Pop Culture Spotlight: Native Voices in TV, Movies, & Comics

All across pop culture, from graphic novels to TV shows, Native creators are telling their stories. If you’re looking for media that is meaningful, funny, and full of heart, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some of the most exciting pieces of recent pop culture that are Native led and created!

For History Lovers:

This Place: 150 Years Retold / 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance

First up, we’ve got a history combo. This Place is a collection of stories that weave together Indigenous lore with historical context of Canada’s post-contact past. Gord Hill’s 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance further illuminates the effects of colonization, as well as the movements of resistance that rise against it. Both of these graphic novels use powerful visuals to bring these vital perspectives to life.


Nearly every culture has a trickster. These unpredictables figures cause trouble and inspire tales of mischief — which is why we love them so much. This diverse collection of 24 trickster tales explores the many forms the trickster in Native American folklore, across all the trickster’s various wildlife personas. Trickster will definitely have you side-eyeing that raccoon you see sneaking around the trash cans.

For Comics and Manga Fans

Red: A Haida Manga

Sometimes the most unexpected mashups make for the biggest hits! Red is the latest Haida manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, a genre that blends Indigenous North Pacific lore with manga-inspired visuals. Yahgulanaas’ Haida manga is noted for incorporating the formline, a bold black line that separates yet connects the colorful panels — a bridge between genres, cultures, and communities.

Moonshot: An Indigenous Comics Collection

Super heroes really are modern legends. That’s why Moonshot: An Indigenous Comics Collection works so well, mixing everything from super powers to magical nature and fantastic space exploration. Plus, the anthology begins with an excerpt from David Mack’s Maya Lopez story for the Daredevil Vision Quest series.

Phoenix Song: Echo

Speaking of Maya Lopez, Rebecca Roanhorse’s solo comic series from this year, Phoenix Song: Echo, features Echo as she explores her new relationship to the Phoenix Force. Roanhorse has also written non-Marvel books, such as the Black Sun from the Between Earth and Sky trilogy.

Super Indian

Hubert Logan gains his super powers from tainted commodity cheese, a nod to rez life as well as a subversion of the typical power structure.Unlike many Marvel and DC Native characters, Hubert is a super hero created by someone who is Native: Arigon Starr, a Kickapoo musician as well as the writer and artist of Super Indian. Starr’s comic started off as a radio series before moving on to web comics and two printed volumes. Say cheese!

Stories of Reclaiming Power

Many contemporary works of fiction from Native, Indigenous, and First Nations creators grapple with a painful collective past and its effects on the present. If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie confronts the atrocities faced by missing and murdered Indigenous people. Another novel that mixes fiction with nonfictional history is 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga, by David A. Robertson and Scott B. Henderson. It shows one Cree family’s evolution over three centuries, including a prominent residential school storyline.

Likewise, The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings explores intergenerational trauma. Two brothers, Pete and Joey, deal with a life of gang violence and a slow, difficult path to healing.

Stream-worthy Native TV

When it’s time to kick back and relax, Mohawk Girls and Rutherford Falls provide plenty of laughs. For a darker drama, Dark Winds is an adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo detective novels — now interpreted by Chickasaw Nation citizen Graham Roland and Cheyenne-Arapho filmmaker Chris Eyre, director of the ’90s classic Smoke Signals.

Of course, one of the most prominent Native TV shows currently airing is Reservation Dogs, from Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo. Hulu’s show, in which all writers, directors, and series regulars are Indigenous, is a coming-of-age comedy that encourages us to find love for our community even when it’s difficult.

For Sci-Fi and Horror Fans

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

As we all know, love can transcend borders, definitions, and even time itself. This LGBTQIA2S+ anthology shares stories of love that endures, transforms, and enriches — no matter where or when the recipients are.

The Sixth World

Life on Mars is anything but a bore for Dinora, a young Diné woman who must deal with the loss of her grandmother and a set of mysterious letters in The Sixth World. Creator Kayla Shaggy tells a wild space adventure like none other!

Prey (2022)

Wrapping up our list are two entries into the Native horror canon. Prey bridges the gap between sci-fi and scary, while also expanding on the popular Predator franchise. The film questions not only who does the hunting but also how they do it. Naru, a Comanche hunter, is doubted by her peers, but her unconventional methods might be the only way to survive.


Anoka is a wide ranging collection of horror stories from Shane Hawk, told through an Indigenous lens. If legendary monsters don’t lure you in, consider this encouraging review from Hawk’s grandma:

“Please find another hobby. This is too horrible for words. How can you imagine someone enjoying this?”

Which of these stories will you be adding to your watchlist or to-be-read pile? Tell us over in our Atomic Misfits Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!