Thursday, April 25, 2013

V: Vindicator!



is for Vindicator.

Otherwise known as James "Mac" MacDonald Hudson, Vindicator first appeared in X-Men #109 (Feb. 1978) as "Weapon Alpha". Having been sent by the Canadian government to bring back their Weapon X (you probably know him better as "Wolverine"). After his solo attempt fails, he returns with the rest of his group...the Canadian super team known as Alpha Flight...to finish the job.    

The two groups battle to a standstill when, abruptly, Wolverine surrenders and agrees to go back with Hudson to avoid any further fighting. Alpha Flight packs up and leaves with Wolverine....or so they think. Telling the X-Men that there 'ain't been a cage built yet that can hold me', they all have a laugh as Hudson and his team return to Canada and realize they don't have the objective of their mission with them.  



A bit later, Hudson's 'Department H' loses it's government funding and Alpha Flight disbands, temporarily. It's not until one of Great Beasts of Legend, Tundra, attacks, does Alpha reunite and save Canada, thereby regaining their official government status. Hudson going by the codename "Guardian" at this time.



The team rebuilds and solidifies with Hudson as team leader, once again. After a few missions, Hudson is duped by a large oil conglomerate and his old boss, along with an evil incarnation of Alpha Flight's farm team, Beta Flight. Now going by the name "Omega" Flight, they attack Hudson and he fends them off long enough for the members of Alpha Flight to join the fray. As the battle rages on, Hudson's battle suit is severely damaged and threatens to go critical. In trying to defuse his suit, it explodes, seemingly killing Hudson in the process. (This happened in Alpha Flight #12, much to the chagrin of the fans)



As we all know, death never lasts forever in the comics....especially Marvel Comics...and Hudson reappears, having opened a rift in time and space and only appearing to have exploded. Taking the name Vindicator, he leaves the Guardian name as well as his old battlesuit to his wife, who had been acting as field leader since his 'death'.

Later on, Hudson is killed again...this time 'permanently'.

Obviously, I'm skipping a huge part of Vindicator's history in interest of keeping this short(ish), but suffice it to say that, before he was killed again, he dealt with his own clone, aliens, and a bunch of other threats to the Great White North.

Vindicator was an amalgam  of sorts, of Iron Man and Captain America. His powers derived from a battle suit of his own design, which he had originally created as an exo-skeleton to aid in drilling for oil. The suit was decorated as symbol of Canada, their own version of Captain America. The new and improved suit allowed him to fly, shoot energy blasts and let him erect a force field around himself. Hudson was also a scientific genius and pretty well versed in bureaucracy...a trait he picked up from dealing with the Canadian government on a daily basis. 

I always liked Vindicator because he was Canadian through and through. A patriotic man who would go to any lengths to protect and serve his country, a loving husband, and a good friend to those who needed friends....such as certain, short, hairy, dude with claws. The fact that he was the symbol for a nation never made him arrogant and he was a good leader for Canada's own super group. 

Stop back tomorrow for a 'quick' post about another WWII era hero. He may be familiar, if you've been following along this month....


38 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not too many Canadian super heroes.

jaybird said...

Sorry but it serves him right trying to mess with Wolverine. That never ends well. Duh! (I might be just a little biased here though...) Hey, want to take a little guess who my post on W is going to be tomorrow? Ha.

Christine Rains said...

Love the Canadian superheroes!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Vindicator was kind of a Phoenix, then? But in the end something did him in. What? I don't know this superhero at all.

John Wiswell said...

I didn't know his suit was originally designed to drill for oil. That's pretty hilarious. I always found him to be the Canadian Cyclops - the stuffy jerk leader who was always at odds with Wolvie.

Jack said...

I think I've heard of this superhero, and if not I should have because my brothers are HUGE X-Men fans...rather Wolverine fans...

Suze said...

'As we all know, death never lasts forever in the comics.'

I love this line!

So is Wolverine Canadian, then? And where does 'Logan' come in?

Mark Means said...

@Alex: Not enough, in my opinion :) I thought it was always cool seeing how other country's heroes operated.

@jaybird: You know, when I was putting that first cover up, I -almost- captioned it "With apologies to Jaybird"...lol. Hmmm...I wonder who it might be...hehe

@Christine: Me too!

@Lee: Well, sort of...yes. The writers brought him back and explained away his death, then he was killed (again)in another story line by an evil mutant.

@John: Heh, yep. His battlesuit was based off the plans he designed for an oil company, which was why they came after him in the pages of Alpha Flight. They wanted the design back.

@Jack: He was featured in X-Men back in the 70s, so they might have seen him around there.

@Suze: Originally, it was revealed that Wolverine's name was "Logan...just Logan", as he would tell people. I think he was, pretty much, based on the Clint Eastwood, Man With No Name character from the old Spaghetti Westerns. Later on, they revamped his origin to say part of his mutant healing factor also slowed his aging and he was born back in the 1800s. After the Canadian military grafted metal to his bones, he was found by Hudson and his wife in the Canadian wilderness, so he just assumed he was Canadian. Sometimes, these origin stories can get a bit convoluted....obviously :)

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, duh, Vindicator. I should have just known that without thinking. I guess I've been out of comics longer than I thought.

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, and just to go from your last comment, Wolverine was always meant to be Canadian. His first appearance was in Canada in a Hulk issue. That was pretty much all there was to it, though, until John Byrne got a hold of him and, as a fellow Canadian, turned the character into something bigger than what was originally intended.

Suze said...

Thanks!

Melissa Bradley said...

There are so many heroes I had no idea about. Very cool. :)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

joining the south park gang soon... i love all of these not known heroes...

Mark Means said...

@Andrew: Heh, I would have thought you would have gotten it beforehand :) And, yes, you're right about Byrne and Wolverine's origin. A lot of retconning went on back then :)

@Suze: You're welcome!

@Melissa: Oh yeah, there are a ton of them :)

@Jeremy: A lot of cool ones, for sure :)

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I was so busy yesterday that I forgot to think about it at all and didn't remember till I saw your post this morning. Then, it was too late.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Aw, he thought he could catch Wolverine, so sad. This was a great one today Mark and it's true that death in comics is never really 'death'.

Julie Flanders said...

One of my favorite things about your theme is seeing all these old comic book covers. Always makes me smile when I come here! :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Your post brings back such wonderful memories searching through Marvel Comics at the Five & Dime. I'm looking forward to next weeks release of Ironman.

Sherry Ellis said...

Nobody should ever mess with Wolverine!

Miranda Hardy said...

Very confusing, these comics are. My son loves them. I should mention these.

Manzanita said...

I'm beginning to love these. The heroes are like a cat with all those lives
and the back and forth and the intrigue. Your Canadian super people sound romantic, like the Mountie. I was in love with them when I was young.
We are nearing an end of A-Z and I'm just learning to appreciate comics. Thank you for always visiting my dance post, even though it's not your cup of tea and mine wasn't comics either but see, I've learned to find delight with them.
As they say in comic language, Bop, zing, wizzz

Robin said...

Even though I have never even heard of him until today, I am actually really sad that they killed him off. I feel like I've been through the wringer. I only just found him to know that he died. He went through several name variations. I feel like singing, "Vindicator I barely knew ye." Or would that be you? Anyway, he was here and gone.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Shame, he had a cool name.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That tricky Wolverine. I like the sound of the Vindicator.

S.P. Bowers said...

That's a lot of name changes.

I enjoyed the X-men cartoon. My brothers watched it a lot while we were growing up. Which helped when the first X-men movie came out. I was able to impress my hubby with my X-men knowledge.

Shell Flower said...

Yay for the Canadian Superheroes! I heart Canada. It cracks me up that these guys are always dying and finding ways to make a comeback. It's almost as bad as the celebrity scene :)

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

The Wolverine character is great, it can exist in a multitude of cultures. Too bad the Canadian one didn't last. Writer’s Mark

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Trying to bring in Wolverine has to qualify as a suicide mission!

Mark Means said...

@Andrew: Heh, I know what you mean...I probably wouldn't have guessed it either :)

@Sheena: I know, they must have forgot who they were dealing with :)

@Julie: It's been one of the most fun things about this theme, digging up those covers. Brings back a lot of good memories.

@Cathrina: I remember going through the spinner racks to find comics...good times :) And, yeah, can't wait for Iron Man 3!

@Sherry: Ain't that the truth!

@Miranda: I know, they can be a bit confusing, for sure.

@Manzanita: Thank you very much, I appreciate that and I also appreciate your comments this month. Your posts, believe it or not, have made me appreciate ballroom dancing more...which is quite a feat. :)

@Robin: LOL....well, he'll live on in back issues, so we won't have to lament too much :)

@Diane: I agree...it was a very cool name.

@Susan: He was quite crafty, right? :)

@S.P: Yep, I liked that cartoon too...even though I would, sometimes, nitpick that they weren't 'sticking directly to the comics', but it was still a fun cartoon.

@Shell: Heh, yeah some of them have more lives than a cat... as long as the writers can use them.

@Nancy: He does get around, though :)

@Elizabeth: That's sort of what I would be thinking too. That'd be the day I call in sick :)

Yolanda Renee said...

I had no idea there were so many comic book heroes, and heroines. Hope that means the movies will continue, love the uplifting battles of good against evil -- fairy tales for the adults, and yet it fills a desperate need sometimes.

Ella said...

We need heroes like him! I wish they would bring him back~ Say his clone was killed instead...they could do it ;D
Nicely done!

Valerie said...

I'm a hugs XMen fan, and I've never heard of this one... Great name tho. But I'm rather partial to names that start with V! ;0)

Hugs!

Valerie

Carrie Butler said...

I wonder if they have to fill out forms at some kind of superhero office to change their names... ;)

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Hmmm...I want to create some cool superhero suit and with it gain cool powers :) I love the suit- their version of Captain America. So very cool.

Dee said...

Gosh so many names! And it's funny how superhero deaths are not always permanent in Marvel comics.

Lisa said...

I'm partial to the Vindicator as I married a Canadian! Plus, not too many super heroes that are married and happy about it...

M. J. Joachim said...

I just want to congratulate you on this Challenge, Mark. You've put so much work into your posts, sharing some really need background information and delightful images. It has been so fun taking this journey with you. I have a new appreciation for comic books and characters that I know I never would have had without reading your work. Best of the weekend to you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - well so pleased you've been able to highlight Vindicator - the Canadian hero .. he does sound rather lovely! You can tell I'm so unknowledgeable it's embarrassing!

cheers Hilary

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