Real Name: Nayenezghani

Identity/Class: Native American God

Occupation: God of the Hunt and Protector of the Cheyenne Indians

Group Membership: The Anasazi (Native American Gods)

Affiliations: Ally/mentor of the various Red Wolf incarnations (Wildrun, Johnny Wakely, Thomas Thunderhead, Will Talltrees)

Enemies: Calumet, Nanabozho, Hotamitanio, The Anaye

Known Relatives: Manitou (father), Onatah (mother), Chibiabos, Wabasso, Coyote (alias Nanabozho)(uncles), Yolkai-Estsan (aunt), Hino, Maasewe (alias Hotamitanio) (brothers), Omamama (sister), Tawa (half-brother), Pawa (half-sister), Glendenwitha (wife), Hasteoltoi (daughter), Anpa (sister-in-law), the lineage of Red Wolf (possible descendants)

Aliases: Wolf-God, Sosondowa (Iroquois name), Hokewingla (Dakota), Pokanghoya (Hopi), Uyuuyewe (Sia), Great Manitou, Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit of the Cheyenne

Base of Operations: Shipolo (Anasazi Heaven); often manifests at Ka' Kai-Bia, the sacred Indian burial ground (presumably in Arizona) where the 'body' of the first Red Wolf resides.

First Appearance: (name only) Avengers I#80, (actual) Marvel Spotlight#1 (November 1971)

Powers: Owayodata possesses the conventional powers of the Native American Gods. He has superhuman strength (Class 35), stamina and resistance to injury as well as latent abilities to tap into and manipulate mystical energy. He can sense stimuli on nearly psychic levels, cross dimensions, augment the powers of his followers and transform into a wolf or a god with the head of a wolf. Primarily, he manifests his powers through his mortal champions.

Weaknesses: Owayodata in the modern era can only affect Earth through his champion, Red Wolf.

Physical Description: He manifests himself as a giant spiritual being with the body of a Native American warrior and the head of a wolf. In the modern era, he often manifests himself with a body covered in wolf fur as well. Outside of his realm, he has only ever been seen by the current Red Wolf.


(Native American Myth) Nayenezghani is the son of the gods Manabozho (Manitou) and Onatah. Born on Earth in Navaho Territory, he and his brother Thobadzistshini (Hotamitanio) were given heavenly weapons to kill off and drive off the Anaye, demonic entities which threatened mortal man. Many of the Anaye were destroyed, but a few apparently remained. Nayenezghani became the god of the hunt for many of the Native Americans under various names. As Sosondowa, he was wooed by Anpa the dawn-goddess, but instead married Glendenwitha, the star-goddess, her sister. He took her home in heaven to hide from Anpa's wrath. As Owayodata, he became the protector of the Cheyenne and began a custom of making over their greatest warriors in his image.

(Avengers I#80 (fb) ) - Owayodata descended to earth and empowered a great warrior-- Wildrun to become his first Red Wolf. After Wildrun died, he returned to the sky.

(Marvel Spotlight I#1)- Owayodata appeared to Johnny Wakely in the tomb of Wildrun and declared that he was his "other self" and that his power was within him. He also revealed that Wakely was the direct descendant of Wildrun. He informed Wakely that the shaman Burning Tree had stolen white buffalo hides and hidden them in order to lead their people against the U.S. Military. Owayodata groomed Wakely into the new Red Wolf with a sacred Owayo head dress and coup stick. He charged him with "maintaining peace on the plains."


(Red Wolf I#1-2 - BTS) - Owayodata continued to support Red Wolf's actions during his early adventures.

(Red Wolf I#3) - Owayodata manifested himself at Ka Kai-Bai, and ordered Red Wolf to stop John Darby's plot to poison the people of his village, and therefore prevent a war between white man and red.

(Red Wolf I#4) - Owayodata manifested himself in the clouds above the plains, and reminded Red Wolf that he had devoted himself to a life of sacrifice and peace-keeping, and could not afford the love of a woman or the companionship of friends, and it's his destiny to be forever alone.

(Red Wolf I#5 - BTS) - Owayodata continued to support Red Wolf II's actions during his early adventures.

(Red Wolf I#6) - Owayodata manifested himself in the clouds above the plains again, and encouraged him to protect all men, red and white, from the threat of the Demon Rider/Devil Rider/Devil Mask.

(Avengers I#80 (fb) ) - Owayodata appeared in a campfire before Will Talltrees after his parents had been murdered, and granted him the power of Red Wolf.

(Avengers I#80) - Talltrees (now Red Wolf) swore vengeance on Cornelius Van Lunt (Taurus) for cheating his father. He stalked Van Lunt and his henchman Birch back to New York, where Talltrees attempted to gain revenge, but was stopped by the Vision.

(Avengers I#81) - Red Wolf returned to his village, convinced his tribe that he was really the chosen of Owayodata, and led them to destroy the dam Van Lunt built to deprive his people of water.

BTS - Will Talltrees moved to Phoenix and assumed the identity of Thomas Thunderhead, construction worker, and continued to fight crime as Red Wolf.

(Red Wolf I#7) - Red Wolf helped a girl recover her great-grandfather's gold (saved by Wakely/Red Wolf), and beat up some mobsters in the process. Owayodata appeared to him in the skies above the plains and gave him the duty of "fighting crime and destroying lawlessness!"

(Red Wolf I#8 - BTS) - Red Wolf fought King Cycle and his museum-robbing biker gang of hooligans, who had flying buzzsaws and armored motorcycles. King Cycle revealed he was also a Buddhist priest, ditched his leather for robes and tied Red Wolf's girlfriend on a giant turntable and almost spun her to death. (I'm not kidding. Owayodata wisely avoided this whole mess.)

(Red Wolf I#9) - (See Comments)

(Marvel Comics Presents I#15/4) - After a brutal fight with the Bengal (which is only shown in flashback in this story), Red Wolf lay dying on the operating table. Red Wolf took a mental trip to "the spirit ground" and met with Owayodata. He admitted his guilt over some things he did in Vietnam, and Owayodata informed him that they "made a good decision when they chose him, because his guilt makes him a better man, a more righteous warrior." (Though I always thought they never had much choice, since Talltrees was a direct descendant of the first Red Wolf.) Red Wolf came to terms with his guilt and chose to live.

(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#25) - The gods Nanabozho, Hotamitanio, and Calumet approached Owayodata to aid them in battle against the white men who took the ancestral lands of their worshippers. Backed by the spirits of millions of slain Native Americans, the three gods took Owayodata hostage, but he was subsequently rescued by Red Wolf and Black Crow working in tandem with Doctor Strange.

(Secret Warriors I#10) - Owayodata was present when Phobos (Alexander Aaron), son of Ares, was found worthy by the Council of Godheads to be a god.

Comments: Adapted by Gardner Fox & Syd Shores (with some help from Roy Thomas and John Buscema).

Owayodata's mythological past is pieced together from Navaho, Iroquois, Dakota and Cheyenne myths. Since his birth is described in Navaho legends, Nayenezghani may be his earliest name.

Johnny Wakely (Red Wolf of the 19th Century) often refers to Owayodata himself as "his ancestor, the first Red Wolf." Whether he means this figuratively, or whether Red Wolf/Wildrun was Owayodata in disguise, or was somehow absorbed into Owayodata is unclear. However, it's strongly implied that Red Wolf himself is a descendant of Owayodata, and that "keen senses and strength" are his birthright. He refers to Owayodata as "the spirit of the first Red Wolf", and is himself called "the living incarnation of Owayodata." Owayodata even calls Talltrees "his true blood relative." What all this means for whether any of the Red Wolves have divine parentage is anyone's guess. The OHOTMU seems to think not, but the early comic texts all imply otherwise.

Red Wolf I#9 was Owayodata's only cover appearance. Part of that issue was retconned away-- it was written by Gary Friedrich, who apparently never read Avengers #80, and felt like giving the modern Red Wolf an identity and origin (which he already had). It was explained in the OHOTMU I#9 that Red Wolf gave Jill Tomahawk a false name and account of his origin for reasons unknown in this issue. (One of the first Marvel retcons!) Owayodata appeared in a dream in this false origin, ordering Red Wolf to take up the responsibilities of his ancestors. He threatened to eat him with dream wolves if he doesn't. When he awoke, Red Wolf found Lobo and his costume neatly transported into his apartment, and put them on to fight crime.

Profile by: William Uchtman with caliban and Prime Eternal

Owayodata should not be confused with:

Avengers I#80-81 (September-October, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#1 (November, 1971) - Gardner Fox (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), Wally Wood (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#1-2 (May-July, 1972) - Gary Friedrich (#1), Roy Thomas & Gardner Fox (#2) (writers), Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#3-8 (September, 1972 - July, 1973) - Gardner Fox & Roy Thomas (writers), Syd Shores (pencils), Vince Colletta (#3-4), Chic Stone (#5, 8) & Jack Abel (#6-7) (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Red Wolf I#9 (September, 1973) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#15 (March, 1989) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#25 (January, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Ron Lim (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Secret Warriors I#10 (January, 2010) - Jonathan Hickman (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 05/06/2002
Last updated: 06/13/2016

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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