James MacDonald Hudson (Guardian)

Back to Mav‘s request, we meet Travis Hudson, portrayed by Max Cullen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s the husband of Heather, and he takes care of Logan just after the operation that transformed him into Weapon X. Just as his wife, he’s been radically changed from the original comicbook character, who’s actually named James Hudson, and who’s remarkably younger than his live action counterpart. Also, if age and name weren’t enough, the original Hudson is also Canada‘s main superhero, Guardian, founder and leader of Alpha Flight. Let’s see together.

James MacDonald “Mac” Hudson was born in London, Ontario, Canada. He grew up to be a young man very gifted in science, and he decided to become an engineer. He specialized in petrochemical engineering, and was hired by Am-Can Oil Corporation, a multinational that operated on the territory. Hudson worked for them for some years, helping them in perfecting their excavating machines, and there he also met Heather McNeil, a secretary several years younger than him, who he fell in love with. Always trying to help workers excavate quicker and in a safer way, Mac Hudson developed a suit to locate and reach oil deposits underground, and showed the project to his boss, Jerome Jaxon. Thanks to Heather, however, James discovered that Jaxon had all the intention to build and use the suit, but not for its original purpose, as he wanted to sell it to the Americans as a weapon. Hudson resigned, and he left Am-Can taking the helmet along, making the suit useless for anyone, as it was the helmet that controlled it, and only he knew how to make another one. Heather followed him, and they went to the Canadian government to seek refuge and to expose their former employers. It was during this time that James and Heather confessed to each other the deep feelings they felt for each other, and eventually got married, despite the protests of Heather’s family. In the meanwhile, the Canadian Parliament had examined James’ claim, and they had agreed to protect him from Am-Can, on one condition: he would have helped the Minister of Defense with his skills and knowledge. Mac agreed, and he started working for the Department H, the Ministry’s research and development program. He rebuilt his suit, and upon hearing about the Fantastic Four in the US, James asked and obtained to found a Canadian super-team, which he would have called Alpha Flight.

James and Heather traveled the country in search of recruits for Alpha Flight, and the first one was Logan, a man they had befriended during their honeymoon. Logan was supposed to become the leader of the team, but as he started to fall in love with Heather he decided to leave, not wanting to ruin his friendship with James. Replacing Logan as an on-field leader, James redesigned his suit as a battle exoskeleton, and presented himself as Guardian, codename Weapon Alpha. His first mission was to forcibly take Logan back to Canadian soil, as he had joined the X-Men in the US. The mission was a failure, and James accidentally wounded Moira MacTaggert, Logan’s friend, in the process. As Logan made it clear he didn’t want to be a puppet of Department H anymore, James came back empty handed, refusing to ever try to bring his friend back home by force again. Alpha Flight protected the country for a while, until Department H went bankrupt and the team disbanded. Alpha Flight regrouped on Heather’s initiative as the giant Tundra appeared, and after successfully defeating him, they decided to stay together, even without the permission and the funds of the government. Then, James received a job offer he couldn’t refuse from Roxxon Oil, and moved along with Heather to New York. This employment, however, proved to be a trap set by Jerome Jaxon, who wanted the suit back, and planned to take it with the aid of his own, evil version of Alpha Flight, named Omega Flight. As Mac was captured, Heather called in the rest of the team, and Omega and Alpha Flight clashed on American soil. During the battle, Jaxon accidentally killed himself, but he overloaded Guardian’s suit in the process. As the exoskeleton exploded, everyone comprehensibly took James Hudson for dead. Mac, in reality, had fallen in a space rift, and had been teleported to Ganymede, where the peaceful aliens Quwrlln (or Q’wrlln) nurtured him back to health, repaired his suit and even integrated it in his organism. Now, all Guardian had to do was to find a way to come back home to his wife and friends.

James Hudson is a man of science, who had to learn to overcome his insecurities and become a man of action to lead his team against the threats menacing Canada. As Guardian, he has all the powers of his suit integrated into his now cybernetic body: he possesses superhuman strength and durability, he can fly at incredible speed, he can project and manipulate plasma, electromagnetic pulses, ultrasonic beams and a graviton beam he uses to lift objects too heavy for his strength, he can interface with computers directly with his brain, he can create force fields and much more. The greatest hero of his country, Guardian doesn’t quite feel so, and he has to win over his fear and his sense of inadequacy on every mission… thus turning out to be a very human and reliable leader, someone his teammates can relate to and count upon, who’s never too reckless and who knows the true meaning of courage. Despite what he thinks, a superhero born.

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