Robot 6

Northstar wedding ‘was in the works’ in Alpha Flight, Eaglesham says [Updated]

Nearly lost amid all the media attention over the upcoming wedding of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu in Astonishing X-Men #51, and the response by One Million Moms, is the revelation that the event was originally planned for another Marvel series — albeit one canceled almost five months ago.

Responding on his message board to news of the impending nuptials, former Alpha Flight artist Dale Eaglesham wrote, “This drives me absolutely crazy: Greg [Pak], Fred [Van Lente] and I do all the work of bringing the series back and they cancel it on us. Why didn’t they let US do the wedding ‘event’ which is clearly garnering attention, to stimulate readership [and] perhaps keep Alpha Flight going? This pisses me off. Oh no, let the ‘X’ books do it, as if they don’t get enough attention. Sigh. … This wedding was in the works on AF.”

Marvel has not yet responded to Robot 6’s request for comment.

Launched in July 2008 as an eight-issue miniseries, Alpha Flight was upgraded with much fanfare to an ongoing series a month later at FanExpo Canada, before its abrupt cancellation was announced in October. It was the third attempt to revive the title, which never been able to replicate the popularity it enjoyed under John Byrne’s original 28-issue run.

Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso told Comic Book Resources last month that Marvel began questioning how Northstar and other characters might respond to same-sex marriage when New York’s Marriage Equality Act became law in July 2011. (Of course, same-sex marriage became legal in Canada six years earlier.)

“Marvel Comics has a long and proud tradition of reflecting the real world, and this is just the latest expression of that,” he said. “The events in North Carolina and President Obama’s statement of support for gay marriage merely underscore that this is a topical — and controversial — issue, and our story will reflect this. While Marvel Universe characters will attend Northstar’s wedding, not everyone will accept the invitation or the validity of Northstar’s vows.”

UPDATE: Eaglesham has posted in our comments thread, clarifying: “I went back and checked the notes for upcoming issues and low and behold, the wedding was never slated for Alpha Flight. I would have really liked it to be but it was meant for the X-book all along. I was angry that an event that could have boosted our book (that was canceled) wasn’t given time to happen and instead turned up in an X-book. I misunderstood this. Well, if it was slated for the X-book all along then that is a different thing altogether and I am somewhat of a monkeys ass for my rant. Apologies for the confusion I have caused.”

(via The Beat)

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21 Comments

Way to get future work from Marvel…. Bitching about it. Alpha Flight is just a doomed title! =(

I feel for Eaglesham, but somehow I think the headline “Gay Member of Canadian Team You’ve Never Heard Of Getting Married” would not have garnered as much mainstream attention as “Gay X-Man Getting Married”.

Eaglesham’s been working non-stop for Marvel for about two years now I think(not sure if he is exclusive though); I suppose that’s likely about to come to an end.

Sigh.

If they had done this in Alpha Flight, it could have at least given the book a temporary boost.

I remember when Alpha Flight was upgraded to ongoing. Then quicly taken away. They can make any book work with the right characters, talent and marketing. Alpha Flight has ties to the X-Men, and are basically Avengers North…

Hmmmmm

I guess, the only way to keep Alpha Flight viable as an ongoing would be to call it AVENGERS NORTH or X-MEN ALPHA or something like that and put Wolverine on the team. Instant top 10 book.

That doesn’t make sense. The publication is meant to exploit marriage as a political topic, which the media has made it in the United States. Why would it be an issue for a book taking place in Canada? Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me.

Because, Kenn, Alpha Flight isn’t just published in Canda.

Can’t blame the guy for having his book cancelled, then they take their idea and use it to add a few more sales to a book that really doesn’t need it at all

Work for hire…your ideas aren’t your own. Sorry Dale, that sucks.

Who Cares N. E. Way

June 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

Alpha Flight always gets canned. Unless you put Alan Moore or someone of that caliber on it—it always will. Just like Moon Knight. If you think Northstar’s wedding would’ve saved Alpha Flight—-I have to disagree.

It’s like War Machine. The characters are all supporting cast at best. They changed War machine’s title to Iron man 2.0 and it still got scrapped. If they changed the title of a new Alpha Flight book to to X-Men Canada—it would still get scrapped.

All of the fans of the big Northstar wedding will put the book into multiple printings, just like Archie’s Kevin keller stuff. But they will leave because they arent comics regular readers. I am surprised that Astonishing X-men is even published anymore since Joss Whedon left. That’s when I dumped it.

Before it was revealed that Northstar was gay—I couldn’t stand him. he was always written as a pompous condescending butt. Much like Sunfire. Alpha Flight needs a big name if it ever wants to succeed. astonishing would probably get scrapped if Wolverine left them.

@ Eric – Good point.

@Kenn – Even though it is legal here if you don’t think marriage, particularly gay marriages are a political topic in Canada, then you really don’t know what you are talking about.

I think Dale is just trying to say that if they had not canned Alpha Flight SO early after announcing it as an ongoing (another topic) and let them do what they were going to do, it would have been at least a good thing for the book in the short run and actually give a non-Avengers/X-Men book some extra marketing and time to build up its base.

This comic, would have sold no matter what comic title/issue it was in. If it was in an Alpha Flight book, they could still have marketed it in the U.S. “First Openly Gay X-Man/Marvel Superhero Gets Married” – There are a million ways they could have spun it. And the same speculators and collectors who are buying AXM #51 would have bought it if it was Alpha Flight #51 or Great Lakes Avengers #51.

He calls it his idea, but that doesn’t mean it was stolen. Two people can have the same idea — especially given the particular idea in question and the controversial subject.

Dale Eaglesham

June 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

Dirt sells, doesn’t it? I went back and checked the notes for upcoming issues and low and behold, the wedding was never slated for Alpha Flight. I would have really liked it to be but it was meant for the X-book all along. I was angry that an event that could have boosted our book (that was canceled) wasn’t given time to happen and instead turned up in an X-book. I misunderstood this. Well, if it was slated for the X-book all along then that is a different thing altogether and I am somewhat of a monkeys ass for my rant. Apologies for the confusion I have caused.

Dale

@Ger: He never said it was his idea. Not sure where you see that?

People, look at it for what it was: this is one of the hardest-working artists in the biz, who’d poured his heart into this book and team he loves, venting a bit out of sheer disappointment. And having the class to admit he made a mistake. Give him a break.

Regardless of where the story was or wasn’t intended to be told, it SHOULD have been told in an Alpha Flight book. Be it the awesome Pak/Van Lente/Eaglesham series, or it’s own mini.

I really hate to say this, but the fact the Gay Marriage is getting such massive attention is not because its Northstar who’s getting married anyways. A majority of people don’t know who Northstar is, in fact. Seriously, after the news came out (no pun intended), everyone kept asking me who “Northstar” and “Kyle” was. Everyone was interested in the wedding, but no one knew who these guys were.

The ONLY reason people are making such a big deal about two guys tying the knot at Marvel Comics, is BECAUSE he’s getting married in the X-MEN comic. X-Men is one of the major comic book franchises up there with Spider-Man, Batman, Superman and (thanks for the recent movie) the Avengers. The X-Men had animated series, movies, and its pretty much something everyone has at least heard of.

Alpha Flight, meanwhile, like Northstar, is a something only comic readers are really familiar with. Its never had a life outside of Comics. None of the characters have made prominent appearances in any other media outside of the comics (I think Northstar and Aurora had a few cameos in the 90’s X-Men series, and that was it).

And I’m sorry Mr. Eaglesham, but I’m pretty sure that had the wedding taken place in Alpha Flight, it would have probably been somewhat overlooked. There would have been a few articles about it on comic websites like this, but barely any mention of it in main stream media like the View and CNN.

I remember back when The Authority (a relatively minor super-hero series in comparison to say Justice League) members Apollo and Midnighter got married, and basically it seemed the only people who knew and cared about it were fans of that particular comic. I don’t recall every new group in the country talking about it. Why? Because it wasn’t a super-hero group that was “mainstream” popular. Only fans of the comic read that series and cared about the wedding.

I really don’t believe Northstar/Kyle’s wedding would have helped Alpha Flight’s readership levels beyond maybe an issue or two. In fact, I could have easily seen it being the final issue of the series, like when Captain Britain and Meggan got married in Excalibur, but I’m not sure it would have been enough to save the book beyond that.

@Red Robin: I agree about the sales aspect; it would’ve seen an uptick for a few issues but ultimately fallen back down to earth. Frankly, I don’t think AF is meant for monthly consumption; I’m not even sure if Byrne actually came back to the concept that it would last beyond a few months of fanboy nostalgia(don’t get me wrong, Byrne is in my top 10 creators of all time but when he originally launched the series he was arguably at his peak in popularity and now…well, to say he’s divisive is maybe a slight understatement).

So tired of hearing about this publicity stunt. Northstar is barely a b-level character. He’s barely interesting when teamed with his sister much less dealing with her schizophrenia. His pompous jerk attitude was much more interesting than he is now.

Being topical is one thing, being agenda driven is another.

@Elf -My bad. The comments of David and Manglr suggested to me that the article inferred that the marriage idea was “stolen/borrowed”. You are correct, based on the article, Mr Eaglesham never suggested that himself.

Personally, Heather and Marrina were two of my favorite Alpha Flighters of all time and I wasn’t happy with either of their portrayal in the book so even though I have always loved Alpha Flight, I just didn’t bother with this version. I know Heather was under some influence for much of the run, but even at the end I took a look and she seemed like a completely different person than I loved. I thought I would absolutely LOVE that Marrina was brought back… I was wrong.

@Ger – Preach. I thought Marrina was going to be the sweet-yet-badass character of the group, a la Squirrel Girl, Pixie, or Molly Hayes. Lord knows I was eager to see her lose the perpetual victim status of the earlier series! I just didn’t think making her an internet meme hopeful was exactly an improvement. And then we hit the revelations about Heather and Jeanne-Marie and just…yeah. Not my cup of tea. I stopped buying after the second issue.

Happily, the last of the Byrne series is due out in trade this November. That’s a book I’ll reserve shelf space for.

David of the Impeccable Taste

June 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

@CapCanuck

You hit the nail on the head, and it’s sad.
“I guess, the only way to keep Alpha Flight viable as an ongoing would be to call it AVENGERS NORTH or X-MEN ALPHA or something like that and put Wolverine on the team. Instant top 10 book.”

That seems to be the case with all of Marvel titles. If it’s not connected to a established book, it won’t make it. And it’s their own fault because now that they went this road they can never go back. If Marvel had only one Avengers books, and a handful, say three X-Men, then people would be willing to try OTHER titles in their universe.

When we lose titles like Alpha Flight, Thunderbolts (now changing to an Avengers title), Atlas, Captain Britain etc. We lose the diversity that used to enrich this universe, and what DC (aside from the Bat-titles) has embraced with success.

Sorry, went on a bit of a rant there. :P

Frankly I don’t see what the big deal with this wedding is anyway, from a “Marvel Comcis” stand point because when has Marvel ever cared about wedded characters besides to gain a temporary sales boost? I doubt this married couple will be written and treated with the respect of a Reed and Sue Richards and probably be regulated with as much attention as Marvel’s first ‘black superhero couple’ in Storm and Black Panther has been given.

For that fact, I find the ultimate irony of this whole event to be the variant cover they produced for this book. A ‘wedding album’ like cover showing the images of other Marvel wedded couples “Save for Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Parker of course). Of all the images shown, only one couple on the thing are current still together in the books (which I always found to be the biggest irony because if any character ever had a legit reason to leave their husband it would be Sue Richards). Each couple is either divorced, 1/2 of the couple is dead (or died came and came back single), or currently separate in comic continuity.

Northstar and his guy will be forgotten by Marvel within the year and well be back to Marvel’s anti-Marriage except to get use a sales boost status quo.

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