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Comic Book / Shaman's Tears

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Shaman's Tears was a comic-book series created by Mike Grell and published by Image Comics.

The comic starred Joshua Brand, the son of a half-Sioux father and an Irish mother, who returns as an adult to the reservation he ran away from as a child. Discovering he mystically possesses the powers of all animals and the Earth itself, he becomes the protector of the planet. The book often dealt with ecological and animal rights issues.


Shaman's Tears contains examples of:

  • Animal Themed Super Being: Joshua has the power to call on the abilities of any animal.
  • Badass Biker: Joshua Brand
  • Badass Native: Joshua Brand
  • Cannibal Larder: Joshua Brand and Jon Sable find a cannibal larder full of the remains of missing homeless people in the lair of the nestlings in the sewers under New York City.
  • The Chosen One: Joshua Brand is the chosen one of Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit of the Sioux; selected to be her champion and defend the balance of nature.
  • Cool Bike: Joshua's classic Indian Chief motorcycle.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: General Patrick Pending, CEO of Circle Sea.
  • Disposable Vagrant: In #5 - 8, Joshua Brand and Jon Sable team-up to hunt down a pack of monsters living in the sewers that has been preying on the homeless of New York.
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  • Evil Poacher: The first criminals Joshua Brand stopped after gaining his powers were poachers who were stealing wild horses from the Indian reservation to sell for pet food.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The Blood a.k.a. Bar Sinister (who later got their own short-lived series), a group of genetically engineered, super powered human/animal hybrids.
  • Human-to-Werewolf Footprints: Not a werewolf but another form of transformation. When Jon Sable is tracking Joshua Brand through the sewers, he is confused when Joshua's footprints change from boots to moccasins. This is because Joshua has magically transformed into his costumed identity.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Nesting Ones do this to Jon Sable in #8; giving him a gun and a single bullet to make things 'sporting'.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Thom Broadarrow is intensively jealous of Joshua Brand, and thinks the powers of Wakan Tanka should have been his.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: Bar Sinister were a group of genetically uplifted animals. The evil corporation that created them felt justified in treating them as possessions as they had a court ruling stating that they weren't human.
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: Joshua Brand is unable to arrest the Corrupt Corporate Executive for various crimes because the victims (genetically engineered lifeforms) are not technically human. So he instead arrests him for violating the Endangered Species Act after he realizes one of the genetically engineered constructs was created using the DNA of a black-footed ferret.
  • LEGO Genetics: The Blood (later known as Bar Sinister) were artificially created human/animal hybrids; each designed to have specific traits from the animal side (wings on the bat hybrid, prehensile feet on the monkey hybrid, etc).
  • Magical Native American: Joshua once he is granted mystical powers.
  • Meaningful Name: two of the villains (who are in the business of patenting hybrid human-animal life forms) are named "Patrick Pending" and "Regus Patoff". Yes, "Pat Pending" and "Reg. US Pat Off", if you missed the incredibly lame pun.
  • Mercy Lead: In #8, the Nesting Ones give Jon Sable a gun with a single bullet and a very short head start before setting out to hunt him through the sewers.
  • Mix-and-Match Creatures: Thom Broadarrow is exposed to the Circle Sea mutagenic compound and is transformed into a composite of a dozen different creatures found in his taxidermy shop.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Joshua Brand's father was half-Sioux and his mother was Irish.
  • Mother Nature: Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit of the Sioux, who grants Joshua his powers. When it manifests, Wakan Tanka usually takes the form of a sexy Native American woman.
  • Mugging the Monster: A street gang attempts to mug Joshua Brand while he is meditating in Central Park. As Joshua has the power to call on the abilities of any animal, this ends badly for them.
  • Pineapple Surprise: Jon Sable pulls this trick in #8: yanking the pin out of one of the grenades on a bandoleer worn by one of the nestlings as he flees their sewer lair.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Thom Broadarrow was a childhood rival to Joshua Brand. He was always jealous of Joshua, especially when Joshua got the girl they both wanted, then abandoned her to leave the reservation; something Thom never managed. When Joshua returned to the reservation and was granted the power of Wakan Tanka, Thom thought it should have rightfully be his. His jealousy ultimately led to accident that transformed into a monster.
  • Tears of Blood: Joshua Brand cries tears of blood when he triggers his powers (hence the title). The three tears are transformed into three streaks of warpaint running down his cheek in his superpowered form.
  • This Means Warpaint: Joshua's transformation into his superpowered form involves him crying Tears of Blood that then transform into Tribal Face Paint.
  • Tribal Face Paint: Joshua Brand acquires tribal face paint when he transforms into his superpowered form.
  • Vision Quest: Joshua undergoes the Sun Dance ritual after being granted his powers in an attempt to understand them.
  • Weather Manipulation: One of Joshua's powers. He most commonly uses it to create rain.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Pending and Patoff are able to justify their actions by claiming that the Blood are not human—merely a higher form of animal—and therefore do not have human rights. This forces Joshua to come up with a Justice by Other Legal Means solution.
  • White Gang-Bangers: In #6, a gang consisting of two whites and a black attempts to mug Joshua Brand in a Mugging the Monster moment.


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