Alpha Flight (1st series) #104

Issue Date: 
January 1992
Story Title: 

Scott Lodbell (Writer), Tom Morgan (Penciler), Chris Ivy (Inker), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Chris Cooper (Assistant Editor), Bobbie Chase (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Alpha Flight argue about their new member Weapon Omega and the revelation that he is actually their former enemy-sometime-ally Wildchild, on their way home from the undercover mission. However, arriving back at Department H, the pilot almost sets them down on top of a group of reporters who were having a tour of Department H courtesy of Windshear. A Department H foot-soldier is patrolling the sub-basement of Department H, when he hears a woman screaming from Headlok’s cell. Upon arriving, he discovers Aurora being held prisoner by Headlok. At the same time, Northstar suddenly detects that his sister is alive, and races to find her, with the rest of Alpha Flight in pursuit, they watch as Headlok torments Aurora and all her fractured personalities, taunting her about the very first time she used her flight powers - inadvertently after she tried to kill herself. However Aurora doesn’t want to remember that night, and fights back, wounding Headlok and freeing her mind from him. Headlok goes through the various personas of Aurora commenting on each of them, until a long-hidden persona breaks free - Jeanne-Marie - who has long been dormant at the back of Aurora’s mind. Jeanne-Marie explains that there is strength in numbers, and fights back with the other personas, eventually using the last of Aurora’s healing powers to destroy Headlok. Alpha Flight are concerned that Jeanne-Marie murdered someone, yet Jeanne-Marie claims that she set him free. One week later, Alpha Flight learn that Aurora didn’t vanish with the others who are still missing, instead she became Headlok’s prisoner, remaining with him for some weeks, and Walt explains that Aurora’s personality has gone back to how it was in the early days of Alpha Flight, swapping between Aurora and Jeanne-Marie. Decked out in new team uniforms, Alpha Flight receive resignations from Diamond Lil and Box, who are getting married, and Jeanne-Marie takes their place.

Full Summary: 

Aboard an Omni-Jet, one of the state-of-the-art jets used to transport Canada’s premiere super team, Alpha Flight - who are currently acting like anything but a super team. In his Sasquatch form Doctor Walter Langkowski declares that as Weapon Omega has claws, and he has claws himself, it makes sense for him to take Omega down. Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier, the teams handsome mutant speedster laughs and says ‘You against him? You’re nothing more than a throw rug with a physics degree!’ The sultry Lillian Crawley a.k.a. Diamond Lil asks the men to shut up - or else she will shut them up.

Alpha Flight’s leader, Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Guardian mutters to herself ‘Pins and needles…needles and pins’ before turning to her teammates, shoving Northstar away from Sasquatch, and pushing Lil back with an electromagnetic shove, courtesy of her battle suit. Heather tells the trio to knock it off, as Sasquatch vocalizes his shock, ‘Guardian!’ he says in a disapproving tone. ‘Baby sitter is more like it!’ Heather snaps back, telling her teammates that they are acting like a pack of spoiled school children on the playground. Heather tells the “kids” that she is putting them on notice and exclaims that recess is over.

Slightly taken aback, Lil understands why Heather tossed Northstar aside, but wants to know why she used her powers on her, as all she wanted was quiet so the medics could concentrate on Madison. From the table where the medics are tending to him, Madison “Box” Jeffries mumbles that he doesn’t think he could have stood another round of “Shut-up Shutting-up”.

Heather declares that from day one, this group has been over-indulging in back-biting, in-fighting and overall whining. She suggests that anyone who cannot play nice with the other children is welcome to take his toys and go home, before reminding them that Department H is a multi-million dollar support system made up in part of Canada’s most brilliant scientists and that they have cleared Weapon Omega for field action, so it is not Alpha Flight’s place to second guess them.

Jeffries claps in agreement with Heather, exclaiming that it is time Alpha Flight started acting like a team. Heather thanks her former fiancée, before asking if anyone else has anything they’d like to add. ‘Just this…’ begins Weapon Omega, as he spins around in his chair to face his teammates, explaining that as Wildchild, he was in constant struggle to suppress his homicidal rages, but was not always successful. He states that after a series of recent experimental treatment, he is apparently cured, so when the Canadian government asked him to assume the role of Weapon Omega, he agreed in the hope he may one day atone for the sins of his past. Whether that is possible, he cannot say, but one thing he does know - ‘I would die before I let Alpha Flight down’.

Meanwhile, in the sub-basement of Department H’s Toronto-based complex, one of the armed security wardens patrols the sub-basement, complaining to himself that he joined Department H to see the world and meet interesting people - instead he is assigned as a guard in the psychiatric detention facility. ‘No, I don’t feel too useless’ he mutters, when he hears a loud scream. Startled, he turns around, as he realizes the scream came from Headlok’s cell - though it sounded like a woman.

He thinks that he should call back-up, but then again, he has been wanting to get his hands on the runt, and in a pinch, any excuse will do. But as the guard opens the door to Headlok’s cell, he is blinded by the brilliant light that flows from it. The long-missing Jeanne-Marie “Aurora” Beaubier is suspended in the room, ‘Please, make him stop!’ she pleads. The guard is surprised to see Aurora, as Headlok smiles and asks if this is ‘way cool, or what?’ The guard declares that he doesn’t know how Headlok overcame the psionic restraint, before informing him that his twisted mind games are going to end here and now.

‘Not before we play tag’ Headlok declares, ‘You’re it’ he says to the guard, who suddenly shrinks in size, as the once-puny Headlok gains the guards bulk. Noticing that he is old, the guard asks how this happened. Headlok points out the obvious - that it is an illusion, to which the guard sees himself as his normal size, before Headlok knocks him to the ground and turns back to the glowing Aurora, rubbing his hands together gleefully, he exclaims that he was going to cure his psychological cell-mate.

Headlok jokes that this will only hurt when you laugh - so not to, and explains that he isn’t actually entering Aurora’s mind, it just looks that way, not to mention it makes fro a great visual. Once “inside” her mind, Headlok looks around and seeing that they are inside a church, tells Jeanne-Marie that he loves what she has done with her mind, ‘Kind of “early-gothic repression”’, before joking that whoever said religion was the opium of the masses probably wasn’t referring to five different versions of the same woman!

Headlok looks down at the five “versions” of Aurora - the rebellious Jeanne-Marie Beaubier from before she became a super hero, the “original” Aurora in the way she was when she first joined Alpha Flight, the slightly trampy Aurora with the revealing outfit, who spoke with a heavy accent, Aurora as a nun, and finally the most recent version, the peaceful and loving Aurora. The brash and feisty Aurora calls Headlok a monster and tells him that he has no right to violate the sanctity of her mind.

Headlok jokes that she has it all wrong, as “Uncle Headlok” is here to do what all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not - ‘I’m here to put Jeanne-Marie’s mind back together again!’ he claims. ‘Maybe we can cure him?’ ‘Or we could psychologically manipulate him!’ ‘Let us pray!’ ‘I’d rather make love, not war’ ‘Party!’ the Aurora’s all offer their suggestions to the predicament, when suddenly, Headlok transforms into a very angry-looking woman and yells ‘Silence!’ All five Aurora’s look scared and step backwards seeing Soeur Anne, the Headmistress from Madame Dupont’s School for Girls. ‘Not the original, but I play one on TV’ Headlok jokes.

Headlok as Soeur Anne turns to the young Jeanne-Marie, reminding her that she was thirteen years old at the time and in a state of despair, tried to kill herself. ‘Are you brave enough to remember what happened next?’

Meanwhile, on the rooftop of Department H, Colin Ashworth Hume a.k.a. Windshear informs the reporters and cameramen that their tour of Department H ends here, with the rooftop landing pad. One of the reporters thanks Windshear, as the people of Canada appreciate knowing how their taxes are spent. Windshear’s teammate Eugene “Puck” Judd whispers to one of the Department H medical scientists, Dr. Whitman Knapp, that he was concerned after Windshear’s last interview, but things are going well this time. Rather nervous the young man formerly known as “Manikin” agrees, before asking to be excused, though suddenly, the Omni-Jet makes its untimely arrival - nearly landing on the reporters!

‘A Quinjet - landing on the roof? ‘They’re trying to kill us!’ ‘run for your lives!’ Windshear asks everyone to stay calm, The Omni-Jet opens and Alpha Flight emerge, with Sasquatch joking that this is the way to end a covert mission in another country, by inviting every major news station in Canada and dropping a plane on them. Heather declares that something isn’t right here and states she is going to find out what it is. Hurrying past the reporters and cameramen, Lillian declares she is going down to sickbay, while Jean-Paul declares he is going to sleep for a week. One of the reporters asks Weapon Omega who he is and why he is in a mask, to which Omega replies ‘I’m incredibly shy’.

Heather turns to the pilot and as she points at the reporters he almost crushed, she asks him how he can call himself a pilot. The man replies that he had an “all-clear” from the tower. Jeffries is lifted from the Omni-jet on a stretcher, and the reporters begin to take photos and ask questions: ‘Isn’t that Box?’ ‘Going to make it?’ ‘Where’s he sustain those injuries?’ Turning to Guardian, one of them asks her if she holds herself responsible, while another asks her what her feelings are on the Consortium catastrophe. Another even has the nerve to ask her if she is stepping down as leader. Windshear offers to handle this, to which Heather is grateful.

Judd notices Jean-Paul looking a bit strange and asks him if he feels all right. Jean-Paul replies he does, but that it is his sister, Jeanne-Marie… a look of astonishment spreads across Northstar’s face as he speeds past the reporters, announcing that his sister is alive.

Indeed, Aurora is alive, and currently being beaten by “Soeur Anne”. Tears streaming from her eyes, Jeanne-Marie tells “Soeur Anne” that she is sorry, to which “Soeur Anne” replies ‘You will be if you don’t tell me the truth! I’ve had enough of your blasphemous lies!’ Headlok returns to his true form, but still dressed in Soeur Anne’s outfit, as Aurora exclaims she has confessed - she stepped off the chapel roof and flew. ‘LIAR!’ shouts Headlok, grinning as he tells Aurora that is simply the way she remembers it, but that it is not the way it happened.

Aurora declares that she doesn’t want to remember, but as Headlok tosses Aurora against a wall, he informs her that before this night is through, she will, for it is the only way her multiple personas can hope to merge into a single mind. Aurora cowers in amongst shards of her fractured mind as Headlok tells her that she cannot escape the consequences of her attempted suicide. ‘But I have asked Him for forgiveness’ Aurora states, to which Headlok tells her that he fears she is not deserving and that for years she has suppressed the memories of that night - so it is just and fair that she should suffer so.

Aurora cries and declares that she will accept any act of penance, to which Headlok asks ‘Any, my child? Will you remember what really happened that night? You stepped off the chapel roof and you…you…?’ ‘NO!’ screams Aurora, picking up a piece of mirror and throwing it at Headlok, which cuts right through him. Headlok screams and is purged from Aurora’s mind, all of which is watched by Alpha Flight from the sidelines.

Aurora’s former lover, Sasquatch, exclaims ‘All right, Aurora, that’s our girl!’ Northstar smiles, proud of his sister as he remarks that whatever battle is raging within her head, his sister is not without resources. Heather tells Jean-Paul that he was right to wait for the rest of them, for who knows what damage might have been caused if he tried to shatter the connection. Northstar explains that he feared it would be akin to waking a sleep-walker. Judd asks if he missed something, for he thought Aurora disappeared with Shaman and the others - so how did she end up in Headlok’s cell?

‘You…little…witch!’ Headlok shouts, asking Aurora if she dare to attack him after he has given her the best weeks of his life, adding that while he may have a sick and twisted self-image, at least he knows his place, before telling Aurora that she has obviously forgotten hers. The various stages of Aurora throughout the years appear in crystal form, and one by one, Headlok begins to break them, claiming that he doesn’t blame her, as for years she tried to cure herself, though that could never happen, but she still refused to accept the truth regarding that night.
Headlok has his hands wrapped around one of Aurora’s earliest incarnations, the happy-go-lucky one of whom viewed Alpha Flight as just a game to be played whenever “Jeanne-Marie” would let her out of the dark place. Then comes the “merged” version of the two personalities - Aurora’s irresponsibility and Jeanne-Marie’s cruel streak - the heart-breaker with a heart of stone. Headlok next comes to one he thinks is very interesting, ‘Aurora as a messiah’ - she wanted to save the world, but couldn’t even save herself. Headlok shows Aurora a image of what she may have been, if he were to let her live. Suddenly, all of the Aurora’s tell Headlok that he is a fool, and states that the bible says “We two shall form a multitude”, and a new form appears as declares that there is strength in numbers, and informs Headlok that he has made the same mistake that others have made before him, believing her shattered psyche to be a sign of weakness, where in truth, it is the source of her greatest strength.

The crystal form shatters, revealing the flesh and blood below. Shocked at who is beneath, a frightened Headlok asks ‘Who are you?’ A angry woman with hands on her hips introduces herself as Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, and explains that for the past several years she has been content to spend her time in here, in the farthest recess of her mind, allowing Aurora free reign upon her Earthen vessel, believing that Aurora would use her mutant abilities to go forth and administer assistance to the rest of the world.

Jeanne-Marie grabs Headlok by the wrists, informing him that his presence here has disturbed the balance between herself and Aurora’s personalities. Addressing Headlok by his real name, Arthur, Jeanne-Marie tells him that he has forced her return to the real world - but he won’t be joining her. Surprised, Headlok is about to ask Jeanne-Marie what she means, when suddenly it happens, and Alpha Flight watch in amazement as Aurora’s light erupts from within Headlok and shatters him into a thousand pieces.

Jean-Paul catches his sister as she is thrust across the room, once again dressed in her most recent blue, white and yellow costume, and as their bodies come into contact, Jean-Paul finds it odd that Jeanne-Marie’s powers did not cancel out his own, and nor did they cast a violent flash of light, as he wonders what this might mean, Walter asks if Aurora just killed Headlok, to which ‘The name, monsieur, is Jeanne-Marie’ exclaims the weary Jeanne-Marie, explaining that she used the last of Aurora’s healing powers to release Arthur Goddard from the tortured mortal coil which plagued him his entire life. ‘Kill him, Dr. Langkowski? No. Aurora and I set him free’. However, Alpha Flight are not entirely convinced….

One week later, Heather, Walt, Jean-Paul, Judd, Windshear and Weapon Omega sit in darkness, watching a holographic recording of what happened to Aurora those weeks ago. They watch as Aurora was in the med-center with the others when the call went out for their help against the Consortium. However the next thing Diamond Lil, who was there at the time, knew, everyone - Aurora, Shaman, Persuasion, Witchfire, Laura Dean and her parents - had vanished. It was assumed by everyone that Aurora had been teleported away with the others, but as revealed by the security tapes, Aurora was already on her way to the landing bay thanks to her super speed.

However, the psychic backlash caused by the pain and suffering of the battle against the consortium stopped the psi-sensitive Aurora in her tracks, and fried the circuits on Headlok’s psychic restraint, which made the psychologically unstable Aurora the perfect plaything for Headlok. Heather asks Walt for his prognosis, to which the handsome scientist explains that Headlok mentally tortured Aurora for several weeks before they found her, so it may be years before they realize the extent of the damage he caused. The only thing Walt knows for sure is that Aurora’s mind has returned to her original split personality.

Heather calls for the lights to be turned back on, which reveals the six Alphans in their splendid new matching team costumes. Heather opens the floor for new business, to which Windshear remarks that he trusts no one objects to the new team uniforms, with him being Acting Chief Administrator, he felt it was time Alpha Flight looked more like a team. Judd gives his compliments to the designer, before Walt brings up the matter of Weapon Omega, pointing out that even though they have accepted Wildchild is cured…Jean-Paul interrupts, exclaiming that the rest of Canada will no doubt be enraged when they learn they have a reformed homicidal maniac on the team, adding that they don’t need another Alpha Flight member.

However, entering the room with Lil at his side, Jeffries declares ‘Then again, maybe you do’ and declares that he and Lil have an announcement. ‘Two, actually’ Lil adds, before revealing that they are resigning from Alpha Flight, because they are getting married. ‘Congratulations!’ exclaims Heather, hugging Lil as Walt asks Jeffries when the big day is. Northstar just frowns, until a look of shock appears on his face as his sister, also dressed in a team uniform, walks down the stairs into the room. Jeanne-Marie points out that with Box and Lil’s sudden departure, it is obvious her membership will be required. Northstar is even more shocked that it is Jeanne-Marie speaking.

Jeanne-Marie adds that she never knows when the hopelessly irresponsible Aurora will chose to make herself known, and since it is impossible for her to maintain a normal life outside of Alpha Flight…. Jean-Paul steps in, telling his sister that he forbids it, but Jeanne-Marie casts him off, telling him that it is not a matter for discussion and that from this moment on, both she and Aurora will be part of this silly team. Guardian is about to say that she doesn’t know if this is such a good idea, until Judd reminds her that Jeanne-Marie did take out Headlok on her own, something all of them combined with the Fantastic Four could barely do. Judd points out that as Windshear is a desk-jockey and himself acting as a trouble-shooter, they are going to need at least five members in “Core Alpha”.

Walt transforms into Sasquatch and exclaims that he likes the name “Core Alpha”, before asking Heather what she thinks. Lil, Jeffries, Judd and Windshear stand to the side as Heather, Sasquatch, Jean-Paul, Jeanne-Marie and Weapon Omega gather together, and Heather jokes ‘Who am I to argue with destiny?’ ‘Amen’ adds Jeanne-Marie, beginning a new era for Alpha Flight.

Characters Involved: 

Aurora / Jeanne-Marie, Guardian III, Northstar, Sasquatch, Weapon Omega / Wildchild (all Alpha Flight / “Core Alpha“)

Puck (Department H Trouble Shooter)

Windshear (Acting Chief Administrator)

Box IV, Diamond Lil (former members of Alpha Flight)

Dr. Whitman Knapp

Department H foot soldiers



Headlok / Arthur Goddard

In Aurora’s mind:

Aurora / Jeanne-Marie at various stages in her life

In Flashback:


Diamond Lil

Laura Dean

Story Notes: 

Box was wounded in Alpha Flight (1st series) #102.

Wildchild (as Weapon Omega) joined Alpha Flight behind the scenes in Alpha Flight (1st series) #102, revealing who he really was to his teammates in Alpha Flight (1st series) #103, this was not shown to readers. Wildchild was last scene slightly insane in Alpha Flight (1st series) #87-90, where at the end of the battle, he disappeared mysteriously with his Gamma Flight teammate Nemesis. Previously, Wildchild was a member of Department H’s original Gamma Flight team [Alpha Flight (1st series) #1]. When that disbanded, he became part of the original Gamma Flight, and after two outings, was sent to prison. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #12, 26-28]. Wildchild was freed from prison on the condition that he was placed with the new Gamma Flight, of which he served with until its disbanding, when he and Nemesis vanished. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #76-90].

The five different “versions” of Aurora first appeared in:

Original Aurora - Uncanny X-Men #120

Young Aurora - back story in Alpha Flight (1st series) #9

Trampy Aurora - Alpha Flight (1st series) #17 (cameo), #20 (full)

Aurora as a Nun - Alpha Flight (1st series) #64

Peaceful Aurora - Alpha Flight (1st series) #87

The night that Jeanne-Marie Beaubier tried to kill herself, only to end up flying, can be seen in the back story of Alpha Flight (1st series) #9.

Aurora, along with Shaman and several allies of Alpha Flight, vanished in Alpha Flight (1st series) #98.

Alpha Flight first took on Headlok, with the Fantastic Four aiding them, in Alpha Flight (1st series) #93-94.

Issue Information: 
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