Real Name: Autumn MacRae
Identity/Class: Human mutate (pre-modern era)
Group Membership: None, though she briefly formed a crime-fighting duo with her husband Captain Hip
Affiliations: First Line (Black Fox/Robert William Paine, Effigy, Frank (see comments), Major Mercury/Makkari, Oxbow, Pixie, Rebound), Thor Odinson, Venus (see comments)
Known Relatives: Fred MacRae (Captain Hip, husband), T.Ruth MacRae (Gadfly, daughter, presumably deceased)
Aliases: "Babe" (nickname used by Fred MacRae (see comments))
Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois
First Appearance: Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (May, 2000)
Powers/Abilities: Sunshine possessed the superhuman
ability to generate lightwaves from her own body. This kaleidoscopic
lightshow could dazzle, blind or confuse her opponents to the point of
being overcome by its effects. Sunshine could use her light powers to
influence the mood and personality of whomever she was targeting. She
was able to control the minds of whomever she was actively focusing on.
In later years, she wore rose tinted glasses. Sunshine has two red
flowers tattooed on her right leg.
Height: 5'5" (by approximation)
Weight: 127 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 - BTS) - In the late 1950s, Autumn was among an undisclosed number of young people subjected to top secret CIA drug tests. The narcotics gave her stroboscopic light-powers that could completely influence the emotional state of others. Embracing the beatnik hippie culture of the 1960s, she became known as Sunshine.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 - BTS) - At some point during the mid-1960s, Sunshine met and fell in love with the San Francisco-based beatnik hero calling himself the Hipster (Fred MacRae). After a brief but passionate romance, they got married, and Sunshine even managed to convince Fred to take her suggestion and change his codename from "Hipster" to "Captain Hip." Together, they formed the hippie crime-fighting duo known as Captain Hip and Sunshine.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 - BTS) - Just as Sunshine suspected she might be pregnant, she joined Fred in an undercover mission in the counter-culture youth movement of the day. Soon, they realized something odd was going on with all those attending a musical festival emceed by a woman calling herself Venus, the goddess of love. Unsure how to proceed, they contacted the First Line for backup. The team's leader, Effigy, agreed to work with Hip and Sunshine, despite the Black Fox's misgivings.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#5) - While the First Line waited around in their temporary headquarters and Effigy quietly infiltrated the backstage area, Sunshine, Hip and Pixie attended the festival. Moments after arriving, Sunshine was swayed by the mind control powers of Venus and the old Nazi villain Rumor (whose abilities only worked on kids and managed to affect Autumn via the fetus developing within her). Frantic to get his wife back, Captain Hip confronted Sunshine and tried to talk some sense into her. However, she had no idea who he was and then used her hypnotic light powers to successfully sway him to Rumor's side as well (see comments). Captain Hip and Sunshine then fronted a small army of teen concert-goers who rampaged through the streets, determined to topple the local government. The First Line, joined by the Asgardian thunder-god Thor, tried to stop the revolt, with the Black Fox using knock-out gas to control the crowds. When Sunshine tried to use her powers to bring the Black Fox to their side, the vigilante managed to knock her out before he succumbed to her sway. Watching his wife get assaulted made Hip furious, and he launched himself at the disoriented Fox, who was saved from the speedster's flurry of punches by a bolt of lightning summoned by Thor. While the First Line continued their struggle against Rumor's youth revolt, Hip went to check on Sunshine--he was pleased to learn she had regained control of her mind again. Hip had to wonder how Rumor had affected her with his abilities and was shocked when his wife revealed she was pregnant. In the aftermath of the fight, after Effigy and the Black Fox had taken down Rumor, the First Line member Frank wondered if Hip and Sunshine would be interested in joining the team; they both declined and revealed that -- given Sunshine's pregnancy -- they were considering retiring from active super-heroics.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 - (fb) - BTS) - Autumn and Fred found a home on the northside of Chicago, where she eventually gave birth to their daughter; the proud parents officially named the girl Truth. For the first few years, the young family led a relatively quiet life in the suburbs, even though they would on occasion use their abilities to fight crime. Bringing up Truth was their primary concern however, and Autumn made sure their baby was raised in the free-spirited hippie tradition, making sure her daughter stopped calling her mom in favor of her first name by age two.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 - (fb) - BTS) - Growing dissatisfied with her own name in the early 1970s, Truth insisted she'd be called T.Ruth from then on.(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 - BTS) - Around 1972, Captain Hip was injured during a fight with the Purple Gang, a band of criminals he insisted on tackling alone. The encounter left him wheelchair bound with a broken right leg. To cheer her husband up, Autumn arranged tickets for a Grateful Dead concert for the three of them.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (fb) - BTS) - As the years went on, T. Ruth's fascination with the Black Fox grew into a full blown obsession. Aware her parents didn't care for the vigilante and his outlaw, violent ways, she hid her collection of Fox photos and newspaper clippings from them. When she was in high school, she realized she had inherited some of her parents' superpowers, but decided not to tell them about it.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 - BTS) - Autumn and Fred discovered their daughter's stash of Black Fox memorabilia and decided to confront her about it.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10) - Returning home from school one day after forensics club ran late, T. Ruth was shocked to find Autumn and Fred in her room. Fred was outraged his daughter had all these photos of "that masked crypto-fascist", which led to Autumn trying to calm everyone down by using her light powers; before the effect could kick in, Ruth told her mother to stop. This convinced Autumn something really was wrong with her child--after all she hadn't called her "mother" since she was two years old. Frustrated by her parents, T.Ruth jumped out of her bedroom window, fell three stories and ran off, much to the astonishment of Fred and Autumn. Autumn urged her husband to speed after their girl, but T.Ruth's managed to evade him.
Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks) .
It only makes sense there would be some
beatnik-turned-hippie super-heroes during the 1960s. In the actual Sixties,
Marvel never got around to creating even a single one... Which is
understandable if you consider Stan and Jack were already married men
with kids by the time they collaborated on 1961's Fantastic
Four I#1. Doctor Strange, living in hip and happening Greenwich
Village, became the closest Marvel got to an actual hero for the
psychedelic era. According to Stan Lee's secretary "Fabulous" Flo
Steinberg, fans of the book regularly wrote in, wondering what Steve
Ditko was smoking to dream up the groovy, far out dimensions Strange
The notion that the CIA tested experimental drugs on America's youth to see if they developed enhanced abilities is an interesting one that should have resulted in more super powered operatives in either the days of the Lost Generation or the modern era.
Sunshine was a fun if slightly one note character. Based on her powers, she was the Dazzler of her day, but unlike Allison Blaire, Autumn preferred the bliss of family life over the rush of super-heroics (which is how Dazzler was when she started out, too--Snood). She was not among the ones the First Line enlisted to combat the imminent Skrull invasion, a mission that ended in the extermination of Earth's pre-modern era super-team. It's more than a little likely she and Fred are still out in Chicago, mourning the loss of their only child.
Still, you have to question Sunshine's decision to hypnotize her own child whenever she felt the girl exhibited bad behavior. Or if she used her light powers on Fred whenever he felt the need to take the edge off... Dem dang blasted drugged-out hippies!
It's not clear whether Frank from
the First Line is definitely the Frankenstein
monster or not. The First Line and Frankenstein Monster profiles
in the OHotMU are contradictory in this regard, with the former saying
they are the same and the latter saying it is "unknown."
As the head writer of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe at that time, I can tell you, the official policy is: Frank of the First Line is apparently either a Frankenstein monster (meaning a creature created in the manner of Victor Frankenstein's first creation) or just a being with a similar appearance and abilities who adopted the name Frank due to the notable similarities. However, it as yet remains unrevealed whether Frank is actually the original creation of Victor Frankenstein, aka "the Frankenstein monster." Previous entries referencing Frank as "Frankenstein monster" were unclear in specifying/clarifying this point.
Further, the Rumor profile in Thor:
Asgard's Avenger, erroneously notes the Venus who was involved with
Rumor to have been the siren. The Venus/Aphrodite/goddess profile in
her Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry confirms this to
have been the goddess. The Rumor entry is in error.
Captain Hip and Sunshine would seem to be patterned after the real-life 1960s pop music singing duo Sonny & Cher: In issue #5, during the "Summer of Love"/1967, while Hip was trying to free the Rumor-entranced Sunshine, he told her, "C'mon... I got you, babe!"; but in response, Sunshine hit him with her light-powers and said, "Now... I got you, 'babe'!"--one of Sonny & Cher's hit songs was 1965's "I Got You Babe".--Ron Fredricks
Profile by Norvo.
Sunshine should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#5, p8, pan1 (main image)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10, p12, pan3 (late 70s close up)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#5, p8, pan2 (uses powers)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10, p11, pan5 (tries to calm Ruth down)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (May, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (July, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 (October, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First Posted: 03/16/2014
Last updated: 12/04/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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