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  1. #31

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    Cowardice. Or, more diplomatically, lack of follow-through.

    Northstar's early history is roughly a decade of writers trying to get around the fact that they weren't allowed to say the character was gay, and then once it was allowed to be explicitly put in print, it was treated as an endpoint. Northstar says he's gay, then it's mentioned only once more in the Alpha Flight series, and it's his sister being homophobic (again). There's no love interest, no further revelation, no emotional fallout from the death of his daughter, no development. Just "I'm gay", and that's it.

    His miniseries? Utterly forgettable toothless 90's twaddle, more veiled homophobia, and no direct mention of his sexuality.

    Alpha Flight volume 2? Northstar tries to commit suicide, for no reason ever elaborated on. Because that's what gay people do, apparently. We have a "born that way" PSA, then it all goes under the rug as the writer concentrates on characters he actually gives a shit about.

    Then pretty much nothing until Northstar joins the X-Men almost another decade later, where the notable high points are a mentorship to Anole that takes place entirely off-screen (and a role that's ultimately taken out of Northstar's hands and given to a straight character), Mark Millar killing him off in a storyline where he has zero agency, Mike Carey cleaning up Millar's mess in a story where Northstar is mostly a quest object, and, finally, his wedding, which if you're keeping track, is the only just about the only storyline since the 1990's where he was 1) central to the plot, 2) written remotely in character and 3) was treated as a full-fledged character in his own right before we hit The X-Tremists this year.*

    Northstar's more a footnote than an icon because Marvel took all of their early missteps with regards to LGBTQ rep with him. Because Marvel thought having a character show up and say "I'm gay!" once every ten years counted as decent representation. Because writers don't know how to handle a gay character who's unapologetically disinterested in making people comfortable, and so flatten him into a bitchy gay stereotype, if they even know anything about him other than his being "the gay one". And when he finally got spotlight with a writer who did quite a good job with him overall, once again there was absolutely no follow-up about what any of it meant to him as a character.

    Northstar's a character who gets used intermittently, is challenging to write, has a history of being used poorly when he does turn up, and then immediately gets put aside for bigger names on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Bobby's a founding member of the X-Men, he's likable, relatable, funny, sympathetic, has appeared in just about every X-Men media adaptation, and had his coming out at a time when there was a lot more awareness wrt the portrayal of minority characters. It's really not much of a contest.

    *(And no, I'm not forgetting Amazing X-Men #13. I enjoyed it a lot, but, ultimately, Northstar was a prop.)
    Last edited by Anduinel; 07-25-2019 at 09:14 PM.

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  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Drops Of Venus's Avatar
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    Because Marvel hasn't been investing on classic Alpha Flight for a while now, which is the franchise in which he was the most prominent at. Without that, there isn't much he can rely on. He has the X-Men, yes, but we all know how hard it is for a character to stay relevant there if they're not a part of the ''upper echelon'' mutants. If Marvel wants people to pay attention to Northstar, I think they need to start pushing the classic AF again, and if they can make a thing out of that, more popularity for the character could come along the way. What we're discussing about Northstar here can, IMO, apply to pretty much any other AF classic member.

    Oh, and getting a movie or TV show also helps a lot. Alpha Flight has a lot of cinematic potential and I could easily see them being a hit in the MCU, with Northstar being a breakout star. Marvel Comics love their synergy, so a lot of push would come out of that. Just look at the Guardians Of The Galaxy; at one point, ALL of the movie members got their own solo book after the movie came out. Even with low sales in the direct market, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon got like 3 different solo books. And even after those books were cancelled, they were and still are relevant in the stories. That is something that would've likely never happened in a pre-MCU world. So having a strong presence outside of comics can be a gamechanger these days.
    Last edited by Drops Of Venus; 07-26-2019 at 01:42 AM.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Honestly, Northstar doesn't have a very good character design imo. Plus now a little baggage of some people not being accepting of gay people makes it harder for him to catch on . But no need to overthink it, does this character look cool? No. Simply that.
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 07-26-2019 at 03:31 AM.

  4. #34
    MXAAGVNIEETRO IS RIGHT MyriVerse's Avatar
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    Always thought he and Aurora were smoking hot designs.
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  5. #35
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    Well, it's not like Marvel has invested a lot of effort into making him a solo star or anything. They haven't done a whole with him other than a mini over the years and a couple of PSAs. You might as well ask why doesn't Snowbird have her own comic.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colossus1980 View Post
    Where is the Rogues' Galle.
    Weapon Prime. didn't you read his limited series?
    "I just don't get why you wouldn't want to break the law anymore" --Scorpia

  7. #37
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    Weapon Prime. didn't you read his limited series?
    There's also Pink Pearl.

  8. #38
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    I don't get it either. There's a lot to Northstar.

    He's a mutant with cool, if basic, powers.
    He's married which gives you a personal life aspect.
    He's a former athlete with an outgoing personality which screams pop-culture superstar.
    He's been involved with terrorist oranizations in his past which adds a political aspect to his personality.

    If the main focus of Northstar is "he's gay", that's missing a whole lot of character there. I can.

    Take Northstar and hook him up with a Tom King-like 12 issue limited series, exploring the parts of Jean-Paul's life. I'd certainly buy that and I'm a SWM who's not particulary mutant focused.

  9. #39
    Incredible Member Force de Phenix's Avatar
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    He reminds me of the one in the middle. Apparently Northstar is too controversial and has been sidelined with the emergence of Iceman's awakening.


  10. #40
    Ultimate Member Wiccan's Avatar
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    Some of the things being said on this thread... I wanna vomit.

  11. #41
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    If Alpha Flight isn't popular, how do you expect one member to be break out and dominate sales?

    My favorite X-Men character is Colossus but I know he's not popular and can't support his own series. I'm realistic.

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member Drops Of Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force de Phenix View Post
    Apparently Northstar is too controversial and has been sidelined with the emergence of Iceman's awakening.
    I'm not sure if I agree with this notion that Northstar is too controversial. Maybe in older times, but today he seems to be the safe gay character some people choose to ''like'' whenever they wanna trash Marvel's LGBTQ representation without coming off as bigots. He's become the ''I have a gay friend'' card for some readers.

    Also, I really don't think Iceman being gay had anything to do with Northstar being sidelined, because that was already happening before Bobby came out.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drops Of Venus View Post
    I'm not sure if I agree with this notion that Northstar is too controversial. Maybe in older times, but today he seems to be the safe gay character some people choose to ''like'' whenever they wanna trash Marvel's LGBTQ representation without coming off as bigots. He's become the ''I have a gay friend'' card for some readers.
    Yeah, those folks "like" Northstar in the same way they "like" Wiccan and Hulking, in that they're the only gay characters that come to mind when these guys want to pretend to give a damn about their development while making the argument that there should be fewer LGBTQ characters overall. Try asking them to discuss anything that's happened to any of the above recently, and it's usually a fumble.

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  14. #44
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    There are a lot of really interesting points being made in this thread (and some not so much).

    But another question I have... Feige and the MCU seem determined to represent every type of person. They pushed Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and now Shang-Chi as their flagship representations. Who will be the flagship gay superhero going forward? There are rumors of pushing a gay protagonist in Eternals, will it be that character? Or Valkyrie? Or Captain Marvel again? And if it's a character made gay for the movies (like Ikaris), how will that go over considering the only gay (male) character in the comics with a prominent gay history is Northstar? To me that feels sort of like pushing Black Canary as DC's flagship female hero when Wonder Woman pioneered feminism for the comics industry.

  15. #45

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    That's a question that has a lot of behind the scenes baggage attached, though. As I understand it, there's going to be an age of legal red tape that has to be dealt with before the X-Men are free for Disney to use in the MCU. As a mutant, Northstar is included in that. So even if he was on Feige's radar, he couldn't use him.

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