I suspect that most of the readers who give JP shit about not being a team player – or a “whiny little bitch” to quote one reviewer who has just fallen dramatically in my esteem – haven’t actually paid that much attention to how Northstar came to be in Alpha Flight.
This was the pitch Mac Hudson gave Jean-Paul on first encounter. Even putting aside that all of Jean-Paul’s life experiences up to this point give him absolutely no reason to trust anyone in a position of authority – especially governmental authority – taken in the VERY best light, Husdon has been prying in his personal affairs. More likely, this comes across as Hudson threatening to out him twice over – both as a mutant and a homosexual – unless he joins Alpha Flight. Then Hudson follows up the refusal that was certain to be coming with emotional blackmail (“Oh, and by the way, here’s your long-lost sibling who’s already seen fit to join us…oops, um, DID, huh? Guess we should have done a more thorough psych eval. No, no, no need to reconsider the team roster in light of this…”).
And his experiences with Alpha Flight pretty much go downhill from there.
Seriously, it’s still a wonder to me that Northstar doesn’t punch Hudson in the jaw every time he sets eyes on the man.
Q: Do you think you would have worked ALPHA FLIGHT differently if there hadn’t been such a drive for doing “real” death stories in comics at the time? And do you wish you wouldn’t have killed Jim?
JB: One of us is misremembering the period. I don’t recall any “drive” for “real” death stories at the time I offed Mac. Rather, I did that particular story because I felt Mac was the least interesting of all the members of Alpha, but realized that from his death I could generate a whole flock of interesting subplots and arcs. In my constant quest to make the members of Alpha more three dimensional, I was always looking for anything that could be used to generate depth in their personalities. Mac’s death – and their reactions to it – was such a way. So, no, I’ve never regretted killing him.
And yet he’s died and come back more times than Jean Grey. I suppose I could understand if anyone had done anything interesting with him during any one of his returns, but nope. He’s only there because he’s supposed to be there (with all the unpleasant implications that come with). Despite the fact that I like Mac, I’ve never actually missed him – so far as I’ve been concerned, Alpha Flight’s never felt incomplete without him.
This I’m not so sure on. This new direction of Marrina’s seems as if it could get very annoying, very quickly. I admit to being disappointed that the writers seems to think that “sweet” = “victim” and excludes a female character from being kickass.
I’m guessing you mean Guardian (Mac)? It’s not that I dislike Mac on his own, but, the fact that every single writer to handle the character seems to think the cis, able-bodied white dude needs to be involved in leading the team (if not THE sole leader of the team) by default annoys me tremendously. This is mainly because:
1) Vindicator (Heather) lead the team for almost ten times as many issues as he did and saw AF through a lot more hardships, but still gets relegated to a secondary leader at best whenever Mac is on deck.
2) The most interesting thing Mac ever did was die, and writers seem to invariably bring him back just to realise that resurrecting him to put him back in the same role as before doesn’t automatically make him more interesting. (I’m particularly pissed with this incarnation because this time the writers are tearing down Heather to do it and – guess what! – it still doesn’t work.)
3) Now that Jeffries has been poached by the X-Men, there’s a glaring hole in the team make-up that Mac would be well-suited to fill, but that is constantly overlooked: science dude. The closest thing they have to a scientist, Sasquatch, is batting less than zero so far as competence and critical thinking skills go, whereas Mac has the qualifications and created one of the most advanced lightweight battlesuits in the MU on his own. He’d be useful in the role, and how he handles not being looked to as default leader anymore would actually be potentially interesting character development, but nooooo he HAS to be team leader, because that’s just How It Is. (Yes, we can give characters molestation backstories and complete personality transplants, but shuffling the team roles is just too radical a change.)
So, yeah. I hesitate to say I dislike the character, because the character himself is fairly inoffensive and has received almost no actual development in the past thirty years that can’t be scraped off onto a clone, android, or alternate-reality doppleganger. What I really hate is the kind of static storytelling he represents.