VINDICATOR II: Page 7 of 7

Publication Date: 11th Jan 2019
Written By: Daytripper.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


Despite the years of build-up, Puck’s date with Heather didn’t exactly work out, something both admitted might have had to do with bad timing. Soon thereafter, Alpha Flight went through another restructuring. With the original members’ return, they were reinstated as the official Alpha team, while the newer recruits were relegated to Beta Flight, including the de-aged Mac. What’s more, the young Mac was indeed revealed to have been the synthetic double of the true Guardian. During this time, Heather accepted a role as Alpha Flight's liaison to Department H and also stepped down as Vindicator, giving the name to the Mac clone.

When Guardian and his clone were both captured by the Advanced Ideas Mechanics, Heather agreed to accompany the team, aided by Wolverine, on a rescue mission. Unfortunately, she and the rest of Alpha Flight were also captured. It was during this captivity that Heather discovered that AIM was strangely interested in the supernatural. She was rescued by Wolverine, who had rescued both Macs and also located a resurrected Snowbird within the AIM's base. Though Alpha Flight escaped, the clone of Mac was killed in action. [Wolverine (2nd series) #142-143]

In the wake of the clone’s death, Mac and Heather not only reconciled, but Heather decided she missed being active as Vindicator and once again took on the identity. However, this was not to last long, as she stood down once more after learning she was pregnant. The news of their impending parenthood was welcome news to Logan, who congratulated the two via video transmission. However, just a few moments later, the jet they were on was attacked by Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike, who were currently hunting down Wolverine's allies. Though their aircraft crashed into a mountainside, they two survived thanks to Guardian, who was wearing his battlesuit and managed to fly them both to safety. [Wolverine (2nd series) #173-174]

Though heavily pregnant, Heather became the obsession of the slightly odd Department H scientist named Jiroult, who took it literally when Heather made a passing comment to him that she wished she had married him instead of Mac. When Jiroult appeared at her front door, claiming that he had removed Mac from the equation so that they could be together now, Heather went from initial disbelief to tear-filled rage. Calling him insane, she told Jiroult that if he had killed her husband she would see him dead. Filled with anger at her in turn, Jiroult turned his weapon to Heather to kill her, only for Puck to come crashing through the window to stop him. Racing outside, Heather ran into the rest of Alpha Flight, who had been assembled after Mac survived Jiroult’s attack and had deduced the mad scientist’s next action. Most likely due to the stress, Heather went into labor and her baby was delivered soon thereafter on the lawn of their house by Shaman, just as Mac seemingly died as Jiroult’s weapon overloaded. Fortunately, Mac survived yet again and made a quick recovery at the hospital, thanks to the healing blood of Angel of the X-Men. Smiling as she did so, Heather handed their infant daughter, Claire Hudson, to her husband, who held her from his hospital bed. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #45]

With her daughter now the most important thing in her life, Heather returned to active duty as Vindicator, believing it was the best way she could protect her daughter. It was back in this capacity that she and Alpha Flight were called by the Canadian government to action with the American X-Men. In recent weeks, the school had been opened to a large group of new students, among them being a young Canadian mutant named Sammy Pare, aka “Squidboy.” When Sammy’s mother was unable to get in touch with her son after a public riot occurred on campus, Alpha Flight was called in to represent her interest as a Canadian citizen. The team worked alongside the governor of New York's office, not only to retrieve Squidboy but remove the other students from the school as well. A series of misunderstandings soon led to a battle between Alpha Flight and the X-Men, but Heather did not participate as Iceman literally put her on ice, encasing her in a thick icesheet that cooled down her battlesuit.  Although Xavier’s lawyers manage to overturn the overall order for the school to be evacuated, Alpha Flight was successful in removing Squidboy specifically from the Xavier Institute, angering the boy's newfound friend, the Juggernaut. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #421-422]

Despite Alpha Flight’s good intentions, Sammy’s relocation brought him from a safe environment to an abusive one, and once home the youth was routinely beaten by his father. When Juggernaut arrived at the Pare home in Vancouver to check on his young friend, Sammy’s mother knew what might happen and pushed a panic button she had been given, calling for help. Sure enough, the strongman was enraged upon seeing Sammy’s state and would have killed Sammy’s father, if not for the arrival of Vindicator, Guardian and Sasquatch, each of whom had been given special armor to wear in battle against the Juggernaut. Even armored, the three Alphans seemed no match for the former super villain but, when the Juggernaut realized he was doing more harm than good to Sammy, he stopped fighting back and allowed himself to be taken into custody. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #432-434]

While investigating the return of the alien Plodex, Vindicator and the rest of Alpha Flight were captured by the Plodex's world-ship in the Arctic region of the Canadian north. Held captive, the genetic material of Vindicator and the rest of Alpha Flight was harvested from them and used to imprint upon a new generation of Plodex soldiers. During their time of captivity, Heather and her fellow Alphans were connected to a device that exposed them to the Plodex genetic memory, allowing them to experience several thousand years of the species’ pan-galactic history. Once freed by Sasquatch and the rookie Alpha Flight team he had assembled, the original Aphans felt that they could not simply abandon this next generation of Plodex eggs. Since they had also learned that the Plodex homeworld had healed itself over thousands of years, Heather and the now freed Alphans decided to use one of the facility’s starships to return the eggs to where they belonged and hopefully ensure a better future for their whole species. With Sasquatch and his new Alpha Flight left behind to ensure the safety of Canada, Heather and the original Alphans departed for the stars, stopping only to pick up Mac and Heather’s daughter. [Alpha Flight (3rd series) #1-6]

In an unchronicled series of events, Vindicator returned to Earth with Guardian and the rest of Alpha Flight. By the time of their return, most of the “all-new” Alpha Flight decided to depart the team, allowing almost all of the original Alphans to return to their old positions. In this new status quo, Heather and Mac remained as Vindicator and Guardian.

When the Decimation occurred, robbing the vast majority of all mutants their powers, the law of conservation of energy demanded that their residual energy go somewhere and it ended up in the body of a man named Michael Pointer. Driven mad by powers he could not control, Michael – soon to be known as the Collective – went on a rampage. When this energy was detected, Alpha Flight was sent to the Canadian-Alaska border to intercept. Unfortunately, the unimaginable power of the Collective was more than the Alphans were prepared to face and the entire team was killed, including Vindicator and Guardian. [New Avengers (1st series) #16]

In the afterlife, Shaman was able to keep the souls of many dead Alphans together. Months later, when the world was plunged into chaos when the Dream Dimension was destroyed by Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Chaos King, the Underworld was torn open next and the dead members of Alpha Flight were scattered. Vindicator, Guardian, Shaman and Marrina were able to stay together. The Chaos-King set about destroying Pantheons of gods, and Alpha Flight's enemies, the Great Beasts, knew they were in danger, so struck a deal with Sasquatch, who would assist them in crossing over to the Earth, and in exchange they would arrange the return of the dead Alphans. Sasquatch was unaware that with the Underworld torn open, the dead were returning anyway, and agreed to the deal. They were joyfully reunited with Sasquatch, Snowbird, Aurora and Northstar, and worked together to fight off the Chaos King's demons. But as the Great Beasts' started to cross over to Earth, and as they regained their own powers, the Chaos King's demons attacked them, too. Tensions mounted between Snowbird and Sasquatch regarding whether or not to assist the Great Beasts. Sasquatch explained that if they didn't help the Great Beasts, then Vindicator and the others would die again. Vindicator, Snowbird, Northstar and Shaman could not stand by and let the Great Beasts return to full power and take over the Earth, so they sided against their friends who were working to protect the Great Beasts. Heather knew her decision would mean she would not see her daughter again, and when the Great Beasts were destroyed, the recently returned Alphans expected to return to the Underworld. That didn't happen, and Alpha Flight remained together, joining the main battle against the Choas King. [Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1]

Eventually, the Chaos King was defeated by Hercules and his allies, and when the world was restored to how it was before the Chaos King's reign of terror, there were a few inconsitencies, and as such, Vindicator, Guardian, Shaman and Marrina remained alive. [Chaos War #5]

The Hudsons wasted no time trying to get their lives back in order. The reformation of Alpha Flight proved easiest and Department H still existed to assist. Heather began wearing a reversed version of her classic red and white costume so that, when she stood to the left of Guardian, their connecting sides would form a red maple leaf design. Harder was the task of Heather and Mac getting back their daughter, Claire, who had been looked after by Heather's cousin and his wife during the time they were dead. Having lost her true daughter in this way, salt was added to the wound for Heather when her symbolic daughter was also lost to her. Sometime during the time Heather was gone, the Purple Girl had become the Purple Woman and turned to a life of crime. Worse, Heather was forced to help apprehend her, sending her to prison. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #0.1]

Eventually, the Hudsons had their day in court in which a judge would hear their case and determine whether baby Claire would be returned to Heather and Mac, or remain with Heather’s cousin David and his wife Yvette. It seems that gone was the Heather of years past who would give impassioned speeches at governmental inquiries, as she not only remained silent during the hearing but asked Mac to calm down when the judge ruled against them, not wanting him to upset their daughter. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #2]

When fear spread across the globe thanks to the Asgardian serpent god, Alpha Flight came to Canada's defense, preventing Attuma from destroying Vancouver. However, in the aftermath, the newly elected Unity Party government enacted the Emergencies Act, which gave sweeping powers to the government and suspended the operation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all with the aim of preventing fear from spreading into Canada. The members of Alpha Flight were apprehended by mechanical Box units, while Vindicator made a startling attack on Guardian, taking him in for the government. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #1]

Apparently, Heather had a realization sometime after the court verdict and agreed to undergo the government's Unity Process. The procedure turned out to be a form of brainwashing that made its subjects at peace with themselves, while also bringing them into line under the government's rule.

Heather was not the only Alphan to undergo the procedure and she eagerly showed Mac the happiness that their teammates had found after undergoing the Unity Process. She even hinted that their daughter could be theirs again if he complied, showing him a nursery where she would stay. Despite her best effort, Mac was not buying Heather’s pitch and she was moments away from forcing him to comply when Puck suddenly appeared. Having just recently returned to the living by literally escaping Hell, Puck had come to save Mac from Heather’s fate and together the two men escaped. The tide soon turned against Gary Cody, the Unity Party leader and prime minister of the Canada, as Guardian and Puck were joined by Northstar, Shaman, Marrina and Snowbird into a unified Alpha Flight, set against the government. In response, Prime Minister Cody appeared in a televised public announcement and declared Alpha Flight enemies of the state. A worse blow for the Alphans was that Heather appeared right after him. Not only did she support the prime minister but she warned her former teammates that she was going to organize the team that would bring them in. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #2-3]

As her “Alpha Strike” team was being formed from Alpha Flight’s incarcerated enemies, Heather used her governmental influence to gain what she wanted most – her daughter. Supported by armed Department H agents, Heather flew to her cousin’s home in Ottawa and ordered him to hand over Claire. When he protested, Heather callously murdered him and his wife via close-range blast and then flew away with her child. Even as she departed, the department agents began a laying ground for a cover-up that Vindicator had acted in self-defense.

Back at Department H, Heather’s actions continued to demonstrate she was not thinking clearly. Rather than hand baby Claire over to the nursery, she instead took her daughter to meet her new allies, all former super-villains, to “show them what they were fighting for.” Worse than working with former criminals, Heather was not bothered at all when she learned that the force behind Gary Cody and his Unity Party was none other than Alpha Flight’s arch-nemesis, the Master of the World, who was intent on using the Unity Process to conquer the country. Rather, Heather seemed happy to work with her old foe, as long as she maintained custody of her daughter. She even seemed at ease with the idea of the Unity Process being used on Claire. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #4-5]

Everything that was happening seemed normal to Heather and she even took a day off to take Claire to the beach. The fact that the area had to be forcibly cleared by Department H troops did not phase her. When Wolverine suddenly appeared, having avoided the security perimeter, Heather acted like everything was normal and cheerfully showed him her daughter. However, when he noticed the physical change that Heather now had since undergoing Unity – she only had four toes – Wolverine departed. Having failed to entice him to conversion, Heather coldly ordered the Department H agents to order in an airstrike on her friend, an act that would have killed him had Wolverine not been saved by Northstar.

The opportunity to end Alpha Flight’s insurrection came when the Master’s double-agent, Aurora, reported the team’s location, allowing Heather and her Alpha Strike to attack. During the battle, Heather continued to assure Mac that she had not been “tampered” with and vowed that she would never go back to him, a man that who failed both her and their daughter. Mac took all of her rantings in stride, for all of this had been part of his plan. In fact, Aurora had been a triple agent, thanks to one of her alternate personalities, and it had been Mac’s plan to lure Alpha Strike to their location. Even as he battled her, Mac informed Heather that the intention had been to capture the Purple Woman, a member of Heather’s Alpha Strike team, as her power was needed to complete their machine that would reverse the Unity Process across the country. Horrified, Heather ordered Alpha Strike to destroy the machine, but it was too late.

Sensing defeat right when he was on the verge of victory, the Master the World launched his spaceship, built from the very Department H complex buried under Parliament Hill, destroying the structure in the process. When the Master’s ship arrived and attacked Alpha Flight, none understood the significance but Heather, who informed Mac that their daughter was aboard. Despite their differences, Heather followed Mac into the Master's ship and overheard him reveal that he planned to use their daughter as his heir… or his mate. Her love for her daughter greater than the Unity programming, Heather joined forces with Guardian, defeating the Master and thus freeing the minds of those across the country who had undergone the Unity Process.

Though presumably free of the Unity programming herself, Heather was not automatically an Alphan again. Instead of joining her teammates, Heather vanished with Claire, leaving Alpha Flight to clean up the mess that the Master and the Unity Party had left behind. Authorities began reaching out to those who underwent the Unity Process so that they could be cured, while the leader of the opposition became interim prime minister following Gary Cody's death. For the moment, at least, Heather wanted nothing to do with her old life. While stopping for supplies at a store, she and Claire noticed a report about Alpha Flight on a television, prompting Claire to ask about her father. Answering her daughter, Heather told her that he was going to love his country, while she was going to love her. The two then drove off together into the mountains. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #5-8]

In circumstances not completely revealed, Heather returned to Mac, although it was not clear whether Heather rejoined Alpha Flight. When Mac was sent on an assignment for Department H, he was vague about the details and, given how rough things were between them, Heather did not want to press him for details. When he seemingly went missing, Heather contacted Wolverine, who immediately came to her aid, what happened between them during the Unity crisis either forgotten or forgiven. When they discovered that Mac had been attacked by a Wendigo, Wolverine ordered Heather to turn and get help from everyone – Alpha Flight, X-Men… everyone. However, before she could contact anyone, Heather was attacked by a Wendigo, whose bite transformed her into a Wendigo as well.

Eventually, the combined forces of Alpha Flight and the X-Men were able to stop the Great Beast Tanaraq, the source of the Wendigo outbreak, and lift the curse altogether. Amazingly, Heather was restored to normal following the curse’s lift and appeared none the worse for wear when she showed up at Mac's side when he was recovering from injuries he sustained during the attack. On a more personal level, it seemed the crisis had brought the two closer together and Wolverine couldn’t remember a time they had looked so happy. [Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #8, 12]

When Alpha Flight next appeared, defending Canada against a crisis, Heather was not with the team. Since then, the Alpha Flight name has been re-purposed as the Alpha Flight Space Station, a high-tech facility based in Earth orbit and dedicated to defending the planet against alien incursions. The program includes several members of Alpha Flight, who seem to bear the dual responsibility of protecting Canada, as well as the entire planet, thereby negating the need for a ground-based Alpha Flight team in Canada itself. Heather is not part of the Alpha Flight Space Program and her current whereabouts, along with the status of her relationship with Mac, remains unknown. It also remains to be seen how the traumatic events of the Unity Process will play out in Heather's life, and whether she will be held to account for murdering her cousin and his wife while under the process’ influence.