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Thread: Vetoed 90's Northstar Ongoing

  1. #1
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    Default Vetoed 90's Northstar Ongoing

    For those who don't follow us on twitter, CBR raised a very interesting rumour:

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...-revealed-457/

    COMIC LEGEND: Marvel nearly had a Northstar ongoing series from John Byrne over 20 years ago.
    STATUS: I’m Going With True
    My pal at JohnByrneDraws suggested that I feature this one.
    John Byrne helped to change the landscape of the Marvel Universe when he created the first gay Marvel superhero, Northstar, in the pages of Alpha Flight.
    Interestingly enough, Byrne almost made ANOTHER first a decade or so later during his second stint at Marvel during the late 1980s/early 1990s. Byrne nearly launched an ongoing series starring Northstar!
    Byrne told the story on his forum that he was approached by a Marvel editor for a duo book starring Northstar and, oddly enough, Ironclad, the Thing analogue in the villainous version of the Fantastic Four, the U-Foes (Byrne had just recently used the U-Foes, so maybe that’s why it piqued the editor’s interest)…
    Ironclad would be dating Northstar’s twin sister, Aurora, which would be the connection between the two. The book would be dubbed North and South. The book would display Northstar’s sexuality the same way that any straight character would be handled. It certainly wouldn’t be hidden.
    As Byrne recalls it, it was soon after Andy and Adam Kubert got big raises to stay with Marvel, so it would have to be around late 1991/early 1992. Byrne says that he asked for roughly half their then-current pay rate to both write and draw (pencils AND inks) the series, but Marvel ultimately said no, citing that it wasn’t financially doable even with Byrne taking a lower rate. Byrne and the editor suspected there were reasons other than the monetary ones that Marvel cited, but I guess we’ll never know.
    Marvel eventually DID give Northstar his own mini-series in 1994 but it really didn’t do anything with his sexuality at all.

  2. #2
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    Huh. Interesting tidbit.
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    Hmmm...
    I probably would have read that tomorrow; still will. (I often read CBR on Sundays.)

    I'd have loved to have seen Byrne handle AF characters again for the dozen or so issues his attention span would've allowed back then. Just being a Byrne book alone should've been enough to get me reading in the 90s, compared to the rest of the stuff out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR View Post
    The book would display Northstar’s sexuality the same way that any straight character would be handled. It certainly wouldn’t be hidden...
    Marvel eventually DID give Northstar his own mini-series in 1994 but it really didn’t do anything with his sexuality at all.
    Isn't that how straight characters are handled? ie: not 'hiding' their sexuality, but not making it an issue every issue, either? Not expecting or demanding every story they're in to 'do anything with his sexuality at all'?

    Because I'm pretty sure I've read a few stories about straight characters where their straightness is never mentioned.

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    Because I'm pretty sure
    Oof!

    That almost made me "lol" !

    You do have a point, though. In my opinion, of course.
    Support Artists, Not Companies! Creator-owned comics are where the real art is at!

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
    Isn't that how straight characters are handled? ie: not 'hiding' their sexuality, but not making it an issue every issue, either? Not expecting or demanding every story they're in to 'do anything with his sexuality at all'?

    Because I'm pretty sure I've read a few stories about straight characters where their straightness is never mentioned.
    I couldn't agree more and was thinking pretty much the same thing as I read the initial post. While I understand the importance of being the first "anything", but (in the case of Northstar) when it comes to the point of it being the only thing that defines the character, something is lost.

    Subtlety and nuance, that's the key. Byrne handled Northstar's sexuality beautifully. It wasn't shoved in your face, but was still pretty obvious if you know it is there.

    I'm not saying you can't use Northstar's sexuality in a story, just don't let it be his defining characteristic. Sometimes I feel that Marvel is one step away from renaming him "Gay Northstar" a la what they (and DC) used to do in the 60's and 70's with African American characters. Black Goliath, Black Lightning, Black Panther (I know, I know...he's not American).

    Anyhoo, the pairing of Northstar and Ironclad...I'm not too sold on the premise. For one, Ironclad dating Aurora? Of course, she has dated a metal man before...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Eberly View Post
    Anyhoo, the pairing of Northstar and Ironclad...I'm not too sold on the premise. For one, Ironclad dating Aurora? Of course, she has dated a metal man before...
    That's the first thing I thought. Then I remembered that she pretty much dumped him because he was metal.
    (Well, because being metal meant he was missing... certain... parts.)
    "Dude, we're totally metal!"

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
    That's the first thing I thought. Then I remembered that she pretty much dumped him because he was metal.
    (Well, because being metal meant he was missing... certain... parts.)
    "Dude, we're totally metal!"
    Whoa, whoa, whoa...isn't that a Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey quote (from Evil Bill and Evil Ted)? I am proud to say that I saw that in the theatres many moons ago. I still say it is Keanu Reeves' best role (well, Excellent Adventure was better, but Bogus Journey had a cameo from the awesome bassist of Faith No More, and a great KISS song to close the movie out).

  8. #8
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    Sir James Martin of the Faith No More theological college was the bassist?
    I did not know that!

    I love that movie. I've even been out to Vasquez Rocks partly because of it. (And I'm a bit of a Trekker.)

    ~ Le Messor
    "Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy."

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