Real Name: Manabozho (his Algonquin name, Manitou is Algonqui for Spirit)
Identity/Class: Native American god
Occupation: Ruler of the Anasazi, God of Sky and Heaven
Group Membership: The Anasazi/Manidoog (Native American Gods)
Dagda, Tezcatlipoca, Itzamna, and the rest of the
worshiped by Flaming Star, Grey Eagle, Red Warrior, Spotted Doe, and countless Native Americans over many centuries;
Hobomokko, Phantom Rider(s), Thunderbirds
Enemies: Nanabozho, The Anaye, The Anamaqkiu, Demogorge, Thanos, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze/Zarathos)
Known Relatives: Gaoh (father), Awenhai (mother), Chibiabos, Wabasso, Nanabozho (alias Coyote) (brothers), Onatah (wife), Heno, Hotamintanio, Owayadota, Tawa (sons), Pawa, Omamama (daughters), Chahuru, Kineun (uncles), Gitche Manitou (great-grandfather), Gaea (great-grandmother, alias Nokomis)
Aliases: Minabozho (Chippewa), Messou (Montagnais), Minabush (Menominee), Nanaboojoo (Potawatomi), Gluscap (Micmac), Yoskeha (Iroquois), Nanabusch (Delaware), Olelbis (Wintun), Torngasau (Inuit), Ioskeha (Onondoga), Tshohanoai (Navaho), Glooscap (Mandan), Aba (Choctaw), Apoyan Tachu (Zuni), Tulugaak (Eskimo), Isakakate (Crow), Wisa'ka (Comanche), The Great Spirit; presumably Wakan Taka
Base of Operations: Shipolo (Native American Heaven)
First Appearance: Red Warrior#1/1 (January, 1951)
Powers: Manitou possesses greater powers than any other Native American god. He has superhuman strength (Class 95), stamina and resistance to injury plus the ability to tap into the orenda, the positive energies of the universe for magical effects, even to imbue a chosen individual with enhanced abilities. He can create storms, create dimensional barriers and propel and manipulate mystical energies. He has exceptional senses on a nearly omniescent level allowing him to perceive disturbances on a cosmic scale. He can also shapeshift between humanoid and animal forms as in ancient times when he appeared as various animal forms or project his image into clouds or stellar matter such as the Aurora Borealis to the Inuits.
(Native American Myth)- Manabozho is the son of the wind-god Gaoh and Awenhai, the earth goddess. According to myth, he and his brother, Nanabozho, were enemies before birth and even fought in the womb. Their birth killed their mother and Nanabozho blamed him for her death. Manabozho fled to Earth where he found comfort in his great-grandmother Gaea in her role as Nokomis. He developed compassion for mortal men and stole fire from heaven to help keep them warm. He taught them to not be afraid of night as he protected them from the evil of his brother.
Manabozho's brothers, Chibiabos and Wabasso often visited him on earth and took tales of his accomplishments back to heaven (Since they are described as his younger brothers, their mother must have been restored to life). While on Earth, Chibiabos was abducted by evil spirits known as the Anamaqkiu and taken to the underworld. Manabozho went to rescue him and killed two of them, but Chibiabos stayed behind to safely receive the spirits of mortals who died. The Anamaqkiu, however, sent a great flood to Earth from the underworld as Manabozho rushed ahead and saved mankind and animals on a great tree that floated on the waters. The tree came to rest on a mountain that Manabozho climbed into heaven where he was received by Gitche Manitou, the Great Spirit. Measured by his deeds, Manabozho became Manitou and replaced him as Ruler of the Anasazi.
(Thor I#300 (fb)) - Around 1000 AD, Manitou met with the other rulers of the the other pantheons of Earth to discuss the threat of the Third Host of Celestials. The Celestials threatened to cut off all their portals to Earth if they interfered with them in the next millennia.
(Red Warrior#4/5 (fb) - BTS) - Manitou whispered warnings to his Native American peoples to care for the land and nurture it, but to beware of famine, pestilence and especially fire.
(Red Warrior#6/1 (fb) - BTS) - Manitou told his
peoples of equality for all, to fight for peace, and to crush those
traitors who foment war.
(Red Warrior#1/1 (fb)) - Around the early to mid-19th
Century, from atop a cliff face, Comanche chief Grey Eagle gave loud
thanks to Manitou for the safe birth of his son and asked that Manitou
grant his son strength, wisdom and courage. Manitou responded with
lightning. The boy grew to become Red Warrior.
(Red Warrior#1/2) - Red Warrior invoked Manitou to strengthen his resolve in an honor duel with the deceitful fellow Comanche, Flaming Arrow. When Flaming Arrow broke the duel's sacred rule and toppled Red Warrior, Manitou intervened with distracting lightning to let his favored recover.
(Red Warrior#1/5) - During a time of extended harsh
drought, Grey Eagle and Red Warrior beseeched Manitou for help. Red
Warrior found fertile new lands via a hidden tunnel and his tribe was
saved. They gave thanks.
(Red Warrior#2/5) - Red Warrior believed Manitou
helped him make the perilous climb to the towering nest of a giant
condor, which was preventing hunting by scaring all the local animals.
(Red Warrior#3/1) - Double-crossed by murderous
marauding white men, Red Warrior invoked Manitou, who responded with
lightning cast from his hands and churning clouds. The sudden storms
and dark skies took their toll on the six thieves and their numbers
dwindled from flashflooding and through treachery amongst themselves
until Red Warrior killed the last with an arrow watched by Manitou.
(Red Warrior#4/1) - Ora-Tikwa, an old, wise Native
American hermit, who studied the ways of Manitou, advised Red Warrior
where to find a certain wild stallion.
(Red Warrior#6/2) - Nakomah of Grey Eagle's tribe
studied Manitou's ways in nature and told Red Warrior how to stop the
lurking threat of the black puma.
(Ghost Rider I#1(fb) - BTS/Ghost Rider II#50(fb)) - In the latter half of the 19th Century, Manitou appeared before Flaming Star, instructing him to find the "glowing dust from the heavens" and to then use it to impregnate the costume that would be used for the one who would become He Who Rides the Night Winds--Carter Slade, a.k.a. Ghost Rider, a.k.a. Night Rider, a.k.a. Phantom Rider, etc.
(Ghost Rider II#50) - A few years later, Manitou was summoned by Spotted Doe to fight off Ghost Rider/Zarathos/John Blaze, who had been brought back in time, and whom Spotted Doe believed to be a malevolent demon. Manitou summoned the Hobomokko to fight Ghost Rider, but the demon rider managed to destroy it. Manitou then felled Ghost Rider with his magical axe, forcing him to return to the form of John Blaze. Manitou was preparing to spear the helpless John Blaze, when the Tarantula and his men grabbed Spotted Doe, disrupting her concentration. Without her as a medium, Manitou faded from Earth.
(Thor I#301 - BTS) - Following the Fourth Host of the Celestials, the Asgardian god Thor visited Shipolo and requested the life energies from Manitou to revive the Asgardians after fighting the Celestials. Manitou surrendered the energies.
(Ghost Rider II#49) - Ed Pollard and a group of
allies sought to blow up the Little Thunderbirds dam and then
loot the town with scuba gear. The threat to sacred Native
American land summoned Manitou. Ghost Rider/Blaze (who
happened to be in the area) unwittingly fought against Manitou, who believed him to be involved in the plot. Manitou
nailed Ghost Rider with a spirit arrow, forcing him back to human
form. Later, Manitou summoned the Thunderbirds to attack him.
Neither Ghost Rider nor Manitou was able to stop the dam from
(Ghost Rider II#50) - Ghost Rider was sent into the past by an unidentified Native American woman, and when he returned, he was in time to stop the explosion.
(Thor Annual I#10 - BTS) - Odin requested that Manitou send a champion from among his pantheon to battle Demogorge, a primeval entity released by seven Gods of the Dead. Tawa, the sun-god, heeded the call and fought alongside Thor.
(Infinity Gauntlet I#2)- Manitou once again reunited with the other sky-gods to discuss the unknown threat of Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet. He was briefly stranded in Asgard as a shift in the space/time continuum ripped their realms apart from Earth's Celestial Axis. Thanos was finally defeated by Nebula and the Earth's collective heroes subsequently restored their worlds to normal.
(Chaos War#1) - The Council of Godheads summoned Hercules and Amadeus Cho before them to judge them on Hercules' recent empowerment and actions in preparation for the arrival of the Chaos King (Amatsu-Mikaboshi). Overwhelmed by his new power and outraged that the Godheads didn't use their power to do anything, Hercules attacked them, battering them about until Thor arrived and convinced Hercules to get himself under control.
Comments: Adapted by uncredited writer and Tom
Gill. Further developed by Mark Gruenwald,
Ralph Macchio, Gene Day and Keith Pollard.
I mark Ghost Rider II#49 with the exact same cover date as Thor I#300, and Manitou is clearly identified in the Ghost Rider issue, as opposed to a face in the crowd in Thor I#300. Ghost Rider II#49 is by Michael Fleisher and Don Perlin.
Manitou's history is an
Algonquin, Iroquois, Micmac and Chippewa myths adapted in a
likely Marvel scenario (the Atlas era
stories incorporated Comanche in there too - Grendel Prime). The
idea that he would be received by
Gitche Manitou stepping down from a position of power is based on
the idea that Manitou is a title belonging to the position. In
Algonquin myth, Manitou refers to the group of spirits or gods of
the Northeast Indians.
Gitche Manitou is the likely creator described in the myth of Khlog, although it could also be the later incarnation of Manitou.
Manitou was not mentioned in the original origin of the Phantom Rider/Ghost Rider. It was only said that Flaming Star spoke with the gods.
Since Gaea has already been identified as the Norse Jord, the German Nertha, Hindu Aditi, Egyptian Neith and Oceanic Rangi, it's a likely bet she was Mother Earth to the Native Americans as Nokomis.
Profile by Will Uchtman & Snood. Red Warrior entries by Grendel Prime.
Manitou should not be confused with:
The Thunderbirds serve as the namesake, but are otherwise unconnected to:
The Hobomokko was a winged serpent of Native American mythology. One was summoned by Manitou in the 19th Century to fight Ghost Rider/Blaze/Zarathos, but he destroyed it with a blast of hellfire.
--Ghost Rider II#50
Per Will U: Hobomokku may
be a nonsensical name made up by
Marvel. On the other hand, it is similar to Hokhokw, a Kwakiutl name of the pterodactyl spirit in American Indian folklore also called Piasa by the Miami Indians in Illinois. They have Sasquatches and Dragons, why not. If this sounds ridiculous, eleven people in 1976 actually saw creatures they described as pterodactyls in Southern Texas. Skeptics, however, think they saw whooping cranes.
Carycomix adds: " It might even be a Marvelized hybrid of the Kwakiutl word (hokhokw) with an African word (konamato). Cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson recorded an incident involving a tribe in Zimbabwe, back when it was still Rhodesia. Purportedly, the tribesmen all ran off, screaming in panic, when he showed them illustrated conceptions of a pterodactyl from a book on dinosaurs. And, in case you still haven't guessed, the word they screamed was "konamato!" "
Thunderbirds were immense black birds of Comanche legend. A
flock was summoned by the Manitou in the modern era to fight
Ghost Rider/Blaze/Zarathos, but he drove them off with a blast of
Their leathern wings blacken the sky...the beating of their great wings causes claps of thunder...the opening and closing of their eyes makes the lightning flash!
--Ghost Rider II#49
Per Will U: A few of the Thunderbirds have been named and they are equal to Odin's ravens as they carried messages to the gods. A few of their names are Skyamsen, Oshadagea (given to Hino as a gift), Hoita, Idee and Tlanuwa. There is a distinction that these eagle spirits are benevolent to mortals, but the Piasa are considered flying cannibal lizards that preyed on mortals and their stock.
images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider II#49, p1 (main image)
Red Warrior#1/1, p1, pan1 (headshot with lightning)
Infinity Gauntlet I#2, p15, pan2 (stoic grey headshot)
Infinity Gauntlet I#2, p15, pan1 (seated)
Ghost Rider II#50, p26, pan1 (Hobomokko)
Ghost Rider II#49, p15, pan1 (Thunderbirds)
Red Warrior#1/1 (January, 1951) - uncredited writer, Tom Gill (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Warrior#3/1 (May, 1951) - uncredited writer, Tom Gill (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Warrior#4/5 (July, 1951) - uncredited writer, Tom Gill (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Warrior#6/1 (December, 1951) - uncredited writer, Tom Gill (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Ghost Rider I#1 (February, 1967) - Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas & Dick Ayers (writers), Dick Ayers (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#300-301 (October-November, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Gene Day (#300) & Chic Stone (#301) (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Ghost Rider II#49-50 (October-November, 1980) - Michael Fleisher (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Thor Annual I#10 (1982) - Mark Gruenwald & Alan Zelenetz (writers), Bob Hall (pencils), Rick Bryant, Joe Rubinstein, Andy Myshynsky, Al Gordon & Kevin Dzuban (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Infinity Gauntlet I#2 (August, 1991) - Jim Starlin (writer), George Perez (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Chaos War#1 (December, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor)
First Posted: 10/24/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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