Friday, 4 December 2020

Alpha Flight's Girl's Night In

 Alpha Flight is Canada's dedicated superhero team. I have posted about them before, http://marymargretcallahan.blogspot.com/2018/10/alpha-flight.html  . They are a Marvel Comics series closely tied to the X-Men. 



Vindicator 

Aurora 

Snowbird 
Marrina 

Talisman  
Sasquatch 

Nemesis

 
Puck II
Wolverine 

So, for first timers, Alpha Flight is a group of mutant superheroes from Canada, part of Marvel Comic's X-Men line created back in 1979. I posted about them before, so this is an update. As you know, I like to keep my groups all females. Alpha Flight originally had 7 characters, 5 of which were male (Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, Northstar and Wolverine) and 2 females, Snowbird and Aurora.

I always imagined a fully female team and that involved feminization of characters until Marvel did me the favour. I preferred that they would all be canon and over time it happened. Here's how: First, the team expanded, bringing up Marrina from Beta Flight along with male character Puck. That brought the team up to 3 females. When Guardian (Mac Hudson) was killed, his wife Heather took his speed skating suit and assumed his role as team leader, calling herself Vindicator making it 4 females. Since Northstar was Aurora's twin brother and they had the same powers and matching outfits, it wasn't necessary to replace him. Next came Talisman, who is Shaman's daughter and yes, has the same powers. She replaces him on the team making it 5 women. That's where I had left it off.

It was a shame that there were still Sasquatch and Puck to replace but it happened. Somewhere around issue 45, Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski) is killed but not really. His soul/identity is saved by Talisman's magic. (Bare with me here.) It's a long story but his soul is eventually reinserted into Snowbird's white Sasquatch (She can shape shift into northern beasts like a snowy owl, arctic wolf, fox, polar bear, narwhal and even a Sasquatch). So Walter is back in solid form again but when he shifts back into human form (like Hulk and Banner) he is a woman because it was Snowbird's Sasquatch. Follow? Anyway, Walter embraces his/her new gender and changes her name to Wanda. It stayed like that until the end of the run about 25 issues later.

That left only Puck. Well, Marvel put out a few more runs of Alpha Flight later on in 1994 and again in 2004 and 2015. In the third run, we meet Zuzha Yu who is Puck's daughter. Sasquatch recruits her onto the new Alpha Flight team as Puck II since she has her father's powers and abilities. Success! In addition, she is joined by the character Nemesis, who can fly and wields a mystical sword. She had been on Gamma team and was promoted to Alpha. That brings us to 8 Alpha ladies.

The last one is a bit of a stretch but can be considered canon. Follow me. Wolverine was an original team member until he left to join the X-Men. X-23, Laura Kinney was a clone of Wolverine. Sure, she wasn't born in Canada like the others. She was born in an Essex Lab, presumably in Mexico. She has her adventures, as a trained assassin, then with the X-Men, mentored by her father Wolverine. She eventually takes the name Wolverine when Logan retires (dies in the movie Logan). She never appears in the Alpha Flight comics BUT, in the movie, "Logan", she escapes persecution in the US from the government and Essex by fleeing into Canada with a handful of other mutant kids. So, the stretch is the assumption that while living in her father's birth country she gets recruited into Alpha Flight. It's possible. That's how I get my canon all female, Alpha Flight 9.
 
My apologies to fans of Diamond Lil, who I considered a villain and an enemy of the team even though she was on it for a bit, and to fans of Persuasion, aka Kara Killgrave, aka Purple Girl, who was a lifer on Beta Flight even though she was in a lot of issues. 
 
So a little fun here.
All is quiet in Canada and Heather  decides to get all the girls for a team building weekend at the cabin. Jean-Baptiste has ideas of her own...
Unmasked Alpha Flight
Pajama Party time. Aurora's idea.
 

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier "Aurora"

Marrina Smallwood "Marrina"

Jane Thorne "Nemesis"

Zuzha Yu "Puck II"

Wanda Langkoski "Sasquatch"

Narya (Anne McKenkie) "Snowbird"

Elizabeth Twoyoungmen "Talisman"



Heather MacNeil-Hudson "Vindicator"

Laura Kinney "Wolverine"

After a few a drinks, the bonding begins...

Hopefully they will show better teamwork from here on in. LOL

Watch Alpha Flight history... www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ln6q…

 

 






Sunday, 29 November 2020

Super Groups

 Justice League, Avengers, X-Men, Birds of Prey... there are so many comic super groups out there. As ever, I want to show all the female characters. So many groups historically had just one token female character but as time went by, writers began to realize that female characters were more of a draw than they expected. Now you see many more females in these super groups. X-Men for example started out with just one, Jean Gray (Marvel Girl) with five male characters but the X-Men franchise has adapted to the times. Although they expanded the male characters, the majority of newer characters are decidedly female. Comics like Birds of Prey host an exclusive all female cast. This trend is why I came back to loving comics again. I say bring on more. I can now make group shots with all female members of all the most popular groups. Here they are...


Justice League: Hawk Girl, Jessie Quick, Zatanna, Mera, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Supergirl, Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz), Gypsy, Big Barda.


Legends of Tomorrow: Charlie, Vixen, Ava Sharpe, White Canary, Isis, Hawk Girl


Legion of Doom: Killer Frost, Live Wire, Golden Glider, Giganta, Black Mary, Lena Luthor, Star Sapphire, Cheetah, Enchantress, Silver Banshee, Reign.


SHAZAM goddesses: Selene, Hippolyta, Artemas, Zephyrus, Aphrodite, Minerva.


Legion of Superheros: Phantom Girl, Lightning Lass, Shrinking Violet, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Duo Damsel, Shadow Lass, Dreamer.


Titans: Ravager, Blackfire, Jinx, Robin, Wonder Girl, Dove, Bumble Bee, Miss Martian, Terra, Starfire, Raven.

 

Birds of Prey: Black Canary, Huntress, Batgirl, Robin, Lady Blackhawk, Batwoman.


Sirens: Talia al-Ghul, Fire Fly, Tigress, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Duella Dent, Enigma, Dee Dee.


DC others: Katana, Red Lantern, Star Girl, Thunder, Mary Marvel, Speedy, Power Girl, Silk Specter, Silk Specter II, Phantom Lady.


Avengers: She-Hulk, Squirrel Girl, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Scarlett Witch, Mockingbird, Valkyrie.


Defenders: Misty Knight, Coleen Wing, Night Nurse, Jessica Jones, Hellcat, Elektra, Punisher.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Mantis, Gamora , Nebula.


Spider Verse: Silk, Venom, Black Cat, Spider-Girl, Spider Gwen, Spider Woman.


Villains: Ghost, Ruby Hale, Hela, Lady Hydra, Proxima Midnight, Lady Octopus.


Runaways: Lucy in the Sky, Sister Grimm, Arsenic and Old Lace, Princess Power.


X-Men: back row: Nagasonic Teenage Warhead, Yukio, Gwen Pool, Dazzler, Lady Deadpool, Domino, White Queen, Stepford Cuckoos. front row: Blink, Polaris, Shadow Cat, Rogue, Storm, Phoenix, Psylocke, Mystique, X-23 Wolverine, Jubilee.


Alpha Flight: Sasquatch, Snowbird, Talisman, Marrina, Aurora, Vindicator, Wolverine, Puck II, Nemesis.


Other Marvel: Lady Sif, Dagger, Invisible Woman, Songbird, Quake, Crystal, Medusa.


DV8: Ivana Biaul, Copy Cat, Sublime, Bliss, Freestyle.


Gen13: Rainmaker, Fairchild, Free Fall

 


The Boys: Stormfront, Queen Maeve, Starlight, the Female


Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Countess Elizabeth Báthory

For this year's Halloween, instead of a contest, I searched for the the Queen of evil. She is not a character of fiction, she is history's greatest female killer of all time.  Here is a run down from Wikipedia:

Elizabeth Báthory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 The native form of this personal name is Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals

 Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Hungarian: Báthory Erzsébet, pronounced [ˈbaːtori ˈɛrʒeːbɛt]; Slovak: Alžbeta Bátoriová ; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a Hungarian noblewoman from the noble family of Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary (now Hungary, Slovakia and Romania).

Báthory has been labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls and women between 1590 and 1610. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a servant girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Báthory, her family's importance kept her from facing execution. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Castle of Csejte, in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia).

The stories of Báthory's sadistic serial murders are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Stories describing Báthory's vampiric tendencies, such as the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, were generally recorded years after her death, and are considered unreliable. Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. Some insist she inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), though there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula

 Between 1602 and 1604, after rumors of Báthory's atrocities had spread through the kingdom, Lutheran minister István Magyari made complaints against her, both publicly and at the court in Vienna. The Hungarian authorities took some time to respond to Magyari's complaints. Finally, in 1610, King Matthias II assigned Thurzó, the Palatine of Hungary, to investigate. Thurzó ordered two notaries, András Keresztúry and Mózes Cziráky, to collect evidence in March 1610. By October 1610 they collected 52 witness statements. By 1611, the notaries collected testimony from more than 300 witnesses.

According to the testimonies, Báthory's first victims were girls aged 10 to 14 years. Later, Báthory is said to have begun killing daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by their parents to learn courtly etiquette. Abductions were said to have occurred as well. The atrocities described most consistently included severe beatings; burning or mutilation of hands; biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other body parts; freezing or starving to death. The use of needles was also mentioned by the collaborators in court. There were many suspected forms of torture carried out by Báthory. According to the Budapest City Archives, the girls were burned with hot tongs and then placed in freezing cold water. They were also covered in honey and live ants. Báthory was also suspected of cannibalism.

Some witnesses named relatives who died while at the gynaeceum. Others reported having seen traces of torture on dead bodies, some of which were buried in graveyards, and others in unmarked locations. Two court officials (Benedek Deseő and Jakab Szilvássy) claimed to have personally witnessed the Countess torture and kill young servant girls.

 The case of Elizabeth Báthory inspired numerous stories during the 18th and 19th centuries. The most common motif of these works was that of the countess bathing in her victims' blood to retain beauty or youth. This legend appeared in print for the first time in 1729, in the Jesuit scholar László Turóczi's Tragica Historia, the first written account of the Báthory case. The story came into question in 1817 when the witness accounts (which had surfaced in 1765) were published for the first time. They included no references to blood baths. In his book Hungary and Transylvania, published in 1850, John Paget describes the supposed origins of Báthory's blood-bathing, although his tale seems to be a fictionalized recitation of oral history from the area. It is difficult to know how accurate his account of events is. Sadistic pleasure is considered a far more plausible motive for Elizabeth Báthory's crimes.