Oct 13, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 231: Alpha Flight v.1 #8, March 1984

Northstar and Aurora's Montreal adventure continues! And I think that if Byrne was going to go for some verisimilitude in the story, he would have had them stop at least once for a pain au chocolat at some cafe, because if you don't do that when you're in Montreal, you're nuts.

There's an interesting interaction at the end of this issue, in which Northstar accuses the promiscuous Aurora personality (Aurora's a split personality, one a hedonistic superhero, one a bookish school teacher) of having used her feminine whiles to save herself from a crimelord. She is, rightfully, insulted, and flies off, though first shouting "You of all people dare pass judgment on my love life!!"

I did a bit of research, and it turns out that Northstar has always been a homosexual character, at least since the beginning of the Alpha Flight series, but due to editorial and Comics Code pressures, Byrne was only able to hint at Jean-Paul's sexuality, rather than actually declaring it out loud. This makes the series remarkably interesting. Not only is the character living a closeted life in his fictional universe, but he's closeted as a character, in that there is no full declaration of his sexuality (until #106, apparently). Depiction of a closeted character is relatively common, but I wonder how many characters have had to be narratively closeted?

A bit more Alpha Flight tomorrow, I think. I'll keep trucking along through the series until I get cranky with it, and then I'll take a break. It is kind of nice to read a comic that's set in cities I actually recognize, though, even if I was only 10 when this comic came out.

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