At the X-Men’s Hellfire Gala, Northstar meets several of his former Alpha Flight teammates who have seen their old relationships fall apart.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marauders # 21 by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Edgar Delgado, Tom Muller and Cory Petit of VC, on sale now.
The Hellfire Gala has finally arrived to bring together heroes, diplomats, and dignitaries from across the Marvel Universe. And with such a large group of characters descending on Krakoa, there have been more than a few awards encounters and conversations between old friends and teammates.
Catching up with her former Alpha Flight Guardian teammate, Northstar and her husband Kyle find themselves in a particularly embarrassing situation, though they weren’t the only ones who misinterpreted the moment. In fact, it looks like most of the Alpha Flight members in attendance are going through a rough patch, especially since so many relationships on this team haven’t worked out.
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As the festivities continue around them, Jean-Paul Barbier, better known as the frontman of X-Factor Northstar, and her husband Kyle have even had the chance to speak to James Hudson, who frequently leads the Canadian super-team. as a Guardian. The hero expresses how happy he is to see them always together, before noting that the life of a superhero is not easy for weddings. In response, Kyle asks about Heather, who married James and served alongside him as Alpha Flight’s Vindicator. Embarrassing as it may be, Northstar has to point out that Guardian just told them how she’s doing, which strongly implies that he and Heather were no longer together.
Heather Hudson, who first appeared in the 1980s X Men #139 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, worked with James Hudson as he developed the costume that would eventually grant him his Guardian powers. When James left the company he worked for, disgusted with their intentions to arm his job, Heather followed suit and the two fell in love fairly quickly. When Alpha Flight first disbanded, Heather was the one who picked up the pieces, along with a super-costume, and reformed the group under her own direction. Over the years, she and Guardian have fought and even got it wrong in tense situations, but it seems the years of superheroes and secrets have finally worn the couple down.
However, they aren’t the only Alpha Flight couple going through a rough patch, though their relationship may be even more salvageable than the long-forgotten romance between Wild Child and Aurora.
As the Hellfire Gala continues through the pages of Hellions # 12 by Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia, Wild Child sees Aurora across the room and her grief is palpable. Shortly after Wild Child began to separate from his animal and violent past, he and Aurora fell in love, but when Wild Child began to revert to his most monstrous form, he left Aurora’s side to the ‘improvist. This abandonment further hurt Aurora’s already deteriorating mental health. When the two met next, they were hardly the same people. Not only that, but Aurora is currently involved with Daken, which itself creates the kind of tension that could easily ruin a party if left unchecked.
As heartbreaking as it may be to hear that Guardian and Vindicator may not be a couple anymore, it’s hardly a surprising development given the complexity of their relationship. The Guardian’s remark that the superhero lifestyle is all about a relationship is obviously true, and that’s before you even consider any secrets, betrayals, and clones or whatever might arise that normal marriages do not happen. ‘simply do not have to deal with. In the case of Aurora and Wild Child, the two have seen each other go through horrific physical and mental changes, not to mention literal deaths and resurrections. It’s hard to think of anything harder to keep together than a superhero relationship, and it’s hard to think of a worse place for these issues than the Hellfire Gala.
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