Cree heroine from northern Ontario is Justice League’s newest superhero

DC Comics has announced it will be including a new superhero in its Justice League Unlimited series who is a Cree teenager. (DC Comics)

A teenage First Nation education advocate from northern Ontario is a hero — literally.

This month, Equinox will debut in a new DC comic, "Justice League United."

Her five-issue story arc will be dubbed "Justice League Canada."

Equinox is the alias of 16-year-old advocate Miiyahbin of Moose Factory, Ontario. Her power comes for the Earth and changes with the seasons.

"Creating a teenage female superhero was interesting to me because, generally, most superheroes are white males. We need diversity and we need different personalities," Toronto-based writer Jeff Lemire tells CBC News.

"You need very distinct voices for personalities on the team or else you just start writing the same character in a different costume."

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Lemire says he's excited to create a hero from his home country. When he landed a Justice League America assignment, he pitched a new angle: his home and native land.

"Not just put the CN Tower in the background and call it Justice in Canada," he says. "I wanted to put it in a rural setting because I think that's a really interesting thing: to take these big, bombastic superhero stories and put them in a very quiet setting, where you normally wouldn't see those characters."

Lemire says he was inspired by the story of Shannen Koostachin, a 15-year-old Cree activist who died in a car crash in 2010.

"I think if I can capture some of that heart and some of that essence in this character, perhaps she'll almost be a guiding spirit in the creation of this character," he said last fall.

Lemire travelled north for research, spending time in classrooms and engaged in the local scene, welcoming feedback on his ideas from residents.

He listened to Moose Factory musician and comic book fan Nathan Cheechoo, who advised him to “take away all that stereotypical imagery and get down to basic principles” in the new comic.

Cheechoo says the project tells his community that "we're just as important as Superman, Clark Kent, Batman and all these people. That's something I want [my kids] to share with friends."

Equinox will make her debut in "Justice League United #0," available on April 23.

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