Written by Mark Shainblum and illustrated by Gabriel Morrissette, “Phillip Wise” or “Northguard” first appeared in New Triumph Featuring Northguard no. 1, 1984, published by their company Matrix Graphic Series. Under this organization they published five issues. The story arc was finished when Matrix Graphic Series combined with Caliber Press of Michigan to publish a three issue run called “The ManDes Conclusion”. “Northguard disappeared for about sixteen years till resurrected by Chapterhouse Comics in 2016. Chapterhouse also began a series called Agents of P.A.C.T. This series owed its origins to another Mark and Gabrielle creation. P.A.C.T. Corp. (Progressive Allied Canadian Technologies) was the inventor of “Northguard’s” uniband. Neither Mark nor Gabrielle are visibly involved in either of these of these resurrections. Gabrielle with support of some of the old gang did create an interesting back up feature picturing “Northguard” some thirty years after the initial story, but even here Mark is conspicuously absent.
The story arch of the first “Northguard” follows a young man of no particular accomplishments but influenced by superhero comics who through a fluke of circumstances falls into a superhero role. He finds it is not what he expected, becomes disenchanted and ultimately rejects the superhero mythology. To enhance the realism of “Northguard” the two artists not only used historical figures, but took photographs of actual Canadian locations and used those pictures as the basis for the settings of “Northguard’s” adventures.
The story begins when P.A.C.T. Corporation stumbles upon a sinister organization “ManDes” about to commit a terrorist act. Young Phillip Wise is going about his everyday life when he is kidnapped by P.A.C.T. agents. It turns out that P.A.C.T. has invented a powerful weapon called the uniband which was designed to work on the brain waves of Karl Mannings one of the P.A.C.T. agents killed. Pillip has matching brainwaves and so he becomes “Northguard’. It turns out that ManDes, an extremist organization dedicated to God and America and led by a man called “Reverend” is about to assassinate René Levesque at a public rally. “Phillip” as “Northguard” thwarts this attempt in a very public rescue which reveals the existence of the uniband to both the C.I.A. and the K.G.B.
There follows an interlude in which these two organizations attempt to steal the weapon. During this sequence, ‘”Manon Deschamps” a martial arts expert enters Phillips life in issue 3. She becomes the costumed “Fleur de Lys” in issue 5. Also in issue 3, Mark and Gabrielle introduce “Edward Holman” or the “Steel Chameleon” who is a Richard Comely creation. See STEEL CHAMELEON. A romantic relationship, at least from Phillips side develops with “Manon” and a kind of mentorship develops between “Edward Holman” and ‘Phillip”.
The story returns to “ManDes” but is mostly focused on relationships between members of “P.A.C.T. and “Phillip’s” own self doubts. The story comes to an abrupt stop with issue 5.
About two/three years later “ManDes Conclusion” the three issue series co-produced between Matrix and Calibre brings the story and “Northguard” to an end . The series opens with “Northguard” a prisoner of “ManDes”. They discover that since the uniband is wired to “Phillip’s” nervous system it is also wired to “Phillip’s” emotional system and if they take the safety stops out of the uniband they can turn it into a nuclear weapon triggered by “Phillip” himself. “Mandes” bringing “Phillip” with them then attack “P.A.C.T.” headquarters with the intent of destroying a good part of Canada. In the climax “Phillip” comes to control his emotions and the devise preventing disaster. He sets out to kill “Reverend” but is thwarted when “Steel Chameleon” shoots the “Reverend” first. This is to prevent “Phillip” from becoming a killer. Here, not only the story ends but Mark and Gabrielle appear to bring an end to the “Northguard” character as well.
About 2016, Chapterhouse Comics revived the “Northguard” character, apparently picking up the story in the same time frame used by Shainblum and Morrissette. Anthony Falcone was the writer and Ron Salas and later Eric Kim have been illustrators. In Chapterhouse hands, “Northguard” has become more or less your typical superhero doing typical superhero things. His principal adversary is still “ManDes”.
BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:
Wraparound: Illus., Gabrielle Morrissette. Northguard. Matrix Production/Caliber Press, 1989.
Northguard.: Bk 1, Manifest Destiny. Matrix Production/Caliber Press, 1989. (A collection of New Triumph Featuring Northguard, issues 1 to 5.)
Front: Illus., Gabriel Morrissette. Chapterhouse Archives: Northguard, 1, May 2016. ‘Chapter House Comics. A reprint.
|Front: Illus., … New Triumph Featuring Northguard. Matrix Graphic Series.|
|1-1, 1985: Gabriel Morrisette.
1-2, 1985: Dan & David Day.
1-3 1985: Gabriel Morrisette.
|1-4 1986: Dan & David Day.
1-5 Summer 1986: Thierry Labrosse.
|Front: Illus., Ken Steacy. Northguard. Matrix Production/Caliber Press.|
|1, 1989.||2, 1989||3, 1990.|
|Front: Cover A: Illus., Ron Salas. Northguard. Chapterhouse Comics.|
|1, Aug. 2016.||2, Sept.. 2016.||. 3, Oct. 2016.|
Front: Cover B: Illus., Dan Parent. Northguard, 4, November 2016. Chapterhouse Comics.
Front: Illus., Alex Perkins. Northguard, 2-1, (5) September 2017. Chapterhouse Comics.
Front: Illus., Cian Tormey & Mark Dale.. Northguard, 2-2, (6) October 2017. Chapterhouse Comics.
“Chapterhouse Archives presents Northguard: ‘And Stand On Guard’.” Writ., Mark Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Col., Bernie Mireault. Let., Ian Carr. Chapterhouse Archives: Northguard, 1, May 2016. A colured reprint of the first issue of New Triumph Featuring Northguard.Chapterhouse Comics.
|“Northguard…” New Triumph Featuring Northguard…. Black & white interior. Matrix Graphic Series.|
|“… And Stand On Guard.” Writ., Mark Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., Ian Carr. 1-1,1985: 1-24.
“… Awaken The Dreamers.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., Ian Carr. 1-2, 1985: 1-24.
“… Target Red Target Blue: Making Hate.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Pen., G. Morrissette. In., Jacques Boivin. Let. I. Carr. 1-3 1985: 1-24.
“… Target Red Target Blue: Never Surrender.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Pen., G. Morrissette. In., G. Morrissette & J. Harpes. Let. I. Carr. 1-4 1985: 1-24.
“Northguard.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., I. Carr. 1-5 Summer 1986: 1-24.
|“Northguard: The ManDes Conclusion: …” Northguard…. Black & white interior. Matrix Production/Caliber Press.|
|“…Blood and Fire.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., Mario Beaulac. 1, 1989.
“…Fleur de Lys.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., Ron Kasman. 2, 1989.
“…Scorched Earth.” Writ., M. Shainblum. Illus., G. Morrissette. Let., R.Kasman. 3, 1990.
|Backup story. “Northguard: 80’s Heroic Flashback.” Car., Gabriel Morrissette. Col., Bernie Mireault. Let., Angelo Malartic. Northguard…. Colour interior. Chapterhouse Comics.|
|1, Aug. 2016:26-28||2, Sept. 2016: 24-26..||3, Oct. 2016: 26-28.|
Backup story. “Northguard: 80’s Heroic Flashback.” Car., Gabriel Morrissette. Col.,Adam Martin. Let., Angelo Malartic. Northguard, 4, Nov. 2016: 28-29. Colour interior. Chapterhouse Comics.
|“ Northguard: Aurora Dawn ….” Northguard,…. Colour interior. Chapterhouse Comics|
|“…Pt 1.” Writ., Anthony Falcone. Illus., R. Salas. Col., Irma Kniivila. Let., Ed Brisson. 1, Aug. 2016.
“…Pt 2: Dangerous Encounter.” Writ., A. Falcone. Illus., pg 1-3, R. Salas, pg 4-20, Eric Kim. Col., Juanco. Let., Ryan Ferrier. 2, Sept. 2016.
“…Pt 3: Eyes Are Watching.” Writ., A. Falcone. Illus., E. Kim. Col., Juanco. Let., R. Ferrier. 3, Oct. 2016.
“… Pt. 4: Always Dangerous.” Writ., A. Falcone. Illus., E. Kim. Col., Maro Pagnotta. Let., R. Ferrier. 4, Nov. 2016.
|“Northguard …” Northguard,…. Colour interior. Chapterhouse Comics|
|“… Ch 1: Hunter/Hunted.” Writ., A. Falcone. Pen., Allen Watson. In., Fedrico Iglesias. Col., Vaneda Vireak. Let., Andrew Thomas. 2-1, Sept. 2017.
“… Ch 2: Big Bad.” Writ., A. Falcone & Aaron Feldman. Pen., Sergio Carrera. In., F. Iglesias. Col., V. Vireak. Let., A. Thomas. 2-2, Oct. 2017.
“Northguard meets The Jam and the gang at Matrix Graphic Series.” Creators, Mark Shainblum, Gabriel Morrissette and Bernie Mireault. Northguard. 3, 1990. Black & white interior. Matrix Production/ Caliber Press.
“The Great Canadian Superhero.” Writ., Henry Mietkiewicz,. Toronto Star, 1 Feb.1992: J1.
Illus., Gabriel Morrissette, New Triumph featuring Northguard, 1-1, 1985.
Illus., Ron Salas, Northguard, 1, Aug. 2016 Chapter House Comics.
A triptych of covers. Illus., Ken Stacey, Northguard, issues 1,2 & 3, Caliber Press..