Wendigo


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Wendigo

(pop culture)
Because few places are as friendly to juxtapositions of folklore and pop culture as the fourcolor comics page, ancient American Indian tales of evil spirits such as the Wendigo provide the perfect fodder for supervillainy. Although the horror writer Algernon Blackwood's classic 1907 tale “The Wendigo” is frequently cited as the birthplace of the creature, far older Inuit lore describes a 15- feet-tall flesh-eating creature of the Minnesota north woods known as Witigo, Witiko, Wee-Tee-Go, or Wendigo, all of which translate roughly to “the evil spirit that devours mankind,” or even “cannibal” among various Great Lakes Indian tribes. According to many tribal myths, a human being who resorts to cannibalism finds himself magically transformed into a Wendigo, a large hairy snowcreature with glowing eyes, giant yellow fangs, a grotesquely long tongue—and an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Other tribes posited that any man or woman guilty of entering a pact with an evil spirit might be changed into a Wendigo, thereafter lurking in the woods, awaiting victims to murder. While the Wendigo may have served the Algonquins and other tribes as a cultural alarum concerning the evils of cannibalism, it has also treated the readership of Marvel Comics to more than three decades of entertainment. Introduced by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Herb Trimpe in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #162 (1973) as a shaggy, ravenous, superstrong adversary for the Hulk during the Bigfoot-obsessed 1970s, the role of Marvel's Wendigo is played initially by a hapless French Canadian named Paul Cartier. A Francophone named George Baptiste was the next to be transformed—Cartier gets better—battling the Hulk in the two-part saga that introduced future X-Men superstar Wolverine in the landmark Incredible Hulk #180–#181 (1974). In the early 1980s Francois Lartigue served as the next unwilling iteration of the hungry were-beast, attacking the Hulk and Alpha Flight's Sasquatch before being cured by Alpha Flight's mystic healer Shaman. In the early 1990s, guided by the pencils and prose of fan phenom Todd McFarlane, a fourth and (as of 2006) unidentified individual later served as a vessel for the Wendigo spirit, which Spider-Man and Wolverine discovered has been framed for child-murder in a small town in British Columbia. Although the Wendigo was conceived as a denizen of the backwoods, the creature has done battle with Marvel's good guys in the concrete jungles of New York City. Various Wendigos seemed to proliferate greatly over the years, bringing their fangs and talons to bear against Wolverine, Captain Marvel, the Hulk, Alpha Flight, and Wild Thing. A Wendigo once even teamed up with erstwhile Ghost Rider John Blaze (in Blaze #4, 1994)! While Marvel's take on the Wendigo legend transcended the comics page in 1998 by becoming an action figure, it has by no means supplanted the original folklore that engendered it; the underlying Indian legends continue to inspire twenty-first-century pop cultural reinterpretations, such as writerdirector Larry Fessenden's horror film Wendigo (2001). Regardless of how many two-legged snacks succeed in evading the Wendigo's maw, the creature's future seems assured.
References in periodicals archive ?
Goldman identifies Wendigo stories as "disaster narratives" (2001, 167) that emerge "in social systems in crisis" (169).
Peliculas mas recientes como Wendigo (Larry Fessenden, 2001) revelan la perpetua dependencia del genero cinematografico del temor hacia la otredad.
Le Wendigo de la mythologie des peuples Algonquins est decrit, par Margaret Atwood, comme << a giant spirit creature with a heart and sometimes an entire body of ice, and prodigious strength ; and that can travel as fast as the wind >> (1995, p.
Rare indeed is the anthology of the spectral that does not include at least one of his tales, usually "The Willows," "The Wendigo," or "The Empty House.
Firelands by Michael Jensen (Alyson)--Gay frontiersmen face a hungry wendigo in this violent novel that erases boundaries.
Scores of classic Wolverine villains including Sabretooth, Wendigo, and Magneto are waiting to be duffed up, while Beast, Rogue and Colossus come to Wolverine's aid throughout game.
Marlene Goldman's contribution concentrates on Margaret Atwood and her employment of the First Nations' construction of the Wendigo.
Also available: Dark Blue World (12); Focus (PG); Lawless Heart (15); Wendigo (15).
He initially was attracted to it, he says, because his dad used to be part-owner of a firm called the Wendigo Construction Co.
If only he'd listened to those Indian legends about the Wendigo and how eating another man's flesh cures disease and increases your strength, but also leaves you with an insatiable appetite for more, curable only by death.
From its general construction and style, as well as its size, silhouette, and the insufferable noise it makes, it may be the Wabash Cannonball, the Redball Express, the Hondo Hurricane, the Laredo Limited, the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Delight, the Erie Smoke, the Santa Fe Savage, the Missouri-Pacific Blazer, the Texas-Pacific Tornado, the Union Pacific Paramount, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Zippo, the Toonerville Trolley, the Zenith Hummingbird, the Western Pacific Wendigo, the Pennsylvania Phantom, the Long Island Stroller, or the Tuscaloosa Breeze.
The oral tradition of the Anishinaubaek is well represented here, with tales of mermaids (who can steal your soul) and the wendigo, the giant ice cannibal who haunts the winter wilderness.