Alpha Flight (1st series) #105

Issue Date: 
February 1992
Story Title: 
The Bachelor Party

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: 

Northstar, Sasquatch, Puck, Windshear and Weapon Omega are all with Madison “Box” Jeffries, celebrating his upcoming wedding to Diamond Lil. The six heroes all have a great time at the pub which turns out to be an evening with several interesting aspects. This bar is the one Judd used to be a bouncer at, but his former colleagues do not believe he is actually Puck of Alpha Flight and mock him. Northstar defends a gay couple who are being harassed by three morons, and Sasquatch reveals that he has some involvements in Weapon Omega’s past, but doesn’t get to explain what, as someone enters with a gun, demanding money. Alpha Flight laugh, and easily take down the would-be-thief, who even promises to pay the money back, revealing that his landlord is raising the rent tonight, on Christmas Eve, and that he and his family are poor. Alpha Flight feel sorry for the guy and agree to help him. Sasquatch, Judd and Windshear go to the landlord’s house, demanding to buy the poor man’s home for him, while Northstar, Jeffries and Weapon Omega create gifts for the man’s family out of scrap metal and deliver it to them. Northstar arrives home only for his phone to ring. He doesn’t answer it and it goes to the message system. It is Jeanne-Marie, who claims that she, Heather and Lil have been arrested and need him to bring bail money. Northstar just smiles and goes to bed. But indeed the women of Alpha Flight have been arrested, for they too had an interesting night. It began with Jeanne-Marie picking Heather and Lil up so they could go and celebrate Lil’s upcoming wedding. No one knows exactly where they are going because Aurora made the reservation. As it turns out, it is a male strip club. Lil asks Heather about Madison and what it is like to be a wife. Jeanne-Marie of course gives her input, before Aurora takes over and she starts dancing with the male strippers. This causes trouble, for the club’s owner doesn’t like this, and nor does she like Aurora, because Pink Pearl went to prison some time ago because of Aurora and Northstar. Pearl engages the women of Alpha Flight in battle, which of course she loses, but with the arrival of the police, Heather, Lil and Jeanne-Marie (as Aurora “leaves”) are arrested. Elsewhere at a funeral home, a couple are preparing the body of a young woman who died mysteriously on her wedding night.

Full Summary: 

‘It was someone more famous than I -’ begins the diminutive Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck ‘Is there such a person?’ interrupts the handsome Dr. Walter Langkowski also known as Sasquatch. Judd continues: ‘- who once said, “Eh, though I walk through the valley of matrimony…I shall fear no evil”, excuse the paraphrasing, eh?’ he laughs. Madison “Box” Jeffries tells Judd that he is excused, “eh”. The three long-serving members of Alpha Flight are joined by their current teammates: founding Alphan Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier and newcomers Colin Ashworth Hume a.k.a. Windshear and Kyle Gibney, formerly Wildchild, now known as Weapon Omega.

The six male members of Canada’s premiere super hero team sit around a table in a pub, all here to celebrate a very special occasion. Northstar smiles and tells Judd that he has no idea what he meant by all that, but cheers nonetheless. Windshear exclaims that in England, they have an expression that means the same thing - ’We say…”cheers”!’

Walter reminds Madison that it is one week until his wedding to the lovely Lillian Crawley, ’Not to mention Christmas Eve!’ adds Judd, before Walt points out that Jeffries has still not told them who he is going to have as best man. Northstar exclaims that they already know that the Dreamqueen is the maid of honor, “always ruler of the netherworld, never the bride” The six men erupt laughter which fills the pub, and Puck declares that it is the first joke he has heard Northstar make in the entire six years he has known him.

Jeffries’ rubs tears of joy from, his eyes, explaining that he hasn’t asked anyone to stand up for him yet, but that he doesn’t think it will be a problem, and turns to Kyle. Kyle looks rather taken aback, ‘You want me to be your best man?’ Madison puts an arm around Kyle, informing everyone that back when they were part of the original Gamma Flight, before he became Box and when Kyle was still known as Wildchild - before everything went South on them - Kyle was the best buddy he ever had.

Sheepishly, Kyle remarks that he doesn’t know what to say. ‘Say, “Oui”!’ suggests Northstar, to which Kyle replies that he would be honored. Jean-Paul exclaims that he would like to make a toast…’Cheers!’ he shouts, to which the others follow, with Windshear asking if he made that toast earlier. However, outside in the freezing cold…a man with a shot gun approaches the pub.

Elsewhere, across the border, at the Lawrence Funeral Home in Poughkeepsie, the elderly owners are working on the newest “guest”. Mr. Lawrence points out that the medical examiner is none to graceful on the bodies during the autopsy, to which his wife replies that is why it is up to them to do what they can to make the deceased look presentable, adding that the poor girl died on the eve of her wedding night. Tending to the young woman’s unworn wedding dress, Mrs. Lawrence informs her husband that the girls fiancé requested she be buried in the gown. Looking at the body, Mr. Lawrence offers to do this himself, but his wife replies no, and suggests they get started.

Back in Canada, this time in the new apartment belonging to Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, leader of Alpha Flight. Sitting across from Heather is Lillian Crawley a.k.a. Diamond Lil, who tells Heather that she cannot believe she got a place of her own. Heather informs Lil that it was her impending nuptials to Madison that inspired her, for somewhere between feeling sorry for herself and elated for the two of them, it occurred to her that she has no life outside of Alpha Flight!

‘Scary thought, huh?’ remarks Lil, asking what the point of saving the world is if they are not going to take the time to enjoy it once in a while. Heather admits to Lillian that there are days where she would like nothing better than to hand in her battle suit to the Department H quartermaster and - she is interrupted by the honking of a horn, to which Heather assumes to be their ride. Lil looks out the window as Heather asks her who is driving - Jeanne-Marie or Aurora. Lil sees her raven-haired teammate waving from the car, but informs Heather that it is hard to tell from here. Locking the door to her apartment, Heather asks if she leads the weirdest team in the world, or if it is just her. ‘Maybe a little of both’ smiles Lillian.

Back at the pub, the bar-tender asks Judd who is at the counter getting the groups drinks, where he has been keeping himself, as no one here has seen him since the day he cart wheeled out of here a while back. Judd informs Corky, as he is called, that it was all very top secret and hush hush back at the time, but he is free to talk about it now, and reveals that not only is he Eugene Judd: bouncer, but he is also Puck of Alpha Flight. Corky leans over the bar and declares that he has a confession of his own to make - ‘I’m actually the Thing from the Fantastic Four - but only on weekends!’

Judd frowns and walks away with the drinks, as a patron yells ‘Puck, huh? What a kidder!’ Corky yells out that if Judd was anybody from Alpha Flight, he would have thought he was Sasquatch, as people always look bigger on television. ‘Maybe you can get me a date with Aurora?’ asks another patron. Outside the pub, the man carrying the rifle stands by the door, ‘Forgive me for what I am about to do’. he exclaims.

Back inside, Windshear asks Jean-Paul what it is like having both Jeanne-Marie and Aurora back sharing the same body. As Northstar is about to answer, one of three fat men sitting at a table nearby begins to harass a gay couple also seated nearby. ‘Hey, fruitcakes - this is a bar for real men!’ he yells. ‘Take off!’ snaps back one of the gay guys. Northstar replies to Windshear’s question, stating that he imagines it to be a lot like having triplets, before asking Colin, just between the two of them, if it is just him, or does he have the weirdest sister in the world? ‘Maybe a little of both’ Windshear replies.

Judd arrives at the table and tells his teammates that they have done enough philosophizing and asks if they want refills. ‘Certainly’ replies Jean-Paul, before excusing himself, explaining that there is something he must attend to first. Before Windshear can asks ‘What’s that, Jean-Paul?’ Northstar has arrived back at the table and starts his next drink. ‘Never mind, you were saying?’ he asks. Across the room, the gay couple smile as they watch the three fat men tied to the chandelier by their ties with the pants pulled down.

Sitting in another booth, Weapon Omega notices Walter slumped over the table looking rather solemn. He addresses Walt as “Dr. Langkowski” until Sasquatch tells him to call him Walt. Kyle does, pointing out that this is supposed to be a joyous occasion, yet it looks as though he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. ‘What is it you’re thinks about that has you so somber?’ ‘You’ replies Walt, informing Kyle that there is something he has been meaning to tell him, something he has to apologize for - something he did long ago.

Kyle smiles and tells Walt that surely it is the alcohol talking, that he can’t have done anything that bad. ‘Don’t be so sure’ Walt tells him, before revealing that he is the guy responsible for - the former pro football star is cut off in his sentence by the pub door slamming open and the snow beginning to pour in. The man holding the rifle yells ‘Don’t anyone move and no one gets hurt!’

Elsewhere, Heather, Jeanne-Marie and Lillian walk side-by-side through the snowy city, and Lil thanks her teammates for throwing her this bachelorette party, it is very sweet. ‘It is less than nothing - a mild inconvenience at best’ Jeanne-Marie remarks, before Heather asks her about the place they are going to - “Cloisters”, if she has been there before. Jeanne-Marie replies that she hasn’t, and reveals that Aurora made the reservation, which becomes obvious as the women arrive at Cloisters, Jeanne-Marie’s sentence ‘But she assured me…it is a…respectful…establishment…’ becomes filled with wretched thoughts of Aurora as Jeanne-Marie discovers Cloisters is a male strip club. ‘Ms. Crawley? Mrs. Hudson? Next time you see Aurora - tell her I’m going to kill her’ Jeanne-Marie exclaims. Heather and Lil just smile.

Back at the bar, the armed man points his rifle at Corky and announces that he doesn’t mean to ruin anyone’s holiday, but that he has to ask for all their money, strangely adding that he promises to pay it back - with interest! He asks everyone to co-operate as he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The men of Alpha Flight laugh and Walter declares that there is not much chance of that happening. The attempted-thief asks what they are all laughing it, when Windshear tells him ‘This’ and uses his mutant power on the man, knocking him backwards.

Colin explains that it is called “solid air”, but he has no idea what it means - only that it works. ‘So does my ability to transmutate metal’ declares Jeffries as he uses his mutant abilities to reshape the man’s rifle, asking anyone if they want funny balloon animals made from rifles. Jean-Paul goes over to the man, who is still suspended in the air and asks to be let go. Instead, thanks to Northstar’s super speed, he finds himself now standing before Puck, who tells him that next time he plans to knock over a pub on Christmas Eve, he will want to find one that isn’t filled to overflowing with Canada’s own super heroes.

Meanwhile, at Cloisters, a waiter asks the women if he can get them anything else. ‘A noose, perhaps?’ asks Jeanne-Marie. Lil tells Heather that she doesn’t mean to put her on the spot… ‘But you’ve been married before - and I know you’ve “been with” Maddy…I guess what I’m trying to say is…what should I, er, “expect” on my wedding night?’ Heather hesitates and begins to search awkwardly for her words, when Jeanne-Marie suddenly cuts in, telling Lil that she shouldn’t be nervous about fulfilling her wifely obligations, no matter how vile and disgusting they may seem.

‘Think of it as a necessary evil of the sacred gift of matrimony’ Jeanne-Marie concludes. Lil and Heather look at each other wide-eyed, ‘Thank you, Jeanne-Marie, that was…’ ‘Enlightening?’ ‘Yeah, enlightening’. Heather smiles and states that while she is not one to kiss and tell, she figures that Lil surely realizes Madison is a kind and sensitive man who will take her inexperience into account. Suddenly, ‘Details, Heather! Can’t you see the girl wants details!’ shouts someone who is obviously not Jeanne-Marie, though looks exactly like her. ‘Aurora?’ asks Heather. ‘Who else?’ is the reply.

Aurora turns to Lil and tells her to relax, as even though Madison is one of the few guys on the team that she doesn’t know “intimately”, anyone with the mutant power to transmutate metal has got to specialize in something! Aurora suddenly asks to be excused, declaring that she has some serious partying to do, she jumps up onto the stage and begins to dance with one of the scantily-clad men. ‘I think I like her better as Jeanne-Marie’ exclaims Lil. ‘No contest’ agrees an unimpressed Heather.

Back at Corky’s bar, Walt has transformed into his furry alter-ego and asks the sobbing man if he minds an escort to the local precinct. The man protests, exclaiming that he cannot go to jail, not tonight, and reveals that his family is poor, practically starving, but they manage to make ends meat, only now his landlord has raised the rent - and if he doesn’t pay by tonight, he is going to throw them into the streets! He claims that he didn’t mean to “steal” the money, only borrow it, and that he would pay it back eventually. Alpha Flight begin to feel sorry for him, but Jeffries points out that there is still the matter of the shotgun. Weapon Omega takes hold of the shotgun and reveals that it is empty, which he believes is further testimony to the man’s sincerity.

The male members of Alpha Flight begin to converse amongst themselves, Judd revealing that in his seventy-plus years he has never seen anything this tragic on Christmas Eve, and suggests that they give the man a break. Kyle agrees, as does Sasquatch, reminding everyone that Alpha Flight is supposed to be a super team for the people of Canada. The other patrons all begin to cheer for Alpha Flight as they leave the bar, supporting the helpless man.

Sasquatch tells Corky that, as a duly appointed government-peace-keeping officer, he is taking full responsibility for the alleged criminal, and asks him if it is okay with him. Corky replies ‘Certainly, Mr. Sasquatch, sir, have a merry’. Just as Puck is about to walk out, Corky calls to him, asking him to wait as he owes him an apology. Corky says to Judd that it is obvious he does know a few members of Alpha Flight, ‘Any chance you can get me a 8x10 of Guardian?’ A furious Judd doesn’t answer, just storms out into the snow.

Back at Cloisters, one of the waiting staff informs the boss that ‘Some bimbo’ is on the dance floor distracting some of the “performance artists”. ‘I’ll handle it!’ the boss replies, and as she walks out into public view, everyone in the audience gasps at the pounding noise she makes, ‘She’s…huge!’ ‘How does she stand erect?’ they ask quietly. Aurora begins to kiss one of the strippers, who informs her that this isn’t allowed. ‘I know’ replies Aurora ‘That’s what makes it fun!’ Suddenly, Aurora is yanked away from the stripper, who falls to the ground.

Aurora is held by the hair by the grossly overweight owner of the club - it just happens that they know each other. ‘You?’ she cries ‘And you - Pink Pearl!’ exclaims Aurora, before asking the enormous woman to let her go, as she is hurting her. ‘You got that right, you naughty little girl!’ Pearl replies, reminding Aurora that she and her accursed twin brother hurt her lots and lots last time they met and they cost her a pretty penny when they poked their noses into her affairs. Heather suggests to Pink Pearl that she wait a moment so they can talk this out. ‘Say, over dinner? Your treat, of course’ remarks Lil.

Pearl rips part of her dress, revealing the scar that Aurora gave her last time they met. ‘I believe, Madame, you have me confused with someone else!’ exclaims Jeanne-Marie, managing to shift her body so she can kick Pearl in the neck. ‘I assume this ends this?’ she asks, until Pearl cries ‘You assume wrong!’ and throws her across the club. ‘They’re crazy!’ ‘Let me out of here!’ ‘Men or no men - I’m leaving!’ the patrons begin to say as they make their exit from the club. Pearl turns to Heather and Lil, assuming them to be Guardian and Diamond Lil - ‘The tramps teammates in Alpha Flight! Would you like a piece of Pearl as well?’ she asks as she lunges towards them. ‘Well, not if we don’t have to, no’ replies Heather. ‘Though there is certainly enough to go around, and around, and around’ remarks Lil.

Suddenly the waiters and strippers begin calling for Pearl’s help, ‘The dame fights like a wolverine!’ Jeanne-Marie thanks the waiter for that comment. Lil then apologizes to Pearl for the damage. ‘What damage?’ asks Pearl, only to be punched across the other side of the bar and out the front window onto the pavement by Lil’s super strength.

Meanwhile, uptown, an old man is singing to himself while counting his money by candlelight. “I wish me a merry Christmas, I wish me a merry Christmas, I wish me a merry Christmas and -” Suddenly, the large double window behind him swings open and standing before him are Sasquatch, Puck and Windshear. ‘Are you Mr. Tungsten? Misery landlord, evictor of small children and all around unsavory fellow?’ asks Windshear. Wide-eyed, Tungsten replies ‘Yes, that would be me - who are you?’

‘We’re the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future’ replies Sasquatch. ‘Inclusive’ adds Colin. Judd tells Tungsten that he must know the drill, so they should cut to the chase. Sasquatch explains that there is a house they are interested in buying on behalf of a friend.

At that “friend’s” house, Jeffries and Weapon Omega are watching him solemnly enter his home. Kyle asks if there is nothing they can do for him, to which Jeffries replies that there isn’t with every top store in Canada closed at this hour. Suddenly, Northstar arrives carrying a heap of scrap metal and saying ‘Not every, mon ami, there’s always “Mutants R Us”’. Jeffries asks Jean-Paul what he is talking about, and why it is that he used his super speed to gather every piece of metal in a five mile radius. ‘Fifteen miles, Santa’ jokes Northstar.

Madison smiles, ‘Oh, I getcha’ he exclaims, and uses his mutant abilities to transmutate the heap of metal in a mountain of toys - sleds, swing sets, toy soldiers, doll houses and a Christmas tree suddenly appear in place of the scrap metal. Weapon Omega gathers the gifts into a sack and points out that it is fitting, what with him being the team’s resident covert operative, to play Santa’s little helper and deliver the toys. ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Beaubier’ ‘Merry Christmas, Monsieur Jeffries’, Madison and Jean-Paul say to each other, smiling.

Five minutes and one hundred miles later, Northstar flies into his bedroom, thinking that there is nothing like a warm bed after a night of male bonding. Suddenly, the phone rings, surprising Jean-Paul because it is three o’clock in the morning. The call goes to the answer phone, so Jean-Paul listens as he gets undressed. ‘Hello, Jean-Paul, this is Jeanne-Marie. Mrs. Hudson, Ms. Crawley and I have been arrested as the result of a bar fight. How was I to know that Pink Pearl became a legitimate business woman after her acquittal? Now you are not to breathe a word of this to anyone…but we need you to bring us bail money at Precinct thirt -” the message space runs out of room and the phone call ends. Northstar smiles as he climbs into bed, ‘That Aurora…always joking around’ he whispers.

Characters Involved: 

Aurora / Jeanne-Marie, Guardian III, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch, Weapon Omega, Windshear (all Alpha Flight)

Box IV, Diamond Lil (both Former Members of Alpha Flight)

Pink Pearl

Patrons and Staff at bar

Male Strippers

Patrons and staff at strip club

Man attempting to rob bar

Tungsten Ravitch

Funeral Parlor Owners

Body of Amy Brewer (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Box and Diamond Lil planned to get married in Alpha Flight (1st series) #103. They had previously dated as members of Gamma Flight [off-panel, prior to Gamma Flight’s disbanding in Alpha Flight (1st series) #1]. After Lil went to prison, Jeffries and Vindicator dated for an extended period of time and they also planned to get married. However the return of Diamond Lil and resurrection of Guardian changed those plans, and eventually Jeffries and Lil got back together. As a side-note, according to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #9, Diamond Lil was previously divorced. This is not considered cannon as there has been no mention of it anywhere in the pages of Alpha Flight.

Puck was seen working at this bar in Alpha Flight (1st series) #1, when he got the Alpha Signal and so overjoyed, he did indeed cartwheel out of the pub.

Sasquatch’s mysterious connection to Weapon Omega is revealed in Alpha Flight (1st series) #116-118.

It is unknown how long Madison and Diamond Lil’s relationship lasted while they were members of Gamma Flight, though by the revelation this issue that they had no “been with” each other, it would appear that they were not together long. However certain moments of their interaction soon after Lil was freed from prison made it seem like they had “been with” each other.

Pink Pearl first faced off against Aurora and Northstar in Alpha Flight (1st series) #22. Despite the footnote this issue claiming that this is her only appearance since then, she actually appeared in “The Superia Stratagem” which took place in Captain America (1st series) #387-392, though only in a bit-part. This issue marks her final appearance to date.

The comment made about Aurora / Jeanne-Marie fighting ‘like a wolverine’ is of course a remark about former Alpha Flight member Wolverine, who indeed trained Aurora in hand to hand combat.

The actual wedding of Diamond Lil and Madison Jeffries is not shown on panel, but takes place between this issue and Alpha Flight (1st series) #106. Diamond Lil also becomes Lillian Crawley-Jeffries with the marriage.

This issue comes with a pin-up by Tom Morgan of the lower half of a male stripper saying ‘Ho, ho, ho, ladies’ and Guardian, Aurora, Diamond Lil in a crowd of women (one of whom looks remarkably like the deceased Snowbird), with Aurora shouting ‘Show us your stuff, Santa!’

Issue Information: 
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