France is famous for a lot of things: the Eiffel Tower, art, fine wine, fromage and The French Revolution. Not so much for its superheroes, which is a shame, because France has some of the richest history in the world. Perhaps the most famous French superhero in mainstream comics is Peregrine, or Le Faucon Pelerin. Created by Marvel, Alain Racine acts as France’s protector and is definitely an underrated character. The Comic Vault is looking into Peregrine’s history to see how he relates to France as a whole.
Racine was born in Moulins and grew up to become a writer. France is renowned for being a hub of culture and creativity, so Racine wanted to embrace that aspect of his homeland. Peregrine’s identity as a writer is motivational for people who have dedicated their lives to creating stories. Becoming a superhero is a difficult path, just as being a writer is. It requires determination, courage, an ability to see different perspectives and no shortage of stubbornness.
Peregrine adopted a falcon-like suit that incorporated an anti-gravity generation system. The suit allowed him to fly, with his top distance covered at a range of 200 miles. During flight, he wears protective goggles and carries radar detection devices. Having trained extensively in savate, Racine is one of the greatest aerial combatants in the Marvel Universe.
The character first appeared in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, being pitted against Angel. Although Peregrine put up a good fight, Angel’s greater experience allowed him to win. Racine eventually met Silver Sable, who invited him to become a freelance operative. As part of Silver Sable International, Racine was given access to high-grade weaponry that he used to protect his home.
Peregrine’s personal life revolved around his wife Adele. The two met at a fashion show and Racine fell in love instantly. However, Adele died in a car crash, which caused Peregrine to sink into depression because he blamed himself for not being able to save her. This incident occurred in the pages of Scarlet Witch. Peregrine couldn’t take flight because of his depression, so Wanda Maximoff offered to help him contact his wife’s spirit. Seeing Adele again pushed Peregrine over the edge and he tried to commit suicide, believing they would be together on the other side. Luckily, Wanda and Adele convinced him it wasn’t the answer and Peregrine took to the air again.
Peregrine embodies the French attitude of joie de vivre. This is exemplified through his ability to take flight, as there is a freedom to being airborne. It’s a metaphor for living in the moment, for which French people are known for.
Superheroes can be found all over the world and Peregrine represents the best qualities of being French. He simply has a je ne sais quoi that makes him worth investing in.