Atwood is joining the burgeoning ranks of literary writers who are trying their hand at superhero comics. Next year, fans of the mask and cape genre will be able to enjoy not just Coates’ Black Panther series but also Atwood’s Angel Catbird.
To be released by Darkhorse Comics and drawn by Johnnie Christmas, Angel Catbird follows the adventures of a genetically spliced hero who has traits of both a cat and and an owl. As rendered by Christmas, Catbird looks to be a cousin of the 1940s superhero Hawkman. Readers of Atwood’s MaddAddam science fiction trilogy will know that genetic splicing is a longstanding interest. Those novels featured such novelities as pigoons (a pig with human stem cells). Nor is cartooning a new interest for Atwood. In her essay collection In Other Worlds, she reflected on her childhood love of heroes like Superman and Captain Marvel, as well as some youthful comic books she did, involving heroic rabbits. So Atwood’s return to making comic books about animal-themed heroes is completing the circle.