WHAM! BAM! Thank you, Ma'am! — Aurora

Welcome to Wham! Bam! Thank You, Ma’am!, Geeks OUT's monthly recap that focuses on the trials and tribulations of a different Marvel Universe Strong Female Character (SFC). From Canada to Asgard and now a space station orbiting Earth, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier (a.k.a Aurora) has seen plenty of action in her nearly 40 years of publication history. During that time, she has battled both heroes and villains alike. However, her most memorable battles have arguably been against herself.

Following the the automobile accident that resulted in the deaths of their parents, the Beaubier twins, Jeanne-Marie and Jean-Paul (the mutant Northstar) were separated while still infants. Following her adoption, Jeanne-Marie ended up in the conservative Madame DuPont's School for Girls where depression and loneliness led to a suicide attempt. Instead of plummeting to her death, Jeanne-Marie's mutant abilities of flight and super speed were activated. Being naïve to her true nature, Jeanne-Marie believed these gifts to be a divine miracle for which she was severely disciplined by the school's headmistress. The physical and emotional abuse suffered at the academy led to the development of her dissociative identity disorder. This new personality would prove far more uninhibited than Jeanne-Marie herself.

Jeanne-Marie would end up recruited for Canada's Department H program, Alpha Flight, by Wolverine after the latter witnessed her bringing down a group of muggers (she had been attacked in Montreal on a night when her second personality emerged). After joining the team and taking up the codename, Aurora, she learned about her twin brother, tracked him down, and convinced him to join Alpha Flight, as well.

Her first mission with the team was capturing Wolverine and convincing him to rejoin the service of the Canadian government. From there, she would go on to battle the likes of Gilded Lily, the Great Beasts, Pink Pearl, and Deadly Ernest. Her tumultuous relationship with her brother resulted in the temporary alteration of her powers with the desired outcome being that the twins would be less alike on a cellular level. Some time later, Northstar fell gravely ill and the Norse god Loki appeared to Aurora and convinced both her and Northstar that they were not mutants but Light Elves. After expending her light to cure Northstar of his disease, Loki's deceit was revealed and the twins found out they were truly mutants. Aurora's abilities would later be restored by her brother following his rescue from Asgard.

Years later, Jeanne-Marie's mental health would further deteriorate and she found herself manipulated by the director of the Weapon X program into becoming one of his agents. After the collapse of that iteration of the program, she, along with her brother, is brainwashed and has her powers augmented by the Children of the Vault. Thanks to the intervening X-Men, the twins are rescued and deprogrammed via S.H.I.E.L.D. technology that forces them to virtually re-live their lives, thus restoring their fragmented minds.

During his brief reign with H.A.M.M.E.R., Norman Osborne attempted to exploit her mental health and coerce her into joining his Dark X-Men. A device was placed on Aurora's head that would cause her more ruthless personality to emerge and remain dominant so long as the machine remained on Jeanne-Marie. The device further damaged her psyche each time she refused his offer and eight more, distinct, personalities emerged. The recruitment attempt ended when Aurora escaped from the device and trapped Osborn in it.

Most recently, Aurora has been under the leadership of Carol Danvers (a.k.a. Captain Marvel) on the Alpha Flight space station. There, she acts as part of Earth's first line of defense against intergalactic threats. The recent events of the superhuman Civil War and the predictions of the Inhuman precog, Ulysses, has put an unparalleled strain on her relationship with Danvers. In the wake of sensitive information being leaked to the opposing faction, Carol accuses Aurora of betrayal, perhaps not intentionally, but while under the control of one of her other personalities. In a rarely seen, if ever, moment, Aurora firmly stands up for both herself and anyone else who would be profiled for their mental health status.

SFC Moment of the Month: November's highlight comes courtesy of All-New X-Men's annual issue and its backup story featuring de-powered mutant, Danielle Moonstar. Dani has consistently been a fan favorite since her days on the New Mutants and her return to the books is a breath of fresh air.

Using her Valkyrie "death-sensing" abilities (still intact courtesy of Hela), Danielle has been tasked with tracking down mutants that are dying from the M-Pox plague due to the Terrigen Mist clouds roaming the planet. We learn that these powers are causing intense anxiety and panic attacks due to the constant shroud of death surrounding her. She manages to overcome these feelings and even uses them as a tool in convincing an M-Pox-riddled Regan Wyngarde (Lady Mastermind) to return with her to X-Haven for treatment.

Follow Shaun N. on Twitter at @ThatShaun

Shaun N.'s picture
on November 30, 2016

A Marvel fanboy whose super powers include throwing side-eye, drinking whiskey, and re-reading back issues of "Alpha Flight."

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