Another superpowered teen will soon join the lineup of Marvel Comics' Champions: a young Inuk named Snowguard, aka Amka Aliyak.
Amka debuted last month in Champions #19 in the opening pages of the first issue from new creative team Jim Zub and Sean Izaaske. When she investigates a strange factory in her home of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, she discovers a villain is using the land's spiritual energy. In the process of stopping him, she winds up with powers of her own. Namely, the ability to take on animal traits and shapeshift.
"She can gain strength, stamina, and speed along with fur, claws, a powerful bite, antlers, or even feathered wings," Zub told CBC, adding that sometimes her shapeshifting will reflect her moods in addition to her needs.
For help with Amka's development, Zub went to Nyla Innuksuk, founder of the VR production company Mixtape, who's Inuit and grew up in Igloolik and Iqaluit. Innuksuk was initially hesitant upon learning about Zub's plans to add an Inuit character, but said she appreciated that he came to her early in Snowguard's development. She was also drawn to the character because she's not another Indigenous woman portrayed as a victim. "To see a powerful young person who is fighting back against what she sees as wrong has the potential to make a real difference," Innuksuk said.
Amka will join the Champions as Snowguard in Issue 21, which goes on sale in June.
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