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Snowbird

Real Name: Narya
Occupation: Adventurer, Records Officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Identity: Secret. The general populace of Earth is unaware that Snowbird was a goddess.
Legal Status: Citizen of Canada with no criminal record
Other Aliases: Anne McKenzie Thompson
Place of Birth: Near Resolute Bay, Northwest Territory, Canada
Place of Death: A mine in Burial Butte, a town in the Canadian Klondike
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Hodiak (grandfather), Nelvanna (mother), Richard Lawrence Easton (father), Michael Twoyoungmen (alias Shaman, foster father), Douglas Thompson (husband, deceased), unnamed son (deceased)
Group Affiliation: Alpha Flight
Base of Operations: Canada
First Appearance: (as Anne McKenzie) XMEN #120, (as Snowbird) X-MEN #121
Final Appearance: (as a living being) ALPHA FLIGHT #44, (spirit ascends to the realm of the Eskimo gods) ALPHA FLIGHT #45

History: Several thousand years prior to Snowbird's birth, Tundra, one of the mystical creatures known as the Great Beasts, imprisoned the gods of the Eskimos behind a "mystical barrier" that prevented them from traveling from their own dimension into that of Earth. Therefore, the Eskimo gods would be unable to defend Earth from Tundra and the other Great Beasts thousands of years later when the Beasts might finally break through the mystical barriers behind which the gods had imprisoned them.

Around fifteen years ago, a nondescript man named Richard Easton was serving in a minor capacity on an archaeological expedition north of the Arctic Circle near Resolute Bay in the Northwest Territory, Canada. There Easton discovered a long buried metal headband. That night he felt a compulsion to don the headband and did so. Thereupon three of the Eskimo gods appeared to him: Nelvanna, goddess of the Northern Lights; her father Hodiak; and the Shaper (who is not to be confused with the alien Shaper of Worlds). Nelvanna told Easton that she intended to mate with him. Easton, however, was terrified, as well as being appalled by Nelvanna's extremely aged appearance. The Shaper then cast a spell that made Nelvanna appear to be an extraordinarily beautiful young woman. In this guise, she explained to Easton that she needed to mate with him in order to give birth to a child who would serve as a champion against the rising of an ancient evil. By this she meant that the gods wanted there to be a hybrid being, half deity and half human, who would be unaffected by Tundra's barrier and who could battle Tundra and the other Beasts should they break free. Overpowered by the illusion of Nelvanna's beauty, Easton acceded to her request and was transported into the realm of the Eskimo gods where he mated with her. On returning, Easton thought he had been gone for only one night, but discovered that he had been away from Earth for about nine years. Easton then went mad, probably as a combination of this discovery and of the experience of being in the realm of the Eskimo gods.

A year later, Michael Twoyoungmen, who had recently become an Indian shaman, or medicine man, found himself drawn to the area near Resolute Bay by mystical energies. Through dreams he had learned of Nelvanna's pregnancy and of her need for a human mystic to serve as midwife at the birth of her child. Twoyoungmen cast a spell, which temporarily opened a portal in the barrier separating Earth from the realm of the Eskimo gods, and Nelvanna appeared before him. Using his magic, Twoyoungmen then assisted at the birth of the being who would then become known as Snowbird. This birth process was mystical in nature and quite unlike a human birth. Twoyoungmen found an infant-sized embryo hovering before him. Realizing that the embryo was that of a transmorph, or shapechanger, Twoyoungmen quickly cast a spell to bind it to Earth's reality, for otherwise it might never have been able to assume human form. The result was that the embryo became a female human infant who was already the equivalent of a year old. Twoyoungmen did not realize, however, that in casting this spell he had unwittingly bound the infant to the land of Canada, specifically. This spell would prove to have negative consequences.

Twoyoungmen brought the infant back to his cabin in the forests in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, where he lived as a hermit. Within a few years the girl, whom he named Narya, grew to adulthood.

One day Twoyoungmen was visited by his former neighbor, Heather McNeil Hudson, and her husband, James McDonald Hudson. Twoyoungmen introduced them to Narya. Curious about her, Heather Hudson secretly followed her that night when she saw Narya leaving the cabin naked. To her surprise and shock, Heather Hudson witnessed Narya transforming herself into an Arctic owl and then killing a small animal. Heather told her husband about what she had seen, and together they confronted Twoyoungmen, who explained to them about his own mystical powers and about Narya's powers and origin. Intrigued, James MacDonald Hudson asked both Twoyoungmen and Narya to join the organization of special agents that he was forming for the Canadian government. Twoyoungmen and Narya accepted, the offer, and, after a period of training they both joined this organization, Alpha Flight, under the code names Shaman and Snowbird, respectively.

James Hudson helped Snowbird create the human persona Anne McKenzie, which she could assume through her preternatural shape-changing powers. Special arrangements with the Prime Minister gave Anne McKenzie Canadian citizenship and installed her as a Records Officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. There one of her fellow officers, Douglas Thompson, fell in love with her, unaware of her true identity and nature.

Snowbird was a valued member of Alpha Flight and participated in many missions with the team. During her life on Earth Snowbird battled and helped to defeat members of the Great Beasts on several occasions.

Eventually Snowbird learned that her fellow Alpha Flight member, Walter Langkowski, who could transform himself into the superhumanly powerful form of Sasquatch, had unwittingly become mystically linked with Tanaraq, one of the Great Beasts. When Langkowski transformed himself into Sasquatch, he actually took on the physical form of Tanaraq, and Tanaraq's personality was slowly becoming dominant over Langkowski's in that form. Snowbird believed it was therefore necessary to kill Sasquatch and attacked him. Tanaraq's consciousness now controlled Sasquatch's body and fought back against Snowbird. Snowbird took the form of a sasquatch (the legendary man-like beast of Canada) herself and tore out Sasquatch's heart, thereby killing Langkowski and forcing Tanaraq's spirit back to the dimension of the Great Beasts. Langkowski's spirit found refuge for a time in the robot body called Box, but eventually his spirit was projected into another dimension.

Anne McKenzie had by now revealed to Douglas Thompson that she was Snowbird, a demigoddess. In love with Thompson she married him and became pregnant with his child. Outraged that she would thus ally herself with a mortal, the Eskimo gods forbade her to return to their otherdimensional realm.

Michael Twoyoungmen, now also known as Talisman, journeyed with the pregnant Narya, Thompson, and other members of Alpha Flight to a mystical "place of power" in the Canadian Aratic in order to deliver her child and to bind the child's spirit to the Earth as he had done with Snowbird herself when she was' born. However, unknown to Shaman, the body of Captain F.R. Crozier, who had been in a form of suspended animation for well over one hundred years, lay buried underground, still alive. Crozier's spirit took possession of Snowbird's newborn son and transformed the infant's body into an adult one. Crozier called himself Pestilence, and intended to use his powers over death and decay to spread havoc on Earth. Taking magical control of Snowbird, Shaman had her, in her sasquatch form, attack Pestilence, who fled.

Douglas Thompson tracked Pestilence to the mining town of Burial Butte in the Canadian Klondike, where Pestilence infected him with a fatal disease. Snowbird and Shaman found Thompson and learned from him that Pestilence was in the mines. Thompson died after telling several other members of Alpha Flight about Pestilence's whereabouts.

Within the mines Shaman magically forced Snowbird to assume her sasquatch form and to try to kill Pestilence. But Shaman then came to realize that the innocence of Snowbird's son was beginning to take over Pestilence's mind. If Pestilence's current body was killed, then his spirit would be freed to seek a new host; if his current body stayed alive, the child's spirit might prove dominant over him. Pestilence realized he had to seek a new host and so he used his powers to take control of Snowbird's sasquatch form, and intended to have her kill his current body. Heather Hudson, who now led Alpha Flight as Vindicator, wanted to stop Snowbird from killing her son's body, but Vindicator believed that she might have to kill Snowbird in order to stop her. Hence, Vindicator hesitated, and in that moment of her indecision, Snowbird, under Pestilence's control, killed Pestilence's body Vindicator then slew Snowbird with a burst of plasma to prevent Pestilence's spirit from taking over Snowbird's own body.

Shaman summoned Nelvanna, Hodiak, and the Shaper and asked them to take Narya's spirit into their realm. Nelvanna agreed, but Narya's spirit, rising from her corpse, refused to go unless the gods allowed the spirits of Douglas Thompson and her son to come with her; otherwise, Narya said, she would travel with her husband's and son's spirits outside Nelvanna's realm. The gods relented, and accepted the spirits of Douglas Thompson and his son into their realm. Hence, the spirits of Narya, her husband, and their child now dwell together in the otherdimensional paradise of the Eskimo gods.

As for Snowbird's physical body, it remained in the form of a sasquatch, and was resurrected and possessed by the spirit of Pestilence. In Snowbird's sasquatch form, Pestilence battled Box, which was again inhabited by the spirit of Walter Langkowski. Langkowski channelled energy from Box's internal power pack into the sasquatch body, causing Pestilence's spirit to flee from it. Then Heather Hudson hurled Shaman's mystical medicine bag at Pestilence's spirit. Pestilence's spirit was engulfed by the bag and entrapped, apparently forever, in the strange mystical realm with it. Langkowski's spirit took possession of Snowbird's body and still inhabits it today. In this new body Langkowski can become either a whitefurred sasquatch or a female human being (and hence now calls himself/herself Wanda Langkowski).

Note: The measurements below are those possessed by Snowbird in her normal humanoid form and in her Anne McKenzie form.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 108 lbs.
Eyes: (as Snowbird) White, (as McKenzie) Blue
Hair: Pale blonde (In her animal and Sasquatch forms her fur was white.)
Unusual Features: Snowbird's "real" face in her physical form looked inhuman; she used her shape-changing powers to make it look more human (as Snowbird) or entirely human (as McKenzie).

Strength Level: In her usual humanoid Snowbird form, Snowbird possessed superhuman strength. Its limits are unknown, but she proved capable of knocking down the mystical Great Beast Kolomaq. In her Sasquatch form Snowbird could lift (press) about 70 tons.

Known Superhuman Powers: Snowbird was a transmorph or metamorph who possessed the ability to assume the form of any animal whose natural habitat is the Canadian arctic north, as well as that of a human being (but presumably only if the human being is female). The precise nature of this ability is unknown. When she took the form of an animal whose mass and volume were less than those of a human being, she became a human-sized version of that animal. She could, however, draw additional mass from an unidentified and presumably mystical source when she took the form of an animal whose mass and volume were greater than those of a human being, such as a polar bear of sasquatch. She could then shed the additional mass upon returning to human form. Upon taking the form of an animal, she gained that animal's special abilities, such as, for' example, heightened sensory perception.

In her form as Snowbird, the demigoddecs was capable of flight. Her uppermost level of speed has not been established.

Snowbird had certain mystical senses which enabled her to perform feats such as detecting the presence of magical energies or the breaching of a magical field. She could feel the presence of a great mystical evil as coldness. Her principal extrasensory ability was that of limited post cognition. By concentrating, she could mystically envision an event which took place in her immediate vicinity anytime within about six hours into the past. Her post cognitive visions could portray events occurring backwards or forwards in time, according to her will.

Snowbird possessed superhuman strength and could increase that strength by taking on a more powerful form, most notably that of a sasquatch, for as long as she maintained that form.

Limitations: Snowbird could not shed mass in going from human form to that of an animal whose mass and volume were less than those of her human form. This is why when she took the form of an animal who had less mass than her human form, she became a human-sized version of that animal.

Ordinarily, Snowbird, when in animal form, changed back to human form before assuming the form of another animal. Transforming directly from one animal form into another created tremendous strain upon her.

Snowbird's personality was overlaid with the character traits and instinctual pattern's of whatever animal it was whose form she was using at the time. (Similarly, she was more human in her emotions and thoughts as Anne McKenzie than she was in her somewhat less human Snowbird form.) Hence, for example, when she became a polar bear, Snowbird's conscious mind became that of a polar bear (at least in large part, since she often still spoke when in animal form), although her submerged Snowbird persona still directed the bear's actions and could, when necessary, trigger her transformation back to Snowbird. However, if she gave way to the animal's passions while in the animal's form, such as the polar bear's bloodlust, she could lose even her subconscious control over her actions as a bear. In such a case, her human/goddess rationality could only reassume control with great difficulty or not at all until the animalistic passion subsided. Furthermore, the greater the duration of time that she spent as a certain animal, the stronger became the impression of that animal's psyche on her personality as long as she remained in that form. If she remained in one form for an extended period of time, she risked having her personality fixed as that of the animal, and therefore of never transforming back. Michael Twoyoungmen hypothesized that certain arcane Sarcee Indian tribal rituals could transform Snowbird back to human form, but this was never attempted. Her human forms (as Snowbird and as Anne McKenzie) apparently did not run the risk of "locking" her into human form only, presumably because of her hybrid ancestry.

In casting the spell at her birth that enabled Snowbird to assume human form, Michael Twoyoungmen unintentionally bound her life force specifically to the country of Canada. As a result, Snowbird could only live in full health in Canada or in the extradimensional realm of the Eskimo gods. If she left Canada and entered another country, her life force began ebbing away, and she greatly weakened and aged with great rapidity. She regained her youth, vitality, and powers upon being returned to Canada or to the Eskimo gods' dimension.

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