Scott Wilson. Image supplied, 2022.
We all know about Marvel’s The Avengers and DC’s Justice League, but now it’s time for a new age of comics. Get ready for the world’s first Aboriginal superhero universe, or as Scott Wilson likes to call it the ‘Indigiverse’ (SBS, 2022).
Scott Wilson is a proud Gooniyandi and Gadgerong man from the remote Muludja community (east of Fitzroy Crossing, WA) who grew up in Broome on Yawuru Country. Ever since Scott was a kid, he’s always had a vivid imagination and passion for storytelling, drawing and comic books. In high school, he had the idea of creating an Aboriginal superhero universe where the main characters are inspired by his ancestors and the Dreaming. With this in mind, he conceptualised the Aboriginal superhero character ‘Dark Heart.’ Fast-tracked to now, Scott’s idea that he’s built on for more than a decade has finally come into fruition! (SBS, 2022).
In January, Scott dished to Triple M’s podcast ‘The Mitchell & Michael Show’ (2022) that Dark Heart will be the first installation of Scott’s Indigiverse that will host five superhero storylines. Scott also mentioned that the next character will be called ‘Dream Walker’ - a "female powerhouse" celebrating strong Blak women.
Further, Scott informed the National Indigenous Times (2022) that Dark ‘Adam’ Heart’s storyline centres around him being a Gooniyandi ancestor from WA living in today’s era, but who has been displaced far away from his homelands in Sydney.
“So it’s all about him finding that identity, but also being faced with this responsibility and obligation to utilise his powers for good,” Scott said.
Scott revealed that the main character’s superpowers “comes from the power of the dreaming.” In part, Adam Heart’s journey of finding his identity, powers and place within society is reflective of Scott’s own journey.
“Once I found and understood who I was, it empowered me - based on my history, and my people, and the history of my people in my family -… to do the things that I’ve done today,” Scott told NIT (2022).
The Gooniyandi and Gadgerong man’s company Ice Cream Productions aims to publish several comics throughout the year. As such, Scott will be able to provide First Nations writers and illustrators with more opportunities to bring their stories to life, building positive, empowering representations of their people and culture in the process (Triple M, 2022).
In Scott’s interview with Triple M (2022), he explained the significance of having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation and perspective in comic books:
“I feel like there is a need for this representation…if you look over the history of comic books, for Aboriginal people, it’s always been designed and created by non-Indigenous people. But now, it’s time to really take control of that narrative.
If you look at Superman and Wonderwoman, they aren’t just superheroes, they embodied what was happening at the time. Like for Superman, it talked about Nazi Germany and actually standing up to what was happening and the political regiment and the impact of the World War at that time. And Wonderwoman represents many women fighting for women’s rights and equality…so, we need a symbol of what Aboriginal people are fighting for now.”
The first edition for the Dark Heart comic book will have First Nations language representation as well. Scott made it clear in his interview with the SBS News (2022) that the featured Gooniyandi and Miriuwung Gajerrong languages were incorporated through "complete consultation and collaboration" with Elders and language consultants of these communities.
“I am paying respect to my language, with the vision [to include other languages] because a lot of the superheros are spread out across Australia...I want to pay respect and homage to people by going to these places and working with people to bring these superheroes to life,” Scott informed SBS News (2022).
Through Scott’s inclusion of his language and culture in the Dark Heart series, he hopes that it will contribute to its sustainability and relativism in everyday life. Scott would love to one day even publish the series in different Aboriginal dialects (SBS News, 2022).
Dark Heart has been made a reality through the hard work and dedication of Ice Cream Productions’ co-founder, writer and comedian Benny Eggmolesse and award-winning comic artists Katie Houghton-Ward and Justin Randall. Under the partnership between Ice Cream Productions and Gestalt Comics, the incredible Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Bylsma has been a wonderful mentor to Scott, helping him to fine-tune, finesse and publish the comic book series. Scott and his team have also had mentoring from comic gods Marvel and DC to publish the Indigiverse (Ice Cream Productions, 2022).
Dark Heart is set to be available in hard copy form by June - in time for the Oz Comic Con!
At Yarn, we are passionate about sharing the stories of First Nations creatives, shining a light on their journeys and how they uplift and give back to their communities. So, as Scott Wilson conquers the comic book world, we hope that his stories inspire other First Nations artists and writers to share their stories their way, embracing their identities, culture and heritage in the process!
Check out Scott Wilson’s Instagram if you want to find out more about this incredible Indigenous entrepreneur, creative and mental health advocate.