World’s Most Useless Superheroes #3: Northstar


     Why must writer’s ruin my favorite comic books by pandering to the most libertine demograph? 

Alpha Flight was cool, and it was created by my favorite comic artist/writer of all time: John Byrne. Back when it was cool to be a Canadian, the Canadian government established its own superhero team, Alpha Flight, which was constituted of the following heroes: Guardian (cool battle-suit), Sasquatch, Shaman, Puck, Snowbird, Vindicator, Marinna, Aurora (Northstar’s twin sister)…and Nortstar.

For one thing, as I’ve made clear in previous entries for this list, one of the things that I consider of prime importance in being a superhero of legitimate stature is the ability to score chicks. Northstar probably could have had more chicks than any other hero. But he blew it. Both metaphorically and physically.

First of all, Northstar was a down hill skier. Have you seen the woman those guys hang out with? It’s un-fricken-believable. He of course became board with the sport, dusting all of his competition because of his super-powers. Powers that don’t leave me too impressed. He can fly at about Mach 10, and can generate bursts of photons from his body, enabling him to blind his foes.

Wow. He’s a flying Mag-Light.

And he was pompous ass, too. Always walking around with a scowl on his face, sulking in the corner and throwing temper-tantrums.

Why so much existential angst? Why, he was gay, of course.

Of course.

So while Northstar pouted in his bedroom, watching the E Channel,Alpha Flight was off fighting for Canada’s socialized medicine program, crossing the Canadian-American border to buy cigarettes at Wal-Mart and leaving very small tips at diners.

For some reason, every time I see the Northstar character, I think of the song by the B-52s: Loveshack. It’s got to be the lead singer’s overt lisp. Geez, even Freddie Mercury could sing without sounding gay.

It gets better than that, though. After Jim Shooter, Marvel Comic’s Editor in Chief left, Alpha Flight’s writers were allowed to have Northstar come out of the closet. What followed may have been the biggest fiasco to ever be inked and word-ballooned onto paper. In a following issue of the comic book, Northstar was voted Canada’s most eligible bachelor. I can’t make this stuff up, True Believers.

Of course.

Then. Then, Alpha Flight’s writers, who must have all dressed very neatly themselves, had Northstar contract a mysterious disease. I wonder what horrible disease this could be? Had the Skrulls performed expiriments on Northstar as he slept naked on his satin sheets? Had Doctor Doom, while on a fishing trip in the northern wilds, thought it a good joke to send North Star one of those beefcake birthday cards, infected with smallpocks? Oh no. The disease was sooo mysterious, it was never revealed what it actually was.

I’ll leave it to Dana Carvey as The Church Lady, to investigate the nature of Northstar’s sickness:

Could it be....AIDS!?

Could it be....AIDS!?

Of course.

Nope. It was fairy sickness. Really. Northstar wasn’t gay, he was just a fairy. Not a fop–a Fae, with pointy ears. Not Oscar Wilde, but a creature like Oberon. And he was homesick. He wanted to go back to fairy-land. Not The Blue Oyster, but a realm of pastel colored flowers.

About this time, the whole character of Northstar was making me sicker than Boy George at a rifle range. His story is pointless, needlessly prurient. The character never did a thing to actually beat up bad guys, besides maybe offer a couple of one million watt candle-power bitch slaps. He was a whiner, sexually confused, and as this essay has shown–one of the most useless superheroes of all time.


5 Responses to “World’s Most Useless Superheroes #3: Northstar”

  1. 1 kernunos
    January 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I bet it was because her sister whooped the crap out of him all the time. She could get mean when they fought over Pop-Tarts.

  2. January 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Evidently she was confused, too. Her alter-ego liked the fact that Northstar was gay, while her other, second personality didn’t. It was just a horrible exaple of political correctness mutating into the bizarre.

  3. 3 Mike Rozos
    January 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    My gearhead friends and I have always made fun of Cadillac’s “300hp Northstar Sytem” that they touted for years in their ill-selling STS cars.

    Now we know one universal fact:

    Where the name Northstar is invoked, everything must truly suck.

  4. 4 kernunos
    January 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Hmmm, that picture of Northstar would sure make a fine looking blog avatar….just a thought.

  5. 5 David
    June 20, 2012 at 5:19 am

    So basically what I got from your entire rant is that Northstar is useless because he’s gay? Dude, you’re an asshole. If you think about it Northstar was phenomenally more useful than his sister who was plagued by mental issues and only caused trouble. Northstar has gone on to join the X-Men and done more there than he did with Alpha Flight such as featuring in one of the biggest pre 00’s stories and training the future generation. I’ll admit he hasn’t really done much but 1) there are far more deserving characters to be described as useless and 2) because of his open homosexuality most writers didn’t know how to work with him. Sounds stupid because it is but people automatically believe they can’t do anything with a gay character. That’s changed even more today since Rictor and Shatterstar started their thing, but it doesn’t change the fact that when Northstar finally came among the X-Men in his own right it was still contentious to have a gay hero. Despite this he did his share of useful things including saving many of the other X-Men’s lives and beating the shit out of Black Tom’s gang when they invaded the school. All I got from this post was an intolerance to a superheroes sexual orientation. Congratulations. You couldn’t use one of the hundreds of other heroes who really don’t do shit.

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