Monday, May 21, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Now part of a nutrituous breakfast!"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 46

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, April 30 2010 and posted in Features
Three characters again, and I think some may be pissed in this group. {nomultithumb}

115. Northstar (25 points)

northstar.jpg"Jean-Paul is the pre-eminent gay character in comics. He's a snobbish French Canadian ex-terrorist speedster, and a former Olympic Gold Medalist, Suck on that, Kurt Angle."

Jean-Paul and his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie were orphaned almost immediately after their birth when their parents were killed in car crash. The twins were taken in by their mother's cousin, however, due to finances, they were forced to send Jeanne-Marie to a private catholic school. Jean-Paul was placed in a foster home at the age of six when his guardians passed away, forcing him to grow up, unaware that he even had a sister. During his teen years, Jean-Paul took to stealing and was eventually caught by Raymonde Belmonde. Belmonde took him in and became his mentor, helping Jean-Paul to come to terms with his mutant powers and sexuality. Jean-Paul also spent some time in a circus, becoming a talented trapeze artist and creating the family he never had with his fellow performers. However, Jean-Paul still had quite a bit of pent up anger and frustration within him which he ultimately expressed by joining the separatist Front de Libération du Québec movement. Jean-Paul acted as a courier for the Libération before he ultimately came to disagree with their tactics when he was forced to save the lives of innocent bystanders from one of their bombs. Jean-Paul quickly severed all ties with the Front after this incident. Some time later, Jean Paul secretly used his mutant powers to become an Olympic world ski champion, earning him a bundle of fame and wealth. This fame brought him to the attention of James Hudson, who worked for the Canadian government, and was the founder of the team of super humans known as Alpha Flight. Hudson had already recruited Jeanne-Marie and had noticed a resemblance with Jean-Paul. Jean-Paul was thrilled to be reunited with the sister he had never known. Adding to the twins surprise was the intense blinding light that generated when the two touched.

As Northstar, Jean-Paul accompanied his sister on many missions with Alpha Flight. Unfortunately their relationship often had its ups and downs, especially when he found that Aurora suffered from a dual personality. As Aurora began to switch personalities more frequently, Northstar insisted that she receive psychiatric help. Later, Aurora accompanied Northstar to visit his old mentor, Belmonde, but the reunion turned to tragedy after Belmonde was killed by Ernest St. Ives, also known as Deadly Ernest. He mistakenly believed Aurora to be Belmonde's daughter and kidnapping her. However, with the help of the enigmatic Nemesis, Northstar manages to rescue his sister and St. Ives was seemingly killed. The siblings later argued over Northstar's mistaken assumption that Aurora had romanced St. Ives in order to prevent him from harming her. Shocked at her brother's arrogance and insolence, Aurora angrily told him she never wanted to see him again. Although Northstar pleaded for forgiveness, Aurora would not accept his apology and eventually ceased operating as a member of Alpha Flight altogether. After the apparent death of Walter Langowski, the twins reconcile their differences, and come together to help defeat a rampaging Hulk in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the twins also found out that when they touched, they now temporarily canceled each others powers due to Aurora's previous alterations on her physiology. Soon after, Northstar's terrorist past was pardoned by the Prime Minister, when he helped to capture a serial killer who was targeting former members of his old terrorist organization.

A short time later, Northstar grew severely ill, and while Alpha Flight sought a cure, the Norse God Loki appeared to Aurora and Northstar, convincing them both that they were not mutants at all, but rather half-elves. This, he said, was the reason why Northstar was dying, as he would not be able to survive without the light that the twins had once shared. Aurora willingly expended her powers to bathe Northstar in her light, finally curing him. Both of the mutants then traveled to the Elven lands, however Aurora was immediately captured by demons and became trapped in the Asgardian netherworld, while Northstar was welcomed into Asgard by his supposed brethren. Loki was summoned before the higher Gods who berated him for lying to the twins about their heritage. In order to atone for his misdeeds, Loki transported Aurora from the netherworld to the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré monastery in Quebec, but was sent to the netherworld himself as punishment. Northstar remained in Asgard until his teammates came to his rescue before he could be sacrificed by the Dark Elves who worshiped Llan the Sorcerer. A battle with Llan soon followed, and it was here that Northstar used his powers to restore Aurora's mutant gifts, although the twins could now create a bright light individually. Later, Jean-Paul discovered an abandoned baby girl born with AIDS, who Jean-Paul decided to adopt and name Joanne. Unfortunately, Joanne died only a few weeks later. This gave Jean-Paul the idea to publicly announce his homosexuality, hoping that as a former Olympic medal winner and Canadian superhero, that the public would take more of an interest in HIV prevention. Jean-Paul ended up leaving Alpha Flight and even wrote an autobiography titled, "Born Normal", which discussed his life as a mutant and as a homosexual.

At a book signing in Philadelphia, Jean-Paul was persuaded by Jean Grey-Summers to help the X-Men save Professor Xavier from Magneto. Northstar later returned to Canada where he where he established himself as a successful business man before opting to become a teacher of business and economic at the Xavier Institute. Shortly there after, the X-Man Wolverine was captured by the terrorist organization Hydra who was able to brainwash him into being their personal assassin. At Hydra's behest, Wolverine lead an ambush on the X-Men, and Northstar was subsequently killed. The government organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. took possession of Northstar's body while they attempted to contact his family. However, Jean-Paul's body was soon taken by Hydra where he was resurrected as another super assassin. S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually managed to capture and deprogram Wolverine. In Northstar goes on a rampage, killing bigoted humans who opposed mutants and homosexuals. Wolverine opted to help track and defeat Northstar in order to place him back into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, where they made several attempts to deprogram his brainwashing, before falsely announcing his death. This was due to the fact that the procedure did not go as well as it did for Wolverine, partly because Wolverines healing factor. The X-Men later created a memorial statue in Northstar's honor.

While still insane, Northstar was again captured, brainwashed, and had his powers enhanced by a new group of beings called the Children of the Vault , who also had him recruit his sister as well. Aurora was given the same treatment, however, her damaged psyche was also healed in the process. The twins then went and attacked the X-Men at their mansion in order to kill Sabretooth on the Children of the Vaults behalf. The two easily over-powered many of the X-Men, however, Jeanne-Marie was soon defeated by Mystique and Iceman. In the lower sections of the mansion, Northstar encountered his former pupil Anole, whose conversation nearly caused Jean-Paul to waver in his mission. However, he knocked Anole unconscious and resumed his task before being defeated by Cable and Rogue. The X-Men then held the twins captive until Rogue and her team of X-Men were able to take them to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters and attempt to undo the brainwashing through a technological/psychic process in which they would relive their lives in an accelerated rate . The procedure was almost successful, however the twins were interrupted during the process which caused them to rampage through S.H.I.E.L.D. until they ultimately decided to heal each other by coming into contact and using their light based powers. After this, both twins seemed to have gained a better understanding of the power they share and Jeanne-Marie's psyche was once again healed. The two then opt to remain with the X-Men for the time being.

After helping the X-Men during the Secret Invasion, Northstar seemed to enjoy a more normal life style after he created his own Extreme Sports business alongside Aurora, making him the CEO and Brand Visionary of Team Northstar Extreme Snow Sports. During a snow boarding event, Northstar used his powers to break the altitude, speed, and vertical drop records for the sport. Jean-Paul also developed a romantic relationship with an, as of yet, unnamed man, and was later asked by Wolverine to rejoin the X-Men. Although hesitant about being seen as the X-Men's "queer mascot", Northstar ultimately agreed after being made aware of the teams tactical need for a member with speed based powers. Once he returned to the X-Men, Northstar assisted the team in defeating the Sisterhood of Mutants, and personally dealt with Spiral during their final confrontation at grave site of Jean Grey.

Northstar was later seen during protests that centered around the idea of mutant reproductive rights violations and helped the X-Men defeat the "Avengers" after they came to San Francisco to enforce Norman Osborn's curfew, which he established after branding Cyclops as an outlaw. Jean Paul assisted his team in dealing with both the Dark Avengers and the Dark X-Men before he and the rest of the remaining mutants defeated Osborn and his teams after they gathered on the resurfaced Asteroid M, making it their new home, free from any government jurisdiction.

114. Rick Jones (25 points)

rickjones.jpg"Helped form the Avengers. Was Cap's sidekick. Was the Hulk's sidekick and part of his origin. Was tied to Captain Marvel. The dude gets around."

Rick Jones is an orphan who eventually became an honorary Avenger. At the character's pinnacle usage, the Marvel Universe is often seen through his eyes as the reader. He is often portrayed as the "ultimate sidekick" character, however the character's raw roots are of a more angst ridden nature.

Rick Jones is a musician, a fighter, and a rebel...with the underlying potential to be a hero.

As a teenager, Rick Jones knew no fear. When he was dared to sneak onto a military testing facility, he didn't give it a second thought. What he and his friends did not know was the facility was a test center for an experimental Gamma bomb. When scientist Bruce Banner noticed Rick sneaking on, he raced out to save him seconds before the bomb was to detonate. Time only allowed for Banner to push Rick into the safety of a trench as the explosion irradiated his shocked body. Thus the incredible Hulk was born. Rick Jones swore never to leave Dr. Banner again.

The sacrifice that Banner had made caused Rick to grow up fast. He knew it was his fault and took the responsibility to assist Banner and the Hulk, knowing how dangerous it would be. Rick would eventually become the second Bucky, and be trained by Captain America himself, even donning the Bucky suit for a while.

Rick Jones and the "Teen Brigade", an underground network of what may be described as "pirate radio" or a group of angst ridden teens, heard of the Hulk's rampage and summoned the Fantastic Four. However, instead a few of solo heroes simultaneously answered the call, thus directly or indirectly giving birth to the legendary super team known as The Avengers.

Rick Jones was trained in hand to hand combat by Captain America, himself. Rick would go on to become Captain America's sidekick as the second Bucky. Rick's resemblance to Bucky made him a near clone in the original suit. His development went well until the Red Skull switched minds with Captain America and rejected Rick. Rick left Cap feeling let down and still not knowing the real situation that took place, resurfacing his own feelings of abandonment by his family, and his anger of the world.

After the rebellion to defend Earth, Captain Mar-Vell eventually found himself trapped in the Negative Zone. The Supreme Intelligence secretly enables Mar-Vell to telepathically contact Rick. Feeling drawn Rick enters a cave and he puts on a pair of "nega-bands" around his wrists. After slamming the bands together, Mar-Vell and Rick bonded and would trade places in the Negative Zone.

Rick and Captain Mar-Vell had many adventures together, they even fought his old partner Hulk and the Zodiac Cartel along with the Avengers. Mar-Vell and the Fantastic Four was in a battle with Annihilus, when Mr. Fantastic managed to free Rick from the Negative Zone which allowed both men the freedom from each other. During a misunderstanding with the Avengers, Mar-Vell was hospitalized, and he and Rick were abducted by the Skrulls. This would lead into the Kree/Skrull War.

This is where Rick discovered his own latent "Destiny Force" for the first time. Rick Jones realized his own worth beyond being the "perennial sidekick", after a life of rejection. Through his experiences of living vicariously through the hero Mar-Vell, Rick realized he had the power within himself. A concept that has almost become cliché', but when done well as it is here, is a story of self confidence and discovery. It is noteworthy that this story was told before many of the popular or more well known versions of the concept, and they were done in the pages of Captain Marvel.

At the end of the Kree/Skrull War, Rick and Mar-Vell would once again become bonded to each other, to save Rick's life, he became Mar-Vell's "host body", so they could exchange atoms for three hours for Mar-Vell to fight evil, yet maintaining a mental link of conversation. Soon after the war, Rick and Mar-Vell would fight the evil Thanos and his plans to literally kill the universe in a twisted sacrifice to "death itself". It is during this time the original Captain Marvel becomes the original "Protector of the Universe" and defeats Thanos.

Afterwards, "Captain Marvel and Rick Jones would fight many different villains and have many adventures, at one point even sharing one of the nega bands and merging to form Captain Marvel, with Rick having his own powers and costume, jokingly (although not "officially") referred to as "Marvel Boy". Soon Mar-Vell and Rick would trade places with the being known as the Super Adaptoid, and be able to co-exist on the same plane together, and finally be able to pursue their own separate paths. (Captain Marvel #50)

Rick would also roam from town to town pursuing his at times successful music career and dealing with his own sense of being lost, and his own angst. Rick's close friend Mar-Vell would engage in combat with the terrorist villain known as Nitro, part of the Lunatic Legion who was stealing a canister of deadly nerve gas, a bio-chemical warfare canister known as "Compound 13". Rick switched places with Mar-Vell, and Mar-Vell streaked into action, during the fight the canister would leak. Mar-Vell would have no choice but to seal the canister with his bare hands, as enough of the poison would depopulate the Earth. Though he won the fight itself, eventually the exposure with the deadly gas would prove fatally cancerous.

Rick would be emotionally shattered by this, as many were, but would pick up the pieces later on. Although many would say that the Rick Jones character interfered with the uniqueness of exploring the Captain Mar-Vell character as a solo act, it is during this period, and his experiences described in Captain Marvel, where the Rick Jones character is most defined.

113. Domino (26 points)

domino.jpg"You'll be putting your jaw back on right if you don't give me some answers."

Domino was a product of a government plan to genetically engineer fighting soldiers known as Project: Armageddon. She was taken from the project by a cult and placed in the care of a priest in Chicago whom she lived with him until she ran away at the age of thirteen.

Domino's mutant powers essentially gave her good luck. She can subconsciously and psionically affect probabilities, often making things work in her favor and against others. She has worked for various government agencies and became a freelance mercenary. Later she became part of the mercenary group, Six Pack, where she met the mutant Cable. Domino was kidnapped by an arms dealer known as Tolliver and was replaced by a mutant shape shifter known as Copycat. It was later revealed that Tolliver was really Cable's son, Tyler Dayspring. Soon after, Cable took over leadership of Professor X's group of young mutants, the New Mutants and transformed them into the rapid reaction strike force team known as X-Force. Copycat, still posing as Domino, was his second in command until the real Domino was eventually freed. After some issues with her old team-mates, she returned to Cable, and the two led X-Force together for quite some time.

In a series of events, Domino and Cable grew closer, and they even went on a few dates. Though Domino didn't acknowledge that he was anything more than a friend, she soon proved herself wrong when they shared a kiss prior to the onset of the Age of Apocalypse. Afterwards, their relationship was never dealt with as both were thrown into fight after fight, stopping them from being able to sit and talk about their feelings. Later, Domino got herself into a bit of a trouble during Operation: Zero Tolerance, where she was taken in, and had her powers tinkered with. A woman she had dealt with in the past had come to seek revenge against her, and in doing so, set Domino onto a long path that dampened her humor and personality. Her head was shaved and her powers were blocked. She had no access to them until they were surged up by Jesse Bedlam and his abilities. Following her loss of power, she left Cable and X-force, but eventually rejoined the team.

When X-Force disbanded for good, Domino joined the X-Corporation, a search and rescue organization for mutants. She was also approached by the government agency, SHIELD and joined a newly formed Six Pack.

After the events of M-Day, in which the majority of mutants lost their powers, Domino and former X-Force teammate Shatterstar liberated the 198, mutants in a refugee camp, imprisoned for their own safety against the rest of the world. She then left the Six Pack when most of its members were captured and deported to Rumekistan and rejoined Cable in Providence until a battle against the Hecatomb sank the island and Cable was presumed dead. She was later recruited alongside Silver Sable and the Contessa to capture the Punisher. However, Domino was the only to believe his innocence until everyone saw the impostor killing civilians.

Recently she has joined the new X-Force, now a mutant Black Ops team lead by Wolverine, which is able to use any means necessary, including lethal force, to preemptively deal with the threats that would be too dangerous or unsavory for the X-Men to handle. After tracking down and blackmailing the Vanisher who has stolen a strain of the Legacy Virus, the group is now preparing to deal with the Messiah War.

Wolverine then asks Domino to stop in a cemetery in Japan to deliver flowers to a deceased loved one. While there she finds Spiral, Chimera and Lady Deathstrike who have dug up Kwannon's body. After a brief fight she wounds Chimera and the women teleport off with Kwannon's body. Later Domino replaces Jean Grey's body before the Red Queen could take it as her host.

Whilst Domino is on a mission she accidentally becomes the first person to discover the Red Hulk's identity and is then marked for death by him. Thunderbolt Ross and Samson provide Rulk with a list of mercenaries to help him hunt her down and only gives him 24 hours to do it. Among those on the list are Deadpool, the Punisher, Thundra and Elektra. They then find Domino hiding in a bar. When the group arrives to take Domino out they find the bar inhabited by the all the members of X-Force


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