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Orb Nos. 2-5 (Orb, July 1974 – 1975); Power Comics No. 4 (Power Comics, Nov. 1977).


T. Casey Brennan – Orb Nos. 2–3. James WaleyOrb Nos. 4–5; Power Comics No. 4. James CraigOrb Nos. 4–5. George Henderson – Orb No. 4. Matt Rust – Orb No. 5.


John Allison – Orb Nos. 2–3. James Craig – Orb Nos. 4–5; Power Comics No. 4. Richard Robertson – cover, Orb No. 2. Gene Day – inks on a Power Comics' "Northern Light" poster.


The first Northern Light script (Orb Nos. 2-3), by the U.S. writer T. Casey Brennan, was originally intended for the Charlton Comics character, E-Man, but was rejected by the publisher. Orb contributor John Allison learned of the script from Brennan and suggested a collaboration to James Waley, the editor of Orb. Waley accepted the idea. Brennan then revised the script for Orb and changed the character's name to the Phantom Canadian. Waley was unhappy with this name and asked Brennan to come up with another name. Brennan proposed the White Light, which was changed, at the suggestion of Waley's wife, Sharon, to the Northern Light.


Ian Davis, a prize-winning architect, spurns modernist architecture and decides to leave the city and go back to the land, moving with his wife and son to a remote wilderness. A group of aliens, led by Naxor, capture the family and perform terrible experiments on them, murdering Davis' wife and son. Before Davis can be killed or abducted, he is rescued by the Canadian security agency Alert. Davis soon discovers that the experiments conducted on him have left him with super-powers and he adopts the identity of the Northern Light.

Other Identity:

Ian Davis


Orb Nos. 2-3: red-and-white tights with red cowl and long, flowing cape, and white gloves; Orb Nos. 4-5: no cape; Power Comics No. 4: cowl opened at top (no cape), battle armour, leather belt


Most of the Northern Light's powers derive from the properties of light energy and its transmission: he can become one with light (and thus invisible), burst into uncontrolled radiance, and transport himself on light beams (light-speed flight). He is also extremely strong. As well, in the first story (Orb Nos. 2-3) he displays extraordinary mental powers.


Lives in a secret fortress in Northern Canada. Has an adventure on Mars


The Northern Light is the prime operative of the security agency Alert.

Summary of Major Adventures/Enemies

1. MARS (Orb Nos. 2-3) As the Northern Light and his girlfriend, Lana, watch the televised launch of Marsprobe One, the first voyage of humans to Mars, the Earth vessel is attacked. NL flies to Mars and uses his mental powers to investigate Martian civilization, which, he learns, is divided into two hostile cultures: the primitive Gruts, who live on the planet's surface, and the more advanced Zoles, who live underground and who are ruled over by a High Council of elders.

NL is able to review the events that led to the attack on the Earth ship, "remembering" that a Zole named Dervius was chosen by the High Council to become the Lone Guardian, responsible for protecting Mars from the evils of humanity. The Lone Guardian was manipulated into attacking Marsprobe, and as soon as he realizes what he has done, he rescues the crew of the ship. Guardian confronts the High Council, but is subdued by a member of the Council by means of a pain button. After Guardian leaves the Council, the Northern Light intervenes in the meeting and then goes off in search of Guardian.

Meanwhile, Guardian is having problems with his lover, Tanya, who wants him to refuse to become the Council's superhero pawn. Before they can resolve things, Guardian rushes to the aid of the Marsprobe crew, which has been attacked by Gruts. NL helps Guardian, but in the midst of battle, the Council uses a pain button to incapacitate Guardian. Witnessing her lover's pain, Tanya tries to help Guardian. Despite all these setbacks, the Gruts are driven off and NL leaves Mars. At home, he is confronted by Lana, who is angry at him for leaving her alone for so long.

2. NAXOR, ZEPHYRA, KIZMAR, CONQUERMIND (Orb Nos. 4-5, Power Comics No. 4) The head of Alert contacts the agency's prime operative, Ian Davis (NL), to inform him about evidence that aliens have landed on Earth. Zephyra (mistress of the howling winds), a woman accompanying the aliens, uses her psychic powers and a tractor beam to bring NL to her. NL denounces Zephyra as a traitor and momentarily frees himself, kissing Zephyra before he is incapacitated.

NL is taken to the aliens' Earth base in the Far North. In captivity, NL realizes that he was previously captured by the aliens, who also murdered his family. Led by Kizmar and Naxor, who led the attack on NL's family, the aliens are tapping energy from the Earth's core. Naxor and Zephyra fight over NL. In the melee, NL is freed and the alien's equipment is damaged so that the Earth is threatened with destruction. NL absorbs the escaping energy and thereby saves the planet. Alert forces arrive and Kizmar is captured, but Naxor escapes. Scientific tests conducted on the captured aliens reveals that their humanoid form is a guise. At Alert headquarters, NL acquires a new uniform, but as he admires it a beast materializes. NL kills the beast, only to discover that it was actually his girlfriend Lana, who had been transformed by the aliens. (Oops!)

NL goes to Lana's apartment to find clues to the aliens' whereabouts. As he searches, someone enters the apartment, so he renders himself invisible and seizes the person. It turns out to be Ember, a sympathetic alien, who tells him that the alien forces are in orbit above the Earth. NL circles the planet and discovers the alien ship. NL is then attacked by Prime Retaliator, a robot. The robot assumes that NL has been defeated and brings him to the ship. Once inside the vessel, though, NL recovers and quickly destroys the robot.

NL is then confronted by the true alien leader, Conquermind, who congratulates NL on his prowess and tries to intimidate the Canadian superhero with a demonstration of his alien powers. Conquermind then explains that the alien invasion was nothing more than an educational field trip mounted by a far superior culture! NL attacks Conquermind and destroys him with his superior power. However, NL cannot savour his victory because he remains traumatized by the loss of his family.


Proactive Disclosure