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New Triumph #1 with Northguard in the center
|Created by||Mark Shainblum
|Alter ego||Philip Wise|
|Partnerships||Fleur de Lys|
Developed during the mid-1980s burst of small- and medium-press comics publishing by Canadians, Northguard was one of several serious efforts at developing a made-in-Canada superhero series for modern sensibilities. Themes addressed included the validity of the superhero genre itself in the form of writer Shainblum's stated intent of "deconstruction", as well as Canadian identity, corporate ethics and espionage, Canada-United States relations, and extreme religious organizations and their political effects on the world.
Begun in the anthology series New Triumph, the Northguard series centred on the misadventures of Philip Wise, a young Montreal resident of European Jewish ancestry, who had found himself caught up in the efforts of a private corporation's senior staff to defeat a conspiracy known collectively as "ManDes"(from the term "manifest destiny") to force Canada and the United States to merge under a quasi-Christian theocratic dictatorship with elements borrowed from white supremacist doctrine.
Wise was recruited as the corporation's field agent as a result of the murder of another operative, who was the only one neurologically equipped to use a unique energy weapon, called the "UniBand", built as an offshoot of applied physics experimentation. Wise's single condition for agreeing to do so was the creation of a "superhero" identity: Northguard while Wise later improvised the name Le Protecteur as a more suitable French language version.
Successfully defeating an assassination attempt on the premier of Quebec in his first mission, Wise subsequently found himself and his newfound colleagues stumbling through several misadventures, accidentally inspiring a martial arts/dance instructor whom Wise became acquainted with to create the identity of Fleur de Lys. These misadventures led ultimately to the defeat of the ManDes conspiracy and the destruction of the UniBand, effectively leaving Wise without any technological advantages. The whole ManDes affair was covered up at the insistence of the Canadian and American governments, allegedly for reasons of preserving cross-border trade.
Since 1991, there have been no further published adventures of Northguard, although both he and Fleur de Lys achieved some further measure of cultural immortality via the 1995 release of a collection of postage stamps from the Canada Post Corporation celebrating "made-in-Canada" superheroes.
- Northguard website
- Guardians of the North: a virtual museum tour through the history of Canadian superheroes, hosted by the Digital Library of Canada.