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  1. #1
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    Default Why isn't Northstar more popular?

    This question has been on my mind a lot lately.

    Representation is vital in today's climate. People want to see themselves in all forms of media, but especially film. Wonder Woman led the way for female superheroes on the big screen, and Black Panther did the same for black (male) superheroes. Shang-Chi will probably be huge when the movie comes out. But nobody really seems to be pushing for a Northstar movie, or even a solo comic series, when really he seems to be the only option in terms of gay male representation.

    Northstar could easily be Marvel's gay male version of Wonder Woman. No other character even comes close when it goes to mainstream comic history. He's had the first coming out, he's had the first gay marriage. I believe he's the first gay character to ever have his own title (albeit a mini-series)? Yet, he still goes pretty unnoticed by both fans and creators.

    So why do you think Northstar isn't more popular?

    Some possible responses based on what I've seen so far:

    • Northstar hasn't been pushed because Marvel only recently got the rights to mutants back.
    • Northstar is too "stereotypically gay" (whatever that means).
    • Iceman has taken Northstar's place as "token gay."
    • Northstar's powers aren't that unique.
    • Aurora drags Northstar down.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member nnelg's Avatar
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    He is a team character. The next time he is on a book then buy it. Build his popularity. The last time Alpha Flight had a title it went from being a ongoing to a mini because most people didn't buy it. Then it won't get cancelled. Staying published will help build popularity. Also his sexuality shouldn't matter. Whether you like the character and if you're willing to spend the money on the title is what should matter. As a fan of Alpha Flight I would possibly buy a Northstar title. But the less a character is used the less likely he/she will be popular.

  3. #3
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    A. His main thing is Alpha Flight, which is a cult team
    B. His design is good, but pretty basic because he was designed to be half of a pair on a full team
    C. Alpha Flight
    D. Not prominent in the X-Men which have also gotten less prominent
    E. Alpha Flight
    F. His powers are kinda basic, super speed is an engaging visual because you can immediately see the difference between normal speed, but when you have flying super speed, that difference is less distinct, and that's his primary thing

    I can see him being retooled as a leading man, but that requires a ground-up retool, and then if we have that we can keep his sexuality, marriage, history to make him more rich. And if the goal was to make Iceman, the more popular character, a leading man in the MU or flagship LGBT, I think they fumbled that ball in a few big ways.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    He seems pretty much a bit too much like Quicksilver, not so much the powers but the arrogant, snooty brother with a superpowered (and occasionally unstable) sister.


    I know he's been on the X-men a few times, but mostly seems to get stuck with "meh" writers when that happens.
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  5. #5
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    He seems pretty much a bit too much like Quicksilver, not so much the powers but the arrogant, snooty brother with a superpowered (and occasionally unstable) sister.
    This is also a massive problem. You can make a case for him being lesser Pietro in almost every way.
    Dance games are my divine punishment from the Lord. May my furnace be forever fueled.

  6. #6

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    they ruined him by giving him a boyfriend/husband. there's nothing more boring than newlyweds. i remember liking his mini from way back when. i don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with the character. he'd be the alpha flight member that i'd read for. in some ways, Pietro is an imitation of Jean Paul. the latter was an actual terrorist sympathizer. Pietro is just snooty and entitled.
    Last edited by Michael Watkins; 07-25-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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  7. #7
    Mighty Member nnelg's Avatar
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    His being able to fly makes him better than Quicksilver. At least powers wise. Also he can blinde people with a flash of light then whoop their ass at super speed.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Ptrvc's Avatar
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    Most characters don't take off. Northstar never did. Probably doesn't help that, as mentioned earlier, he's basically Canadian Quicksilver.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    This is also a massive problem. You can make a case for him being lesser Pietro in almost every way.
    I think his somewhat Spockish design with elf ears and raised eyebrows (Well, minus the hair) also calls to mind another arrogant hero-Namor as well.
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  10. #10
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnelg View Post
    He is a team character.
    That hasn't stopped DC from constantly publishing Cyborg comics.

    Also his sexuality shouldn't matter.
    Does Black Panther's blackness matter? Does Captain Marvel's womanhood matter?

    Northstar's sexuality does matter to many fans, and the character has been the pioneer for gay representation in mainstream comics. He deserves better than what he normally gets.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Ptrvc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    That hasn't stopped DC from constantly publishing Cyborg comics.



    Does Black Panther's blackness matter? Does Captain Marvel's womanhood matter?

    Northstar's sexuality does matter to many fans, and the character has been the pioneer for gay representation in mainstream comics. He deserves better than what he normally gets.
    You can't make people like a character, despite what Marvel and DC editorial might think.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    He seems pretty much a bit too much like Quicksilver, not so much the powers but the arrogant, snooty brother with a superpowered (and occasionally unstable) sister.
    That pretty much sums it up for me. He's a faster Quicksilver who just so happens to be gay. I'm sure I'm oversimplifying it just a bit, but you get the point. The question isn't why isn't he more popular, the question is what is it about him that qualifies him for mass adulation and popularity? Readers can be wrong sometimes, but they're usually right when it comes to character appeal. Let's queue up Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me (When You Don't)" and proceed to the next topic.

  13. #13
    Put a smile on that face Immortal Weapon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    That hasn't stopped DC from constantly publishing Cyborg comics.
    It has done nothing to improve his popularity.

  14. #14
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Nova was in an extremely similar position before he was retooled and they made him a popular lead. You definitely can make people like a character, even if they think they never would.
    Dance games are my divine punishment from the Lord. May my furnace be forever fueled.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Panic's Avatar
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    There is no character that can't be popular. Generally, as super-heroes are reader stand-ins, you just need to make sure the audience sympathises with them and their situation, and that they kick @$$ in a really cool way. Trouble is, in the crowded MU many heroes are forced into support roles where they are unsympathetic and don't get to have big wins or do cool stuff.

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