Canadiana, also known as the "New Spirit of Canada", is a webcomic created by Sandy Carruthers, drawing heavily on the traditions of the superhero genre, centred on the adventures and personal life of Jennifer Neuwirth.
Series Overview: Background, Themes and History
While created by Sandy Carruthers, Carruthers is aided in chronicling Canadiana's adventures by penciller Jeff Alward and scripter Mark Shainblum, the latter of whom is known in Canadian comics as a practitioner of superhero genre deconstruction via Northguard and parody via Angloman. This series, however, takes Shainblum in concert with series creator Carruthers and co-artist Alward in a somewhat different direction from either of his previous genre explorations.
Serialized in what was initially intended to be a weekly basis in fifty-two installments, but eventually settled into a semi-monthly framework, the origin story of Canadiana deals with several mature themes including religious theory and particularly afterlife possibilities, cult programming, parental betrayal, and the survival of sexual abuse in the course of explaining the beginnings of Jennifer Neuwirth's extraordinary abilities and her decision to adopt a costumed identity as a champion of Canada.
Neuwirth's powers as a "Spirit of Canada", apparently either a genetic or mystical gifting from birth include: flight, enhanced strength sufficient to lift and carry an average family car at minimum, energy blasts, teleportation and interdimensional travel.
Born to parents who had fallen into and out of nearly every major organized religion active in Canada by her late pre-teens, Neuwirth found herself prey of a cult leader named Robertson (full name as yet unrevealed) whose appetites extended to the paedophilic and whose persuasive abilities moved her parents to ignore all cries for help. How Neuwirth escaped and chose her current superheroic avocation is as yet untold.
Her battles with her former abuser continue as he persists in operating his cult, now known as the Church of the Resistance, and its security force is tailored specifically to deal with the likes of Canadiana: its operatives are apparently mainly female, fanatically loyal to Robertson, and possess powers of their own of similar nature to Canadiana(but of lesser scale) thanks to Robertson's alleged ability to activate such powers via sexual relations.
Neuwirth is allegedly not the first such "Spirit of Canada", nor is Canada apparently alone in having such "Spirits", according to one of Neuwirth's acquaintances, psychic Naomi Silberstone. The details of this claim have yet to be explained in future Canadiana stories, which are expected to continue in the months ahead.