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Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Category :

Comic Books

Subcategory :

Marvel Universe

Type :

Hero

Game System :

DC Heroes (Blood of Heroes S.E.)

Notes :

Alpha Flight

Snowbird aka Harfang (Classic) v1

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: The first 28 issues of Marvel’s Alpha Flight plus flashbacks to that time or before — which is what we refer to as the “Classic” era.

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera, Chris Cottingham

Reasons (1): Since she’s a civil servant we have to be multilingual. ”Harfang” is short for chouette harfang (“harfang owl”), the French-Canadian name for the arctic owl (or snowy owl) - though the word actually comes from the Swedish harfång (“hare-catcher”). It was the name used in the French translations of the comics back when the character appeared.

Reasons (2): More context can be found in our Alpha Flight (Main article) entry.

Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend Alpha Flight Classic.

Quotes

Snowbird

“O Nelvanna, my mother, grant me the power I will need in this awful place. The energies of destruction mass, your ancient enemy rises again…”

“I am as one with the North lands. This blackness touches my very soul.”

“Look past my mortal guise, Kolomaq. Look upon my true fires, and see now who it is you face.”

“There are mystic barriers here of which no White man has knowledge. If Langkowski accidentally sundered one of them…”

“Save your prayers, Michael Twoyoungmen. You may have greater need of them before this day is out.”

“I am a creature of the clouds and winds, Michael. Would you deny me [flight] ? Would you tell the otter not to swim ? The caribou not to run ?”

“Beast, thy hour is struck ! In the name of Hodiak, god of the Northern Lights, I curse thee - and I condemn thee ! DIE, BEAST !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Harfang
Dex: 06 Str: 10 Bod: 07 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 08 Occupation: File clerk, champion of the Inua
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 12 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 017 HP: 050

Powers: Awareness: 09, Chameleon: 01, Cold immunity: 03, Dimensional anchor: 08, Flight: 08, Magic sense: 09, Power reserve (Zoomorph): 05, Regeneration: 01, Telescopic vision: 02, Zoomorph: 25

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Awareness is restricted to mystic menaces against the Great North, and the Great Beasts. It will also pick up when a mystic invokes the name of the Great Spirit, giving Shaman a way to “page” Snowbird.
  • Chameleon allows her to change the exact look of her current human form, and that’s it
  • Zoomorph is limited to beasts native to the Great North
  • All the animals she turns into using Zoomorph will have white fur, feather, skins, etc.
  • While using Zoomorph, average Snowbird’s INT and WIL with that of the animal (rounding down). There exists a risk of being locked in animal form - see “L‘odeur animale” below
  • Shifting directly from one animal form to another is a 05/05 Physical Attack against her BODY - she normally resumes her human-like form then morphes again
  • Zoomorph has a time limit - - see “L‘odeur animale” below

Skills: Charisma (Intimidation): 06, Detective (Police procedure): 03, Military science (Tracking): 03, Occultist: 12

Bonuses and Limitations: Charisma (Intimidation) is Form Function and is achieved by revealing her “true fires”.

Advantages: Expertise (Canadian First Nations mythologies, Inua lore), Immortal, Insta-change, Language (Inua language, language of the Great Beasts, and presumably a number of First Nations language, particularly those in the far North), Security Clearance (RCMP, Low)

Connections: Shaman (High), Alpha Flight (Low)

Drawbacks: Secret ID (early on), Fatal/Loss Vulnerability (see below), Minor Rage + MPR (see “L‘odeur animale” below), SIH of the Great Beasts, Creepy Appearance

Rituals:

  • Mark ally. Such an ability is hypothetical, but the following two Rituals are best explained if Snowbird as the ability to mystically “tag” a person as an ally for ritualistic purposes. This presumably requires some time and components.
  • Locate ally [Casting Time: 1 Phase, No Components, Effect: Detect (Specified ally): 08 with a Special +12 Range Bonus].
  • Compel ally [Casting Time: 1 Phase, No Components, Effect: Hypnosis: 08, Limitation: Can only be used to “draft” a person into fighting the Great Beasts along with her as an obedient soldier. If she indeed marks allies, it can only be used against marked persons].
  • See the past [Casting Time: 3 APs, No Components, Effect: Postcognition: 15, Limitation: limited to visual information, cannot see beyond six hours in the past (13 APs)].
  • Mystic healing [Casting Time: 1 Phase, No Components, Effect: Damage transference: 06, Limitation: only usable once per day, Damage Transference is between her and Canadian soil - which she must be touching]. This magic spell repaired both her flesh and her costume in a blaze of energy. Since it’s both useful and seldom used, we have assumed limitations (the 1/day limit and having to stand on earth).

 

Technical notes
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free !

Snowbird can exist in Quidlivun (the dimension of the Inua), in the Realm of the Great Beasts, or in Canada - Dr. Twoyoungmen bound her life force to Canada to allow her to survive on Earth.

If she crosses Canada’s borders she will go sick, weaken and start dying as she loses touch with her Canada-bound life force. Presumably, the same phenomenon might occur in other dimensions.

The weakening effect is rapid - Snowbird loses one AP in every score of hers every Phase, including BODY. Once at zero she is dying and ageing rapidly, but though she’s powerless she doesn’t die easy - she can hang on for several days on her own, more with medical and/or magical support.

Snowbird is a creature of magic - if some effect collapses the mana level (as Loki’s Firefountain once did) she will be affected exactly as if she had left Canada.

L’odeur animale

When she shifts to an animal form, Snowbird’s mindset starts resembling that animal and she gradually loses her memories from her previous states. If she remains too long in animal form, she might forget who she is and mentally become just a smart animal of that species.

This limitation was much more problematic in during her early years - until roughly 1982. Back then, she had a Limitation akin to a Serious Rage, where the “Rage” was losing herself in her animal instincts, usually as a result of a fighting frenzy.

It was still possible - with an Animal Handling, Animal Friendship, Speak with Animals or other roll - to help her cool down, recover her sapience and shift back to quasi-human forms. Fiercer animal forms (such as a wolverine) could be saddled with an arbitrarily higher Rage Number to reflect their bloodthirsty nature.

After the early 1980s the risks of such an accident are much lower (Minor “Rage”), and Snowbird gradually growing animalistic and forgetful is closer to a role-playing thing than a formal Llimitation. How long she can stay in animal form before it becomes problematic is fuzzy (10-20 minutes, maybe - the loose equivalent of a Minor Physical Restriction in severity), and barring a Subplot she can collect herself and shift back to human shape before things become hairy.

Background

Real name: Narya
Other Aliases: Corporal Anne MacKenzie ; Anne MacKenzie Thompson
Marital Status: Single, then Married, then Widowed
Known Relatives: Hodiak (grandfather), Nelvanna of the Northern Light (mother), Richard Lawrence Easton (biological father, deceased), Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen (aka Shaman, foster father), an unnamed Inua divinity (apparently a maternal cousin once removed)
Group Affiliation: Alpha Flight, Inua, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police/Gendarmerie Royale du Canada) - as Cpl. McKenzie)
Base Of Operations: Canada
Height: 5’10” Weight: 108 lbs.
Eyes: White circles on solid black backgrounds Hair: Pale blonde

Mythology, schmythology

Some may wonder why a magician from the Tsuu T‘ina nation - Dr. Twoyoungmen - is closely associated with Inuit divinities. As a quick reminder about Canada’s size, there’s roughly 3,000 km (1,900 miles) between Calgary (Shaman’s hometown) and Nunavut (the Canadian territory mostly populated by Inuits). In a terrain and climate you don’t want to brave using low-tech methods.

There’s a trick.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

The “Inuit gods” in Alpha Flight are not any sort of real-world Inuit mythology, but a historical comic book reference. The two main gods from the pantheon, Nelvanna of the Northern Lights and Hodiak, are direct references to 1940s comic book characters which were published in Triumph-Adventure Comics in Toronto. Nelvana of the Northern Lights (one “n”), daughter of Koliak, was an early Golden Age super-heroine and one of the earliest Canadian super-heroes. See her profile on writeups.org for more.

Marvel secondary sources have reconstructed an imaginary pantheon, the Inua, which merges actual Inuit mythological figures (such as Tekkeitsertok, a patron spirit of hunting and caribous), comic book versions of actual mythological figures (such as Sedna), comic book mythology (Nelva(n)na and Hodiak) and Marvel characters (such as Snowbird) - see the Encyclopedia Mythologica by Anthony Flamini, or the marvunapp.com entry for the Inua on Marvunapp.com.

Given its mixed nature the Inua pantheon is properly referred as “the Northern gods”, rather than using references to Inuit legends and lore.

Powers and Abilities

Snowbird is armed with a suite of magical powers to fight the Great Beast with. What is a Power and what is a Ritual is not always easy to tell - Snowbird’s abilities being vague - and many abilities are demonstrated but once without explanation.

Narya :

  • is strong enough to crush high-tech metallic restraints with her bare hands or punch a large hole through a reinforced concrete wall
  • can fly
  • can sense magic
  • can detect her team-mates (apparently navigating using a mystical sensation that heightens as she gets closer to them)
  • can magically force others to fight the Great Beasts at her side
  • has superhuman eyesight (which we assumed meant about twice peak human visual range, though it’s more implied than demonstrated)
  • can magically heal her wounds and restore her costume
  • can effortlessly assume a fully human-looking form (complete with whichever clothes and small items she was wearing before the changed shape)
  • is very difficult to teleport against her will. Shaman also once mentions that if a teleportation effect is used against Snowbird she can decide on the destination rather than just resist it, but that was not demonstrated.
  • has a very minor healing factor (more implied than demonstrated)
  • … and may have other sundry minor abilities.

Her flight speed is never stated, but she covers vast distances between Canadian provinces within hours and followed a 500 miles trail to its end before Langkowski would die of exposure - 250 mph (400 km/h) is a reasonable estimate. She has occasionally wrapped people in her cloak to allow them to endure the cold and air friction as she carried them in flight.

Snowbird becomes powerless and starts withering within less than a minute if she leaves Canada.This was caused by a mistake made by an inexperienced Shaman when he served as a midwife to Nelvanna - when he bound Narya’s life-force to the land to give her a stable shape and mentality, he was too specific and bound her to Canada rather than the whole plane.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Both Snowbird and Shaman mention that Snowbird must not bleed, for mystical reasons. Nothing else is explained - and Snowbird sheds her blood a few issues before this taboo is mentioned, without any special consequence. What to do of this is unclear - perhaps it is a sort of very specific geas, such as not letting a brown-haired woman shed her blood during the day or some such intricate mystical taboo. Or perhaps the limitation is that she must not bleed outside of Canada, since this took place just before her Fatal/Loss Vulnerability was discovered.

That Snowbird’s power is diluted by her half-human blood is mentioned several times. What it means in practice is unclear - as the grand-daughter of Hodiak, perhaps Narya would be powerful even by Inua standards as a full-blooded goddess, and able to single-handedly kill Great Beasts. The question is academic, though, since as a full-blooded Inua she wouldn’t be able to exist on Earth. One also notes that several Great Beasts were led to underestimating her because of her “diluted blood”, turning this characteristic into an advantage for Snowbird.

Shapechanger

Snowbird’s signature ability is that she can turn into any beast native to the Great North, adopting its natural weapons, size, senses and other abilities. See the “Animals File” entry on writeups.org for statistics about those.

Favourite forms include the snowy owl, the polar bear (for its Growth, which gives her a higher degree of STR than most assume), and a swarm of mosquitoes (with Flight and Fluid Form). She is also seen turning into a rabbit (for stealth) and a wolverine (deadly, but too dangerous to use under normal circumstances as the beast’s ferocity may overtake her).

Snowbird uses a surprisingly narrow array of animals. She never used some forms that would have been very useful (say, an otter, a wolf, a beaver or a caribou), and the zoology wasn’t always the best. One issue has her regret being unable taking the form of a bat since they are “not of her domain” - whereas Canada actually has more than fifteen indigenous species of bats, many of which live very far North (one can find red bats living on Arctic islands).

Presumably this is more a product of poor research than Snowbird not knowing much about zoology, though out of caution her stats do not include an Expertise in zoology. Nowadays research about Canadian animals is trivial - for instance http://www.hww.ca.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Narya is especially interested in assuming flying forms, and seems enamored of flying and hunting in the shape of a snowy owl. Those animals are pretty large - with a wingspan of roughly 1.5m (nearly 5 feet), and Snowbird’s harfang form seems even larger than that.

There seems to be no limit to Snowbird’s zoomorphic ability - as long as it is an animal species native to the North, she can fully duplicate its form and abilities. The most remarkable demonstration of this came when she took the sasquatch form to Tanaraq, which, technically and with a lot of squinting, was a “beast” and sort-of native to the North. Her white-furred sasquatch form was, if anything, stronger and fiercer than Tanaraq himself.

Snowbird hates taking the form of a Great Beast, though, and the Tanaraq-duplicate form carries unique risks of corruption — it’s only used once and in exceptional circumstances during this era.

History

Narya is a demigoddess, daughter of Nelvanna of the Inua pantheon. The Inua are a race of gods (in the same sense than the Asgardians or the Olympians) with contacts with mystics from several First Nations in Canada. Traditionally, they tend to associate with the Inuit peoples in northernmost Canada, but have allies as far South as Calgary.

The Inua are chiefly known for their opposition to a set of monsters called the Great Beasts, and have protected the Earth from the ravages of the Beasts on several occasions. The roots for the immense hatred between the Beasts and the Inua are not known. There might be some sort of tie between the two - when the current host of the Great Beast Ranaq was killed, Snowbird was wracked by pain.

The fractious Great Beasts thrice attempted to invade Earth, and one assumes that the Inua - and perhaps allies of theirs - were the ones who foiled all three invasions. During the third and last attempt, the Inua managed to lock the Great Beasts into their native realm - a ravaged, lifeless planet which the Beasts had long since despoiled. However the Great Beast Tundra mystically created an energy vortex that duplicated the spell, and locked the Inua in their own dimension as well.

The Inua may also have been among the spirits who sponsored the creation of the Talisman — a mystical protector able to defeat the overwhelming menace of Llan the Sorcerer as it comes to Earth every 10,000 years.

 

O time suspend your flight
The dates used in the History section are NOT official ones, and are just used out of convenience. See the Alpha Flight main article on writeups.org for more about this timeline.



Not meant to know

Circa 1955 a random archaeology student, Richard Easton, found a remarkable artifact while working on a dig in northernmost Canada - an intact, ancient metal circlet of unknown design. This was actually a magical item that could act as a gateway toward both the home dimension of the Inua, and the home dimension of the Great Beasts. Aware of the danger, three Inua - Nelvanna, her father Hodiak, and a cousin of theirs - influenced Easton to don the circlet, which made it possible for him to see and hear them.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Nelvanna’s plan was to bypass the Inua’s exile by having a child with a mortal — then mystically giving birth on Earth so her child would exist on the other side of the barrier, and be active on Earth when the Great Beasts would attack. Her cousin transmogrified the crone into a very attractive near-human so the scared Easton would agree to have sex. Nelvanna did get pregnant, but Easton was shattered by the experience.

Though by his reckoning a single night had passed, he reappeared on Earth a decade later - gaunt, wild-eyed, paranoid and schizophrenic. Thinking that everyone and everything was an agent of the Great Beasts, Easton fled and lived for years as a vagrant, somehow surviving in the tundra but seeing his sanity steadily degrade. Years later, the madman would use his magical circlet to conjure the Great Beast Tundra, which killed him.

Nature girl

A year after Easton’s return to Earth, a great spirit - possibly Hodiak, apparently the skyfather of the Inua - contacted the most proficient shaman in Canada, Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen. Travelling North to the long-since closed archaeological dig, Shaman opened a small portal to allow Nelvanna to give birth on Earth.

The birth was a mystical event, completely different from a human birth, but Twoyoungmen helped the metamorphic baby come to existence and bound it to a human-like form tied to Canada. By the time the ceremony was over, the child was about one year old. Dr. Twoyoungmen called the baby girl Narya and became her foster father.

At that point Dr. Twoyoungmen was living as an hermit, deep into the Banff National Park. This facilitated operations, since Narya rapidly grew up to become the equivalent of a 20-year old and presented a number of striking, inhuman physical characteristics - particularly her eyes. Narya did not need supplies, hunting her own food in animal form. Her favourite form, that of the chouette harfang (Arctic owl) became her avatar as a demigoddess of nature.

Narya’s growth was presumably accelerated to allow her to face the Great Beasts when they would return. The approximative date of this return was known in advance - since Llan the Sorcerer would return circa 1990, and the dimensional barriers keeping evil things at bay would weaken years before that as a side-effect of his coming.

Taking Flight

The government discovered Narya’s existence through complete happenstance. An old friend of Dr. Twoyoungmen, Heather Hudson, came to visit him in his eremitic retreat with her husband. During their stay, Heather was puzzled by Narya’s presence. Narya looked about 20 and had been raised by Dr. Twoyoungmen, yet Mrs. Hudson - who had spent much of her childhood in the Twoyoungmen home - had never seen her before.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Investigating, she saw the strange female turn into a owl to hunt and eat small mammals. When she demanded to know what was going on, Dr. Twoyoungmen reluctantly explained his own mystical pursuits, Narya’s nature and the menace of the Great Beasts. Dr. James Hudson offered to recruit Dr. Twoyoungmen and Narya in Department H’s Alpha Flight. They took the offer and were code-named Shaman and Snowbird.

Though Shaman cautiously agreed to have Narya join Department H for educational purpose, she was in some respects still a young girl who had grown up in the wilderness. She tended to be overwhelmed by the consciousness of her animal forms when experiencing strong emotion whilst transmogrified, and to naively repeat things that she had heard on the telly. She was also easily disoriented by bright lights and colours, particularly in animal form, and shunned clothing not made of skins.

While the rapidly-maturing and very intelligent Narya would soon outgrow all these issues, she was sent into battle before she was ready. After years without much luck, Department H had finally found the manpower to assemble a super-team.

However, the criminal scientist Egghead and his enforcers launched a criminal plot from Canada while this team, the Flight, was still in the earliest stages of its training. The Flight’s intervention was mostly a failure and would have been an utter disaster without team member Saint Elmo sacrificing himself. Dr. Twoyoungmen was furious about Dr. Hudson’s decision, never having authorised for his ward to be sent into combat.

Snowbird

In 1975, when Wolverine left Department H, Narya was mature enough to pass for an adult, though still lacking life experience. A cover was arranged by the government in an isolated RCMP outposts in the Northwestern Territories - out of Yellowknife, in the district of MacKenzie.

The demi-goddess was given the unimaginative identity of Corporal Anne McKenzie, a police file clerk, and her superior Chief Inspector Cranmer was told by Department H to let her have open hours and not ask questions. As part of her Department H work, Narya trained Walter Langkowski in controlling his Sasquatch form.

Over the second half of the 1970s, Department H developed rapidly and reached its full manpower with a full team (Alpha Flight), a training team (Beta Flight) and a set of recent recruits (Gamma Flight). The powerful and rapidly-maturing Snowbird was on Alpha Flight - along with Shaman, who was now willing to operate in the field.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

The operations of Alpha Flight during the late 1970s are largely undocumented. Alpha Flight twice clashed with the X-Men, out of pressure to reclaim Wolverine. The team did not perform well during these engagements, and Trudeau’s interest in keeping Department H active steadily waned.

Relations with the X-Men improved, and Wolverine and Nightcrawler came to help half of Alpha Flight - including Snowbird - to hunt down a Wendigo in the Great White North. During the battle Snowbird turned into an actual wolverine to overpower the Wendigo. Though she savaged to monster, she quickly lost control to the powerful instincts of her animal form - until Wolverine talked her back into human form, saving her from forever remaining a beast.

This led Narya to change her mind about him, since she apparently had disliked him ever since their association within the Flight and his later desertion.

Love actually

After the 1980 closure of Department H, Narya carried on her vigil in coordination with Shaman, spending most of her time as Anne McKenzie. Chief-Inspector Cranmer died, however, and there was no Department H to instruct his successor (CI Hamilton) to ignore Anne McKenzie’s erratic hours.

In 1983, CI Hamilton ordered an investigation of MacKenzie’s activities, during which the corporal was to be imprisoned. However, within hours, McKenzie sensed the arrival of the Great Beast Tolomaq and left, punching a large breach in the wall of her cell to do so. Snowbird engaged Tolomaq alone, and narrowly won.

By that point Snowbird saw her secret identity as being more a hindrance than a boon, and let go of it. After a few weeks she flew back to the MacKenzie district, since she thought that she owed an explanation to her one actual friend there, Sgt. Douglas Thompson. She explained to Thompson that she was Snowbird and wouldn’t be back, but as she left Thompson told her that he loved her.

Snowbird lacking any real-life experience, she had no idea how to handle this. Though she initially intended to turn down the offer, she realised that she liked Thompson well enough, further confusing her. In an attempt to explain why this was a bad idea, she showed Sgt. Thompson a glimpse of her true form, as opposed to her beautiful quasi-human form as Snowbird. Thompson overcame the shock from this frightful sight and they started a discreet relationship anyway.

Binder of evil

In 1985, Snowbird first met Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, the estranged daughter of Shaman. Narya immediately saw that she was the reincarnation of Talisman, a great protector of mankind arising to fight off Llan the Sorcerer and other menaces, and saw it as her duty to uphold her and help her in her fight. However, Elizabeth was spooked by Snowbird’s determination, which later grew into anger since she never had a choice about her role.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Minutes after discovering Elizabeth’s role, Snowbird joined Shaman, Puck and Talisman for an Alpha Flight mission in the past, jumping to 1884 to prevent a future possession by the Great Beast Ranaq. Though Snowbird was easily blasted unconscious by Ranaq, the Great Beast’s host was destroyed and the mission was a success.

Despite the victories of Snowbird and her allies against Tundra, Tolomaq and Ranaq, Narya was chastised her mother, grand-father and once-removed first cousin, who disciplined her through mystical pain and berated for allying with a Beast. They then revealed to an uncomprehending Narya the true nature of her team-mate Sasquatch. Snowbird instinctively flew to Douglas Thompson to recover from the pain inflicted by her relatives, but once she could stand flew straight to Sasquatch to kill him.

After Snowbird wounded him, Sasquatch revealed that he was indeed the Great Beast Tanaraq and had recently fully taken over Walter Langkowski, after years of resistance. As Talisman ran interference, Narya cleverly used her power to duplicate Tanaraq’s form - technically, he was a “beast” and this body had been “born” in the Great North.

The overconfident Tanaraq realised too late than Snowbird was, in this form, even stronger than him despite all the talk of her might being diluted by her halfling nature, and she ripped his heart out.

Though her teammates were in shock to see Langkoswki dead at her hands, the perceptive Puck realised that it was still possible to save Walter’s spirit, and Snowbird agreed to lead a combat rescue mission to the dimension of the Great Beast to bring back Langkowski’s soul.

Into devastation

Snowbird was accompanied by Puck, Shaman, Talisman, and Aurora - and compelled Northstar to come with them. In the forlorn and mystical Arctic crater called the Eye of the World, Shaman opened the barrier and the team entered the Realm of the Beasts. There, Snowbird soon ran into Somon, eldest of the Beast - who summoned the Beasts Tundra, Kariooq, and Tolamaq, and suspended their mutual hatred so they would fight the intruders.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

However, Somon underestimated the immense strength of Snowbird’s bear form, and was soon mauled - losing his control over the other Beasts. Shaman stopped Snowbird from killing Somon so as to force his cooperation in finding Langkowski’s soul, but all he did was betray them through half-truths, and Snowbird killed him in retaliation. With Langkowski’s soul assistance, the team completed its mission and returned to Earth with no casualties.

With all seven Beasts destroyed, Snowbird announced that her mission was done, and that she was leaving Earth. However, what she actually did was to clandestinely return to her lover Sgt. Thompson to stay with him and learn about human life.

However, a few months later, Snowbird sensed that her team-mates were in great danger, and she flew to join them in Edmonton. Alpha Flight had been ambushed by the robot Delphine Courtney and renegade Beta and Gamma Flight members. Snowbird arrived too late to help, but rejoined the group to help them handle menaces against her homeland after Talisman left in anger.

Description

Snowbird has a number of different appearances. Beyond are varied white animal forms, she has appeared as at least two different mortal women - a thin blonde in her early 30s (her Anne McKenzie form) or a youthful, athletic woman with long white hair (her most human-looking form in the early 1970s).

Her default form as Snowbird is that of a beautiful near-human female. Her eyes are white discs over solid black orbs, and her mane-like hair has an unusual implantation, with a wedge-like pattern in the front and a hairline extending down the back of her face. This body is almost as thin as Anne McKenzie’s, bellying her real strength and endurance.

Snowbird’s real form is a pitch-black humanoid with glistening white fangs, eyes of red flame and purples lines and ridges all over her skin. This is apparently her unfettered divine form, and is called her “true fires”.

Personality

Essentially an aloof, mysterious Elven princess with mystical perceptions and a regal attitude.

Though she grew up at an impossible rate and quickly came to master simple skills (such as the English language or her filing job as Anne McKenzie), Harfang is a very young person and lacks experience, even with her own powers. During the late 1970s and early 1980s she was still making rookie mistakes, and occasionally experienced brief moments of fear - for instance she had never bled before Tolomaq cut her, and was so frightened by the experience that she had to pull herself together over the course of several seconds.

Snowbird - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Harfang

Her most common mistake was sheer overconfidence, as she kept assuming that she was more powerful than she actually is. This is presumably a result of her inexperience and not using her powers correctly yet.

Narya is essentially a weapon - she was conceived at significant cost for but one purpose, to fight and kill the Great Beasts, and her mother becomes very cross if she strays from that. Snowbird herself as an almost animal hatred of the Great Beasts, which induces rash actions and poor planning when confronting these powerful opponents. She is adamant about fighting evil, even if it involves summarily dragging other powerful people (such as Talisman or Northstar) into battle without giving them a choice - she never had one herself.

Snowbird is a disciplined magic soldier, and her disciplinarian relatives treat her little better than an attack dog. She doesn’t have much room to relax and enjoy herself, but she obviously loves flying in the wilderness in quasi-human form, and hunting as a owl for as long as is safe. After the Beasts were apparently all killed, she decided that she was fed up with her duties and wanted to have a private life, have sex and take an interest in mortal life - but at the first emergency she resumed being Snowbird.

Shaman is Snowbird’s foster father, and she values and follows his advice and mentorship even though her childhood lasted but a few years. However, she is a demi-goddess and outranks him in matters mystical - the Inua seem to have a strict pecking order, as was demonstrated when Snowbird immediately prostrated in front of Talisman - making for an interesting dynamic between the two.

Writeup completed on the 9th of November, 2011.

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