Posts Tagged ‘James Hudson’

Diamond Lil gets an update in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z TPB #3

September 16, 2013

ohotmuaztpb3coverOfficial Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z TPB #3
2012

Note: no month of publication is indicated, with the exception of manufacturing date range of 12/22/11 to 1/10/12. The issue was released on 1/25/12. Other issues released on that date carry a publication date of Mar 2012.

The third volume of the amazing fourteen volume Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Premiere Hardcover series is reprinted in trade paperback with all 240 original pages reproduced and, true to the principle of releasing timely information, sixteen additional pages of updates for selected entries. Some minor corrections and additions are found, but for the most part the original 240 pages are reprinted in their entirety. In the entries, Shaman, Northstar and Puck appear in the Crystar entry, Puck appears in the Deadly Ernest entry, Centennial appears in a 1/2 page entry, Diamond Lil appears in a full page entry and X Mac, X Sasquatch and X Puck appear in the Earth X entry. Additionally, Alpha Flight-related characters Ranaq, Tundra, Kolomaq, Somon, Tanaraq, Tolomaq, Kariooq, Dreamqueen and Zilla Char appear in the massive nine page Demons entry.

The Crystar entry has two changes from the HC version published in 2008. The secondary illustration taken from the closing splash panel of Crystar #11 has been recolored in a high contrast modern style, a big improvement over the old version. Also, in the text of the entry, where Shaman and Puck are mentioned regarding their role in that issue, their full names are now given. It isn’t clear why this change was made, except possibly to distinguish Shaman (Michael Twoyoungmen) from other Shamans and Puck (Eugene Judd) from other Pucks. Poor Northstar, who is also mentioned in the text, did not get his full name given. He’s still just Northstar.

The Deadly Ernest entry has a similar improvement to the secondary illustration, which is an image of him getting his head chopped off: the halftones are removed and filled in solid instead. The text changed significantly regarding the Nemesis who killed Deadly Ernest twice in Alpha Flights #8 and #31, but who is a distinct character from the Nemesis who later teamed up with Alpha Flight late in volume 1 (now identified as Jane Thorne), and also distinct from the volume 3 Nemesis (who we knew to be Amelia Weatherly). This new information was revealed in volume 1 of the tpb series, so the writers were compelled to re-word the Deadly Ernest entry. It cleanly states, “Two other women subsequently assumed Nemesis’ mantle,” and confirms that the Isabel St. Ives version of Nemesis and [her father] Deadly Ernest are both in fact, quite dead.

The Centennial entry is re-printed from the 2008 HC with no changes.

(image from Alpha Flight #98)

(image from Alpha Flight #98)

Diamond Lil’s entry also has its secondary illustration recolored, an image of Lil wearing the black bodysuit costume from Alpha Flight #98. In the updates section, Diamond Lil has a paragraph describing the unfortunate events of X-Force #23 and the preceding events as described in Nation X #3. It was obviously not written by Chris Yost, because it’s both an accurate representation of Alpha Flight history and solemnly respectful of the characters.

The images of X Mac and X Sasquatch from the cover of Universe X #6 and X Puck from the back of the wraparound cover of Universe X #X in the Earth X entry are re-printed from the 2008 HC with no changes.

Also in the update section the massive nine page Demons entry somehow gets even longer with an additional two pages. The new Great Beast Neooqtoq is mentioned for the first time in a handbook, having appeared in Incredible Hercules #119 (Sep 2008), just after the HC issue had been published. Unfortunately, it’s in the section “Additional unpictured demons.” Also unfortunate is the omission of the Great Beasts Herateq and Tiamaq from Marvel Heartbreakers #1 (May 2010), who really ought to have been mentioned along with the other Great Beasts, unless for some technical reason they aren’t classified as demons.

Note: the illustrations of the Great Beasts in the massive nine page Demons entry have new captions indicating the issue and year they first appeared, which now matches the format for many of the other captioned illustrations in that entry. Nice job, writers: you got Tanaraq – X-Men #120 (1979) correct.

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Mac and Heather in Origins of Marvel Comics #1

May 19, 2010

Origins of Marvel Comics #1
July 2010

What had been a free promo introducing the Siege storyline earlier in the year is expanded with additional material and is no longer free. The Siege prologue and preview material was dropped, and the number of character/team origins was expanded from 12 to 36. The format of this one-shot is 35pp of single page character origins, nearly all of which are written by Fred van Lente with the exception of four, and one double-page Power Pack origin. Mac and Heather appear in the 1-page Wolverine origin.

For those of you keeping track, this is a direct reprint of the same material originally published in Origins of Siege #1 but here’s the image again for your enjoyment.

Art by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback.

Mac and Heather in Origins of Siege #1

January 5, 2010

Origins of Siege #1
Feb 2010

This free promo comic contains 32pp of a mixture of prologue material, preview material from Siege #1 and 12 single pages of character origins, all related to the upcoming Siege crossover, Marvel’s big 2010 company-wide event. The 12 pages of character origins are all written by Fred van Lente and are drawn by 12 different artists. These origin pages are very nicely done, seeing as how difficult it is to cram an entire origin into a single page for most characters.

On Wolverine’s page, Mac and Heather appear in a single panel in flashback to the “honeymoon in the woods” scene from Alpha Flight #33, written by Bill Mantlo. Mac and Heather aren’t identified, except as “a backpacking couple [who] discovered him and nursed him back to health – – and humanity.” But, we all know who they are despite the missing snowshoes. A nice touch from artists Mike Choi and Sonia Oback: the honeymooners have a chilly breath, a minor but charming little detail of coloring.

It was nice of Fred van Lente to include Mac and Heather. He only had a single page to tell Logan’s origin, a task that seems ridiculous when you consider the extreme volume of material. He could have left out that scene completely in favor of about fifty other scenes that could be just as useful in the narrative, so this is much appreciated! Thanks, Fred!

James MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O

November 12, 2009

fcbd2009coverWolverine: Origin of an X-Man #1
May 2009

One of Marvel’s offerings on Free Comic Book Day 2009 is this charming little All Ages Wolverine story, one of several Wolverine-related issues released in a massive blitz just before the blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie opened that summer. A nice review of this issue can be found HERE. James Hudson appears as a member of Department H and Mister Jeffries appears, recruited by Wolverine into Department H.

This comic, though 32pp long, is slightly smaller than a standard current comic. It was given out for free on Free Comic Book Day in 2009, an industry promotion designed to bring new readers into comic book shops and is largely kid-oriented, though there is plenty of grown-up material for the taking. This particular issue is clearly labeled “All Ages” and the artwork from Gujihiru, the regular Power Pack team of late, is a perfect fit for the book.

fcbd2009aJames Hudson appears as “Dr. Hudson” in the early days of Department H, before Alpha Flight formed, and literally hours just before Wolverine’s debut in the Incredible Hulk #180-2. He exasperatedly convinces “the brass”, a group of top admirals and generals, to use Wolverine on an upcoming assignment, a slightly different characterization of Department H’s relationship with the Canadian military, which is usually more cooperative in nature. It’s nice to see James drawn in this cartoonish animation style, so young and fresh, just getting started off on his career and working with Wolverine in the early days. He then flies off with Wolverine to the fictional sleepy town of Harbordale, New Brunswick.

Wolverine jumps out of the plane, no parachute, of course, to investigate the town which has been coated in a techno-organic goop, discovering the source to be a mutant, none other than Mister Jeffries. Logan snaps him out of his trance and brings him to Department H headquarters, which was back then, a barn, as shown in the Alpha Flight Special and correctly identified by Fred van Lente, good job!

James MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O

This issue, though it has the feel of the “Marvel Adventures” imprint for kids, could fit into the 616 continuity with little effort. It could be the actual way that Mister Jeffries was recruited into Dept H.  Not much had been known about his recruitment until now, except for the known continuity errors on Mantlo’s part in Alpha Flight #46, when Jeffries mentions to Kara, “Bochssie an’ I go ‘way ‘way back, before we was Betans, even”, contradicting what we know of their first meeting in Alpha Flight #16 and the fact that Jeffries was never in Beta Flight.

fcbd2009cMac announces that Mister Jeffries is suffering from PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and sends him to a clinic for treatment.  Note that this clinic is likely NOT the “The Clinic for Socially Maladjusted Super- Beings”, the name Puck jokingly gives to Beta and Gamma Flights.  Interestingly, Wolverine’s success in this mission results in “the brass” authorizing the first round of funding for Alpha Flight, a name which is misplaced by Mac’s enthusiasm, as the first team formed was just “The Flight”, and the teams divided into lettered tiers later on.

Note that the book is sub-titled, “Origin of an X-Man”, which is on the surface appears to be referring to Wolverine as the X-Man, but might actually refer to Mister Jeffries’ eventual membership in the X-Men, as he joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 which was printed a few months before this issue.

The Amazing Hudson issue

November 11, 2009

wolorigins33coverWolverine Origins #33
Apr 2009

This early Dark Reign tie-in attempts to connect many dots in Wolverine’s history but leaves readers with more questions than answers. Most of the issue is flashbacks and exposition while the usually trustworthy Nick Fury and Logan share a couple of drinks at a bar and discuss the Weapon X program, Romulus and the Hudson family. Yes, the entire Hudson family, including James MacDonald Hudson and Heather Hudson, who appear in one panel. Alpha Flight also appears in flashback in one panel and Wild Child appears later as well.

Nick Fury asks Logan about the name “Hudson”, setting off a series of mental flashbacks, one of which is to the “honeymoon in the woods” scene from Alpha Flight #33 where James and Heather Hudson rescue Wolverine.

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Another flashback is the original six member Alpha Flight team of Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Northstar and Aurora, as Logan remembers, “One o’ my first missions for Alpha Flight was to take down the Hulk…”, a reference to his debut in Incredible Hulk #180-182. It’s not clear that Alpha Flight was a fully formed team named “Alpha Flight” at that time, but it’s possible that Logan’s chronically scrambled memory is jumbling things up a bit. It’s a nice Alpha Flight appearance nevertheless, reminiscent of a very similar panel also by Doug Braithwaite in Paradise X #4, in a very similar context, where the original team is shown in flashback to the early days when Wolverine was associated with Dept H.

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The biggest revelation in this story is Wolverine’s family tree, as told by Nick Fury: Logan’s mother, Elizabeth Hudson, had two brothers, Elias and Frederick. Frederick Hudson was the guy running the paramilitary camp in Wolverine Origins #15, shown again in issue #27 callously abandoning his pregnant secretary, Caitlin MacDonald. Caitlin and Frederick’s son, Frederick Hudson II is James MacDonald Hudson’s dad, making Logan and Mac first cousins, once removed. Well, that’s nice, so Logan and Mac worked together for years and formed a close friendship, never knew they were distantly related, then Mac died, not knowing of the relationship. Oh, and Fury’s point? “I believe the Hudsons have been the pawns of Romulus for over a century–he uses them like puppets so he doesn’t have to expose himself. But as soon as one of them serves his or her purpose, they’re taken off the board.”

This revelation is problematic because, according to what we know from Wolverine Origins #27, Mac’s father, Frederick Hudson II was born in 1960. It’s a rather difficult scenario: he would have to grow up and have a kid (Mac) who would himself grow up, get a job at Am-Can, spend 5 years creating Dept H and the E-M suit, form Alpha Flight and have it disbanded by Trudeau, who served from 1980 to 1984. Comic book time sure gets silly sometimes but really, that’s just inexplicable.

Note: Mac’s own memories of his parents as shown in X-Men Unlimited #45 indicates that he was named after his grandfather on his mother’s side. Feel free to speculate exactly where the “MacDonald” comes from, unless it’s just a coincidence that his paternal grandmother and his maternal grandfather both were named MacDonald.

If the entire Romulus retcon wasn’t straining credibility enough for readers of this series, the Hudson family tree revelation really jumps the shark. Especially troubling is the assertion by Fury that Romulus is a shady controller of James MacDonald Hudson’s entire life, leading to his untimely death. This would imply that Romulus was behind the formation of the Collective, which was the result of the depowerment on M-Day and therefore Romulus was behind the Scarlet Witch’s insanity… I can’t even finish this train of thought, it just can’t be possible.

wolorigins33c

Nick Fury also reveals more information about Romulus, mentioning that anything that came after the Weapon X program “was an unsuccessful attempt to create the next-generation Wolverine”, along with an illustration showing Daken, Sabretooth, Deadpool and Wild Child. Assuming that the illustration goes along with Nick Fury’s speech, not just what’s popping into Wolverine’s head as he hears the words, it would imply that Romulus re-powered Wild Child after M-Day, a notion consistent with other Wild Child appearances around that time and up until his death in issue #39 of this series.

No, not THAT X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the other one.

November 4, 2009

xmenoriginswol1coverX-Men Origins: Wolverine #1
Jun 2009

The X-Men: Origins series is an irregularly published set of one-shots focused on individual members of the X-Men. Despite having his own ongoing Wolverine Origins series, Wolverine was selected for one issue, released in a coordinated blitz of Wolverine stuff right around the time the blockbuster movie of the EXACT SAME NAME was about to hit the theaters in 2009. It tells a condensed and slightly altered version of Logan’s early life and recruitment by Professor X from a very nasty Department H. James and Heather Hudson appear in this book as friends of Wolverine in Department H and in flashback to the honeymoon rescue scene from Alpha Flight #33.

Of all characters in comics, Wolverine has by far the most complex and hardest to understand origin story, to the point where he’s defined by the messiness and mystery of it all.  To put out a single book chronicling what couldn’t be told in 50 issues of a standalone series (Wolverine Origins) is an impossible task and it would have been very easy to skip over the Hudsons.

xmenoriginswol1aCentral to Heather’s appearance in this issue is a new facet of Logan’s feelings for her, revealed for the first time in this issue in a very sweet and touching moment, but with a bit of retcon thrown in. During a slightly altered “honeymoon in the woods scene”, Logan shows up freshly escaped from the Weapon X facility and first comes across Heather, who instantly reminds him of his redheaded childhood friend (and first love lost), Rose, morphing into her right before Logan passes out. Heather shouts out to James, who must have been in the cabin, for assistance with Logan.

xmenoriginswol1b

Now of course the actual events shown in the original scene are a bit different: Logan was a screaming wild man with no tubes nor wires coming out of him and James was right there with Heather; no need to shout out for him. Oh, and I almost forgot: Heather shot Logan with a rifle! Not exactly the best circumstances to trigger a fond memory of your childhood crush…

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Later, in a quiet scene on a Department H porch which takes place at an unspecified time afterwards, James and Heather appear to collect Wolverine to go meet the new Alpha Flight recruits. Heather again morphs into Rose during a quiet sunset conversation as she assures Logan that they’ll always be there for him and that he’s part of their family now.

xmenoriginswol1c

The Hudsons. Not nasty jerks.

Part of this origin story takes place right before the events of the tie-slicing scene in Giant Size X-Men #1, but oddly, the personnel at Department H are made out to be real nasty jerks. Likely done to exaggerate Logan’s reasons for wanting to leave with Xavier so readily, it put him into quite a bad crowd of outright racists who simply hated him. After returning from what are possibly chronologically misplaced events of Incredible Hulk #180-2, a Major Chasin[sic] declares, “Hudson may want you for his pet project, but Department H took you in for one reason.” The pet project is likely Alpha Flight or the First Flight team. This would imply that Hudson was just a scientist at Dept H, not its founding member and leader.

xmenoriginswol1dDiametrically opposed to the strangely insulting and nasty way Christ Yost wrote the rest of the Department H members, James and Heather are written with class and as a welcoming family for Logan. Their outright loving and affable care for him really shine in this issue, only matched by Mark Texeira’s flattering artwork for Heather’s beauty, a real treat.  The continuity errors can easily be explained away by Wolverine’s famously faulty memory in multiple flashbacks, and quite frankly, Yost got the honeymoon in the woods scene wrong in a dear and tender way, so he gets a free pass.

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