In ancient times, the Inuit Gods of the North battled the Great Beasts for the fate of the world. After being exiled, they looked for a champion to battle the Beasts, should the need ever arise. Nelvanna, goddess of the Northern Lights, appeared to the man Richard Easton and convinced him to mate with her. Afterwards, when returned to earth, he discovered that nine years had passed since he'd left, and the realization of this eventually drove him insane.
When Nelvanna was about to give birth, she sought the assistance of Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen, better known as Shaman, to act as a midwife. Sensing the child's instability (the result of being a transmorph) the young shaman bound it to the Earth, allowing it to have a human form. The child, whom he named Narya, went to live with him and aged at a surprisingly rapid rate. Twoyoungmen taught her the ways of the Earth and how to use her powers. Narya had the ability to assume the form of any animal native to Canada, and in her human form she possessed super strength, flight, pre and post cognition, as well as being able to sense mystical energies.
Dr. Twoyoungmen was soon visited by his friends, Guardian and Vindicator, the founders of Alpha Flight. After discovering Narya's powers, they invited her and her foster father to join the group. Dr. Twoyoungmen was given the name Shaman, while Narya was given the name Snowbird and assumed the public identity of Anne McKenzie- a records keeper with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Snowbird was created by John Byrne and Chris Claremont. Snowbird first appeared in the Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #120 (4/1979) written by Claremont, drawn by Byrne (pencils) and Terry Austin (inks). Claremont and Byrne co-plotted the storyline together.
Mayor Story Arcs
With Alpha Flight
During her time with the team, Snowbird was forced to battle her teammate Sasquatch after it was revealed he was possessed by Tanaraq. She transformed into an albino version of Sasquatch's own body, and eventually killed him. While working at the RCMP as Anne McKenzie, Snowbird met and fell in love with Doug Thompson. The two married and conceived a child, which angered the Inuit Gods. When she went along with Shaman to give birth, the resulting magical energies awoke Pestilence, a mystical being and one of Alpha Flight's many enemies. Her newborn was possessed by the evil being and began to age rapidly. Pestilence was eventually defeated and driven away, all while still possessing her son's body. After being exiled by the Gods, she sought to redeem herself in their eyes and regain entrance to their realm. This angered her husband, and when she did not seek out her possessed son, he left her to find the boy on his own.
Snowbird and Shaman later found Pestilence in an abandoned mining town with the help of Doug Thompson, who had been given a fatal disease by the evil being. During the ensuing battle, Snowbird killed her child and was slain by Vindicator. After her death, she was forgiven by the Gods and allowed entrance to the afterlife. She refused until they allowed her husband and child to enter with her. After her death, Snowbird's body was inhabited by the disembodied mind of Sasquatch, who began going by the name "Wanda Langowski" (a play on his real name of Walter Langowski) due to now being a woman.
Snowbird later returned from the grave, but was not with the rest of Alpha Flight when they fought, and were killed by, The Collective.
Later, Snowbird is sent by her Grandfather Hodiak to join Athena's God-Squad in order to defeat the Skrull deities Sl'gur't and Kly'bn. While traveling the Skrulls assimilated Gods, Snow Bird decided to end her loneliness by sleeping with Hercules. During a battle with a group of skrull gods, she transforms to Neooqtoq the Ravager, deadliest of the Great beast of the North, for a long time and loses her mind, consequently killing anything in her way. At the last moment she transformed to a cloud of mosquitoes, honoring her fallen comrades by fighting on. She returns and impales the skrull god Kly'bn on the spine of the slain God-eater Demogorge. At the end, she carries a weeping Hercules and Amadeus back to earth in the form of a Great White bird.
Snowbird can mystically assume the form of a female human, as well as that of any animal native to northern Canada, gaining each animal's special abilities and attributes such as strength and speed. She also has shown the capacity to transform into a swarm of mosquitoes (therefore implying that her powers are not limited to mammals) , Tanaraq, wendigo, wolverine and Neooqtoq. By remaining in the shape of an animal too long, her sense of identity can be overcome, causing mental issues; it is not stated whether the latter applies to human forms as well. Snowbird also has mystical senses that allow her to detect magical energies, sense the presence of great mystical evil, and achieve limited postcognition (she can perceive events that happened in her current location within the past six hours, but only she can perceive these events). Her connection to the Gods gives her a limited precognitive ability. Snowbird naturally possesses flight, superhuman strength (her limit is said to be around one ton), advanced cellular rejuvenation and superb stamina in her human form.
She's also able to resist teleportation (as seen when Talisman tried to teleport her and failed), the mental ability to compel others to aid her (more specifically, against the Great Beast). Her rejuvenation abilities are called the Healing Glow, and allow her to heal herself almost instantaneously, as shown after her battle against the Great Beast Kolomaq.
Snowbird is a fair-hand-to-hand combatant, having been trained by both Puck and Wolverine.
Due to a spell cast by Shaman when she was born, Narya was, for a time,was severely weakened when she was outside Canada's borders. However, this limitation has since been removed.
Gender: Female Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs (variable)
Eyes: (as Snowbird) White with no visible pupils; (as McKenzie) Blue
Hair: (in human form) Platinum blond; (in animal form) White
Known Relatives: Hodiak (grandfather), Nelvanna (mother), Richard Lawrence Easton (father, deceased), Michael Twoyoungmen (Shaman, foster father), Douglas Thompson (husband, deceased), unnamed son (deceased)
Place of Birth: Near Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories, Canada
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Goddess, adventurer, former records officer
Education: Tutored by Michael Twoyoungmen, trained as an RCMP colonel
In the the Ultimate Universe, an Inuit or First Nation woman in a white costume named Snowbird attacked the X-Men with the help of the Ultimate version of Alpha Flight. She displayed the ability to fly and to create and control blizzard like weather patterns. Her abilities allowed her to surprise attack Ultimate Storm and quickly knocking the young mutant out of the sky with a localized blizzard. It is speculated that the Ultimate Snowbird is Danielle Moonstar, whose illusion powers have increased into a form of reality alteration powers while on Banshee. It could also be that Snowbird has been redesigned in a form more fitting to her role as an Inuit Goddess.
In "Marvel Zombies: Dead Days", she is seen as a zombie attacking Cyclops, but then has a pole stabbed through her brain by Magneto.
Snowbird appeared in the episode "Repo Man," voiced by Melissa Sue Anderson. She and the rest of Alpha Flight showed up to try and capture Wolverine, and Snowbird demonstrated her shapeshifting powers by transforming into an owl and wolf. She later made a cameo appearance in the episode "The Phoenix Saga: Child of Light," where she and the rest of her teammates appear as part of a montage showing heroes rescuing civilians from natural disasters around the globe.
X-Men: Battle of The Atom
Snowbird is featured in the mobile card game "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" based on the comic book story with the same name. Her cards are:
- Snowbird was featured in ToyBiz's Alpha Flight line as part of a two-pack with Puck.
- Eaglemoss Publications included Snowbird in their Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
- Bowen Designs created a Snowbird bust, as well as a separate bust depicting her Sasquatch form.
- Snowbird's Sasquatch form was included in ToyBiz's Marvel Legends line as part of the Apocalypse Build-a-Figure wave.
- Diamond Select released a Snowbird Minimate as part of an Alpha Flight box set that also included Sasquatch, Shaman and Aurora.
- The Marvel Universe Puck figure from Hasbro came with a small figure of Snowbird in her bird form as an accessory.
- Snowbird was featured in Hasbro's iteration of the Marvel Legends line as part of the online-exclusive Alpha Flight box set.