Dylan T.

Lethbridge, Alberta

Southern Alberta Regional Heritage Fair

We Stand on Guard for Thee: Canadian Superheroes and National Identity

This project is about Canadian superheroes and how they are important to our heritage. I will show how they represent our national identity as a diplomatic, outdoor-loving, and polite country.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I learned that the first and most famous superhero - Superman - was co-created by a Canadian artist. Discovering that he was "secretly" Canadian helped me to learn about "cultural poaching." This idea refers to the ways that fans borrow certain artworks or pop culture products and make them their own, or just think of them differently. In fact, most of our Canadian superheroes were created this way by Canadian writers and artists.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I have learned that reading comic books can actually make us feel proud of our country. It is unfortunate that today we just read American comics, and not our own. I would like to encourage people to discover some old great Canadian comics, and hopefully create new ones!

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

One of Canada's most famous superheroes was Captain Canuck. When he was created in 1975, there was a huge rage of popular patriotism in the country, which came from events like the creation of the Canadian flag in 1965, Expo 67 and the 1972 Summit Series. This patriotism lead to his success, but today there is not the same amount of excitement about being Canadian. Even worse, now we don't have anyone like Captain Canuck to read and enjoy!