BIOGRAPHY - Page 1
Born and raised in British Columbia, nothing is known of Walter’s childhood. He came to the public’s attention however when he earned a football scholarship and attended the Pennsylvania State University. It was there that Walt met fellow student, Bruce Banner, and became aware of Banner’s research on gamma rays. Walt developed an interest in Banner’s research and formed a friendship with him. Banner left university but Walt was prompted to enter into the gamma ray research field himself, and he pursued independent studies. At the same time, Walt joined the Green Bay Packers as a professional linebacker, where he played for three years. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #11 backstory]
During his time as a footballer, Walt was in Toronto, where he met and married an actress, Veronica, with whom he had a son. Thanks to his earnings as a player, Walt became a millionaire but knew his true calling lay elsewhere and entered a graduate program in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and quickly earned his Ph.D. before accepting a teaching position at McGill University in Montreal. During this time Walt became heavily involved in his own research on all Gamma beings - including his friend Banner, who had become the Incredible Hulk. Walt’s dream was to recreate, under controlled circumstances, the conditions that turned Banner into the Hulk, and used over a million of his own dollars in conducting the research. During this time, Veronica felt neglected and moved out of the Langkowski’s apartment, taking their son with her. Whatever has happened to the son is unknown, as Walter has never been reunited with him. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #10, 11 backstory]
With so much effort and money spent into his project, Walt took his research and plans to the Canadian government. It was his request which led him to meet James MacDonald Hudson, the man who founded Department H and was in the process of assembling Canada’s first ever super team. Walt’s request for funding was granted, and Hudson even provided him with a laboratory for further experimentation. The lab was in the Arctic Circle, so to be away from prying eyes and innocent bystanders. While conducting his own research, Walt helped out as a staff member in the early days of Department H, creating various scientific equipment for them. [Alpha Flight Special (2nd series) #1]
With his research and tests complete, Walt played out the final part of his plan by finally experimenting on himself, bombarding himself with gamma radiation. However, the experiment did not go as planned, for Walt’s experiment ended up for more of a transposition than transformation, as he had unleashed for a fraction of time enough physical energy to break the mystical barrier that held the Great Beasts in their prison. A mystical symbiosis was formed between Walt and the Beast known as Tanaraq, which didn’t allowed Walter to transform into Sasquatch, like everyone thought, but to summon Tanaraq and control him. This important fact was unknown at the time, but would later prove to have life-altering consequences for many. Once Walt had recovered from the initial shock, James Hudson invited Walter as an active operative into the Flight program and had him train with Snowbird a bit. As a fellow shapechanger, she could relate to his situation like nobody else. [back story in Alpha Flight (1st series) #11, 23]
When a young mutant was found at the scene of a massacre and brought to what was at the time a very early stage Department H, Walt ran the usual psych tests on the mutant and found him to be incredibly unstable. However, with James Hudson unavailable, General Chasen forced the mutant dubbed ”Wild Child“ into the Flight program. Walter had no choice but to abide by the general’s decision and buried the psychological reports, thinking that he might be able to help Wild Child, though other responsibilities would take priority, which meant Walt would harbor serious guilt for quite some time. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #116-118]
With Department H fully underway, Walter made it into the group who would be Canada‘s premiere super hero team - Alpha Flight - and took part in the team’s debut against the uncanny X-Men, where they had to try and retrieve former teammate Wolverine. But Alpha Flight barely had time to show how good they were, because the Canadian government decided that they could no longer provide the financial means to support a super hero team. Department H was disbanded, but Alpha Flight decided to remain together as a team nonetheless, for they believed Canada still needed its own heroes. [X-Men (1st series) #120-121, Alpha Flight (1st series) #1]
Walt took part on many of the team’s early adventures and formed several close friendships with Alpha Flight, most notably with newcomer Puck, a love-hate relationship with Northstar, and a romantic relationship with Aurora - but that is where things get complicated for the handsome doctor. While searching for a missing teammate, Aurora became separated from the rest of the group including her protective brother and was locked in, until she was freed by Sasquatch. However, the Aurora that Walt found was not the Aurora he knew and liked, but a timid and scared woman. As revealed by James Hudson, Aurora had a split personality, and Walt had began a relationship with the side of Aurora that everyone knew. But this other side of Aurora, referred to as “Jeanne-Marie,” wanted nothing to do with Alpha Flight, or Walter. Following the successful mission, Northstar took his sister away and Walt returned to his various scientific projects that he still had going on the side. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #3-4]
During a testing battle with the Super Skrull, Walt learned something knew about his powers, as he broke an arm when the villain first attacked. The transformation from human body to Sasquatch state healed the injury, however the pain of broken bones altering shape almost drove him to madness, as he lost control over his animalistic side. When his temper had cooled off after the fight, Walt remembered his old friend Bruce Banner and how he constantly had to struggle with the Hulk’s persona, which is why he promised himself to keep a check on his bestial nature.
When Walt returned to his apartment in British Columbia, expecting it to be empty as always, he was greeted by Aurora - the Aurora that he knew. Aurora revealed that she had ended her partnership with her brother and wanted to pick up where the two of them left off. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #9-10]
Their relationship would be put to the test soon after, when all available members of Alpha Flight gathered to help the Guardian against Omega Flight. Aurora and Sasquatch arrived at the meeting point together, where Northstar tried to mend his partnership with his sister, only for him to end up fighting Sasquatch. The rage that had recently plagued Walt in his Sasquatch form also showed itself here and, if not for the intervention of his teammates, Walt might have killed Northstar. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #12]
With Guardian having been killed in the recent battle with Omega Flight and Alpha Flight seemingly disbanded for good, Walter and Aurora continued to live together at his apartment and he still lectured at McGill University. As Aurora’s mental instability increased, her wanting to separate herself from Jeanne-Marie, as well as create a new image for herself to distance her brother further, Walt agreed to help her. Using his scientific prowess he altered Aurora’s molecules, so much so that she would no longer be recognized as a mutant, and that she developed new powers, but that would have serious consequences for Aurora and her brother at a later point. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #17]
Determined to find the cause for his bestial temper as of late, Walter agreed to use his super-strength as Sasquatch to clear part of a forest where a sanatorium was to be set up, him using the opportunity to test his strength levels. Unfortunately for him, though, he got no answers, as at no time during the exercise did he lose control. It was also then that Aurora decided to publicly display her new revealing costume and flirted with some of the construction workers, which Walt wasn’t happy about. A day later, the young couple embarked on a trip together to check out Tamarind Island, a small island off the tip of Vancouver Island. Walter had inherited the island and the mansion that came along with it, which used to belong to a great-aunt on his mothers side. With Guardian's widow, Heather Hudson, wanting to reorganize Alpha Flight, Walt thought it would be a good place to have a new headquarters.
While exploring the mansion, Walt and Aurora became separated, and the great-aunt, Lillian von Loont, revealed herself to still be alive through means of her skills in alchemy, which she had been taught by Diablo. Gilded Lily, as she called herself, yearned for a new body and, after turning Walter into gold, she proceeded to transport her consciousness into Aurora’s body. Fortunately, Walt managed to break free from the gold by turning into Sasquatch, and he went about demolishing Gilded Lily’s lab, and supposedly destroying his great-aunt for good. However, with Aurora safe, Walt noticed something wrong with her personality yet again. On the way home, Walt started kissing Aurora, who became confused and, scared of him, she flew to Quebec to see her brother. Apparently, it was the emergence of a third, new personality, one that was neither the happy-go-lucky “Aurora” nor the stern “Jeanne-Marie,” as she didn’t have access to Aurora’s powers. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #20-22] Before long, though, “Aurora” gained dominance again, and she returned to Walter’s side.
His own problem still unresolved, Walter sought the medical advice of his friend and teammate, Shaman, who after examining him diagnosed that Walt’s problem was not physical - so it had to be either psychological or magical in nature. Before Shaman could investigate further, a near-death Snowbird showed up, then followed by the X-Men, both for reasons that would soon be identified as relating to the other. Alpha Flight and the X-Men teamed up to find the missing Cyclops and discover what was wrong with Snowbird. The trail led them to Ungava Bay, and the mystically-transformed Madelyne Pryor, calling herself Anodyne, who had gained the power to heal. Demonstrating her talents on Walter, she cured him of his bestial rage as Sasquatch, and Aurora’s split-persona was fused together into a single identity by the same means. However, as the X-Men and Alpha Flight soon learned, the Norse god, Loki, was behind the gifts that Madelyne and several other normal humans, and these gifts came with a price. In return, the world was purged of all magic, causing the predicament of Snowbird or Shaman. Those who had been changed for the better (supposedly) by Loki’s gifts, including Sasquatch, soon had to battle the few who opposed the “gift,” though eventually all the heroes realized that the price was too high and the gift was rejected by those who had taken it, including Aurora and Sasquatch, who was now once again filled with his mysterious rage. [X-Men & Alpha Flight (1st series) #1-2]
The cause of Sasquatch’s growing rage was soon finally revealed to Alpha Flight. While Sasquatch led Aurora, Puck and Talisman against the threat of Caliber, Walt’s friend and teammate, the goddess Snowbird – whose duty it was to defend the Earth from the Great Beasts – learned why her godly family were so angry with her: she was doing nothing to destroy the Great Beast that had been right in front of her for so many months. Snowbird suddenly interrupted the battle against Caliber by transforming into an ookpik, the great northern owl, and attacking Sasquatch. Naturally, the rest of Alpha Flight were confused and Aurora raced to aid her lover. However, when she managed to wrest Snowbird from Sasquatch, Walt was no longer in control at all, and the Great Beast Tanaraq revealed himself to Aurora and the others. While Talisman used her phenomenal powers to hold Tanaraq off, Snowbird revealed the true origin of Sasquatch of which she had learned only moments earlier to the others. Transforming into an Albino Sasquatch, Snowbird once again engaged Sasquatch/Tanaraq in battle and, knowing she only had one option, Snowbird ripped out Walter’s heart. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #23]