There have been a half-dozen takes on a Marvel Comics Cheyenne hero going by “Red Wolf”. This one first appeared in 2015.
He was in the 1872 alternate-reality mini-series. The clearest way to distinguish this version is thus to call him “the Red Wolf from Earth-15513”. It’s unwieldy, but unambiguous.
I considered writing this a few years back. But the writer of pivotal Red Wolf material has been for years on lists of people-whom-women-in-the-comics-industry-should-avoid-for-safety-reasons. So I let time pass to avoid the appearance of promoting the book.
- Real Name: Red Wolf.
- Other Aliases: “Hunky McSexy” (according to Tilda Johnson).
- Known Relatives: Luyu (mother, presumably deceased).
- Group Affiliation: Former deputy of the Santa Rosa PD (Taos County, NM). Former partner of Hawkeye. Associate of the Avengers. Partner of Lightning.
- Base of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 6’3″ (1.90m). Weight: 230 lbs. (104 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Black.
Powers & Abilities
Red Wolf is a huge guy, with a near-peak-human physique.
He demonstrated heroic levels of strength, fighting ability, reflexes, endurance, agility and accuracy.
Red Wolf can fight even street-level super-heroes who are hand-to-hand combat experts.
He’s fast enough to harmlessly catch a pair of Taser™ needles shot at him.
And he’s accurate enough to hit a running man in the head at 40 paces, using a time-honoured weapon of the West – the thrown bottle of Coors.
He’s also a capable hunter, tracker, axe– and knife-thrower, wrangler, survivalist, equestrian, sticks fighter, sharpshooter and acrobat. He’s still a so-so driver, though.
According to his mum, he never showed any fear even as a boy. His fatalistic outlook seems to help with that.
He’s also exceptionally observant. Mr. Wolf can spot a tripwire at night, in the grass, while discussing.
He also possesses well-above average intelligence.
Mama said knock you out
Red’s mum was a forest
witch wise woman. She had special knowledge, and apparently determined that her son would be an agent of justice.
She also taught him to talk to wolves. These animals will normally agree to fight at Red Wolf’s side, as long as his cause is just.
Now, Red Wolf doesn’t run into wolves too often. But if he does the whole pack will likely accompany him. And being rushed by a wolfpack will unnerve most people.
(The Cheyenne have a number of myths about wolves, usually seen as honourable and loyal warriors.)
(One caption implies that Red Wolf lost this power circa 2017, as time travel made his memories gradually fade. I do not know whether this’ll stick.)
Red Wolf might simply be a mutant.
One notes that his mum didn’t frame his gifts in magical terms. She instead stated that there were a great many unknowns out there.
In this hypothesis, he may also have a mutation endowing him with peak human speed, perception, endurance and strength. A sort of natural Super-Soldier serum.
History — 1872 reality (Earth-15513)
In 2015, the Secret Wars destroyed the Marvel Multiverse for a time. Battleworld, a patchwork reality built by Doctor Doom, was all that was left.
This allowed for presenting alternate versions of Marvel characters.
The Old West town of Timely, seen in the 1872 LS, thus featured era-appropriate, parallel versions of Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Widow, etc..
The “Timely” name may be a reference to Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. An Old West town with this name also features in TSR Marvel Super-Heroes adventures. As a complex joke about Immortus and the history of Marvel Comics.
Mamá Wolf no crió a un tonto
The Valley of Doom was an area resembling New Mexico during the early 1870s. The town of Timely was ruled by Mayor Wilson Fisk, who also represented Governor Roxxon.
Fisk had quelled the chaos during a gold rush years before. But he was now wholly corrupt. However, he was opposed by sheriff Steven Rogers – especially since the death of Deputy “Bucky” Barnes.
Meanwhile, the Heévâhetaneo’o (Southern Cheyenne) folks of the valley faced a water crisis. The Governor had diverted the river for his mining concern, dooming them.
One of the last Cheyenne fighters, Red Wolf, crossed the entire sun-scorched valley. He was dragging a large crate of TNT to blow up the dam.
But after this feat of endurance, he was captured by Roxxon’s men. They were about to lynch him when Sheriff Rogers forcefully interfered.
Fear the widow’s bite
The sheriff insisted on a fair trial, but the town was too corrupt. The Governor sent killers after Rogers and his prisoner, led by Bullseye. Red Wolf defeated Elektra, but the sheriff was shot in the back by Bullseye.
The widow Natasha Barnes hid Red Wolf in her house. She had long thought that Deputy Barnes had been killed by the Cheyenne. But Rogers now thought that Fisk had been the real murderer. A former assassin, Mrs. Barnes was now hell-bent on revenge against the Mayor.
Red Wolf and Barnes struck a deal. With the help of apothecary Bruce Banner, she’d blow up the Roxxon dam while the Cheyenne confronted Fisk and his men. Though the assassin didn’t expect her ally to prevail in Timely, that would still facilitate her elimination of Fisk.
Die with your boots on
Red Wolf rearmed with Natasha’s help. He also claimed Steve’s sheriff star, to honour the fallen’s dedication to justice.
In town, Wolf found unexpected allies. Miss Carol Danvers’ Women’s Rights League was causing a ruckus, and alcoholic ex-inventor Tony Stark had just created an iron suit to avenge Sheriff Rogers.
In the end, Red Wolf and his allies prevailed. He even managed to arrest Mr. Fisk, though Mrs. Natasha then murdered the ex-Mayor in cold blood.
Red Wolf became the new sheriff, upholding the rule of law in Steven Rogers’ memory. Once elections resumed he formed a ticket with Carol Danvers. She was elected Mayoress and he Sheriff, both serving for multiple terms.
Old West Avengers
The last page implied that a Timely team of “Avengers of the West” formed with :
- Sheriff Wolf.
- Missus Barnes.
- Tony Stark.
- An unidentified feller. Possibly the Falcon (Sam Wilson), who like the others had his first popularity peak during the 1970s.
However, Red Wolf was alone when he was next seen, investigating strange murders. He ended up tangling with a time traveller with advanced weaponry.
During this fight, he was accidentally chronoported to Earth-616, in 2016.
I guess that Joseph Fire Crow was the most famous Cheyenne musician (he died in 2017). He was an accomplished flutist, playing what I guess is a siyotanka.
So here’s some nice, relaxing flute music.
History – Earth-616
Sheriff Red Wolf ended up in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. He was picked as a vagrant and likely mental patient by Deputy Daniela Ortiz.
Wolf was shocked and disoriented by his new reality. Yet he soon deduced that he had been transported into the future.
(The story implies that once Battleworld was gone, its Valley of Doom area was “reintegrated” with Earth as 1870s Santa Rosa, Taos County, New Mexico. So on the post-Battleworld Marvel Earth, the “Old West Avengers” with Red Wolf may have existed there. The name “Timely” likely never existed post-Battleworld.)
Lobo played with fire and dreamed of open spaces
Santa Rosa was beset by narcotics trafficking, being on a major import axis. When Deputy Ortiz and Sheriff Knight found themselves boxed in by meth brewers, Red Wolf intervened.
Sheriff Knight had no idea what to do with the undocumented vagrant. But he wanted to treat him fairly for saving his life. Sticking around, Red Wolf used his impressive talents to help Knight.
The war against traffickers eventually killed Sheriff Knight. Deputy Daniela Ortiz carried on with the fight. Though she didn’t like Red Wolf, she needed his help. The Santa Rosa law enforcement was grossly underfunded and she was now the only officer.
During this span, Wolf also had another inconclusive clash with the time-travelling murderer. This man was surveying this area at different points in time.
Hungry like the wolf
The heroic Red Wolf was instrumental in stopping the murderers of Sheriff Knight.
When he and Ortiz were badly outnumbered, Wolf “deputised” a pack of Kentucky wolves, who had drifted into the area. The animals killed a gang of smugglers/bikers who had been called in as reinforcements.
With Knight’s death, Ms. Ortiz reluctantly became Sheriff. She officially deputised Red Wolf.
However, much of the issues facing Santa Rosa had to do with Mayoral corruption and investors malfeasance. In the long run, it wasn’t something Red Wolf could do much against.
Furthermore, Sheriff Ortiz remained curt and controlling toward Deputy Wolf.
Down by the water
Another long-standing issue was water contamination.
Tap water had not been drinkable for years, due to industrial leaks into the one local spring. This spring was located on the Eastern Keewazi desert reservation of Sweet Medicine.
(The Keewazi are a fictional Native American tribe in the Marvel Universe. They are chiefly associated with longtime Fantastic Four friend and ally Wyatt Wingfoot. But Mr. Wingfoot was in turn inspired by real-world Sac and Fox athlete Jim Thorpe .)
In 2017 there was a spurt of media attention about this water crisis. To Sheriff Ortiz’s annoyance, this drew in outside activists, including the wandering Hawkeye (Clint Barton).
She assigned Deputy Wolf as a minder for Hawkeye.
I’m lost but I’m not stranded yet
The contamination turned out to be a plot to steal massive quantities of water from the Keewazi. Hawkeye, Red Wolf and local young toughs the Fireheart cousins derailed this plot. They even took down the mercenary Hydro-Man using a taser.
Feeling increasingly adrift, Mr. Wolf then accompanied Mr. Barton in his wanderings.
As they roamed, they battled ordinary gangs. In the Chicago area, they also allied with Deadly Nightshade (Tilda Johnson) and Nighthawk (Raymond Kane) to secure an accidentally reactivated S.H.I.E.L.D. sleeper base.
Though the group didn’t have a name, Hawkeye was sort of the leader. It is therefore considered an obscure offshoot of the Avengers.
Johnson joined the duo, preferring to work with them than with Nighthawk. Though she was sexually interested in Red Wolf, he did not return this attention.
Nico “Wheels” Wolinski also reluctantly joined, as he owed Hawkeye a favour.
The quartet then intervened to prevent Skrull fundamentalists from finishing their mission to kill Skrull pacifists hiding on Earth.
Secret Empire (part 1)
During the Hydra takeover of the US in 2017, this team became a branch of the Avengers Underground resistance. Silas and Frank Fireheart joined. Ms. Johnson took on the identity of the recently deceased Nighthawk (Raymond Kane).
They worked in rural areas, and had LMDLife-Model Decoy. A lifelike robot double. soldiers as additional manpower. They were generally successful in turning farmers against Hydra, then win more hearts and minds by illegally distributing food. They exploited Hydra’s lack of interest in the low-density areas.
Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) then drafted Hawkeye away for her team. But Hawkeye arranged for obscure heroes Tarantula (Maria Vasquez), Challenger (William Waring) and Toro (Benito Serrano) to replace him.
Secret Empire (part 2)
The team and their supporters rebased at the Pine Ridge res, an Oglala Lakota territory in South Dakota. Puma (Thomas Fireheart) also seemed present.
This small army located a hidden S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker. Thus, they could rearm just in time to meet a large Hydra military force in the field.
The outcome of this pitched battle is unknown. But attempts at a final stand near Pine Ridge have not had, historically, the greatest success rate.
Hydra’s hold was eventually broken and their master plan foiled.
Deep in the Earth…
Red Wolf and Hawkeye apparently resumed their wanderings as a crime-fighting duo.
In 2018, the Grandmaster and the Challenger stole the Earth as part of a game. They put most heroes and villains there into stasis. But part of the Avengers, the Lethal Legion and the Black Order remained active as game pieces.
The last round of the game took place in New Mexico, and Hawkeye and Red Wolf rode in to reinforce the Avengers.
Scrutinising the battle, Red decided to rush the prize. Even though touching it meant disappearing – perhaps disintegration. The risks for the planet were otherwise too great.
… cover me with pretty lies
He seized just the right moment to lunge in. That brought the game to a draw as Wolf vanished in a flash of light.
His intuition was correct. The suspended Red Wolf was encased within the prize in the game room. As was the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) who had previously gone for the same sacrifice play.
The two heroes and the Earth were saved after Lightning (Miguel Santos) challenged the Grandmaster to a game of poker.
When Avengers Mansion was rebuilt (again), a new monument was erected to commemorate this victory. Though Red Wolf doesn’t appear to formally be an Avenger — it’s unclear — he was among the heroes depicted by this statue.
Wherever I may roam
Mr. Wolf then paired up with Lightning to fight crime in Texas. They took down a renegade A.I.M. cell.
Red Wolf’s size varies between artists. I picked the vitals I observed in Occupy Avengers, which was the most recent stuff with Red Wolf I had read when I started research.
He once explained that the pattern drawn on his face is a protection against evil. It was presumably done by his mum.
He also wears a distinctive pendant with a wolf head, and claws.
His bracer (right wrist, with triangular Native patterns) may also be from his mother.
Mr. Wolf has occasionally been complimented about his lush, shiny hair.
When he speaks to wolves, his eyes become orange and wolf-like.
In Chicago, Red wore a big leather trench coat, with a distinctive collar protecting the entire neck and lower face from the weather. This was presumably a visual reference to 2001 movie Brotherhood of the wolf. And specifically Mani (Marc Dacascos’ Iroquois character).
(Brotherhood is also one of the very few French movies that met genuine commercial success in the US. Along with Amélie and La cage aux folles, I guess.)
A stoic, contemplative and serious fellow. He prefers observing over speaking.
If the game had a Gravitas score, Red Wolf would have many many points in it.
Red speaks in a very precise way, with well above-average diction. The effect is reinforced by his late 1700s sense of politeness and decorum, especially toward ladies. One imagines that his Tsėhésenėstsestȯtse is *even* more articulate.
(My guess would be that he learned most of his English from books his mother had. Since he sometimes speaks like the protagonist of a highbrow XVIth century novel.)
His mum taught him to observe, deduce and understand rather than rush in and punch stuff.
Mr. Wolf has pieced together many things about his new era. But there still are unexplored areas. For instance he didn’t get Tilda Johnson’s XXIst century sexual innuendo at all, since he had little reason to “study” this before.
Not all those who wander
Red doesn’t belong anywhere. He didn’t really live with a Native polityGeneral term for an organised group (a tribe, a democracy, a theocracy…), having been raised by his mother in an isolated cabin. He constantly ran into racism while he worked in 1872 Timely, never being accepted.
And now he’s time-lost, and his Battleworld memories are apparently fading.
Wolf was raised to very high standards of behaviour, ethics, altruism, respect and the like. The real world out there is thus underwhelming, and difficult to join for real.
Red Wolf has taken to roaming, Lone Ranger style, to find himself.
He seems to have little interest in romance and/or sex. But he eventually developed an interest in Tilda Johnson, after months of her loudly insisting.
Now the stranger started talkin’ / Made it plain to folks around…
Red Wolf was inspired by Steve Rogers’ courage and dedication to the rule of law. The town of Timely was something of a pisshole, and the Cheyenne quickly came to appreciate how important a courageous Sheriff, judges and other officials were in making it liveable.
The rule of law apparently works well with the ethics taught by his mum. It also separates what he can do as a fighter/sheriff, and more in-depth work by judges.
As his memories eroded, this aspect of his personality became less marked.
Red Wolf also came to assume that he had died, then returned to life in the future. That makes him fatalistic about dying, and contributes to his courage.
“I have given my life to one mission. Fixing the river. We lost the war, we lost our home, but we are not losing the water. Coming to Timely taught me I have two problems: the dam, and the men that built it. I will only live to destroy one. You two destroy the dam.”
“I defer to your jurisdiction, Miss Deputy Daniela. It is not my place to arrest a wanted convict. But when I see danger I am compelled to act.”
(To a dozen angry wolves) “Something is wrong here. Let us right it.”
Luyu: “Hello, son. How is the civilised world ?”
Red: “Not very civil. In frequent need of the law.”
“There’s a killer afoot and it’s imperative I find him.”
(To a truck driver) “Cease ! Stop the carriage !”
Red Wolf: “You speak as if we are in this together.”
Hawkeye: “And you speak like you graduated from Dr. Chumley’s school of proper diction and grammar.”
“We must determine whether the others are sufficiently incapacitated.”
Hawkeye: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”
Red Wolf: “What did you just say ?”
“You are not the first to try and kill me. And if you are the last, some will be taking that journey with me. The choice is up to you. Stand down… or I will break you.” (wins the fight at about that point) “You were warned.”
“‘You cannot take the path until you see it’. My mother spoke these words of wisdom to me when I was a boy. She always had grace and poise, even in the face of ignorance and hate. Her example kept me true, especially in times of great strife. She taught me how to look at things.”
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Red Wolf is already a reality exile, so he could have popped up anywhere and anywhen.
You could also play with the notion of versions of the Marvel characters having existed in the DCU during the 1870s and 1880s, and interaction with suitable DC characters.
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 08||Str: 04||Bod: 05|
|Int: 09||Wil: 07||Min: 07|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 06||Spi: 07|
|Init: 026||HP: 035|
Animals summoning: 07, Speak with animals: 05
Bonuses and Limitations:
All Powers are limited to wolves.
Acrobatics*: 08, Animal handling: 06, Martial artist: 07, Military science (Tracking, survival): 08, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry*: 08
Familiarity (1800s Cheyenne lore), Language (Tsėhésenėstsestȯtse and possibly others), Sharp Eye.
Hawkeye (High), Deadly Nightshade (Low), Lightning (Low), Wolves (Low)
Misc.: depending on the time and location, Mr. Wolf may run into racial prejudice.
- He occasionally fights with paired sticks. These do not seem to be police batons, but 40cm (15¾”) hardwood fighting sticks [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Enhance (Wrestling/Grappling EV): 01 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Blunt)].
- He learned how to use a smartphone, and carries one. Mr. Wolf likes to use it to search for information.
In the 1870s, Wolf usually had a hunting knife and a period revolver.
Uncharacteristically, I’m *slightly* highballing him compared to a strict reading of the material. My impression was that he has noticeably high Attributes and Skills and we have yet to see his full potential.
By contrast, I kept the Hero Points conservative. On the other hand, he tends to observe then concentrate his HPs into one, decisive move. This likely saved Earth once.
DEX 09 is even a possibility, though I err more toward a 08. His high Initiative allows him to take Initiative-based combat Manoeuvres against most opponents, anyway.
Me highballing a bit means being more or less with the stats Mayfair would have given him.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Writeup completed on the 3rd of December, 2019.