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The Suit: Heather or Mac?
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Thread: The Suit: Heather or Mac?

  1. #1

    Default The Suit: Heather or Mac?

    I'd started to post this in Birdygirl's v4 thread, but figured it would be more polite to start a new one.


    I'm genuinely curious: Why do people want to see Mac stuck in an office and Heather flying around in the suit? It seems to play contrary to their strengths.

    Heather's chief strength has always been a remarkably strong, decisive, and bold core. She doesn't come across as an overly aggressive or self-centred person, but doesn't back down when challenged. Her background makes her the perfect choice to be the person that deals with things from a position of authority in an office atmosphere. She'd be an unstoppable dynamo.

    Mac, on the other hand, would be a bloody disaster. Mac's an inspirational figure -- or at least he is if you look what was done with him before the Mantlo days. Judd, Bochs, and many other spoke of Mac in almost deific terms. He took the plans of a crippled engineer and helped him build a super-suit from it, trusting in that man's vision. He took a vertically-challenged criminal and gave him a chance to be a hero. He took a backwoods psycho with tinfoil pigstickers and... well, fine, he lost that one -- but he tried.

    Mac's the idealistic nutjob that gives everybody a second chance. He inspires those around him. He doesn't kill. He built the suit, and is responsible for the innovations behind it. If something goes wrong with it in combat, realistically he's the one most qualified to handle it. Put him in an office environment, however, and he's screwed. He may have been a reluctant leader, but his temperment is more geared toward adventure than bureaucracy: he trusts people and believes in second chances. That idealism is commendable, but will get you run over like a groundhog on the 401 in that environment: it would be too easy to take advantage of him.

    Heather's an able combatant in the suit, but she's incapable of dealing with it's intricacies (save through writers fudging a scenario). We're not talking about something as simple as learning an OS here; this sucker's complex in a way that defies modern science. It's emphatic proof of the Unified Field theory (which has always had me believing that Mac should be a physicist and an engineer) -- an accomplishment at least on par with Tony Stark, and possibly even closer to Reed Richards in sheer brilliance. Heather's bright and capable, but not a genius.

    She's capable in the suit, but Mac makes a better super-hero from perspectives of both idealogy and capability. Mac, on the other hand, would make a terrible CEO or Department Head. Heather, in contrast, would rock the world.

  2. #2
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    Yes....your logic is sound, Ed....but you clearly favor Mac as Guardian, where I favor Heather. How about both of them with EM suits as co-leaders of AF? Heather has much more leadership experience than he does, He has the tech know-how to repair the suits, etc....She loves to lead and wear the suit(where he does not)....and together, they make a pretty cool team.

    I could be down with that. Besides...the more I think about it....the better I like the idea of no Dept H.

    Dana
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  3. #3

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    Oh yeah, I've no bones about admitting that I think Mac fills the role of Guardian better. But the flipside of the coin is true: I believe that Heather is much stronger when it comes to issues of organization and dealing with people in a practical way.

    I'm also rather fond of Department H -- just not as the conspiracy-laden entity it became. It provides an interesting literary tool in contrast with the rest of the Marvel U. They have Xavier's institute, and the struggle between government interference and private enterprise. There's also Tony Stark, highlighting the role of big business in American culture.

    Up here we tend to treasure our public programs to varying degrees. Environmental issues can actually make or break elections, rather than being back-burner considerations. The cultures are very similar, but it's the little differences across a broad range of issues that tell the story.

    To that end, Department H makes perfect sense -- so long as it's not turned into a quasi-CIA conspiracy. The recognition of mutants in society would be a prime issue, as would how they are handled. Department H becomes the perfect vehicle for that, and who better to shape the future course of a nation than Heather?

    It's not necessarily that I want her out of the suit, per se, but rather that I'd really like to see a female character achieve a greater role than perceived power through violent action. I've a soft spot for Heather in that regard: I think the character has massive potential, but I see that potential being outside of the tights -- and more far-reaching.

    I'd really like to see her in a history-changing role. Eleanor of Aquitaine level of historical importance.

  4. #4

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    mac.



    ummmm.........


    to lazy to type why.

  5. #5
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    I say Mac as well for two reasons:

    1. He designed and built the suit which means he is the one who would know how to use it to its full potential. Also, he could fix it on the fly if need be. Plus his scientific knowledge is a big asset in the field.

    2. I agree Heather is a much stronger personality and less naive than Mac, therefore better suited to dealing with the government and its red tape. If anyone can keep Dept. H on the straight and narrow its her.

    You are a stupid seal with a small rooster. Translate that into french and you'll get it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legerd
    2. I agree Heather is a much stronger personality and less naive than Mac...
    I prefer the phrase "optimistic in regards to personality".

  7. #7
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    Well, I have to agree with CmdrKoenig on this, I much prefer to see Heather in the suit. To me she has the leadership qualities it takes to lead AF. James is a scientist first and foremost, and was a reluctant hero even when he was in charge of AF (at least that was the impression I got). I think he would be happier behind a desk, letting someone else run the suit (he might not be happy that it was Heather...but he'd have to let her do her own thing).

    -Mystic
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  8. #8

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    I remember Heather being a reluctant hero as well. Not that it's a bad thing: reluctant heroes are the staple of fantasy and sci-fi literature. Being a hero sucks. Only a nut-case or glory-hound would want the job.

  9. #9
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    I think you've made a fine arguement for why neither should be in the suit. Mac is a scientist and reluctrant hero with a history of getting....well....dead. He's much better suited for the lab environment and perhaps running the training sessions for the new Weapon Alpha, Guardian, Vindicator, Province, Captain Canada, or whatever you want to call him. Heather is the only character who could stand toe to toe with creatures far worse that supervillains, bureaucrats! She's tenacious, spirited, passionate, and compassionate. She views Alpha Flight as a family, and if anyone is, she is Mama! I say put her in the role of director or liason, put Mac over R&D/operative development. Shaman should become the team physician. Leave the mystic duties to Earthmover or preferably Talisman. I know I've veered off track a bit. Bringing it back on track, you said it best yourself. Heather is an organizer/diplomat and Mac is a scientist/engineer. Neither of those really screams follow me into battle. I think Puck would be a great leader, though I can see the comic taking some heat from having a dwarf as their leader. Rename him Canuck, so he retains part of his old identity while building a new one as the figurehead of the team. He seems a good tactician and has the charisma and respect to pull it off. You could even bring Zuzha along as the new Puck that way if you decided to keep her. I know again more info than you asked for. Sum up..... put the Hudson's in as support, but leave the fighting to the folks who aren't raising a newborn. They can always be called in to dust off the suits and rescue the team if need be.

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnacle13
    I think you've made a fine arguement for why neither should be in the suit. Mac is a scientist and reluctrant hero with a history of getting....well....dead. He's much better suited for the lab environment and perhaps running the training sessions for the new Weapon Alpha, Guardian, Vindicator, Province, Captain Canada, or whatever you want to call him. Heather is the only character who could stand toe to toe with creatures far worse that supervillains, bureaucrats! She's tenacious, spirited, passionate, and compassionate. She views Alpha Flight as a family, and if anyone is, she is Mama! I say put her in the role of director or liason, put Mac over R&D/operative development. Shaman should become the team physician. Leave the mystic duties to Earthmover or preferably Talisman. I know I've veered off track a bit. Bringing it back on track, you said it best yourself. Heather is an organizer/diplomat and Mac is a scientist/engineer. Neither of those really screams follow me into battle. I think Puck would be a great leader, though I can see the comic taking some heat from having a dwarf as their leader. Rename him Canuck, so he retains part of his old identity while building a new one as the figurehead of the team. He seems a good tactician and has the charisma and respect to pull it off. You could even bring Zuzha along as the new Puck that way if you decided to keep her. I know again more info than you asked for. Sum up..... put the Hudson's in as support, but leave the fighting to the folks who aren't raising a newborn. They can always be called in to dust off the suits and rescue the team if need be.

    Tom
    I agree with what your saying. Canada/Puck as Canuck, works well. Zuzha as Puck. Hudsons in admin, support. Box or Windshear for true power.
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  11. #11

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    alright, i have some more energy now.

    mac just looks like more of a team leader and icon in the suit than heather does, although i do agree heather has more fire and personality than mac.

    i really want to see a alpha series that explores mac's reincarnations, trying to reconcile with heather, and what it means to be a reluctant hero and the added responsibilty of a child. plus no way a new mother wants to jet around in that suit with a newborn at home.

    plus the first time i picked up alpha #1 series one that costume grabbed me, i'm telling ya it is right up there with captain america's as far as icon status, and i'm american.

    and lastly i really would like to hear about mac and helping logan and his ties to weapon x (if there are any) and macs past within department h, how he convinced the canadian goverment to form alpha and his relationship with wolverine. it seems all we have ever seen is mac and logan at each others throats, yet logan considers mac one of his best friends. there was so much story to tell with mac, a shame he died (for the first time) in #12.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legerd
    I say Mac as well for two reasons:

    1. He designed and built the suit which means he is the one who would know how to use it to its full potential. Also, he could fix it on the fly if need be. Plus his scientific knowledge is a big asset in the field.

    2. I agree Heather is a much stronger personality and less naive than Mac, therefore better suited to dealing with the government and its red tape. If anyone can keep Dept. H on the straight and narrow its her.
    I guess that's true...it's not like the brainwashed her in the past and may be able to control her every action, even now....oh wait....

    Dana
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by varo
    alright, i have some more energy now.

    mac just looks like more of a team leader and icon in the suit than heather does, although i do agree heather has more fire and personality than mac.

    Uh....because he's a male? Gender bias aside...I think Heather looks just as much a leader and icon, as her husband does(she's wearing the Canadian flag, for Pete's sake). BTW...I think Mac looks great in the costume too.

    i really want to see a alpha series that explores mac's reincarnations, trying to reconcile with heather, and what it means to be a reluctant hero and the added responsibilty of a child. plus no way a new mother wants to jet around in that suit with a newborn at home.

    Apparently....you haven't met Heather...LOL.

    plus the first time i picked up alpha #1 series one that costume grabbed me, i'm telling ya it is right up there with captain america's as far as icon status, and i'm american.

    and lastly i really would like to hear about mac and helping logan and his ties to weapon x (if there are any) and macs past within department h, how he convinced the canadian goverment to form alpha and his relationship with wolverine. it seems all we have ever seen is mac and logan at each others throats, yet logan considers mac one of his best friends. there was so much story to tell with mac, a shame he died (for the first time) in #12.
    It IS a shame he died, those many years....it's also a shame he was resurrected...again and again and again. The biggest problem with Mac is...no writer can apparently write him, develop his character and avoid killing him off. The only writer that came close to fleshing out Mac is John Byrne(his creator/co-creator)...every other writer seems to avoid Mac like the plague...I wonder why?

    Dana
    ALPHA FLIGHT IS RESURRECTED, LONG LIVE ALPHA FLIGHT!

  14. #14

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    Uh....because he's a male? Gender bias aside
    o dear god, please don't try to go there. that is so far from what i am thinking it's not even funny.

    maybe it was those silly glasses they put on heather that made me not like it as much as the helmet mac wore.


    and any women with a newborn usually tries to nurture for her child rather than trying to save the world (this being a parent of 3 with a wife, not because i am GENDER BIASED )

  15. #15
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    Then what are you thinking? I'm just wondering how you formed that opinion.

    ...And as far as Heather being a stay-at-home mom...she has yet to be written that way.

    Dana
    ALPHA FLIGHT IS RESURRECTED, LONG LIVE ALPHA FLIGHT!

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