Base of Operations: Toronto, ONT. Canada; Millennium City, MI. USA
Group Affiliation: Current leader of the Squadron Academy
Motivation: Upholding the good
Abilities: No superhuman abilities have been evidenced
Skills: Expert gymnast and acrobat, expert hand-to-hand combatant, expert military strategist, expert infiltrator, expert in the history and lore of the Anishinaabeg group of indigenous peoples (Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree, Mississaugas, and Algonquin), fluent in several Ojibwe dialects
Paraphernalia: The subject has a wide assortment of alien and human technology built into his costume or carried in hidden compartments. The subject has been observed using equipment similar to that used by the Shroud (UNTIL Superhuman Registry No.: 425252) such as wrist-mounted Gadroon force-shield projectors, flash-bang grenades, an EMP projector, PBX micro-explosives and a pair of molybdenum-injected Escrima sticks.
Threat Level: Delta
Twenty years ago, Deborah Harding, renowned journalist for the CBC, traveled to Lake Nipissing in central Ontario to cover a dispute between a group of land developers and the indigenous Ojibwe tribe that had turned both ugly and violent. While there, she met prominent Toronto attorney Ogichidaa (Warrior) Gaagaagishiinh, who was not only a vocal native-rights advocate but also the son of the clan shaman Waaseyaa (First-Light-from-the-Rising-Sun). As the conflict between the two groups escalated, Harding and Gaagaagishiinh fell in love and married. Their happiness was short-lived, however, as Gaagaagishiinh was killed in a hunting accident on the day his wife was to tell him that she was carrying his child.
Convinced that her husband had been murdered, Harding decided to stay on the Reserve with Waaseyaa, until she discovered the identity of her husband’s killer and brought him to justice. Six months later, her son Michael was born. Having spent the better part of the next two years investigating her husband’s death in vain, she was about to give up and return to Ottawa and her old life when she found a piece of evidence linking her husband’s murder to a mysterious cabal in Millennium City that had actually been behind it. Leaving her son in his grandfather’s care, she traveled to Millennium City to follow up on her lead only to be shot dead in a drive-by shooting.
Now his grandson’s guardian, Waaseyaa went on a vision quest to discover the boy’s true name as was the Ojibwe way. What the shaman saw was a huge raptor, its coal-black pinions spread wide and its talons rending earth and sky. Waaseyaa did not understand the vision nor was he meant to – its meaning was for Michael to discover – yet he understood that the boy needed to be tethered to the world of his father as well as his mother. The medicine man raised the boy who came to be called Ginwaakoningwii-Gashkii-Dibik-Ayaa (Wings-Dark-as-Night) to embrace the traditions of his father and his mother – he learned the Ojibwe language, its customs, legends and history at his grandfather’s side but also learned of the ways of his mother’s people by attending school outside the Reserve.
Michael excelled academically and athletically and, as he matured, became increasingly aware of not only the plight of the First Nations but of all people too weak to help themselves. After coming of age, he moved to Toronto to follow in his father’s footsteps and become the voice for those that could not speak for themselves. Yet, visions began to haunt him – visions of his parents reaching out to him from beyond the grave, their voices crying out for justice. Vowing to bring his parents’ killers to justice, he hid his identity behind a sombre costume inspired by the terrifying image from his grandfather’s vision quest and assumed the name Darkwing.