE COMIC BOOK DAY)

CREATORS – Scott Chantler, Jay Stephens, Jack Briglio, Ron Salas

When I first heard about the TRUE PATRIOT project, there was a bit of apprehension mixed in with the stoke-age. A Canadian-centric graphic novel featuring tales of brand new Canadian heroes executed by an all-Canadian collection of comic industry bad asses? What’s not to like?

As sample images and character concepts started making their way onto the internet, that apprehension began to fade and was gradually replaced with a palpable excitement. Literally every piece of concept art, every sample image, every character profile was unique, intriguing, and didn’t seem to be going for the low-hanging stereotypical fruit.  As I established earlier, we Canucks don’t exactly have the best of track-records when it comes to four-colour heroics so it’s nice to finally have something to point to and say, “THIS! We are also good!”

When Free Comic Book Day rolled around, we here at Geek Hard were lucky enough to be supplied with a sampling of the upcoming TRUE PATRIOT graphic novel. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to finally see what everything has been building to. I was not disappointed. With stories featuring RED ENSIGN, ARROWHEAD, and DOMINION JACK, we get a solid cross-section of the types of heroes the True Patriot team has assembled as well as a good idea of the quality level we can expect from the complete graphic novel. SPOILER: It’s high.

In the tale of RED ENSIGN, Scott Chantler introduces us to a Canadian adventurer that looks to follow the Captain America archetype. Thankfully, he deftly avoids the pitfalls that other such characters have been unable to steer clear of in the past and in doing so provides readers with a new hero that I’d gladly display on my t-shirt. Framed as a vintage WWII newsreel, we’re able to thrill along with a pair of the Ensign’s young fans as he buckles swashes in a variety of locales. The beautiful art and authentic newsreel tone combine to make this tale a particular favourite amongst a collection comprised entirely of winners.

Following that, the story presented in ARROWHEAD surprises with its roots in the most intriguing mystery in Canadian aviation history, unique look, and the titular hero’s cultural background (one which is criminally underrepresented in comics). I was especially impressed with how the story somehow managed to feel densely packed with info yet still maintained a breezy pace.

To close the book out, DOMINION JACK brings us another fun and unique spin on an old comic book trope, this time in the form of the hero/sidekick dynamic. Featuring a dysfunctional father/daughter duo, Dominion Jack brought it with fantastic art, a wonderful scrip, and a big heaping dollop of Canadiana. I need more.

You can probably tell by now that I loved the absolute hell out of this book. Considering TRUE PATRIOT is a title I already had absurdly high expectations for that’s no small feat, as it probably would’ve been fairly easy to leave me disappointed. As it stands, I can’t wait for July when we’ll finally get the opportunity to read the complete TRUE PATRIOT and thrill to the tales of a brand-new batch of Canuck heroes that I’m now sure will appeal not only to Canadians, but to people around the world as well.

Heroes that are most definitely not lame.

A new group of Canadian masked avengers that are not only not terrible, but are, in fact, awesome?

You’re so WEIRD, Multiverse!

…and that’s why I love you.

And remember, if you’re gonna GEEK OUT, GEEK HARD!

To See Kris’s comic work, visit www.bizarrecomicsonline.com

Follow Kris on Twitter @krisjjohnson

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