Alpha Flight (1st series) #108

Issue Date: 
May 1992
Story Title: 
World Tour 1992, part 2: The Global Village

Scott Lobdell (Writer), Tom Morgan (Penciler & Inker), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Dan Cudy (Assistant Editor), Rob Tokar (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Alpha Flight are in Switzerland for the first Pan-European Conference on Super Human Affairs, and are introduced or re-introduced to several of Europe’s heroes and representatives via a communications system. Mixing with various government dignitaries, Alpha Flight are unaware that someone - or something is hiding in the ice sculpture. Suddenly communication is lost between Alpha Flight the other European heroes, and a creature - formerly human - calling himself Brain Drain emerges from the ice sculpture, after explaining his origin he reveals he has hypnotized the European heroes into killing their country’s leaders. Aurora grabs Brain Drain and throws him far away into the Swiss Alps. Sasquatch arrives in France to deal with Le Peregrine, who puts up a good fight, but Sasquatch triumphs nonetheless. In England, Micromax sneaks into the Prime Ministers bedroom, only to be picked up by Aurora who disorientates him so much that he passes out. In Poland, Guardian deals with the eight year old Prodigy, who manages to take control of Heather’s suit and almost forces her to kill an innocent, until she regains control, and frightens the boy which causes him to run into a wall and knock himself out. Northstar arrives at the country retreat of Ireland’s President, ready to do battle with Shamrock, only to discover the heroine and the President having a “tea party”. Shamrock explains that due to her good luck powers, she was not affected by Brain Drain’s command, and Northstar joins the “party”, although Shamrock does offer to fight him if he wants, but Jean-Paul declines. In Italy, Weapon Omega and Omerta have a very silent battle, which disappoints the onlookers. Back in Switzerland, Alpha Flight are joined by the European heroes. Le Peregrine tries to make a pass at Guardian, while Northstar and Aurora discuss world peace, and Jean-Paul tells his sister that she is becoming more like Jeanne-Marie everyday. Meanwhile, Brain Drain is found by the Master of the World, who plans to use him in his new Omega Flight!

Full Summary: 

Chapter One:

‘Ah, Paris in the Springtime’ exclaims the handsome Doctor Walter Langkowski, as he and four of his teammates drink wine, all dressed with a formal jacket covering their new Alpha Flight uniforms. Walter’s teammate the sultry Jeanne-Marie tells Walter that she hates to shatter his illusion, ‘But we’re in Switzerland’. Jeanne-Marie’s brother, the recently “out” Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier mutters ‘Walter, if your knowledge of geography was half of your expertise in “physiology”…’ suddenly Northstar is interrupted by a scantily-clad woman in blue, ‘Greetings, Alpha Flight!’ she exclaims.

With five view-screens behind her, the blonde woman introduces Alpha Flight to some of Europe’s most renowned super heroes, who are broadcasting live via satellite from their home countries. Firstly is Le Peregrine, the winged wonder of France. ‘Bon Jour!’ Next is the reluctant representative from Ireland, Shamrock, who is possessed of good luck abilities. ‘We’ve met’ replies Shamrock. The woman in blue moves onto England’s spokesperson in a wholly temporary capacity is the size-changing Micromax. ‘Is this thing on?’ asks Micromax.

On the next screen is a small boy, who is introduced as Prodigy, and as his name implies, is an eight-year old super-genius, and a ward of the Polish government. ‘Hello’ the impish child replies. Next is a man who goes by the Italian word for “silence” - Omerta, and just like his ancestors before him, this man’s religious order dictates he observes a strict vow of silence in defense of the people of Italy.

The woman in blue now introduces herself as Ursula, and explains that while she possess no “super-powers” of her own, her countrymen’s latest technology allows her to assume a ceremonial role as she welcomes them to the first pan-European conference on super human affairs. Alpha Flight’s team leader Heather “Guardian” McNeil Hudson exclaims that on behalf of the Canadian government in general, and Alpha Flight’s world tour in particular, ‘We thank you for your hospitality’.

Walter leans towards Northstar, pointing out that he read the debriefing at super-speed, so how feasible is a super hero who doesn’t talk, he asks. Jean-Paul replies that it has been theorized that after centuries of non-verbal communication, Omerta’s order has evolved the slightest psionic abilities to read minds and project thoughts.

Later, Alpha Flight begin to mingle with various government dignitaries. The German representative apologizes for Blitzkrieg’s absence, to which Walter, in German, replies that he realizes it couldn’t be helped. ‘No, Wonder Man is an Avenger…’ Heather informs another dignitary. From within the ice sculpture, someone watches the proceedings and thinks to themselves ‘Unsuspecting cretins!’

Guardian begins talking to Le Peregrine over the view screen. Le Peregrine tells Heather that it is unfortunate her tight itinerary precludes are more intimate coupling. ‘The intent of our tour is to exchange cultural points of view - not bodily fluids’ Heather snaps back. ‘Are you always this candid?’ Peregrine asks. ‘Are you always this obtuse?’ Heather replies. ‘Are you alw - AARGH!’ Le Peregrine is cut-off mid sentence by something as he cries out. Heather asks him what is happening and if he can hear her.

All the other monitors begin to go static also. As everyone wonders what is going on, Jean-Paul mutters that one would expect a higher standard of broadcasting capabilities for such an important occasion, and suggests that this event should have been held in Canada. Suddenly, Weapon Omega notices that the ice sculpture is glowing, and Heather tells Jean-Paul that she hates to interrupt his trademark Canadian supremacy riff, but it is official - ‘We’re under attack!’ An instant later, the super fast Northstar has opened all six of the dining room’s exit doors in order to facilitate the evacuation of the non-powered dignitaries.

As the ice sculpture begins to shatter and shards fly straight towards Ursula, Weapon Omega leaps towards her, ‘In lieu of your own highly trained reflexes, I trust you will not object to an assist in avoiding these ice shards?’ he asks. ‘I’d rather live long enough to be offended’ Ursula replies. Heather melts the rest of the ice shards with her electromagnetic powers and informs everyone that the source of attack is coming from within the sculpture and warns her teammates to be prepared for anything once the ice has dissipated.

Suddenly, the being inside the ice sculpture exclaims ‘Is that possible? For how can any man truly prepare himself for the horror that is…the Brain Drain!?’

Chapter Two:

‘I’d appreciate it if you’d all stop staring’ the being from the ice sculpture exclaims as Alpha Flight gather around him. To be more specific, the “being” is essentially a brain, with a pair of eyes, contained in a small glass tank, essentially its “head”. The Brain Drain informs Alpha Flight that they will learn that as he commands, lesser minds must obey. Northstar announces that it feels as if someone has an unbreakable grip on his brain. Heather informs him that he is not alone, as none of them can move. Walter, now transformed into his furry alter-ego of Sasquatch suggests that this creature has the power to lock onto distinctive mind patterns. ‘Correct’ the Brain Drain exclaims, before pointing out that he objects to the term “creature”, and thus begins to explain in excruciating detail, his history.

The Brain Drain reveals that some fifty years ago, he was as human as the next man, a brilliant scientist by the name of Werner Schmidt, but an encounter with a handful of stranded space travellers prompted his transformation into his current form. An experiment gone wrong then left him trapped in a snow mound for five decades. It was there, that for half a century he contemplated his mistakes, his misguided loyalty to the Nazi cause - until he managed to control the mind of a passer-by.

The Brain Drain reveals that he was surprised when he discovered the Eastern Continent determined to follow in the footsteps of the Fuhrer, for was it not his dream to see the unification of all Europe under one rule? But the Brain Drain believes that will never be, for he has placed subconscious commands into the minds of each nation’s heroes - commands that will insure transcontinental chaos when those heroes murder their countries leaders!

Suddenly, Aurora rushes forward, grabbing the Brain Drain she informs him that he should have been paying closer attention, for in the instant Jeanne-Marie relinquished their shared mind to her, she took full advantage of the momentary disorientation. Aurora smashes through a large window and flies out into the open, pointing out that for a mutant with super speed, an instant is more than enough time to dispose of him. With that, Aurora tosses the Brain Drain across the icy landscape.

Aurora flies back into the conference room, remarking that she needs to be excused to go and wash her hands. Sasquatch informs her former lover that it will have to wait, as Brain Drain has already planted the hypnotic commands, which means it is up to Alpha Flight to prevent the assassination of Europe’s most powerful leaders.

Chapter Three:

On the sidewalks of Paris, Sasquatch excuses himself as he rushes through the crowds of people, breaking café tables and chairs as he goes. Walt thinks to himself that as he is always the first one to admit when he is wrong, on the rare occasions it has happened that is - he is willing to admit that his choice of sparring partners leaves something to be desired. ‘Two thousand pounds of gamma-irradiated fur coming through!’ he exclaims in French.

Le Peregrine flies towards Sasquatch, telling that it was foolish of him for assuming the President’s place aboard his private plane, to which Sasquatch replies that they didn’t have much choice, as Northstar had to drop him off on his way to Ireland. ‘But thank you for the critique nonetheless’. Le Peregrine swoops down on Sasquatch and kicks him in the face, demanding to know what he has done with the leader of his country, or continue to suffer at the feet of a master savate. ‘Suffer at the feet of…? I wonder if that sounds as stupid in English as it does in French’ Walt mutters as Le Peregrine bounces up and down on him.

Walt suddenly reaches around and grabs Le Peregrine, telling him to snap out of it ‘You’re starring to annoy me’. Le Peregrine replies that his objective is the death of the president - as commanded by Brain Drain. Kicking Sasquatch in the face and knocking him off his feet, Peregrine tells him that his emotional state is the least of his concerns. Knocked to the ground, Walt admits to himself that what Peregrine lacks in strength, he certainly makes up for in skill.

Walt admits to Peregrine that he has beaten it out of him, to which a cocky Peregrine replies ‘Is there any doubt that I would?’ as he hovers over Sasquatch, only for Walt to lift up two tables and smash them into Peregrine from both sides. ‘Some’ Walt mumbles, before remarking that the big mystery is why he would be dumb enough to get this close to him. Peregrine falls to the ground, unconscious, and Sasquatch tells him to sleep it off, supposing that when he wakes up, his mind will have worked out Brain Drain’s commands. Sasquatch examines his own reflection, muttering that if he let Peregrine bruise his jaw then there is no way the others are going to let him live it down!

Chapter Four:

‘Fools! What good is all their a man capable of shrinking small enough to escape detection?’ Thinks a tiny Scott Wright a.k.a. Micromax to himself as he sneaks into the Downing Street home of the British Prime Minister. Entering the PM’s bedroom, Micromax is about to grow to his maximum size and crush the Prime Minister in his bed, when suddenly, before he has grown in size, Aurora grabs him, ‘Shhhh, Cheri. People are sleeping’ she whispers before she starts shaking him up and down and tossing him from side to side. Micromax tells himself that he mustn’t pass out, but the dizzy Scott returns to his regular human form and falls to the ground, slipping out of his mask, which Aurora holds in her hands. Aurora smiles and looks at Scott. ‘A pity, though. I was hoping to find out exactly how “max” is max…?’

Chapter Five:

‘Everyone please clear the streets!’ Shouts Guardian as she flies through the streets of Poland, blasting the surroundings with her electromagnetic abilities, she explains that her battle suit is somehow being overridden, that her actions are not her own. The Police open fire at Heather, not understanding what she is saying, not that they think it matters. However, their bullets just bounce off Heather’s battle suit.

Standing on top of a car, the young Prodigy tells his officers that Guardian’s words might matter if they were multilingual, but boasts that not everyone can be possessed of the incalculable mental proficiency of the Prodigy. ‘Witness the way I cobbled together the means to commandeer the Canadian’s super suit!’ Blasting a car, Heather tells Prodigy to stop this before someone gets hurt. But Prodigy informs Heather that is exactly why he is doing this - so that his country’s leader is killed, and stopping would defeat the whole purpose.

Heather realizes that there is no sense in arguing with the child, as she simply has to figure a way to regain control of her battle suit again. Suddenly, she rips the door off a car, and apologizes to the man inside, informing him that her arms are moving of their own volition. The frightened man replies that he understands, adding that he only wishes he escaped before the possessed Prodigy’s arrival. Heather unwillingly places her hand across the man’s face, and he says to her ‘When you think of this in years to come…and you will…do not blame yourself’.

Heather grits her teeth, she can feel an E.M. charge building, and knows that only Prodigy’s unfamiliarity with her circuits is preventing the inevitable. Prodigy smiles when he discovers the blast impulse control. ‘Kill him!’ he exclaims ‘Kill him!’ when suddenly, Guardian appears standing over the now-forlorn boy. ‘What happened?’ he asks quietly. Heather reveals that she broke his control over the suit by turning it off.

Prodigy starts to run away, telling Heather to stay away - when he smacks himself into a stone wall. Heather grabs the unconscious boy and mutters ‘Way to go Heather - you just beat up an eight year old boy. This ought to do wonders for my resume’.

Chapter Six:

Northstar flies swiftly across Ireland, thinking to himself that there is certainly no comparison to the majestic wilds of the Canadian countryside, he is forced to confess that there is a distinct charm to the Irish landscape, but entering a fancy building through the window he reminds himself he is not here to sightsee, but locate Ireland’s president in his country retreat and rescue him from the dangers of…a tea party?

Jean-Paul speeds into a room where Ireland’s President is seated across from Molly Fitzgerald a.k.a. Shamrock. Ireland’s green-clad super heroine welcomes Northstar. Taking a seat as Shamrock hands him a cup and saucer, Jean-Paul exclaims that he doesn’t understand…’Why I’m not beating on me top government official?’ asks Shamrock. She then explains that as near as she can tell, her good luck powers shorted out the communications equipment before Brain Drain’s psionic command, and by the time they re-established their connection to Geneva, Alpha Flight had already departed.

‘If ye insist, I suppose we could slug it out for a few minutes’ Molly offers. Jean-Paul replies that he appreciates the offer, but no thank you, for the purpose of Alpha Flight’s World Tour is to exchange cultural viewpoints on the role of the super hero in regards to the government, adding that he can think of no better what to discuss the topic than over a hot cup of tea, ‘To world peace?’ asks Shamrock. ‘To world peace’ replies Northstar, sipping his drink.

Chapter Seven:

In Italy, Weapon Omega is tossed to the edge of a building rooftop by Omerta, who then lunges at the masked Alphan. Weapon Omega is ready this time, and grabs Omerta at the same time, causing both men to grunt as they are thrown off the side of the building onto another rooftop. Kyle smacks Omerta’s head against the concrete as Omerta rips part of Kyle’s mask, revealing the lower part of his face. Kyle adjusts his shredded mask, tying the lose bits around his head like a bandana, when Omerta lunges up and shoves Kyle against a wall.

Weapon Omega punches Omerta hard, and knocks him off the balcony onto the streets below where he lands with a loud WOMPH. A man in a suit stands over Omerta as Weapon Omega joins him on the ground. The man informs Omega that all of Italy is grateful for his intervention, before adding that he is disappointed, as it was the most quiet super battle he has ever seen. ‘Omerta is sworn to silence. While I…I had nothing to say!’ Weapon Omega replies.

Chapter Eight:

Back in Switzerland, Alpha Flight, the European super heroes and government dignitaries have all gathered and are mingling. Le Peregrine comes up behind Guardian and tells her that it is fortunate their respective governments were all touched by what Alpha Flight did today, that they allowed everyone to spend some time together…’Getting to know one another’ he adds, putting a finger on Heather’s shoulder. ‘If you’re going to need this finger anytime soon - I suggest you remove it’ Heather informs Peregrine. Noticing Weapon Omega’s “restructured” mask, Sasquatch asks him if it is a new one. Kyle smiles and replies that it is at least until Windshear sends a new one.

Northstar notices his sister standing outside on the balcony and is about to call out to Jeanne-Marie, when he realizes it is Aurora and corrects himself. He asks her what is wrong, to which she replies that there is nothing wrong, she was just reflecting upon the fragility of the elusive concept that they call “world peace”. Aurora asks Jean-Paul if he thinks that the day will come when all the countries of the world will stand united. Jean-Paul replies that he thinks she is beginning to sound more and more like Jeanne-Marie every day. ‘HMPH! There’s no need to get offensive’ Aurora snaps back, before walking away.


Within the snow-covered Alps, a snow storm rages, and someone picks up Brain Drain from under the snow. ‘Whoever you are…please…leave me! I am a failure! Less than nothing’. A familiar man with a flowing red cape replies ‘On your own, that is true’ before telling him that there is much potential he has yet to achieve. ‘My disembodied friend!’ The powerful being declares ‘Much that you can learn from…The Master of the World…before you take your place as the first member of the new Omega Flight!’

Characters Involved: 

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


Le Peregrine



Prodigy I


Master of the World

Brain Drain / Werner Schmidt

Officials at the Pan-European Conference on Super Human Affairs

French Citizens

Polish Police

Italian Citizens

Ireland’s President

England’s Prime Minister

In Flashback:

Werner Schmidt

Story Notes: 

First and only appearance of Ursula.

Le Peregrine a.k.a. Frank Racine first appeared in the original Contest of Champions mini series. He has made several cameo appearances since then, before appearing in this issue. Following his appearance here he appears briefly in the Thunderbolts, and aids the Avengers during the Kang Dynasty. [Avengers (3rd series) #46]

Shamrock a.k.a. Molly Fitzgerald first appeared in the original Contest of Champion’s limited series. She made some minor appearances over the years until this issue. Following this issue she retires and makes one last appearance as a hairdresser in Excalibur (1st series) #108). It was during the Contest of Champions that Shamrock met the original Alpha Flight.

Micromax a.k.a. Scott Wright goes on to become a member of Excalibur [Excalibur (1st series) #61-71], before going into semi-super hero retirement, though he later aids the Avengers during the Kang Dynasty. [Avengers (3rd series) #46]

First and only appearance of the first Prodigy.

First and only appearance of Omerta.

The throw-away line ‘I apologize for Blitzkrieg’s absence’ is referring to German super-hero Blitzkrieg, first seen in the original Contest of Champions mini series and now known as Vormund. Whether by accident or intent, the line was said to Sasquatch, who served on the same team as Blitzkrieg during the original Contest of Champions.

The Brain Drain’s story began many years ago in Invaders (1st series) #2.

As apparent this issue, Sasquatch is multi-lingual, as he speaks both German and French at times.

The Master of the World last appeared in Alpha Flight (1st series) #96.

Originally intended to be a five-part storyline, “Alpha Flight: World Tour 1992” was cut to just three (well, two and a half), due to the line-wide crossover “The Infinity War”. However, Alpha Flight had never been involved in line-wide crossovers before (such as “Atlantis Attacks” or “The Evolutionary Wars”). So it is highly likely that Scott Lobdell’s sudden and unfortunate departure from Alpha Flight was what sparked the editors to include Alpha Flight in the Infinity War. Had the World Tour continued, as revealed in the letters page of Alpha Flight (1st series) #111, Alpha Flight would have also visited Japan and South Africa.

Final issue for writer Scott Lobdell. Lobdell’s run on Alpha Flight began with Alpha Flight (1st series) #102. His reasons for leaving the title were that the new editors wanted to increase the cast (brining back Beta Flight and others), while the editors who were on the title when Lobdell signed on wanted the cast reduced. Scott Lobdell returns to write the oft-humorous Alpha Flight (3rd series): The All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight.

New writer Simon Furman takes over with half of next issue which begins a dramatic change in the structure of the title.

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