Aurora (comics)

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Aurora
Aurorabyrne.png
Aurora. Art by John Byrne.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men (vol. 1) #120 (April 1979)
Created by Chris Claremont
John Byrne
In-story information
Alter ego Jeanne-Marie Beaubier
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations
Abilities Flight
Superhuman speed
Superhuman durability
Light generation/manipulation
Light projection

Aurora (Jeanne-Marie Beaubier) is a fictional character, a Canadian superheroine in the Marvel Comics universe. She is the twin sister of Northstar and the former lover of Sasquatch. She has also been in a relationship with Wild Child.

Publication history[edit]

Aurora first appeared in X-Men (vol. 1) #120 as a member of Alpha Flight.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She and her twin brother Jean-Paul were separated in infancy after their parents died. Jean-Paul was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Martin, who were cousins of his mother. The Martins could not afford to adopt Jeanne-Marie as well and arranged for Jeanne-Marie to be raised at Madame DuPont's School for Girls in LaVelle, Quebec, a reactionary religious school. Soon afterward, the Martins moved to Northern Quebec. The Martins were killed in an accident several years later and Jean-Paul was placed in a foster home, unaware that he had a sister.

Extremely nervous and introverted, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier was miserable at Madame DuPont's School and at the age of thirteen, she attempted suicide by throwing herself from the roof of one of the school's buildings. Instead of falling to her death, Beaubier discovered that she could fly at great speed. Unaware that she was a mutant, the deeply religious Beaubier believed that her flight was the result of a divine miracle. The next morning, she explained to the school's headmistress what she believed had happened. Believing the young girl to be guilty of blasphemy, the headmistress had Beaubier severely disciplined. This incident (and possibly other abuse) triggered a dissociative identity disorder in Jeanne-Marie; a second personality, extroverted and far more uninhibited, emerged. Under the influence of this second personality, Beaubier secretly left the school that same night. Returning three days later, she had no memory of where she had been or what she had done and she was again physically punished. The resulting trauma was so great that Beaubier repressed her second personality.

Alpha Flight[edit]

Five years later, Beaubier's application to become a teacher of history and geography at the school was accepted. By this time, Beaubier had adjusted to life at the school and her everyday personality was that of a prim, proper, repressed woman. The same night that her application was accepted, her second personality re-emerged and she left to enjoy herself in Montreal. Confronted by muggers, she knocked one unconscious by moving at superhuman speed (this was the first time that she had used her superhuman powers in five years). The second mugger was halted by Wolverine, who had witnessed the attempted assault. Recognizing that Beaubier had superhuman powers, Wolverine invited her to go to Ottawa to meet James MacDonald Hudson, who was organizing a team of superhumanly powerful agents for the Canadian government's Department H. Hudson accepted her as a recruit and reunited her with her brother. After a period of training, both Beaubier siblings joined the team that Hudson created, Alpha Flight, under the code names Aurora and Northstar.[2]

On Alpha Flight's first mission, Aurora aided in combating the X-Men to capture Wolverine.[3] With Northstar, she battled Deadly Ernest.[4] She later recounted how she developed her superhuman powers and developed her Aurora personality, and how Wolverine recruited her into Alpha Flight,[5] as well as how she met Northstar.[6] Aurora later had a falling out with her brother, and upon her wish to separate herself from her brother, her powers were altered by Walter Langowski.[7] Aurora was captured by Gilded Lily, but was rescued by Sasquatch, who began to suspect that she was manifesting a third personality.[8] With Northstar, she battled Pink Pearl.[9]

She was later temporarily cured of her multiple personalities. Alongside the X-Men and Alpha Flight, she battled Loki.[10] She was again attacked by Gilded Lily.[11] Aurora was captured by Box, who had gone insane, but was later rescued by Alpha Flight.[12] Loki deceived Aurora into believing that her mother had been an Asgardian Light Elf. She journeyed to Alfheim, and seemingly expended all of her superhuman power in curing Northstar of a fatal illness.[13] She then joined a convent and dropped out of sight for a while.[14]

Jean-Marie eventually left the convent and was transported to Asgard, and helped rescue Northstar in Alfheim. She discovered that she had regained her superhuman powers and rejoined Alpha Flight.[15] Aurora soon discovered that she could now generate a light that bestowed inner peace in others.[16] With Alpha Flight and the Fantastic Four, she contended against Headlok.[17] Headlok mentally manipulated her, causing her to revert to her original split personality, and she then killed Headlok.[18] She soon thereafter had a rematch with Pink Pearl.[19] Eventually, the original incarnation of Alpha Flight disbanded.[20]

The Jeanne-Marie personality confronts Aurora. Art by John Byrne.

Aurora has suffered from dissociative identity disorder for some time: Jeanne-Marie represented her more prim and proper persona while Aurora represented Jeanne-Marie's more outgoing, repressed personality traits. The personalities were later merged into one relatively healthy personality although her sanity has deteriorated in recent years and they split again.[volume & issue needed]

Jeanne-Marie underwent further personality changes. For a time, her "Aurora" and "Jeanne-Marie" personae each manifested traits of the other while nevertheless remaining distinctly separate personalities. She later manifests a third personality which is basically Aurora's, but with a greater sense of responsibility than before.[volume & issue needed]

At one point, Aurora and Northstar were retconned to be half-human, half-elf;[10] however, this development was itself retconned away,[volume & issue needed] and the twins are known to be human mutants, as they were originally intended.

Aurora, deeply in love and distraught with the departure of Wildheart (who had left to join X-Factor when his mutation reverted his handsome appearance to a bestial one, fearing rejection from Aurora), left to follow him, with the intention that if she could not have him, "no one could."[volume & issue needed] During her pursuit of Wild Child, Mystique intervened, taking on the form of his Wildheart persona to try to stop Aurora from killing him.[volume & issue needed] Kyle told Aurora that Mystique was lying, and Aurora, her mind already distraught, fainted with the overwhelming strain. Kyle vowed to help her. Northstar and Puck arrived to return Jeanne-Marie to Canada.[volume & issue needed]

Resurfacing and rehabilitation[edit]

In the events leading up her reappearance in Weapon X Vol. 2, Aurora's mental health continues to deteriorate and she is later turned into a mind controlled agent of Weapon X. She also engages in an abusive relationship with the Weapon X director, Malcolm Colcord, who frequently beat her.[21] Aurora manages to retaliate against her mind-control by creating a third personality that was unaffected by her situation. She attacks Colcord and manages to escape.[22] In her next appearance in X-Men (Vol. 2) Aurora's mental state becomes unstable to the point that all her personalities agree that suicide is the best solution.[23] However, she is stopped by the arrival of Northstar, who is under the control of the Children of the Vault, a mysterious group of newly emerged superhumans who seek to destroy mutants, viewing them to be their competition for dominance of the planet. One of the Children, Serafina, places the twins under their control, largely repairing Aurora's fragile psyche, boosting the twins powers and altering them so that they can generate not only light when in contact with each other, but heat as well.

The twins are sent on a mission to attack the X-Men and retrieve Sabretooth for the Children of the Vault. The twins are able to defeat several of the X-Men and New X-Men until Mystique is able to exploit Aurora's shattered psyche by taking on her image. Iceman manages to incapacitate Aurora while Cable subdues Northstar.[23]

The X-Men take Northstar and Aurora to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in an attempt to fix the mental damage inflicted on the twins. Using their V.R. equipment the X-Men allowed the twins to relive their lives at an accelerated pace. The process was interrupted near the end of the session by Exodus, creating a telepathic connection between the twins. Using each other's emotional support, they manage to face their inner personal turmoils and regain control of their minds. Aurora and Northstar also gain a higher level of control over their powers, which they use to save Rogue from the Acolyte known as Frenzy.[23] They later reappear in the mini-crossover series Secret Invasion: X-Men, joining the X-Men when the Skrull invasion reaches San Francisco.[24]

Aurora next appears in Uncanny X-Men, having formed a snowsporting company with Northstar, Team Northstar Extreme Snowsports. Aurora appears to be living a relatively normal life since regaining control of her mind, and is the joint CEO of the company. She is contacted by Wolverine when he wishes to extend an invitation to Northstar to join X-Men on Utopia.[25]

During one of Aurora's therapy sessions to deal with her disorder, she is given a device to wear on her head for tests, when in actuality, her therapist was bribed by Norman Osborn to use it on her so he could speak with her more dark and violent personality about joining his Dark X-Men. Jeanne-Marie, though, does not care to take orders from anyone, least of all someone who is just as broken as herself, and goes to leave, before he turns the device on her again, saying he does not take no for an answer. However, Aurora brings up another personality to combat the guards, and brings up more for each time the device is used on her, before she is able to turn it on Osborn himself and walk away.[26]

During the Chaos War storyline, Aurora alongside Northstar, Sasquatch, and Snowbird are reunited with a resurrected Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, and Marrina Smallwood.[27]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Northstar and Aurora. Art by Leinil Francis Yu.

Aurora has the powers of flight and superhuman speed and reflexes (theoretically able to approach light-speed. This has never been attempted since if any being or amount of matter were to approach the speed of light in our solar system, it would wreak devastating havoc on the gravitational forces holding our system together). The greater her increase in speed, the more durable her body becomes, but this ability has not been measured.

She also has super-human levels of endurance and stamina that allows her to maintain her super-speed. In an early issue of Alpha Flight, Northstar reveals to readers that Aurora has greater endurance and can fly longer, while he can fly faster in the same period of time.[28] Her strength and reaction time are above-average for a woman of her age and exercise level, however, Aurora usually doesn't rely on her physical strength while battling opponents and, instead, uses super-speed tricks, like flying with someone at great speed until they pass out from lack of oxygen or pummeling them with hundreds of punches a second until they succumb. Aurora also uses her super speed to perform stunts such as creating a cyclone by running in circles, running up walls and across water, and she could breathe while traveling at subsonic speeds.

Originally, while in physical contact with her brother, usually while holding hands, the pair could emit bursts of brilliant white light with an average flash equal in intensity of one million candela (one candela being equal to the amount of light created by one candle). It was generally used to blind their opponents, but with the minor drawback that they were not able to control its intensity. Yet after a serious falling-out with her brother, she had her powers altered by Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch), her lover at the time, to enable her to produce light independently, although, while still being blinding, with much less intensity.[volume & issue needed] It also significantly limited her speed to that of one to two times the speed of sound.

It was later revealed that due to a side effect of the treatment, if she and her brother had even the briefest physical contact that it would "cancel out" both of their abilities for a brief period and sometimes created a physical, incapacitating shock.[volume & issue needed] The treatment had the added bonus of "cloaking" her from mutant-detection devices, such as the Sentinels, allowing her more of a chance of living a normal life, free from persecution. After the events in Asgard, her post-treatment bursts of light now had the added ability to temporarily bestow inner peace to all who saw it, but it is not known if she has retained this new power.[volume & issue needed]

It appears the treatment was undone in recent years, returning her abilities to their original state.[volume & issue needed] Due to the machinations of Serafina, it appears that Aurora and Northstar can now generate explosive thermal energy on contact with each other as well.[volume & issue needed]

Aurora is moderately skilled in hand-to-hand combat using a style utilizing her superhuman speed, and received coaching from Puck and Wolverine.

Aurora's powers alter in various ways when her different personalities are dominant.

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the Age of Apocalypse, Northstar and Aurora were part of Mister Sinister's Elite Mutant Force (E.M.F.) and, as such, were assigned to patrolling the breeding pens. The siblings fully embraced their beliefs of mutant superiority and seemed to take great pleasure in punishing those prisoners who acted up or tried to escape. When the E.M.F.’s leader, Cyclops, switched sides, secretly helping some inmates to escape, he was caught in the act by the speeding twins. However, both of them were defeated by Cyclops and the prisoner he was helping to escape, which happened to be Polaris.[volume & issue needed] When the series was revisited for the 10 year anniversary, it was revealed that following the fall of Apocalypse's regime, the Beaubiers became fugitives until they were killed by Weapon X and Kirika.[29][30]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the Marvel Zombies comics set in the universe of Earth-2149, the zombified Alpha Flight attack the X-Men and are eventually killed by Magneto. Aurora is seen in a panel of Marvel Zombies Dead Days attacking the X-Man Storm alongside her brother Northstar. The two are killed by Magneto only moments later.[31]

Weapon X: Days of Future Now[edit]

In the Weapon X: Days of Future Now storyline, Aurora is one of the mutants that Wolverine recruits in order to resurrect the X-Men after all except himself and Angel were killed by Weapon X under Malcolm Colcord.[volume & issue needed] When Wolverine comes for her she is living as Jeanne-Marie in a nunnery in Lourdes, France. She agrees and mentions the death of her brother as a reason for joining him. However, Wolverine isn't really interested in recruiting her as Aurora or her normal personality of Jeanne-Marie. He comes to recruit her third personality and slaps her until it surfaces. When it does, she takes off her nun's hood and her robes to resemble her Aurora outfit.[volume & issue needed] She joins Wolverine's new, more violent X-Men along with Juggernaut, Deadpool, Mystique, Sunfire, Archangel, and Agent Zero.[32]

She is killed along with Mystique, Sunfire, and Deadpool, when it is revealed that Agent Zero has been made into a sleeper agent for Weapon X through the use of Mesmero's mutant hypnotic abilities. He ambushes his teammates in their base, killing or severely wounding them with gunfire and his concussive energy blasts. Eventually, he takes his own life when he manages to break free of Weapon X's control, moments before killing Wolverine.[32]

Earth X[edit]

In Earth X, Aurora is still a member of Alpha Flight. However, she was killed alongside her team by the Tong of Creel.[33]

X-Men: The End[edit]

In the X-Men: The End universe, Aurora's image appears as a spirit to her brother.[34]

House of M[edit]

In the alternate reality created by the Scarlet Witch known as House of M, a woman similar to Aurora is seen with Northstar who is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, responsible for training a squad of young mutants and superhumans in the agency's junior training squad program. However, she is only seen briefly.[35]

Ultimate Aurora[edit]

An Ultimate version of Aurora makes her debut in Ultimate X-Men #94 as part of Alpha Flight. Like her mainstream counterpart, she is the sister of Northstar. The two seem to share a distant relationship, because Aurora still works for Department H, somewhere that Jean-Paul ran from claiming they were crazy. She is the one who physically takes her brother captive. Her power seemed to be speed based, but, according to her and due to being enhanced by the Mutant Growth Hormone known as Banshee, she is faster than light; something which she proved by being able to remove Colossus' grip on their jet wthout him being aware of it. Later, when the X-Men attack their base to rescue Northstar, she is quickly taken down by Dazzler, who has also enhanced her abilities with Banshee.[36]

Age of X[edit]

In the Age of X reality, the deceased Aurora is the motivation of her brother's attempts to kill Kitty Pryde.[37]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Aurora appeared in the X-Men animated series episodes "Slave Island" and "Repo Man" voiced by Jennifer Dale. In the cartoon, Aurora possessed the ability to fly and generate a blinding light when she slapped hands with her brother Northstar.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z, vol. 13 (2010) Marvel Comics
  2. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #120 (Apr. 1979) Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Men #120-121
  4. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #7-8
  5. ^ Alpha Flight #9
  6. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #10
  7. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #17
  8. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #20-21
  9. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #22
  10. ^ a b X-Men and Alpha Flight #1-2
  11. ^ Alpha Flight Annual (vol. 1) #1
  12. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #46
  13. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #50
  14. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #64
  15. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #81-82, 85
  16. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #88-89
  17. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #93-96
  18. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #102-104
  19. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #105
  20. ^ Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #130
  21. ^ Weapon X Vol. 1: The Draft
  22. ^ Weapon X: Days of Future Now
  23. ^ a b c X-Men (vol. 2) "Supernovas" (August 2007) Marvel Comics
  24. ^ Secret Invasion: X-Men #2
  25. ^ Uncanny X-Men #508
  26. ^ Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3
  27. ^ Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1
  28. ^ Alpha Flight #1 (1983)
  29. ^ X-23 on Earth-616
  30. ^ X-Men: Age of Apocalypse #2 (May 2005) Marvel Comics
  31. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days #2
  32. ^ a b Weapon X: Days of Future Now #3
  33. ^ Universe X #2
  34. ^ X-Men: The End #2
  35. ^ New X-Men #16
  36. ^ Ultimate X-Men #94
  37. ^ X-Men Legacy #245

External links[edit]