The picture narrative begins in 1836, when Comanches capture Cynthia Ann Parker in Texas. They raise the blond, blue-eyed girl as one of their own. Comanches are the fiercest tribe to attack white settlers, but among themselves they are affectionate, humorous, and protective of their culture. The true story of Cynthia’s evolution into “Naduah” and her marriage to the warrior Peta Nacuna shows that a person’s inner being can endure, adapt and thrive in a different environment. She gives birth to Quanah, who grows up to be a skilled horseman and hunter.
The story is his, as he loses his parents and is taken in by the ruthless Quohada band who rule the Staked Plains. Like Charles Stuart, Quanah survives in exile. His vision quest brings him the lucky totem of the white buffalo.
The facts of Quanah’s life are ably illustrated, and the panels make quick reading. Artist and author Jackson provides a panoramic background to this epic tale with his grasp of historical fact and legend. The humanity of Native Americans and of settlers and soldiers is a recurring theme as Quanah negotiates the swiftly-changing currents of life in the 19th century. At times the dialog is contemporary and comic-bookish, but the content rings true.