February 18th, 2014 Last Updated on: February 18th, 2014
Tribal Force, released in 1996, was critically well received – even making it into “Comic Art Indigène,” a pop-culture exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Several large comic-book publishers sought to buy the rights, but Proudstar wanted to retain control of the storyline and the characters' unhappy, all-too-real backstories. Unfortunately, he lacked funding, so the project went dark for more than a decade.
The new Tribal Force, from the small independent publisher Rising Sun Comics, continues the saga. An online preview is already available, with the print version expected in April.
The god Thunder Eagle, determined to create a Native superhero team from North America's various First Nations, helps Nita, a Navajo child-molestation survivor, transform into the goddess Earth. Meanwhile, Gabriel Medicine Dog, a Hunkpapa Sioux left mute by fetal alcohol syndrome, metamorphoses into the fearsome Little Big Horn following a fatal bar fight. Together, Nita and Gabriel seek out other Native supernaturals, fighting high-tech government entities and supervillains along the way.
A onetime Hollywood chauffeur and bodyguard, Proudstar, 46, currently works as a screenwriter and independent-film actor. In 2012, he co-starred with Booboo Stewart of the Twilight franchise in the award-winning coming-of-age film Running Deer. He formed Proudstar Productions to represent and finance deserving projects, including the forthcoming Wastelander, an apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Arizona's Angelo Lopes. High Country News contributor Bryn Bailer caught up with Proudstar recently in a Tucson coffee shop.
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