[identity profile] suzene.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Title: X-Factor #116: Homecomings (Marvel Comics, 1995, 23 pages)
Creators: Howard Mackie (writer), Steve Epting (pencils)
Availability: Out of print.

A couple of months back, timemonkey requested scans of non-Austen Northstar and Polaris meeting. So, in keeping with my "I only bought this because it had Northstar in it" posting tendencies, here's a run-in between Alpha Flight and X-Factor. That's right, you lucky people! You're getting some 90's-era Howard Mackie goodness!

For all that I've complained -- and will continue to complain -- that damn near every writer to come along has an exasperating tendency to confuse reminding us that Northstar likes men with actual character development, Northstar is still way better off than Aurora in the characterization department. Whereas Northstar's been given some positive traits over the years, his sister's defining characteristics always reset to her being two flavors of crazy (boy and batshit) and, if someone was feeling really creative, occasionally bitchy or an abuse victim.

Howard Mackie did not buck the trend, but at least he didn't get overly creative.



We open on Alpha Flight HQ in Toronto. This would be when the twins were going through another period where no one could figure out if they were dark-haired or white-haired. The colorist split the difference and made them...blond? This is not without precedent, but I don't feel like explaining that tonight and I don't think anyone is really all that interested.



Where is Aurora headed? Well, she's off to Virginia to kick the crap out of Kyle Gibney AKA Wildchild, who's running around in his NO FEAR shirt and AXO kneepads after Aurora forced his YOKOHAMA motorbike into a ravine. (Was Marvel selling adspace on the actual characters during this time period? Anyone know?)

You see, not so long ago, Kyle was a member of Alpha Flight and also a total bishonen pretty-boy going by the name of Wildheart. He and Aurora had a bit of thing going, but then Kyle reverted back to his original fugliness and fled. Aurora's crazy is acting up again, so she's decided all at once to not take this abandonment well. Anyway...








Kyle attempts to explain and apologize, but Aurora is having none of it. But just as she's about to wring the life out of him, Mystique steps in and saves the day through cunning use of not-giving-a-damn-about-the-crazy-woman.





Omigod, indeed. This latest deception causes an unprecedented amount of shit-flipping on Aurora's part, to the point that she burns out her own powers and falls over.



Single emo tear.


Aurora and Wild Child show up in the Weapon X series a few years later. He's uglier than before, and she's a crazy bitch. Oh yeah, and in an abusive relationship with Weapon X's director. *sigh*

Date: 2009-06-19 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salamangkiero.insanejournal.com
I am somehow very happy that I missed all this. Though i have to say, Northstar's dickishness here is spot-on.

Date: 2009-06-19 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moneyless_jew.insanejournal.com
Then came Jeff Matsuda and the absolute dregs of what was already a title in decline, with Wild Child and the holographic Shard in a 'hip romance.' I wanted to kill them both.

I loved Epting's old art style and this team, but Mackie's writing was, is and always shall be a horror. I also loved these Alpha Flight uniforms.

Date: 2009-06-19 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
"I only bought this because it had Northstar in it"

So you have Chuck Austen X-Men issues :O?

I like what Austen did with JP, though. I mean, he's a gorgeous 30 year old French sports superstar, so it was pretty cute that he was pining after Bobby, and it was so adorable. It really seemed like Bobby was gay for JP.

Date: 2009-06-19 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
And no one will ever convince me he's not.

And I should probably thank Austen for making me into a Polaris fan. Not that it should be taken as a compliment since I was so disgusted at his treatment of her that I defaulted into must defend chaarcter mode.

Date: 2009-06-19 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
The trick to being a JP/Bobby shipper is to pretty much ignore how they acted during that run and instead imagine them acting as their usual selves. JP/Bobby would be fun, and I've never once bought Iceman as straight. Not even when I first saw him in X-Men the animated series, he spent the entire episode on a desperate search for his girlfriend, Lorna, and all I could think, even though I was only like seven at the time, was "I think he might have a thing for Cyclops."

Date: 2009-06-19 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] perletwo.insanejournal.com
Oh, 90's. They've given Jean-Paul a talking ribcage and Jeanne-Marie a talking hoo-ha. This is ridonkulous.

Date: 2009-06-19 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jcbaggee.insanejournal.com
You know, I've always kinda liked Havok. He's got a cool power set. But...that costume. That's not a costume or a uniform, that's...lazy, 90s design. Especially on the one X-team that at least kind of has matching uniforms.

Date: 2009-06-19 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brandiweed.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
I thought that's how his costume always looked, minus the goofy headgear.

Date: 2009-06-19 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jcbaggee.insanejournal.com
The white circles on the chest, prevalent in his original costume, became less a fixture of his costume over time.

Then there was a godawful later on X-Factor suit with a bunch of weird tech looking stuff, his Mutant X outfit which was a stylized version of the black suit with yellow bracers/belt, and his current outfit which has lines that glow based on how much energy he emits.

IIRC, his uniforms function as gauges for how much energy he has stored up, since too much will cause him to go haywire.

Date: 2009-06-19 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
Did Kyle and Aurora have an actual relationship in Alpha Flight? I thought he was getting funky with Heather when the series ended, not wacko-twin.

Date: 2009-06-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Everyone's been with Aurora at some point or anouther.

Date: 2009-06-19 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
No wonder Northstar is so screwed up...

Date: 2009-06-19 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
The mornign after would have been hillarious though.

Date: 2009-06-19 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mugiwara.insanejournal.com
"Jean-Marie"? Aurora was a man in this story??

Date: 2009-06-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Thanks for rememebring my request and posting these!


So, do Lorna and JP actually interact?

Date: 2009-06-19 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Thanks anway.

So, does this mean Austen really is the only source for Loran/Jean-Paul interaction?

Date: 2009-06-19 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Yeah, would be helpful.


So, am I irrational for being mad at Puck for blocking the only possible butt shot we'd have got from JP in these scans? It wouldn't bother me so much but JM had at least one obvious one and I demand equality.

Date: 2009-06-20 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Puck was supposed to be a dwarf. He's not a dwarf here. He's SHORT. That's not the same thing.
Also, whose bright idea was it to give everyone in Alpha Flight the same uniform? I mean, it's perfectly in character for a government institution, but there's a reason that most super-teams tend to have different costumes - so they can be told apart on the page when the action gets hot and heavy and distinguishing marks are concealed by flying dust or whatever. Considering that there were about fifteen different members of Alpha Flight at the time, most of whom all had the same basic body type, this strikes me as a really dumb thing to do.

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