William Talltrees was born in modern day Wolf Point, Montana. He was the son of Thomas Talltrees, a Cheyenne tribal leader, and grew up hearing tales of the legendary Red Wolf. William was bullied into selling his property to corrupt businessman Cornelius Van Lunt whose henchmen later killed William's family. William swore vengeance, finding and donning the ceremonial garb of Red Wolf. Owayodata visited him and empowered him with the spirit of Red Wolf. The new Red Wolf found a wolf cub whom he named Lobo and trained to be his companion. Following Van Lunt back to New York, he was able to avenge his family with the help of the Avengers.
Red Wolf was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema and first appeared in The Avengers issue 80 (1970). He was Marvel's first Native American character.
A few different versions at different points in history would be introduced following the modern day Red Wolf's debut. A new version of the character was introduced during the Battleworld event and was eventually folded into the regular universe.
Major Story Arcs
After his adventure with the Avengers, Red Wolf set of on a mission of his own. During this, the met with a couple of strange heroes.
He joined forces with Tigra on two occassions to battle the alien Super Skrull and the Ratpack.
It was revealed he served in Vietnam with Jim Rhodes, which resulted in him getting entangled in a vendetta with Bengal.
He also helped Doctor Strange and Black Crow to stop the Cheyenne pantheon from seeking vengeance for the Cheyenne people.
Member of the Rangers
Red Wolf became a member of the Rangers after answering a distress call from Rick Jones. Rick needed rescuing from The Corruptor. The Rangers would stick together for a time, eventually getting into a fight with the West Coast Avengers thanks to a demon possessing his teammate, Shooting Star.
The team would get back together as part of the 50 State Initiative. During the Secret Invasion, Lobo, Red Wolf's pet wolf, would turn out to be a Skrull and attacked the team. Later, they teamed up with Kaine, after a brief confrontation, to stop an energy-based monster.
Secret Wars - 1872
On Doctor Doom's Battleworld, which was created after the incursions wiped out the Marvel Universe, sat an Old West boom town called Timely, where it was perpetually 1872. Red Wolf was a member of the Cheyenne tribe, who tried to blow up Timely's dam. The dam had caused a significant drought on Cheyenne land, and Wolf's people would soon die if they had no water supply.
Red Wolf was however caught by the townspeople and was sentenced to death by the mayor of Timely, Wilson Fisk. It was then that sheriff Steve Rogers intervened and saved him, at the cost of his own life. Rogers was publicly shot in the center of town by Fisk's goons.
Seeing the last good man in town killed for the mayor's whims inspired the town to rise up against him. Willing to follow in Rogers footsteps, Red Wolf fought back against Fisk, bringing him and his enforcers to justice and finally blowing up the dam, returning the water.
With the town still missing a sheriff, Red took up the position with the full support of the townsfolk.
Welcome to the Present
After a few mysterious killings, Red Wolf crosses paths with a technologically advanced assassin. Red is able to break a piece of his tech, causing an energy surge sending him to modern day on Earth-616. He is in the city of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, which finds itself in the North-South drug corridor. He is picked up by Deputy Daniela Ortiz as a person in distress. After saving Sheriff Knight’s life during a drug bust, Red is given the chance to hang around the office and help out.
Having recently taken out the major local drug cartel, a new organization was moving in to fill the void, working secretly with the mayor. They used rattlesnakes to kill their rivals, and after they attacked Sheriff Knight, Red took matters into his own hands. He tracked them into the North Hills with Deputy Ortiz. After they fought and defeated the goons, they came face to face with Red’s time-travelling killer, The Surveyor.
He was only interested in mining Red Wolf’s era, taking resources before they were stripped by the present day. After a brief struggle, The Surveyor time-travelled away. With Santa Rose needing a new sheriff, Ortiz was given the job by the mayor. She wasted no time deputizing Red.
Partnership with Hawkeye
After killing the Hulk, Hawkeye went on a road trip across America to clear his head and get off the grid. This proved more difficult then he expected. He gets bit by the hero bug and has been helping out where ever he can. In New Mexico, he teams up with Red Wolf to stop a company (employing Hydro-Man) from stealing water from the Sweet Medicine Reservation, and Red, empathetic to Hawkeye’s quest to find himself, decides to tag along on his cross country journey.
They travel around taking care of crimes that aren’t Avengers level threats. Meth dealers. Truck hijackers. But every once in a while, they come across something big, like Life Model Decoy trafficking ring in Chicago. Eventually, Clint and Red find themselves in Dungston, Iowa. This small town is suspicious of its Avengers visitors because the town residents are secretly Skrull refugees. Clint pretty much has no idea until Super-Skrull shows up to execute the town residents. Dungston turns into a warzone and Clint, Red, and their new allies (Nightshade and Wheels) help the refugees stay alive until SHIELD can intervene. The town takes casualties but ultimately are allowed to continue living quietly, peacefully, and privately.
Clint and Red Wolf’s cross country trip is once again interrupted when The Grandmaster and The Challenger turn Earth into their own game board where they are pitting the Black Order against the Lethal Legion in a contest of champions. Freezing the most prominent Avengers in place, Rogue, as leader of the Avengers Unity Squad at the time, activates all available reserve members, including Clint, who brings Red Wolf along to strengthen the roster.
After the dust settles, Red Wolf hitches a ride with Living Lightning back to Texas.
After his adventures with Hawkeye, Red got a job at the Marshals office. He teamed up with fellow marshal, JJ, on a number of calls, but he was especially interested in a series of disappearances on a local reservation. Their newest lead is Jake Gomez, a werewolf who recently went missing after a run-in with some other monsters in the desert.
When Red and JJ caught up with Jake, Jake ran thinking they were part of the same outfit that attacked him before. It was until the sun went down and Jake transformed that he stopped to confront them. Red did his best to talk him down. He resorted to non-lethal weapons and a soothing lullaby to calm the beast.
After the Marshalls office was attacked by the monsters and Jake and his grandmother were kidnapped, Red tracked the missing people to a pharmaceutical company that was using the missing people as science experiments. Red and JJ snuck in to disable the nanites that were controlling the other monsters. At the same time, Jake transforms and breaks free of his restraints. Together, they take down the pharma company’s private security, but the cyborg doctor in charge gets away.
Powers and Skills
Superhuman senses. He is a skilled-hand-to-hand fighter. Expert archer and tracker. Employs a coup stick which is 6 ft. wooden staff and is used as a bo or javelin. He also carries a tomahawk and knife
This Red Wolf appears to have many of the same skills as his 616 counterpart. He has shown proficiency in fighting, archery, and tracking. In addition, he has shown an ability to commune with nature, calling wolves to his aid.
After Talltrees was introduced in the Avengers, Stan Lee wanted a book with a Native American lead, but he did not want it to be set in modern day. So, they created Johnny Wakely to take up the mantle of Red Wolf as a predecessor to William Talltrees.
Johnny was orphaned at a young age when his tribe was wiped out by the U.S. Cavalry. He was saved by a sergeant, who gave him to the Wakelys, a white farming couple who were unable to have children. When he got older, his adopted parents were killed by a Native American renegade party. With his tribe parents killed by white men and his white parents killed by tribesman, Wakely vows to promote peace between the races.
He was vindicated in his quest when he had a visitation from Owayodata, the Cheyenne god of the hunt, who encouraged him to be a force for peace.
Wakley would cross paths with a number of Marvel's western characters like Rawhide Kid and Kid Colt and real life cowboys Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday.
Thomas was the great-great-grandson of Johnny Wakely in the 1970s. He was also visited by Owayodata, but it was not a friendly visit. The god demanded to know why Thomas turned his back on his culture. The god gifted him Wakely's suit and coup stick so that he could take up the mantle of Red Wolf.
Wildrun was from the 1760s and claimed to be the human son of Owayodata. He was chosen by Kang as one of the greatest fighters in history to be a member of his Anachronauts.