AURORA: Page 5 of 6

Publication Date: 30th Dec 2007
Written By: Peter Luzifer.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer.


Following the Goddess’ defeat, anti-mutant / superhero hysteria was on the rise in Canada, which is why Department H decided to temporarily shut down the Flight programs and lay low for a while, until the crisis had passed. Not even Guardian’s surprising return from the dead changed that. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #130] It was just the team’s official status as a group that was affected, though, and several of the Alphans remained at Department H and continued to serve as individual operatives.

Alpha Flight’s disbanding sure took it’s toll on “Aurora,” who couldn’t imagine a life outside due to her multiple personality disorder. She sought comfort in the arms of her teammate, Kyle Gibney, aka Wild Child, starting a romantic relationship with him. However, only a few weeks later, he suddenly left without a word or any sort of good-bye. Aurora blamed herself for his departure, thinking he couldn’t handle her personality disorder, and her state of mind deteriorated. Eventually, she reached the point where she swore that, if she could not have him, then nobody else should. Going over the edge, Aurora hunted Kyle down, who by then had joined the American-based X-Factor and was eager to kill him. Turned out that he had mutated back into his feral, ugly incarnation (he was handsome during the time with Aurora), and abandoned her fearing the effects it would have on her fragile psyche. However, Aurora was beyond reason, and kept lashing out with her powers until she was subdued. Having followed her, Northstar and Puck took Aurora back to Canada, where they arranged some psychological treatment for her. [X-Factor (1st series) #116]

A few months later, Department H was reopened, the people in charge having quite different ideas in mind how to handle their operatives. They wouldn’t take no for an answer, as they kept drugging or brainwashing their operatives, limiting their knowledge to the amount of what was absolutely necessary for them to know. They also wanted to make use of Aurora and arranged for her to be released from the psychiatric hospital, but she never reached Department H. The train transporting the sedated Aurora was hijacked by X-Man and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, whose main goal it was to get their hands on tons of canister carrying a lethal gas, but they liberated Aurora as well. In fact, the Dark Beast was quite happy to have Aurora around, as it kept X-Man Nate Grey distracted, him trying to help the deranged woman. Eventually, when he learned of the Dark Beast’s schemes, Nate left. At first he wanted to take Aurora along, but he thought that the Brotherhood was better equipped to suit her needs. [X-Man #27-28]

Her condition didn’t change that much, though, Aurora slipping between personalities and having mood swings. Before long, Havok took apart the Brotherhood from within. Right before he destroyed their hide-out, he released Aurora and told her to return to Canada and search out someone capable of helping her. [X-Factor (1st series) #143]

Jeanne-Marie did as told and went straight to the new Department H, unaware of the changes there. Before she met one of her former teammates, chief scientist Dr. Horatio Huxley had her knocked out and taken to his labs, where she was subjected to a barrage of tests and experiments. To study its effects on human physiology, Aurora was infected with a high dose of Thetagen-24, an aggressive strand of bacteria, designed for the creation of a new Weapon X. Most other test subjects had died of the bacteria’s effects, the only other survivors being Diamond Lil, whose mutant power kept the bacteria from penetrating her diamond-hard skin, and an unfortunate fellow from New Zealand, whom became sort of like a host for the bacteria’s collective mind. In Aurora’s case, the bacteria began “eating away” the layers of her many personalities. It was only a matter of time before it would reach the core of her mind, though, at which point she would have died. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #19]

Somehow, Jeanne-Marie managed to escape and her mind switched randomly and rapidly between her many former identities. Somehow Northstar sensed his sister’s distress and went searching for her all over the globe, until he found her at the school where she had been raised. Although the building was in ruins after being destroyed by a fire, Aurora sitting inside, more lunatic than ever, teaching a class of non-existing children. Unsure how to aid her, Jean-Paul fell asleep and, when he finally came around, Aurora was gone again, though she left a message on the board: “Help Me.“ Next, he tracked her down to the North Pole, where she again eluded him. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #12-13, 15]

Finally, he found some help in Sasquatch, Shaman and the original Guardian. Not only were they able temporarily to stabilize Jeanne-Marie’s mind, but also they knew the reason for her odd behavior. Together, they confronted the replacement Alpha Flight and the new Weapon X, who somehow managed to extract the bacteria from Aurora’s system. With Department H’s secret experiments exposed, the original team were given back official status. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #18-20, Wolverine (2nd series) #142]

Shortly after Northstar left Alpha Flight for good, him turning his back on superheroing to publish his memoirs, Sasquatch and Aurora restarted their relationship. However, during a battle with the evil Mauvais, her already fragile psyche was further strained by the villain, up to the point that she collapsed after the fight. It was decided that she needed to be taken care of in a medical facility and Walter wanted to accompany the ambulance, which was transporting Aurora there. Unfortunately, en route, Sasquatch was called away because of an emergency and, mere moments after Walt’s departure, the ambulance was attacked and Aurora kidnapped by operatives of the revamped Weapon X program. [Wolverine (2nd series) #172-173]

She was brought to a mental asylum nonetheless, just another on than Department H had in mind, where the poor woman was further hospitalized up to the point of insanity.  It was only then that the Weapon X Director, Malcolm Colcord, had her “rescued,” so that Aurora could be rebuilt in the project’s image. In Wild Child, he had the perfect operative for this task because of their previous history. Although he had further mutated and was now mute, in her deranged state Aurora still recognized her former lover. In fact, Kyle hoped for another relationship with her, but once the Weapon X scientists had restored and improved her, she rejected him, calling him ugly and laughing at his affections. [Weapon X: The Draft - Wild Child]

Weapon X’s tampering marked a return of the shallow and cruel Aurora, who would try to use her beauty to her advantage at every turn.  More than once did she try to seduce Malcolm Colcord, whose face was disfigured ever since a run in with Wolverine several years in the past. Thus disfigured, Colcord didn’t have that many love interests and sure was interested in Aurora, but he was well aware that Aurora wasn’t serious. To keep her of his back, Colcord assigned her and Wild Child on a mission to track down Sabretooth, only he found them first and sadistically ambushed and disfigured Aurora, knowing what anguish it would cause Wild Child who had to watch the entire ordeal. [Weapon X (2nd series) #1-4]

Because of his own scarred face, Colcord could relate like no other, and arranged for her to undergo cosmetic surgery and rehabilitation. A few weeks later, Aurora’s face was as good as new and, thankful for everything the man had done for her, she was now genuinely interested in Colcord. At first, he tried to keep a professional distance, but the emotional turmoil of learning that his estranged wife was getting re-married caused Colcord to respond to Aurora’s affections. They quickly became a couple, and Aurora even encouraged The Director to have his own face restored by cosmetic surgery as well. [Weapon X (2nd series) #6-8]