Posts Tagged ‘Northstar’

The most expensive dust jacket you’ll ever buy

January 5, 2015

AoAOmnibuscoverX-Men: Age of Apocalypse Omnibus
2012

Note: There is no month of publication indicated, but came out on 2/22/12. Other books that came out on that date carried a publication month of April.

Usually, collected editions aren’t covered on this blog, which you know from reading the F.A.Q. This is mainly because they don’t usually contain new material, but also because I generally don’t collect them, having already bought the floppies. But there are some exceptions.

The massive Age of Apocalypse storyline had already been collected in a four volume TPB, and collected further in a Prelude TPB containing introductory matter, which might or might not count, depending on how much of a completest you are. The “X-Men: The Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic” published in 2006 and the Prelude TPB published in 2011 had its problems, including missing pages, missing dialogue, problems with the read order and particularly poor quality paper in the Prelude. The Ombnibus, an elephantine 1,047 page tome weighing in at 7.2 lbs (that’s 3.27 kg for you metric folks), corrected these errors and limited the contents to the relevant portions of the introductory matter. The remaining material, which numbered a measly 992 pages, would later be published in a second Omnibus in 2014.

So if it’s just a big hardcover of Age of Apocalypse (AoA) material, why does it warrant its own entry? The answer is that the cover art on the dust jacket is a new image by Billy Tan, featuring AoA Wild Child. Here’s the image, which had been floating around as a solicit for a while before the book came out:

AoAOmnibusb

The only way you could get this image in print was to shell out a whopping $125 cover price – essentially buying a really expensive dust jacket. Marvel did release this same image as a poster for a more reasonable $8.99 in November 2011, but posters don’t count. Your $125 dust jacket also has on the back a grid of miniaturized cover art of the issues contained within, including:

  • X-Men: Alpha wraparound cover with AoA Wild Child
  • Astonishing X-Men with AoA Wild Child
  • Factor X #1 with AoA Northstar and AoA Aurora
  • Astonishing X-Men #4 with AoA Wild Child
  • X-Men: Omega wraparound cover with AoA Wild Child
  • and the Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen wraparound cover with AoA Northstar, AoA Aurora and the very tips of AoA Wild Child’s claws.

AoAOmnibusa

Besides the dust jacket, you still get a lot of Alpha Flight in this Omnibus. The Alpha Flight related content includes the expected AoA appearances of AoA Wild child, AoA Box, AoA Northstar and AoA Aurora as well as some bonus intro and outro material:

  • a 2pg spread of the X-Men: Alpha wraparound cover with AoA Wild Child with most of the trade dress and background elements removed, replaced with clean white on the intro pages before the Table of Contents
  • the 2pg Dennis Calero pinup with AoA Wild Child (which can be found in the 2nd printings of the #1 issues)
  • the X-Facts page that preceded the event, with AoA Wild Child shown on the cover of X-Men: Alpha
  • the X-Facts page from Apr 1995 with AoA Wild Child in art taken from the cover of X-Men: Omega
  • the kinda hard to see, um, actually barely discernable Ultimate edition covers which are gold embossed and just didn’t reproduce well, but still you can see AoA Wild Child on the cover of Astonishing X-Men #1 as well as AoA Northstar and AoA Aurora on the cover of Factor X #1.
  • the Omnibus ends with a full page reproduction of the Billy Tan poster without trade dress.

For two interesting posts on the marvelmasterworksfansite by Jeph York about how and why this Omnibus came about and what’s in it and what’s not in it, and why:

http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/sreply/517332/Age-of-Apocalypse

http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/sreply/573586/Age-of-Apocalypse-what-collection

Note: this issue has a DM variant cover with art by Joe Madureira taken from the wraparound cover of X-Men: Alpha, also with AoA Wild Child, so he got onto both dust jackets. Since the variant also has the Billy Tan poster printed as outro material, it is required for Alpha Flight Collectors to own both.

AoAOmnibusDMvariantcover Age of Apocalypse Omnibus – DM variant
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Sasquatch is “Officially” not a wolf

January 4, 2015

oittmuwpgr7coverWolverine, Punisher & Ghost Rider: Official Index to the Marvel Universe #7
Apr 2012

Note: Despite being clearly printed on the cover, “Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Wolverine & Punisher” is not the actual title of this series. The indicia reveals it reversed as above. Oddly, the Ghost Rider indexing ended as of last issue and is dropped from the cover, but the indicia remains unchanged.

The Official Index to the Marvel Universe, or OITTMU, continues in its third incarnation by covering various Wolverine and Punisher series. The first two incarnations covered Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, and Captain America. The index contains detailed synopses of individual comics, including all of the relevant data pertaining to the comic as well as a thumbnail of the cover art, 2 issues per page (roughly). Northstar appears in this issue in reprinted art from the cover of Wolverine #28 (Dec 2004).

The section on Wolverine titles starts from Wolverine #21 (the third series, a.k.a. the one that started in 2003) and ends at Wolverine Chop Shop (Jan 2009). Alpha Flight members appear in issues #25-28, #30-31, #53-56, and the index fully notes their appearances. Out of those issues, there’s only one cover appearance for Alpha Flight.

Wolverine #28 Brainwashed, evil Northstar appears on the cover

Wolverine #28 Brainwashed, evil Northstar appears on the cover

Northstar had been resurrected sometime off-panel in Wolverine #26, so this cover wasn’t such a surprise when it was finally published. The solicits for this issue were made available around the same time issue #26 came out. So as not to spoil Northstar’s return, the solicited cover image for Wolverine #28 censored his identity in silhouette and the solicited text read, “With friends like these… who needs enemies? Hydra hits close to home in more ways than one, leaving a rehabilitated Wolverine to face off against a brainwashed, evil former X-Man.”

Wolverine #28 The spoiler-free solicit originally showed Northstar obscured in shadow

Wolverine #28 The spoiler-free solicit originally showed Northstar obscured in shadow

Wolverine #53 introduced the notion that Sasquatch is of lupine descent. This is a known error by Jeph Loeb – and the index accurately states:

“… also shows a picture of Sasquatch while listing Lupine-like mutations, but Sasquatch’s powers are magical and derive from the Great Beast Tanaraq.”

So for the Alpha Flight fans who have been understandably frustrated by this error, the index firmly corrects this notion.

Another Jeph Loeb error is World War II-era Wild Child. In Wolverine #54, he appeared as a Nazi officer in a dream sequence that took place during the war, much to the chagrin of Alpha Flight fans. The index again accurately states:

“Wolverine dreams here about encountering Wild Child during WWII. However, XFac#142, ’98 fb showed Wild Child’s teenage years, establishing that he is not old enough to have been alive in WWII. W #55, ’07 reveals that Wolverine’s dreams in W #50-54, ’07 were caused by Romulus; while the others seem to have been Romulus’ memories, this one may be a false scenario implanted by Romulus for unknown reasons.”

The index then speculates:

“However, it is also possible that Wild Child truly was present at the battle; he may have time-traveled there … or XFac #142, ’98’s flashbacks may have been partly incorrect.”

I’m skeptical about the time-traveling scenario and the possibility that the origin story in X-Factor #142 might be incorrect, but apparently the index authors felt compelled to offer an explanation.

Northstar cameo in Astonishing X-Men #46

September 17, 2013

astonishingxmen46coverAstonishing X-Men #46
Mar 2012

The Exalted story arc that started up in issue #44 of Greg Pak’s too-short run on the Astonishing title starts out with a re-telling of the shocking backstory of the circumstances under which the X-Treme X-Men team formed. Last issue, we learned that in an alternate universe, a mutant uprising led by Magneto conquers a world but defeated later by a heroic team of X-Men led by that world’s Cyclops and a white-clad hero named Savior, cracking the world as a result. Northstar appears in a single panel cameo as a member of… well, your guess is as good as mine.

The story of the subsequent recruitment of mutants to maintain the integrity of the cracked world is re-told in this issue in a manner that should remind readers of how comics back in the day would actually fill in a new reader to the plot with a few panels or pages of recap, along with editor’s footnotes. Long gone and replaced with a title page, those often long-winded expository recaps were essential to allow new readers to “jump in” to an arc without having to have a new #1 issue thrown into their face every 5 months. While some readers may feel as if repeated material is a waste of precious space, others may enjoy the fullness that recaps and expository flashbacks bring to a comic. In this case, Alpha Flight Collector enjoyed it very much because Northstar makes another appearance.

astonishingxmen46

Shown in another ambiguous battle scene, possibly the same one, it still isn’t clear which side he’s fighting on. In the last issue he was engaged one-on-one with X-23; in this issue, he’s flying in a somewhat battle-ish pose next to Storm but not cleanly engaged in a fight with her. Based on other events in the book, she would be on the Cyclops/Savior team. Who would win? Stormy baby, I love ya, but I’m sorry. Northstar’s speed wins. Last time they squared off it wasn’t even close.

uxm120b

That blur is Northstar clocking Ororo in X-Men #121.

Changes to how he’s drawn since last issue include a new pair of dark sunglasses, sewn cuffs instead of starburst cuffs and a solid black costume from the knees down instead of a white booted costume. He’s been wearing all kinds of costume variants for years now, but likely Mike McKone just draws him differently up close as he does from further away and unfortunately with rounded ears the further one gets. Northstar is supposed to have pointy ears. Keep in mind also that this is a mental projection re-telling of a story already told via mental projection of a flashback on an alternate world, so the source image could have been at fault, not the penciler.

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.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!

September 14, 2013

backissue54coverBack Issue #54
Feb 2012

Published by TwoMorrows Publishing eight times per year, Back Issue celebrates comic books of the 1970s, 1980s, and today through a variety of recurring (and rotating) departments. That unassuming description from the TwoMorrows website hardly comes close to the level of awesome of this magazine. Recently changed at issue #52 to 84 pages of full color in a nice square-bound format, Back Issue is filled with lengthy articles about comic book characters, creators and events, not to mention tons of original art, unpublished pencil sketches and the occasional commission piece. Alpha Flight appears in this issue in one of those commission pieces, but under dubious circumstances.

In an article “Phoenix Rising” by Jim Ford, the entirety of the Dark Phoenix Saga, a story found at or near the top of nearly every “best X-Men story” list on the Internet, is told in great detail, along with several rare and unusual images of Jean Grey. A few of these are Byrne commissions, and one of them is quite an odd choice: a montage of X-Men characters commissioned back in 2010. Yes, Jean Grey is in the image but is so small and among so many other characters that it’s rather puzzling why this image was chosen in a Dark Phoenix Saga article.

backissue54bclick to enlarge

The actual image as published is a bit small, so here is a higher resolution version. The Alpha Flight characters in the image are Mac (costumed), Heather (not costumed), Northstar (scowling), Aurora, Sasquatch, Shaman and Snowbird (prev 4 all smiling). Aurora is holding a sign, that reads, “Bon Jour Nathan! Je T’amie!” For those of you who were reading Alpha Flight comics instead of paying attention in French class, that means, “Hello Nathan! I love you!”

More information about the original commission piece, and some interesting Alpha Flight tidbits, can be found at the official John Byrne website. The owner of the original commission piece is the extremely talented Nathan Greno, director of the Disney movie Tangled, and John Byrne fan extraordinaire.

An amateur colorist decided to download a scan of the commission, freely available at John Byrne’s website, colored it, and posted it online, which TwoMorrows then lifted, crediting it only as “artist John Byrne’s drawing of the X-Men cast of his legendary tenure.” The original commission piece from 2010 is shown below.

backissue54aclick to enlarge
(note: the link leads to a very high resolution image which is a rather large file)

Nathan later found out about TwoMorrows using this image without his permission. Unlike other instances when commission owners were publicly acknowledged in a subsequent issue after contacting TwoMorrows, no such acknowledgement has ever been published. When Joe Hollon wrote to TwoMorrows regarding an uncredited contribution published in Back Issue #53, TwoMorrows published an apology in issue #58:

Joe, our sincere apologies for that goof. We juggle so many images and image sources that occasionally an error like this occurs. Thanks for understanding-and for your art contribution.

The most likely explanation for the lack of apology to Nathan is that TwoMorrows was never contacted and informed of the error, but it’s still odd for them to have published the colored version of the piece without properly crediting it.

He’s the best at what he does… and what he does is imperceptibly tiny.

September 10, 2013

wolverine300coverWolverine #300
Mar 2012

Similar to the What If? #200 issue that came out of the other end of the re-numbering craze to arbitrarily re-start a comic book series at a very high number (as opposed to the re-numbering craze where you start over at #1 every 4-5 months), Wolverine #300 is arguably around the 300th issue or so of the various Wolverine series, give or take a few issues. This oversize issue contains a seven-part story and a preview of Jeph Loeb’s Sabretooth Returns, along with three pages of character designs and four pages of tiny cover thumbnails of the 300 issues arranged in a tight array, including many, many variants. Alpha Flight Collector is very much impressed with the kind of painstaking indexing work required to create such an array, and is thrilled to find many Alpha Flight characters on those covers!

wolverine300a

Due to the volume of material, the actual thumbnails are extremely small and the cover detail is quite hard to discern. So here are much larger images of the issues shown in the array:

Wolverine #35 - Puck

Wolverine #35 – Puck

Wolverine #95 - Vindicator (Mac)

Wolverine #95 – Vindicator (Mac)

Wolverine #110 - Shaman

Wolverine #110 – Shaman

Wolverine #142 - Heather, Northstar, Synth Mac

Wolverine #142 – Heather, Northstar, Synth Mac

Wolverine #143 - Heather, Synth Mac

Wolverine #143 – Heather, Synth Mac

Wolverine #172 - Guardian (Mac), Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Aurora, Puck

Wolverine #172 – Guardian (Mac), Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Aurora, Puck

Wolverine #179 - Shaman

Wolverine #179 – Shaman

Wolverine #28 - Northstar

Wolverine #28 – Northstar

Note that we still aren’t sure which Mac is on the cover of Wolverine #142 and #143, but I think it’s Mac’s Synth clone.

Note: there is a cover variant by Geof Darrow, one by Jim Cheung, a blank variant and a second printing sketch variant of Adam Kubert’s original cover.

wolverine300coverdarrowvariant Wolverine #300 – Geof Darrow variant
wolverine300covercheungvariant Wolverine #300 – Jim Cheung variant
wolverine300coverblank Wolverine #300 – blank variant
wolverine300coversecondprintingvariant Wolverine #300 – 2nd printing variant

Northstar cameo in Astonishing X-Men #45

September 7, 2013

astonishingxmen45coverAstonishing X-Men #45
Feb 2012

Alpha Flight v4 writer Greg Pak had a short run on the Astonishing X-Men title (issues #44-47) before Marjorie Liu took over and got Northstar all married and whatnot. During that run, he set up what would eventually spin off into the very fun alternate universe-hopping series, the X-Treme X-Men, and ultimately conclude with the X-Termination crossover. In this, the second issue of the “Exalted” arc, readers learn the shocking backstory of the circumstances under which the X-Treme X-Men team formed. An alternate version of Northstar appears in one panel in an ambiguous role.

On an alternate world where 616 Cyclops suddenly found himself in issue #44, a mutant uprising led by Magneto had successfully taken over the world. A team of X-Men led by that alternate world’s version of Cyclops battled Magneto’s mutant team and won, cracking the planet as a result. This background info is beamed directly into 616 Cyclops’ mind by an alternate Charles Xavier known as Savior, providing a quick visual expository to the reader.

astonishingxmen45

In a mentally projected scene from that world-cracking battle, one of the combatants is Northstar, fighting X-23 and shown wearing a version of his classic black and white costume with a white belt and gloves with starburst cuffs. You can decide if that ear is pointy enough; Alpha Flight Collector thinks it’s on the border. Unfortunately, due to the limited amount of explanation, it isn’t clear what side Northstar is fighting for, because neither he nor X-23 is properly identified in any previous panels as belonging to one side or another. It’s as if Greg Pak’s script said “Ok here, just draw a bunch of random X-Men fighting each other in a big tangle of punches and stuff, whatever!”

astonishingxmen45b

Look for Northstar in the lower left corner of the scrum. It’s left to the reader to speculate whether Northstar or X-23 would sympathize with Magneto or Cyclops in this alternate world, which is a fairly interesting question to pose. But overall, I’m glad that out of all the mutants that could have been in that scene, an Alpha Flight member was included rather than overlooked, so thanks to Greg Pak and artist Mike McKone for this little cameo!

Note: the cover carries the Regenesis tag, identifying this as part of the loose crossover event that followed the Schism event. The next two issues of Astonishing X-Men in the “Exalted” arc do not carry the Regenesis tag on the cover.

The Mystery of the Ambiguous Mac

January 2, 2013

oittmuwpgr5coverWolverine, Punisher & Ghost Rider: Official Index to the Marvel Universe #5
Feb 2012

Note: Despite being clearly printed on the cover, “Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Wolverine, Punisher & Ghost Rider” is not the actual title of this series. The indicia reveals it reversed as above.

The Official Index to the Marvel Universe, or OITTMU, continues in its third incarnation by covering various Wolverine, Punisher, and Ghost Rider series. The first two incarnations covered Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Thor, and Captain America. The index contains detailed synopses of individual comics, including all of the relevant data pertaining to the comic as well as a thumbnail of the cover art, 2 issues per page (roughly). Alpha Flight appears in this issue in reprinted art from the covers of Wolverine #142 and #143 (Sep and Oct 1999).

Click to see full-size version of the solicited cover

Click to see full-size version of the solicited cover

Originally, the solicits for this issue indicated it would start at issue #142 for the Wolverine section of the book, but the writers only got so far as issue #133 last issue. The solicits are based on estimated page counts, so it’s typical to be off by a few issues. Since the usual arrangement is for the first indexed issue of the section to be shown on the cover in thumbnail, we would have had Alpha Flight on the cover of this issue had the estimate been accurate! Instead, the cover for Wolverine #134 (not an Alpha Flight appearance) made it to the big show. It’s the second time we were robbed of this distinction, as the same situation happened with issue #3 of this index as well.

The section on the Wolverine titles covers issues #134 through #169 with a few special issues published during that portion of the run. Alpha Flight members appear in issues #142-#145 and the Wolverine & Cable special, also known as “Guts & Glory”.

Cover to Wolverine #142 showing ambiguous Mac

Cover to Wolverine #142

The covers for #142 and #143 feature some of the team just after Alpha Flight volume 2 ended, with Puck, Northstar, Heather (as team liaison) and one of the two James MacDonald Hudsons. At the time, there were two Macs running around; one being the original Mac who had returned at the end of volume 2 (who at this time took the codename Guardian) and the other being “Synth Mac”, his younger clone (who at this time took the codename Vindicator). Because of similarities in their costumes and the fact that neither one was costumed in those issues, we can’t tell who is who on the cover of Wolverine #142 nor #143. There is also a small flashback panel in Wolverine #145 with a similar ambiguity: an unnamed Mac is shown wearing a cowl with a red stripe but we can’t tell which Mac it is, especially since the flashback is to events in issues #142 and #143 when neither Mac was wearing a costume. The index positively identifies the Mac in that small flashback panel as Guardian but also notes the error of showing him in costume at all.

Cover to Wolverine #143

Cover to Wolverine #143

Why so confusing? For those of you who keep track of these sorts of things: as of Alpha Flight v2 #20, “Real Mac” was wearing an all-white cowl and “Synth Mac” was wearing a cowl with a red stripe down the middle. The next chronological appearance of either of them is Wolverine #142, but again, neither of them are shown in costume in that issue (except in flashback). “Synth Mac” dies in issue #143 (oh sorry, uh, spoiler alert!) and the next appearance of “Real Mac” after this arc is in Generation X #58, where he is wearing an all-white cowl. The confusion starts when we next see “Real Mac” again in Wolverine #171, where he is wearing a cowl with a red stripe, continuing to wear this through several other appearances.

wolv2142coverinset

The actual images printed in this index are thumbnailed so here are the insets, magnified to clearly show the red stripe on ambiguous Mac’s cowl, as well as Heather in her “Team Liaison to Department H” costume holding an awesome looking gun.

wolv2143coverinset

Unfortunately, the information about the issues in the index doesn’t address the mystery of ambiguous Macs on these covers; perhaps it was too subtle even for the usually insanely detailed writers of the OITTMU series. It’s not too subtle for Alpha Flight Collector to still be worrying about this 13 years later, though. My personal opinion is that “Synth Mac” is on the cover of both of those issues based on the supposition that if he were costumed at the time, he would be wearing a cowl with a red stripe.

The index also helps out with positively identifying Ghost Girl (Lilli Stephens) for the first time in a small flashback panel in Wolverine #142 showing the reorganization of the Beta Flight team after volume 2. This places Wolverine #142 as Ghost Girl’s last chronological appearance, not Alpha Flight v2 #20 as previously thought.

Two known continuity errors in Wolverine #143 are pointed out and sort of explained. The first is when Vindicator (“Synth Mac”), while not wearing his EM suit nor cybernetic helmet, blasts Weapon X (Garrison Kane), which should have been impossible. The index explains this by suggesting, “his synthoid nature may have granted him additional, previously unrevealed powers.”

plausible

The second is in the 2nd story of Wolverine #143 when Walter Langkowski tries to explain where A.I.M. could possibly have obtained Snowbird’s body to reincarnate. At the time Walter was in Snowbird’s body but he suggested they obtained the body from her grave. The index notes, “Sasquatch’s explanation here that Snowbird’s body regenerated while in its grave cannot be accurate. [Wolverine #172 (2002)] implies that the Inuit gods had a hand in resurrecting Snowbird, but the exact mechanics of her return are unexplained.”

plausible

There was a chance for these continuity errors to be resolved with the publication of this index… but if the information doesn’t exist, the writers don’t have much to give us.

Jeffries and Northstar still refuse to speak to each other

November 23, 2012

X-Men Legacy #259
Jan 2012

The schedule of events among the X-titles fouled up a bit with the timing of this issue. Fans who were expecting a Regenesis story (the cover of this issue does have the Regenesis banner logo on the cover) were happily surprised to read yet one more pre-Regenesis story arc from Mike Carey, the long-term writer of X-Men Legacy since issue #188. The Schism event, in which the X-Men divided into two camps: one staying at Utopia with Cyclops and the other returning to Westchester with Wolverine, had ended in October 2011. Regenesis had begun four weeks previously in November 2011 with the release of Uncanny X-Men #1 on 11/2/2011. So by the time this issue was released on 11/30/2011, the hub-bub of who would stay on Utopia and who would leave for Westchester had settled down, already hashed over on countless websites, and even listed by Marvel with in-house ads in various X-books. Both Madison Jeffries and Northstar appear as regular members of the post-Schism, pre-Regenesis X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and #508.

Ultimately, Mister Jeffries would stay on Utopia with Cyclops as a member of the X-Men Science Team, and Northstar would leave for New York, later taking a prominent role in the Astonishing X-Men title. In this issue, Jeffries and Northstar assist in a rescue attempt organized by Rogue of… someone… from another dimension. Jeffries can be seen standing around with the X-Men on Utopia while the rescue attempt is discussed and organized, during which the Science Team is tasked by Cyclops to build a barrier to contain the rescued entity.

One interesting scene shows a wide-angle of the containment chamber assembly. Jeffries can be seen off to the left, apparently levitating or otherwise guiding a very large piece of equipment into place. What’s interesting about it is the tremendous size of the thingamabob that he’s levitating. We know he can manipulate fine machinery and small pieces of equipment but it’s rare to see him handling something so large. It calls into question a bit of overlap between his powers and Magneto’s powers. We know Magneto would easily be able to lift such a large metallic object, but can Jeffries do this?

Northstar appears in two panels, one without a face, and one holding a failsafe switch. Dr. Nemesis has quite a high opinion of Northstar’s fast reflexes

His super-speed gives him the quickest reaction time of us, and pico-seconds may count.

There have been many scenes over the years where Northstar has been shown with phenomenal reflexes, and some scenes where he’s easily taken out by a clearly slower opponent. Even the record is muddled on this point because Byrne’s footnote from Alpha Flight #12 indicates he doesn’t have proportionately fast reflexes but the OHOTMU Master Edition #13 entry disagrees, saying he has superhuman reflexes. Mike Carey, like he did with Jeffries’ intelligence level, errs on the side of awesome when it comes to Northstar’s power set and and chooses to show them at their finest.

This book is yet another X-book that has both Jeffries and Northstar yet doesn’t show them interacting in the way we’d expect. They were, after all, teammates in Alpha Flight and presumably knew each other even from Jeffries’ time in Gamma Flight. Although Northstar did show up at Diamond Lil’s funeral (we think), the two haven’t made any reference to serving in Alpha Flight together. With the two mutants on opposite coasts now and the X-editors sequestering Jeffries even from Fred van Lente and Greg Pak, it’s unlikely there will be any future issues of this type where we’ll get the chance to see it happen at all.

Note: this issue has a Marvel 50th Anniversary cover by David Yardin and a Regenesis Gold variant by Nick Bradshaw and Morry Jay Hollowell

X-Men Legacy #259 – 50th Anniversary variant
X-Men Legacy #259 – Regenesis Gold variant

It’s about TIME

June 5, 2012

TIME Magazine Vol. 179 No. 23
June 11, 2012

Note: The actual publication date precedes the cover date by a week. I do not own a time travel machine to go into the future to purchase magazines.

Published weekly since 1923, TIME (The International Magazine of Events) is the world’s largest circulation weekly news magazine, ranked 10th overall with a current (latest data from 2011) circulation of approximately 3.2 million subscribers, making this one of the most widespread appearances of Alpha Flight, ever. It even outranks the paltry 2 million subscribers for the ESPN The Magazine. TIME ran a blurb today about Northstar and Kyle’s wedding, featuring a cameo appearance of the lucky couple.

If you can put the morbid and depressing cover page behind you, flip to the section titled, “The Culture”, to find a small blurb in the article “Pop Chart” on page 56, along with a thumbnailed reproduction of the now famous proposal splash page by Mike Perkins.

The accompanying text is rather short, and disappointingly diminished from the full article, “X-Man Northstar to Get Marvel-ous Gay Wedding” published on their website a few weeks ago when the engagement was announced. But, since this magazine has a circulation larger than the population of 6 Canadian Provinces and 21 American States, a little blurb goes a long way.