It’s pride month & U-Dork is here to feature a sweet comic book cover way back from 1986, Marvel Fanfare #28, featuring Marvel Comics very 1st and BEST openly gay superhero, the one and only Northstar!
Yes! Alpha Flight has been an ALL time favorite of mine since 1983. A cool, cast of characters created by comic legends John Byrne & Chris Claremont, and one of the most diverse, even by today’s standards, superhero teams around. Northstar is a true fan favorite as Marvel’s first openly gay character, who officially made news back in issue #106 when he made his reveal January 14th, 1992. I remember back then it was quite a big deal.
However even though the character was always intended to be gay, more conservative restrictions back in the early 80s on comic books wouldn’t allow it. Instead Byrne had to let readers read between the lines. Northstar is a true LGBTQ legend and honestly I’m quite surprised that Alpha Flight has not made its way onto the big screen. Seriously get with the program MCU!
Not only is Northstar one of the coolest mutants in the MCU he’s also got one of the best most boisterous attitudes around. He’s always been a fun read and never a dull moment when dealing with him. Over the years he has even joined the ranks of the X-Men. However I personally enjoy him much more as a member of Alpha Flight..
This cover of Marvel Fanfare #28 is an excellent representation of him and the team as you can see when viewing the full wrap-around cover. It creates quite a stunning full picture, beautifully illustrated by Ken Steacy.
The character of Northstar is one of my favorites and definitely deserves to be honored this month in particular! Props to Northstar AKA Jean-Paul Beaubier!
I just got done reading the ‘ALPHA FLIGHT: True North’ Marvel Comics one shot and it got me a bit excited about the possibility of an ongoing series. Yeah Alpha Flight has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid in 80’s and after the first John Byrne series it’s never been quite the same, so hearing that a new one shot was coming out made me decide to head up to ‘Cosmic Monkey‘, (Portland Oregon’s best comic book shop), to grab a copy and see for myself. It’s been a few years since I bought new comic books, I quit a while back cold turkey, as their just too damn expensive and many of them don’t grab me like they used to honestly. However, Alpha Flight always gets another chance!
So ‘True North’ was a pretty decent little dive back into the lives of the diverse Canadian superhero team, it features three short stories with various members of the team. The first featuring classic Alphans Talisman & Snowbird as they travel to a remote area of in the Arctic Circle to investigate a supernatural presence. It’s an intriguing little tale that could have really spanned the whole issue. I definitely enjoyed the artwork in this one by Max Dunbar as well.
The next story is a small slice of life featuring everyone’s favorite little person badass ‘Puck’ and the fish woman ‘Marina’ as they walk a lonely beach on a sunny day. Puck shares a story from his past and the two of them spend some time bonding. A neat little short overall but I wasn’t a real big fan of the artists depictions of Puck and Marina, who basically just made them look like a short guy and a green woman devoid of most of her fish like qualities. The last story features Heather Hudson aka ‘Vindicator’ as she hides from the Canadian government for crimes committed while under the mental control of long time Alpha Flight villain ‘The Master of the World’. It’s a pretty interesting short story too and also features her husband James ‘Guardian’ Hudson with plenty of underlying relationship drama bubbling below the surface. Overall this one was nice refresher of just what an Alpha Flight ongoing series could feel like in 2019.
The other members were missed though, classics like Sasquatch & Shaman weren’t even in it at all and Northstar and Aurora only spoke a couple lines. I was hoping for a cool one shot with the whole team showing their current relationship as a team, but regardless it was still a pretty good teaser, even if it was priced at whoppin’ 5 bucks! DAMN!! I’ve always thought the team under the right writer again could be developed into a great modern series. The team’s super diverse cast has a lot of rich history to explore. ‘True North’ strikes some good chords but I’m not sure it was really quite compelling enough to drum up the magic needed to push Alpha Flight into a new ongoing series. I’d like to see Wolverine return to the team and maybe bring some drama into Heather and James’ rocky relationship. It’s always been softly suggested he might have some feelings for Heather. You never know! I’m also still hoping for an Alpha Flight movie as well, I think they’d be an instant hit in the MCU!
So one reason it’s fun to be a blogger is because there’s always that slight chance something you write about could ignite a spark on a certain topic, and one thing I’ve been hoping forever is that we’ll some day get an ‘Alpha Flight’ movie! Some of you all might be asking who the hell is Alpha Flight? Well let me just start off by saying they at one time had much more notoriety in the Marvel Universe than The Guardians of the Galaxy! So as far as Marvel movies go anything is possible, I mean I never thought we’d get TWO damn Ant-man movies either! For those who may not know, Alpha Flight is a Canada’s answer to the X-men & The Avengers, who made their first appearance 40 years ago in X-men #120.
Wolverine was originally set to be the team’s leader, which led to them having a heavy presence in the X-universe & throughout the years they’ve had their own Marvel comic book series several times throughout the last 4 decades with varying degrees of success. Well I think now’s the time to tell the team’s story on the big screen & I’m certain if they did it right it’d be next the big thing in the MCU, not convinced? Well here are 6 reasons why Marvel’s gotta jump on the chance sooner than later!!
1. Diversity of the Team
Ok so it’s clear that diversity in comic book movies is a topic that’s endlessly being discussed today. It just so happens that they have always been one of the most naturally diverse in the Marvel Universe. From iconic native characters like Shaman and his daughter Talisman, to Eugene ‘Puck’ Judd being a ‘little’ person, to Marrina being a bizarre race of fish creature and Northstar being a gay man, the team undeniably has a lot of interesting characters within it’s ranks. Half have been made up of women and Heather Hudson also known as ‘Vindicator’ stepped in as the team’s leader for over half of the teams comic book existence. They’d easily translate to the big screen in a unique way and I think they’ve got a lot to offer in a way audiences haven’t seen before on the big screen!
2. First Gay Superhero
This leads me to my second point as recently I’ve seen that Marvel was looking to introduce the first openly gay superhero. Well good thing for Alpha Flight, they had the very first mainstream gay superhero, Jean-Paul Beaubier aka ‘Northstar’. Though it wasn’t openly stated in the team’s first series from 1983 it was clear to see the angle of the character presented there. Nearly ten years later in 1992 Northstar officially came out as gay to the public making mainstream headlines and then in 2012 again when the first gay superhero wedding took place prominently in ‘Astonishing X-men’ #51. His husband being Kyle Jinadu, a black man, was also notable in featuring a natural diversity within the now iconic superhero storyline.
The character has broken down barriers time and time again in comic book history and if any gay superhero makes it to the silver screen it surely should be Northstar. With all of his sexual identity to the side, the character has always been an interesting one, with one of the biggest attitudes in Marvel comics ranks he’s also got a twin sister “Aurora” whom he’s incredibly protective of. Their relationship has gone through a lot of intriguing states of turmoil as well, especially when it comes to her choices of people she chooses to date. Northstar in general is just a super badass character, possessing the ability to travel at superhuman speeds, fly, and project photon energy blasts. His twin sister, Aurora also possesses similar abilities. He automatically makes the team that much more interesting without even trying. Continue reading
I’ve been seeing an increase of stories recently online & on social media about Marvel Comics and it’s continuing sales slump. Most of the articles bring up the hot topic of diversity, some say that Marvel’s record low sales of their comics books are simply because of rising cover prices & lack of fresh new ideas for their characters. Others say that it’s directly due to it’s attempt at diversifying it’s star characters by changing their race, gender & sexual orientation. Most of their popular character’s titles have had a bit of a revamp lately, for instance Wolverine is now female, so is Thor, so is Iron Man, Cap is black, the Hulk is now Korean-American etc. etc. You get the point. Could these changes really be the reason why sales are down? Do people just simply hate diversity in the Marvel Comics titles?
I really doubt that it’s really that simple, though rising cover prices and lack of fresh ideas definitely doesn’t help their low sales. What I see personally happening is a bit of a trend within Marvel Comics that feels a bit insincere. I honestly don’t really mind that the traditional characters have been replaced but I do feel Marvel’s move to make all these changes to their most popular titles feels as if they’ve been exploiting diversity to make a quick buck. What I’m saying is that it feels like Marvel is just trying way too hard to be current on these topics rather than crafting interesting stories. I don’t believe you can simply take all of your money maker superhero titles, simply change their identities and expect them all to suddenly bring you boatloads of cash because you finally decided to make them more diverse. It’s just not that simple folks. Continue reading
I always loved this particular comic book cover by John Byrne way back from 1985! Alpha Flight #22 is a fun issue with a great simplistic cover. I love when team titles have issues where you get either a solo adventure or a pair together, in this case two of my favorites the mutant twins Northstar and Aurora! I love how frustrated they both look while in the clutches of The Pink Pearl.
Alpha flight was an excellent title and I highly suggest the entirely charming John Byrne run of the series. Now the cool thing about this is that you might think the Pink Pearl was simply a one off villain but in fact she has sine appeared several other times through the years most recently briefly in The Logan Legacy. John Byrne too had his act fully together with these 80’s Alpha Flight comic covers too! This one though has always been a fav of mine!
So Guardians of the Galaxy is all the rage suddenly! The movie is on it’s way to being a HUGE hit for Marvel. Well I’m sure that’s got all the big wigs in Hollywood and at Marvel thinking about what the next big thing is gonna be. It seems that the characters in these movies really don’t have to be A-list characters to hit it big time. Maybe you Avengers aren’t quite as special as you thought you were huh?! Well listen up Marvel and Hollywood, fear not, because I’ve got the 5 superhero teams who who got the muscle to score you another blockbuster! Forget about the X-men, forget about the Justice League, The Avengers? Ha! old fucking news! There’s really only so much of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man that we can take! Here are five lesser known teams that could be the next big thing on the big screen!
5. The Defenders: This is Marvel’s safest bet, The Defenders are the B-list Avengers and always have been. But through time they’ve embarked on some of the most downright bizarre adventures in comic book history. This is because of one character in particular, at the core of the group is Doctor Strange, who Marvel is already getting ready to cast into his own feature film. Also in the group is The Hulk, an Avenger who people now are demanding more of on the big screen, ad on The Silver Surfer, who’s one of the coolest characters ever and lastly Namor, the first Marvel Mutant and you’ve got the perfect team to head into truly Strange territory in the movies.
This movie I have no doubt will at some point be made and if you have any doubt that this could be a great big screen adventure take a moment to read The Defenders mini series from 2005 it’s the perfect reference point to success! It’s jam packed with action and some really great comedy, mostly revolving around the Hulk’s sex life!
4. The Exiles: This was a great series that was designed as a “What If?” comic for X-men fans, it involved the team traveling to different dimensions, times and alternate realities. It was kinda like Quantum Leap with superheroes. We have already seen that the alternate timeline stuff works quite well for movie fanatics lately so why not give this team a shot at some big screen glory? You get some weird mashed up versions of popular characters that would sure to quite interesting as well. The Exiles were hired to fix broken realities and the team originally consisted of Blink (Clarice Ferguson, from the Age of Apocalypse), Mimic (Calvin Rankin), Magnus Lensherr (son of Magneto and Rogue),Thunderbird (John Proudstar), Nocturne (Talia Josephine “T.J.” Wagner, daughter of Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch), and Morph. How’s that for a stellar line up?
3. The Invaders: Ok, how cool was it that the first Captain America movie took place in the 1940’s? Let’s face it this is an awesome era to tell comic book stories-and with the backdrop of WWII it’s the perfect place to kick some Nazi ass-something people never get tired of seeing! We already got a tease of a loose version of the team in the first Captain America movie, but sadly the team didn’t sport costumes or get much development. JJ Field was even cast in the movie as Montgomery Falsworth, who becomes “Union jack” one the most prominent and awesome members of the team.
The movie version could be a mix of The Howling Commandos who had some of it’s members in the Cap movie as well(Dum Dum Dugan!). The movie could take place after Cap’s death and maybe even be developed in the “Agent Carter” Tv series before it hit the big screen. This one would be huge and could take them on an Indiana Jones-esque type of adventure battling the likes of, Baron Zemo, The Hate Monger, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, The Master Man & Baron Blood!
2. Alpha Flight: I’m not sure how many times I have to say it-Alpha Flight is just begging to be a big screen smash!! These guys have been a fave of mine since I was a little kid. They’re the Canadian X-men for cryin’ out loud! The movie could have strong ties with the X-films, heck Hugh Jackman could even be in it when Wolverine was a member of the team! The finale of the flick could be when Wolverine goes a-wall and the Flight chases him down ultimately clashing with our very favorite movie X-men! How awesome would that be?
Also visually seeing Sasquatch in action alone would be worth it! Plus Marvel could be the first to introduce the most bad ass first full-on gay superhero to the silver screen-Northstar! This one has success written all over it and the team is always filled with a ton of drama-just read the first 12 issues of the original 1980’s John Byrne run, it’s golden…
1. The Great Lakes Avengers: This one is the one. The Great Lakes Avengers has all the ingredients of big time hit. It’s got heart, drama, a ton of comedy and one other thing going for it the word “AVENGERS” in it’s title. So who are these guys you might ask? Well they are a midwest superhero team that forms in Milwaukee Wisconsin!! They’re huge fans of the Avengers and decide they want to give the superhero stuff a shot themselves. The only problem is that this team is band of regular joe type people with weird superpowers who’ve got zero cred and really zero experience in costumed crimefighting. Think of the movie as a cross between Kick-Ass and Mystery Men. This would be a great one for Edgar Wright or someone who could write something truly hilarious with some well cast comedic actors.
We could get a few cameos from the other real Avengers as well, unintentionally blowing these guys off on the street. Then, the team who we follow from the beginning, as leader Mister Immortal (who no matter how badly he’s injured, can’t die) assembles them all from ads on telephone poles and Craig’s List . He eventually gets them all in to deep with a major Marvel villain, this is where things get serious. This could be one of the most funny superhero movies ever and at the same time have some good serious drama and action as well. Plus it seems that one of it’s members Squirrel Girl already has quite a cult following-To not jump on this now would be a crime Marvel-make it happen!!! Still don’t believe me check out The Great Lakes Avengers trade “Misassembled” from 2005 it’s proof of my claims!
Am I the only one that remembers those Marvel Comics Swimsuit issues?! Yeah, these were as weird as they sounded it was basically Marvel’s version of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues except with all your favorite characters posing for sexy shots! These were put out by Marvel Annually from 1990 to 1995 and often had funny articles and fake advertisements. It was a strange idea but I’m gonna be honest there were quite a few characters I was kinda pumped to see posing 😉 These are definitely worth hunting down, they’re super funny and ultimately amusing. Anyway here’s a some pictures from those very issues as we look back to those Superhero bikini days!! Yeeeeeah!!
So the big news is finally out!! Superhero fans all over the world are ecstatic today as Marvel announces their next big blockbuster superhero movie! Luke Cage?! Nope! Doctor Strange?! NADA! Daredevil?! Na! Moon Knight?! Not even close! People Marvel is giving you……..THE HUMAN FLY?!!! Yep!!
Who?! That dude from the 1970’s? The stunt man guy? The series that had a total of 19 full issues! Yeah this Marvel Character was around for a few years, he was a stunt driver who was badly injured in a car crash and he was given a steel skeleton by doctors. He then did wild stunts for charity events but had run ins with super villains who often times tried to rob them. He even went toe to toe with Spider-man! As this is an odd choice for a flick I am curious what led them to choose this character? Alan Brewer and Steven Goldmann picked up the reverted rights on the property recently. Eisenberg-Fisher Productions, which is based on the Paramount lot, will executive produce the proposed indie flick. I wonder if Sam Jackson will appear after the credits to recruit The Human Fly? Hmm…..not likely!
So now that I know Marvel’s new strategy of movie making I have a few suggestions for you true believers in Hollywood! You heard it here first folks here are my predictions for the next Marvel Superhero blockbusters! Since they are obviously pumped about making The Human Fly how about…
Moonboy & Devil Dinosuar?!!!
Why the HELL not?! Listen up Marvel these two are way more fly than The Human Fly! Remember how fucking popular Jurassic Park was?! Ever heard of a movie called Encino Man?!! Moon-Boy is the first god damn human ever! This duo will surely rule the silver screen. Seriously if you wanna cash in make this damn movie!
Ok then we’re on a roll, so how about 3-D MAN?!!!
Yet another 1970’s superhero who’s like ten times as cool as The Human Fly! Marvel let me let you all in on a little secret you may not have caught onto yet…3-D movies are all the damn rage these days!!! Now you have a superhero who’s literally “3-D”! Imagine this “3-D Man in 3-D”!!! Win Win situation! Oh and I highly advise basing the movie on the issue shown above! That is if you really wanna cash cow…
Ok, ok I got more Marvel…since you skipped Giant-man for The Avengers movie you might as well get on this one asap…BLACK GOLIATH!
Yeah I love this character! He’s easily one of the coolest african american superheroes ever! Forget The Black Panther or Luke cage Dr. Bill Foster is the biggest man on the block and once again way more rad than The Human Fly! He’d stop him at the box office like a fly for sure!
Ok so let’s say you wanted to pass on Black Goliath, well that’;s fine because there’s always BROTHER VOODOO in waiting!
Just skip Doctor Strange and get this movie made! Add some vampires, zombies and lots of fucking Voodoo mayhem! Brother Voodoo kicks The Human Fly’s ass in every way possible! This one is a no brainer just do it already!
Ok lastly we all know how popular robots are…so let’s focus on a full on ass kickin’ MACHINE MAN live action film!
Yes! Seriously Machine Man is one of the coolest Marvel Characters out there! Aaron Stack is his name and way back in 1977 he was introduced into the Marvel Universe. He’s got a kinda Pinnochio type story as he was raised as a human by his creator Abel Stack. He’s made his way as supporting character in the most recent “Hulk” comics which follow Thunderbolt Ross and his alter ego the mustache-less Red Hulk. This guy is like one hundred times as bad ass as The Human Fly!! So why not? People are obviously into the Transformer movies for some reason so imagine Mr. Stack on the big screen! Win!!! P.s. Please note above Northstar on the cover of Machine Man…he has blonde Hair! What gives?!
So of course we all know that DC usually follows the trends of Marvel Comics. They always have really, so it’s natural with Marvel getting all this media attention again (first in 1992) with their character Northstar and his recent gay marriage announcement that DC would have to jump on the bandwagon and reveal that a “major” character from their roster would be coming out of the closet. People began to wonder who?! Batman? Superman? Swamp Thing (now that would have been impressive!)? Robin? Green Lantern?!! Well it ended up being Green Lantern as you all know, which on the surface sounds impressive, wow Hal Jordan is GAY?!! DC wasn’t fuckin’ around!
Well that is the case unless you read the fine print, see this is the Original Green Lantern, Alan Scott from back in 1940, he hasn’t been a major character for quite sometime until now really. Let’s not forget this new gay version of Scott is a character in an alternate universe “Earth 2” who’s a reboot of the original much much less popular version of the Lantern. Plus there are like a thousand other Green Lanterns out there already the way it is. So are you still impressed? I have to say no.
One could easily argue that Marvel’s Northstar is not a major player, it’s not like Wolverine is getting hitched to Hank Mccoy or anything. However when John Byrne created Northstar he knew he was gay from the start, however it took Marvel all the way until 1992 to reveal.
If you read Alpha Flight from the beginning it’s pretty obvious that Northstar, one of Marvel’s biggest dick’s (no I don’t mean it that way), was clearly gay or at the very least not interested in women in the least.
Check out the full scoop on Northstar’s history of creation in this older post I did. So DC you managed to get people’s attention but next time let’s be just a little more daring!
Well not sure if you’ve all been keeping up with The Astonishing X-men lately but one of my favorite characters recently rejoined the team – Alpha Flight’s Northstar. As you all know he is easily the most popular and was the first openly gay superhero. Marvel is seeming to try and make history again with issue #50 of Astonishing X-men as he proposes to his boyfriend Kyle in a Bryant Park in NYC.
The only problem is he gets rejected! Then in the same day it appears that his bf is kidnapped by an evil unseen nemesis the same one we assume that has been controlling The Marauders (yeah the guys from the historic Mutant Massacre of the 80’s are back). Anyway it appears that at the end of the issue Northstar is going to have to take down Wolverine and Gambit as they are now also under the control. But don’t fret everyone because in a rather lame move Marvel has already shown us the cover of issue #51 where we see Northstar & Kyle getting hitched!
An amazing cover with all his buddies from Alpha Flight and the X-men gathered around them. Well all I have to say is it’s about time Northstar! Kudos to Marvel too who to my knowledge will go down in history with the first Gay superhero (who’s actually an awesome character) and now the first Gay Superhero Marriage!