Friday, February 17, 2006

BHM 17: Northwind

Norda Cantrell. Gulp. If you're thinking I'm going to explain who Norda (a.k.a. Northwind) is, think again. He's the intersection of the Hawkman mythos with Infinity Inc., which is like living at the corner of The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea. I'm hoping someone can explain him to me!

Northwind is Hawkman's godson (?), adopted son (?), vague legacy character (?) from some race of Scandinavian birdpeople. He's black. Like lots of Scandinavians. In the DCU, anyway. Or maybe he's black because Hawkman is black? Oh, wait Hawkman's not black. Never mind.

He has a mohawk made of feathers. It was the nineties. He's got an N on his chest to help you remember who he is. To me, he was one of those characters I saw for the first time in the original Crisis, who made me go "what the --?", then disappeared. Actually, he didn't disappear; he's come back and now he looks like the scary birdman from "Kingdom Come" and he's mean and hangs out with Black Adam. Following in his own fine feathered tradition of incomprehensibility, I suppose...

Of course, that makes him yet another "black character whose race is conveniently obscured by his powers or costume". Harrumph.

12 comments:

Nathan said...

Northwind is Hawkman's godson.

I believe Hawkman brought Northwind's father, who is black, to the distant land of Feithera where he met one of the native bird-people and they married. They later had a son: Northwind.

I also believe Northwind grew up with Hector Hall, Hawkman's son.

naladahc said...

C'mon. Get to The Wall.

cozmic said...

Infinity Inc is the most awesome team ever created.

It had 2 members with mohawks!!!

It don't get any better than that.

Chuck T. said...

Doesn't Northwind have a panel in Crisis where he shouts: "Good lord! Dr. Phosphorous--is killing Hawkman!"
And then it was never mentioned again, possibly up until now. When I first read that issue in the newstands, I had already read a metric assload of comics in my young life, and I had no clue who this guy was, which pretty much sums up the downside to series like well, any given Crisis.

David J Oakes said...

Funny how Northwind started out in the "Exposed thighs to show-off his racial characteristics", and jumped straight to "Powers obscure race".

At least Patriot is taking off one thing at a time.

(No, wait, I mean...)

Word Verification - "Sdszs", the Earth-2 version of the serial killer Bat-Villain. (He has only one scar, to show how much nicer Earth-2 - no, the other, other Earth-2 - really is.)

methane said...

It was the 80's Scipio. Infinity Inc. was over before the 90's ever started.

Yeah, his father was a black scientist who studied the bird people. He grew up in Feithera (which was first introduced in a golden age story). Hawkman visited often with his family. That's how Hector Hall got to know him, though they didn't live there.

Scipio said...

LOL! Thanks, Meth; bad typo...

Axel M. Gruner said...

Northwinds mother had a beak.

crowdedhouse said...

Why did Roy Thomas find it necessary to give two of his characters mohawks? Did he somehow think they were cool? Okay, I'll admit I thought mohawks were cool when I was a kid, but now, and especially on Northwind and Nuklon...blech.

Benari said...

Um...note to DC: It's probably not a good idea to put a giant "N" across the chest of one your black characters.

Unless you're referring to a Richard Pryor bit, maybe. And even then...

Professor Fury said...

It was the 80's Scipio. Infinity Inc. was over before the 90's ever started.

But wasn't some of Infinity, Inc drawn by Todd McFarlane? Anything McFarlane draws is, by definition, a 90s comic, regarldess of the actual year in which it appeared.

Martin said...

Even Big Al Rothstein himself pours scorn on the humble mohawk. Flock of Seagulls, indeed.