Alpha Flight (1st series) #76
formerly Beta Flight III, Gamma Flight II,
Gamma Flight III, Gamma Flight IV,
Demons of Limbo
• Demonic half-breed with access to mystical
forces, able to sense magical phenomena,
levitate herself, create ectoplasmic
constructs to manipulate tangible
matter, animate unliving molecular
structures to shape at her command,
fire bolts of mystical force, summon
hellfire and manipulate other
elements such as wind, wood,
• Reverts to a satyr-like form
when she embraces the dark half of her heritage
Little is known of the early life of the woman who would be known as Witchfire, other than she is the daughter of Belasco, the demon lord of Limbo. At some point, Witchfire’s demonic heritage was erased from her mind and she was sent to Canada, where she somehow became known to the Canadian government. At the time, the current administration was looking for a new super team to replace the disobedient (and missing) Alpha Flight. Taking the codename Witchfire, Ananym joined Nemesis, Wildchild and twins Silver and Auric in becoming Gamma Flight, Canada's official super team.
Gamma Flight’s first mission came to investigate strange magical disturbances that were occurring throughout Canada, including a slaughter of an entire suburban neighborhood. Though she was able to magically detect that the person responsible for the slaughter was under demonic possession, Witchfire her teammates were stunned to discover that the person responsible was a young girl. Before Witchfire could use her own magical powers to try to free the girl from the possession, Alpha Flight returned and one of its members, the experienced and powerful Talisman, put an end to the little girl's torment. In the aftermath, Gamma Flight warned Alpha Flight that they had orders to arrest them and a rivalry began between the two teams. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #76]
Alpha Flight soon learned that all of these magical disturbances were orchestrated by Llan the Sorcerer, who was attempting to wrest control of Canada. As they continued to operate and try to block Llan the Sorcerer's plans, Gamma Flight were reminded by their superiors of their orders to arrest the other Flight team. As such, when members of Alpha Flight were spotted in action in downtown Winnipeg battling villains from the United States, Witchfire reminded her teammates that they had given Alpha Flight a warning last time and pointed out that they had been ignoring the government's orders.
When the two Flight teams finally clashed, the American villains proved an impediment to Gamma Flight’s mission to arrest Alpha Flight. After Vindicator explained that the Americans were being influenced by an outside source, Witchfire asked Nemesis to keep the others away from her, while she worked a spell of interference. When the America villains were taken out by Witchfire's spell, she explained that her magic worked because the mind controlling the Americans had let go, and revealed that the power was greater than anything she has ever encountered. The crisis passed, Gamma Flight then arrested Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #79-80]
Though Llan's infectious control over Canada continued to grow, it seemed Gamma Flight’s priority was still Alpha Flight, who had managed to escape custody. Ordered again to capture them, Nemesis had come to believe that the government actually wanted Alpha Flight dead. Gamma Flight arrived at Alpha Flight's headquarters, Maison Alpha, where Witchfire used her power to blast the door down, at which point Nemesis proceeded to convince Alpha Flight to surrender themselves. When the aggressive Diamond Lil responded by attacking Gamma Flight, prompting a full battle between both teams, Witchfire cast a mystical counter attack. Knowing that Diamond Lil was invulnerable to damage but not actual pain, she cast an appropriate spell against her. Witchfire claimed that she didn't like to do this to Lil and hoped her spell would finish the battle quickly, but Lil regained her strength and knocked Witchfire out. Eventually, Vindicator was able to convince Gamma Flight that they were being used by the Sorcerer.
A truce declared, Gamma Flight worked alongside Alpha Flight as the two teams were finally able to confront Llan the Sorcerer and his mighty demon horde, which were now invading Canada. Witchfire fell early on in the battle but, when Alpha Flight's Shaman discovered her alive, he used some enchantment dust from his pouch to wake her. The revived Witchfire learned that her magical skills were needed to help assist Talisman who was battling Llan and quickly added her own magical power to the attack. Eventually, through the combined effort of Alpha and Gamma Flight, Llan the Sorcerer was defeated and his plan to conquer Canada came to an end. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #84-86]
In the aftermath of the Sorcerer Affair (as the fight against Llan came to be known), both Flight teams operated simultaneously until the government could decide what to do with its super heroes. An inquest into recent events was held, which all of Gamma Flight attended alongside Vindicator. During the hearing, it was announced that Gamma Flight would become a training team under Alpha Flight's supervision. Witchfire joined up with the group soon after, missing out on the unhappy Wild Child lashing out and attacking one of Alpha Flight's associates. Witchfire worked alongside her Gamma Flight teammates to protect Wild Child and prevent him from being taken into custody. This pitted the team against Vindicator and Wolverine. Witchfire even tried confronting Vindicator directly, but was no match for the Alphan. When Gamma Flight was eventually defeated, they were given an ultimatum by Vindicator. Only Witchfire accepted the offer to serve as a trainee under Alpha Flight, while the others departed for their own reasons. Vindicator thought it would be good for Witchfire to learn from Talisman and Shaman. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #87-90]
On a stormy day, Witchfire accompanied Sasquatch and another potential Alpha Flight recruit, Windshear, to Toronto to inspect the construction site of what would be Alpha Flight's new headquarters, the official Department H facility. Witchfire approved of the site, deciding that they would be well-attuned to this location. When an accident occurred at the construction site, Witchfire was able to use her power to prevent harm to any of the workers by casting falling metal and wood to seek out other metal and wood to bond to. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #91]
Adopting a new, full-length bodysuit as her costume, Witchfire continued to work alongside Alpha Fligh. During an early mission, when some members of the team were under the control of the villain Headlok, Witchfire was able to free Shaman from the torment to which Headlok was subjecting him. Seeing him shaken at having to re-live his failures as a doctor, husband and parent, Witchfire offered Shaman some kind, encouraging words to try and support him. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #94]
When the final decisions regarding the membership and future of Alpha Flight were settled upon, Witchfire was given membership status with the training team, Beta Flight, while working in the supernatural sciences division of the Gamma Flight Support team. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #95] As a member of Beta Flight, Witchfire was among other young women also placed on the team, with Shaman as their supervisor. Witchfire was with most of the team when they were summoned to assist Alpha Flight in an emergency, only for the team to mysteriously vanish through a portal opened by the injured Laura Dean. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #98] The young women, along with Laura Dean's parents, were transported to Liveworld, the realm of the wicked Dreamqueen, where they spent some weeks evading the villainess. She almost caught the young heroines, but Laura Dean was able to open a portal back to Earth – right into Department H. The Dreamqueen's Dream Demons almost followed Beta Flight through the portal, but were knocked back by Windshear, who now had an administrative role at Department H. Despite the safe return of Witchfire and the others, Windshear was angry that they allowed Department H to be compromised. Witchfire challenged him and he responded by grounding them. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #109]
Afterward, Beta Flight was demoted to Gamma Flight status (the Gamma Flight named being returned to third-tier training squad). While on a night on the town, Witchfire and her teammates fought some thugs, leading Witchfire to express the view that it was better to hone their powers out in real life rather than jumping through hoops for Windshear back at Department H. By chance, it was during this night that the Infinity War was raging and chaos started to spread through the city. Complicating matters for Witchfire and her teammates, they encountered a being called Firebug. Though the team had the situation under control, Windshear arrived on scene, angry at Witchfire and the others for leaving Department H. Windshear’s interference resulted in the Firebug spreading out across the city. This put Witchfire and Windshear at odds once again, so Witchfire's teammate Persuasion put Windshear under her mental control, taking him out of the equation for a time so that Gamma Flight could continue to assist with the troubles in the city.
Via her arcane abilities, Witchfire realized that the chaos in the city was being influenced by an external force. However, before she could investigate this further, the team was confronted by the new, villainous Omega Flight team. Witchfire led the charge against Omega Flight, once again proving how skilled she was with her mystical abilities. At the same time, she showed concern for teammate Manikin, who was under some distress during the assault by the new Omega Flight. When Omega Flight was defeated, their leader, the Master of the World, revealed himself and confronted the young heroes, taking them out with ease. Luckily, Gamma Flight member Talisman was not with her teammates and was able to mystically awaken them. They engaged the Master once again and this time triumphed. In the aftermath, Windshear returned Gamma Flight to Beta Flight status and they were given their own team uniform, which Witchfire adopted. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #110-112]
Along with Beta Flight, Witchfire was sent on an assignment to a chemical research facility, which was under siege by someone calling himself the Jackal. The facility's manager was not happy about having the “B-team” sent to him, which in turn annoyed Witchfire, who was fed up with Beta Flight always being in Alpha Flight's shadow, never getting the chance to prove their worth. Tragedy struck when Manikin was skewered by the Jackal’s poison-laced claws. This angered Witchfire, who proclaimed that she would find a cure, whatever the cost. Storming into the room where two of her teammates were attempting to calm the Jackal, Witchfire demanded the antidote. When the Jackal didn't offer it, she fiercely attacked him and fried his brains.
Unable to reach anyone back at Department H for assistance, Witchfire worried about how to cure Manikin, who had no vital signs. At the same time, Witchfire's teammates were angry with her for lashing out at the Jackal and pointed out that her actions may cost Manikin his life. Worse, the young heroes were unable to get Manikin back to Department H because none of them could fly the jet, as Manikin was their pilot. Witchfire was conflicted, annoyed at herself for begging Guardian to let Beta Flight take on the situation at the facility, while frustrated that no one at Department H responded to her hails for help. By the time Manikin eventually got to a hospital, his body had created a cocoon around itself, while Witchfire and the others watched over him. Manikin was eventually taken back to Department H and, while none of her teammates truly blamed her, Witchfire blamed herself for Manikin's situation, as she had been in charge. Witchfire began to commune with dark forces, knowing she would do anything to save Manikin, even if it cost her her immortal soul. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #114-116]
When the vigilante organization called the Hardliners became fed-up with Alpha Flight, a squad of the anti-parahuman operatives invaded Department H while almost none of Alpha and Beta Flight were present. Their primary aim was to destroy the cocoon surrounding Manikin, as media reports had indicated that he might be carrying a new strain of supervirus. Witchfire was in her quarters when the Hardliners invaded Department H and blew her room up. Ironically, while Witchfire sustained some injuries, Manikin himself emerged from his cocoon, healed. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #119-120]
When she had recovered enough to train with her teammates, Witchfire engaged in a training session with some of Beta Flight and Wyre. Witchfire lashed out at her teammates during the exercise, but no real harm was caused, as the session was quickly shut down by Guardian. However, this was during the crisis known as the Infinity Crusade and it was at this time that Witcfire's true demonic heritage was revealed to her, when her father, Belasco, apparently spoke to her and gave her the a task . He directed her with preventing the “age of enlightenment” from coming to pass and destroying the cosmic being known as the Goddess. Doing as her father bid, Witchfire began her attack on Department H by taking out her rival for Manikin's affections, Persuasion, before she and a horde of demons confronted Manikin. With Manikin captive, Witchfire appeared in a hooved, demonic form and confronted Guardian, one of the only members of Alpha Flight not otherwise occupied during the Infinity Crusade crisis.
Witchfire was soon overpowered by Manikin, who had broken free from his restraints, and Wyre, who was prepared to kill Witchfire, until Guardian talked him down. Manikin was able to use his bond with Witchfire to calm her and return her to her human form. Once again in control, she seemingly expelled the demonic part of her and was shocked that she nearly killed her teammates and friends. The horrors that Witchfire committed were purged from her mind and she apparently lost any memory of her true heritage that she had recently learned. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #122-124]
In the wake of superhuman paranoia that was sweeping Canada, Alpha Flight and Beta Flight were both disbanded. Department H was also mostly shut down, save for a few Alpha Flight members remaining on in advisory capacities. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #130] Witchfire seemingly disappeared from sight and was not part of any subsequent Alpha Flight line-up when the team eventually reformed.
At some point, Witchfire's heritage became known to her once again and she came to possess the lost Bloodstones, retrieving them from the military organization called Project Purgatory. She journeyed to the realms of Hell, where she met with the council of Hell's leaders. These demonic entities were not overly impressed by her until Witchfire revealed the Bloodstones to them and announced that she wanted what was rightfully hers – Limbo. She also declared that she would destroy the Darkchilde, take the throne and then take a seat with the council of Hell's various rulers. She was told that if she claimed the realm formerly ruled by her father, she could have a seat with the council and have a place in their larger goals.
When the Darchilde left Limbo and returned to Earth, Witchfire used this opportunity to storm the Darkchilde's castle, capturing and wounding S'ym and proclaiming herself ruler before the demons of Limbo. When the Darkchilde returned to Limbo, Wichfire engaged her in combat, using a sword of her own. The Darkchilde told Witchfire that she had no right to be in Limbo, but Witchfire responded by declaring that she had every right, because Limbo was her father's. Though she defeated the Darkchilde, Witchfire soon found herself up against Pixie, who had come to Limbo to find the missing piece of her own soul. After putting some of the X-Men who had come to Limbo under her control, Witchfire started to twist Pixie into a demonic version of herself so that she could forge the final Bloodstone and call forth the Elder Gods. Her plan seemed to be working but the X-Men rallied against her, and the combined effort of the Darkchilde / Magik and Mercury stopped Witchfire for a time. Pixie retrieved the fifth Bloodstone, which caused the Elder Gods to be banished, Witchfire with them. [New Mutants (3rd series) #16, X-Infernus #1-4]
Witchfire survived her banishment but nevertheless found herself subjected to some torture at the instruction of Magik. Later, Witchfire joined many other demons allying themselves with the Red Skull when a tide of fear spread across the Earth. [New Mutants (3rd series) #17, Fear Itself: The Fearless #8]
Witchfire's current whereabouts remain unknown, but it is possible she could planning her next attempt to claim Limbo as her own.