Monday, October 22, 2012

The Official Tigerstryke Appreciation Post!

If you've been reading comics for a while, you probably have a character that you enjoy that no one else seems to, and you can't understand why others don't see the potential that you do.

I didn't get the Northstar mini series as it came out in 1994.  In terms of my Alpha Flight appreciation, he's about middle of the pack.  I figured I would get around to picking it up some day, and it was true; I bought it earlier this year, a mere 18 years after its release.

Throughout the four-part series, Northstar is chased by Alpha Flight's would-be replacement team, Weapon P.R.I.M.E., led by our titular character.

P.R.I.M.E. apparently stands for "PRototype Induced Mutation Echelon".  Sure.  Purple monkey dishwasher.

So why do I dig this guy?  Well...I don't know. He was co-created by Rob Liefeld, which in and of itself is usually reason enough for me to detest him (his other creator is Mark Pacella). He has not been particularly successful, either.  His five-person team is unable to collar an exhausted Northstar throughout that book, often looking inept in the process, such as the little gem below when 'Strike and another member named Yeti attempt to physically restrain him.

Prior to showing up in Northstar's book, he has also been in a few issues of the original X-Force book; issues 11-14 and 22-23 (I believe he only appears in one panel of issue #10).

His suit is an inferior knock-off of Guardian's armour.  I don't know the cause of the discrepancy, but in 'stryke's X-Force 22 appearance, his suit's colours are completely different.  They appear more, well, tiger-like, appropriately enough.

The feline look reminds me of another loser character that became a bigger deal once used differently by a quality writer; DC's Catman.  Both were seldom-used and usually written as increasingly large failures.

Now in the Northstar book, Tigerstryke is portrayed as a good little soldier who follows orders but also wants to do the right thing and prove himself capable.  However, he is not a "natural"; he gets confused and indecisive when not responding to a direct order from his superior(s).

In hindsight, I would have preferred to see Tigerstryke "promoted" to the Guardian role when Omega Flight was formed than have that drip Michael Pointer wear the leaf uniform.  His clashes with USAgent could have been a lot of fun as would Mitchell's growth into the position.


  1. I'm so glad someone started a Tigerstryke appreciation thread. We needed one. It warms my heart to know there are fans out there still loving these characters from back then. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, assuming you're not being sarcastic. ;-)

      The other members of Weapon PRIME didn't have much personality, but Tigerstryke struck me as interesting. I just liked how conflicted he was, especially during the whole bit where he's being bossed around by Northstar. I think there's potential there.