Alpha Flight (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
June 1984
Story Title: 
<BR>Set-Up (1st story)<BR>Unleash the Beast (2nd story)

John Byrne (writer, artist), Michael Higgins (letters), Andy Yanchus (colors), Denny O’Neil (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First story : Delphine Courtney approaches Roger Bochs about a secret project she thinks he may be interested in. Box pretends to go along with it but has doubt. When he tries to warn the Hudsons, he cannot contact them, and decides to take measures into his own hands. Others that are set to join Courtney’s project include former Gamma Flight members Diamond Lil, Wildchild and Smart Alec, as well as Beta Flight member Flashback. After they are all introduced and squabble a lot, thanks to a behavior stimulator from Courtney, they meet Jerry Jaxon, the man behind their current state of togetherness, and he reveals that as they have all had their dreams ruined by James Hudson, they are going to join together, as Omega Flight, to ruin Alpha Flight and destroy Guardian. Heather Hudson prepares to leave Canada, and after remembering some sentimental times she, Mac and Wolverine had in their house she leaves. In New York, Mac flies to the airport to meet Heather, but arrives late, as he was held back in a meeting. A clerk tells Mac that his wife was met by a striking woman who made a point of dropping her card. When Mac is handed the card, he sees the name Jerome Jaxon on it, and instantly knows that he has been set up, and that the meeting was a distraction so Heather could be taken by the mystery woman. Changing into Guardian, he flies to Roxxon headquarters, where his old boss, Jerry Jaxon contacts him via frequencies on his helmet. Inside the building, Mac is greeted by a video recording of Jaxon, and following his directions, Mac enters an elevator. At the bottom, Mac is greeted by Omega Flight!

Second story : Walter Langkowski begins to actually set about his experiment into motion after recalling how he was inspired to transform himself into a new gamma being by his old friend and college roommate Bruce Banner, who was transformed into the Hulk. Walt is all prepared for the experiment. However something goes wrong, and when it is over, Walt has transformed into an orange furry monster! Unable to control the being he has become, Walt destroys some of his laboratory, and heads out into the Arctic Circle. When Walt does not do his usual daily respond, Mac sends Snowbird to the lab to see if anything had gone wrong. Narya finds tracks, and follows them, recalling how she warned Mac and Walt about setting the lab in the Arctic Circle due to the barriers containing the Great Beasts. After five hundred miles have been covered, Snowbird comes across Walt lying naked and near dead in the snow. She wakes him and flies him to the nearest hospital. Mac and Michael Twoyoungmen meet with Walt, and after he is rested they discuss what happened. They are all somewhat surprised at how Walt became an orange creature not green like gamma radiation should have made him, and conclude that there must have been interference from something. Snowbird arrives and informs Walt that she will help him wrest control of the beast he now becomes, and Mac tells him that he would like him at his side should he be called on again to recapture Wolverine. Walt agrees, and takes the appropriate code name of Sasquatch.

Full Summary: 

First story :

Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. The home of Roger Bochs, and he is receiving a very rare visit at his oft unvisited home. The quadriplegic Bochs is fare welling his guest – Delphine Courtney. He thanks the mysterious woman for her visit, and tells her he will be in touch. Delphine tells Bochs not to take too long, as the “fires of vengeance” dwindle with too much contemplation. Roger tells Delphine that in twenty-four hours he will be ready to join her. Outside of Roger’s home, Delphine walks away, thinking that she has four down, and one more to go, and so far the plan is going along perfectly.

Back inside, Roger contemplates Delphine – such a beautiful woman, yet cold, and Bochs is shocked at what she is proposing. Roger thinks that Delphine is very clever, as she broached the whole matter with such confidence that she was sure he would accept. Bochs wonders whom of the others she has recruited…Flashback? Puck? Roger decides he has to tell Guardian what is going on, and he rings Parliament Hill, wanting to speak to Gary Cody, Alpha Flight’s liaison. He is abruptly told that Gary Cody is on vacation, and is hung up on. Roger wonders how it is that anything gets done in this country, and decides that if he cant reach Gary to get to Guardian, then, pulling back a curtain revealing a large robot of sorts, Bochs tells the robot that it is up to them...

Meanwhile, in the city of Ottawa…Heather McNeil Hudson, wife of Alpha Flight’s leader, Guardian, sits on a suitcase and looks around at her empty home. Heather is surprised at how quickly everything happened. First Mac got the job offer from Roxxon Oil in New York, then they found an apartment, and now she is about to move there! Heather thinks about how she and Mac moved in just one month after they married – ten years ago! Heather wonders where all the years went…and memories remind her. As she walks through the barren apartment, she remembers telling Mac how perfect it was, and her husband replying that with a few coats of paint it should be okay. Then another memory – asking Logan if he was here to fight with Mac again and her friend telling her that he was here to make peace. Another room, and Heather remembers the discussion about getting pregnant – she told Mac she has eight million brothers and sisters, and he told her that if the Hudson line stopped with him, it didn’t matter as long as he had her. By the fireplace, and Mac asking Heather if she was sure this stuff was supposed to burn. Another room, and Wolverine telling Mac that he is virtually invulnerable, that there was no such thing as a fair fight anymore… and a more recent memory – of Alpha Flight deciding to stay together, without government sanction. Heather tells herself that it is time for her to leave.

As she walks out of the apartment, the memories still stir, so many of them, so much life – and she is not even thirty! Now a new life awaits in New York. Heather meets with her landlord, and gives him the next four months rent in cash, in case they need to come back before their lease runs out. Mr. LaPierre tells Heather that he is sure she won’t, and wishes her luck in New York. Heather thanks him, and tells him she might see him again sometime. Outside, Heather says goodbye to her car, as Mac told her no one in his or her right mind would be crazy enough to drive in New York! But Heather was told Mr. LaPierre would find it a new home.

A few minutes later, Heather is in a taxi, and on her way to the airport. Heather notices how witty she is today, and wonders if it is because she is nervous moving from Canada to the capital of the World! It’s like saying she’s never tried alcohol before, and that she thinks she will start with a week-long binge. Just over two hours later, Heather is onboard a plane headed for New York, and Heather feels something like vertigo tug at her soul…a premonition that suddenly swells – and then is gone as she sinks deeper into her seat.

In New York, and in an office in the World Trade Center. Five very unique individuals are gathered in a boardroom, and already they are arguing. Alec Thorn, a.k.a. Smart Alec has already begun to complain, and tells the others that he doesn’t like it at all. Hands on her hips, the only woman present, Lillian Crawley, also known as Diamond Lil tells Smart Alec that he never likes it, that the whole time in Gamma Flight they were together, she never heard him say two words that weren’t complaints. Smart Alec tells Diamond Lil that he didn’t invite her into this conversation, and that if he wanted her opinion he would give it to her! Lil folds her arms and tells Thorne that if it was supposed to be funny, he was wasting his time, as she doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Sitting on the table, the former Beta Flight member known as Flashback tells the egocentric Smart Alec and the aloof Diamond Lil to tone it down, as they have only been in the room fifteen minutes! Roger Bochs comments on how it seems like Lil and Alec have hated each other for years. He tells them he can see why they never made it into Beta Flight. Gardner Munroe tells Bochs that he is no prize either. He asks the others who the laughing boy by the window is, and why does he not want to show his face? The young man by the window tells the other man that it is for his benefit, as some people find his face disturbing. As Wildchild turns around, it is obvious why. Flashback holds his hand up, and tells everyone that it is bad enough he has to hang around with whiners and gimps, but he draws the line at freaks. Kyle Gibney tells the older man that he wishes he didn’t say that – as now he has forced him to rip his throat out!

Wildchild grabs onto Gardner’s hair, and has his claws ready – until Delphine Courtney enters the room, ordering them to stop. Delphine tells Gibney to let Flashback go, or else he will find himself back in the hole she pulled him out of so quickly, he wont know what hit him. There is a moment of electric tension in the air…Delphine thinks that the influencer is working perfectly, heightening the former Beta and Gamma Flight members jealousies and phobias, priming them. Delphine asks the five super humans to be seated so they can get on with the task at hand. However, as they obviously have not taken the matter of introducing themselves already, Delphine does the duty for them. World-class engineer and mechanic – Box. Diamond Lil, indestructible giantess. The man who can summon his future - Flashback. The man with a computer brain - Smart Alec, and a resident killing machine – Wildchild. Smart Alec tells Delphine now that with the amenities out of the way perhaps she could enlighten them as to the details of her project, the reason she asked them all to join her. Delphine tells Alec Thorne that all in good time –, as there is one more introduction to make.

A door opens, and a wheelchair bound man enters. He tells Delphine that he will take care of that himself. He introduces himself as Jerome Jaxon, the man who summoned them all to New York. Jerry tells them all that they must have a basic idea of the plan, which he has conceived, and must agree with it, otherwise they wouldn’t be here right now. He tells them that they were all given a glimpse of the gold at the rainbow’s end – only to have that treasure snatched away from them directly, or indirectly, by the actions of one man – James MacDonald Hudson! Jaxon tells everyone that that is why they are gathered here – that they will crush his dreams as he crushed theirs. Jaxon tells the others that he proposes nothing less than…the destruction of Alpha Flight, and the subjugation and annihilation of James Hudson…the man called Guardian!

Elsewhere in New York, the man in question, Guardian flies high in the air, as he heads for the airport. He thinks that Heather’s plane should have gotten in about forty minutes ago, and he is late because of a directors meeting at work. He knows Heather will understand, but still, it is something less than an ideal welcome to the U.S! After a quick change of clothes, Mac is at an information desk, and tells the clerks that he was supposed to meet his wife here, he wonders if they saw her. Mac describes her, and one of the clerks tells him that she did not see her. The other one mentions that he did – though not exactly. Mac is a little confused, but the clerk tells him it was the woman who met his wife that got his attention – a very striking, tall brunette. The clerk hands Mac a card she dropped, telling him that she made quite a spectacle of dropping it, as if she wanted to be sure someone noticed.

The card reads “Roxxon. Jerome Jaxon, Associate vice. Pres.”. Mac stares in shock at the small white card, which now feels very very heavy. The name seems engraved in letters of living flame. Mac runs out, in shock - after all these years! He takes barely a moment to suit up and put on the psycho-cybernetic helmet before he takes to the sky once again. A sudden flare of electro-magnetic energy rips his outer clothing to shreds. Within seconds, a bright golden comet streaks across the skies, over Queens and Brooklyn, and Mac thinks that Cunningham, the man who held him back for the directors meeting must have been in on this. It must have been a deliberate delay so that the mystery woman could get Heather. Mac is headed straight for Roxxon Plaza to beat the truth out of him – but before he can follow up on that thought, Guardian hears a voice in his head.

The voice tells Mac that he knows he can hear him, as he knows the frequencies on which his helmet operates. The voice tells James that he has his wife, and that he is holding her in an office on the forty-third floor of the number one World Trade Center, on the east side. The voice tells Mac that if he comes and surrenders, she will be release unharmed. Mac doesn’t think so. He remembers how Jaxon messed with his life once before…and if he has so much as breathed on Heather…he will kill him! Mac spots what looks like the office the signal is coming from, and as he doesn’t want to risk glass going onto the street, so he just melts his way through.

Mac calls out to Jaxon, letting him know he is here. Jaxon’s face appears on a television screen, and Jaxon tells Mac he is perceptive as ever, that the years have not changes him. Jaxon apologizes for the fact they cannot make the reunion more personal…Mac tells him, he means that he is too afraid to come and face him. Mac tells Jaxon he wont ask how he found out he was Guardian, that he just wants to know where Heather is. Jaxon tells Mac he will do better than that, that he will escort him, and asks Mac to step into the private elevator. Entering the elevator, Mac thinks there is no way anyone can hurt him with his battleshield on, so he may as well play along. But Mac admits that the full impact of it is getting to him. As the elevator descends, Mac thinks that it must have been a set-up all along, the job offer, everything! And all to lure him away from the rest of Alpha Flight. That won’t work, Mac thinks, as he has already contacted the rest of Alpha Flight – the elevator door opens…and Mac says ‘Uh-oh…’.

Standing in the room, Diamond Lil, Box, Wildchild, Flashback and Smart Alec are there! Diamond Lil welcomes Guardian, and tells him Heather is nearby. Box tells him that of course he will have to get through them, to which Smart Alex adds they have no intention of allowing that though. Wildchild tells him they are derelict in their duties as hosts, and reintroduces themselves to Guardian – as Omega Flight! And Flashback and his past and future selves tell Mac they are going to kill him!

Second story :

In a laboratory, Walter Langkowski is preparing for his experiment. Wearing nothing but his jocks and his glasses, Walt has wires and tubes attached to his body. Walt sees no reason for further delay, as all the mechanisms have been tested and re-tested. He removes his glasses, hoping that it will be for the last time, as the increased strength anticipated in all muscles should restore his eyesight. Walt jokes that he may come out of all of this green, but at least his eyesight will be restored. Not that improved vision is his only goal in this project. A project which cost just a little less than eight million dollars. Walt sits down in a strange machine and types the instructions into the computer matrix…and this project which Walt had spent half his life on is about to be completed. Walt thinks to himself how incredible it all is, working towards this project since he was a freshman!


That was when Walt met one man who was to have an enormous impact on him life and education, a fellow student, Bruce Banner. Walt and Banner only knew each other for one term, but during that term they were one half of a very special group. While their contemporaries were “turning on and dropping out”, these four gathered everything they could out of their education’s. They saw a brave new world beyond their ivy-covered walls, and they wanted to comprehend everything about it. They were young and idealistic.

Somewhere along the way however, Bruce Banner’s idealism must have got side tracked, as Banner began working on a top-secret military project, and he paid a terrible price for the world’s first and only, Gamma Bomb. Bruce Banner absorbed enough radiation to kill a hundred men in a second. But he did not die…not quite anyway. Instead, Bruce Banner became the victim of a periodic living death, his mind submerged in the monster called The Incredible Hulk.

Walt had been following Banner’s footsteps, and he amassed a greater knowledge in the area of gamma research, even during his three years as a pro football player. Through that, Walt managed to make a few million dollars. When the identity of the Hulk was revealed a few years later, Walt knew he had to do something different with his life though. So starting on his own, he gathered information on everything he could find on Banner and the Hulk, plus the few others that had been transformed due to gamma exposure. It was Walt’s intent to create, under controlled conditions, the circumstance, which produced the Hulk.

After spending over a million dollars of his own money, Walt took his project the federal government. By that time, James Hudson had his own project, Department H, well under way, and Mac got Walt funding and a lab, a lab which was tucked safely away from prying eyes – and innocent bystanders – up in the Arctic Circle…which is where he is now…


Three days ago Walt recalls, he sent off his assistants, and was to carry on the last stages of the project himself. Walt pushes the last button, and the experiment is under way. Walt’s body, and his mind become twisted, everything in a blur. His muscles are re-aligned, and reality seems to stir. When finally, he transforms into a creature not unlike, yet very different from the Incredible Hulk…only, Walt has fur and is orange in color. Walt…or whatever he now is, breaks free from the constraints of the experiment, and begins to tear-up the lab. The creature Walt has become smashes its way through the laboratory, and runs out into the cold Arctic night.

(the next day)

Across the crimson sky, a figure can be made out over the Arctic Circle. Upon closer inspection, the figure is revealed as Snowbird, the mysterious member of Department H’s super team. The goddess spies the laboratory and swoops down upon it. At first Narya seems quite perplexed at why James had asked her to check Walt’s lab after he failed to make his daily report – until she sees the damage inflicted upon the building. Snowbird lands and enters the lab. She thinks it looks like some great beast was conjured during in the midst of all the equipment. Snowbird feels the beast has terrible power, and she thinks back to how she warned Department H against setting the experimental site in this region, as there are mystic barriers here of which no white man has knowledge. Narya fears what may have happened if Langkowski broke one of the barriers….

Using her post-cognitive power, Narya attempts to see the events which took place here, though to no avail, as her sight shows nothing, meaning whatever happened here happened to long ago for her to be able to see. Back outside, Narya comes across some tracks, and decides they are at least twelve hours old. Narya is fortunate that there was no snowfall during the twelve hours, if there was she would have wasted precious time discovering which direction to follow. Narya acts swiftly, fearing the reason she was put on Earth may show itself – one of the Great Beasts she is destined to protect the world from and destroy. She tries not to think about that, and continues following the tracks.

Five hundred miles on, the goddess is amazed at how much distance was covered in twelve hours. As she nears some broken trees she comments on how swift, strong and untiring the Beast must be. An oil rig site is smashed for no reason other than that it lay in the Beast’s path. Narya sense that no one was hurt or killed however -suddenly, Snowbird comes across a man laying naked in the snow. Narya lands at his side, and she is surprised, to say the least, to see that Walt is the man in the snow. Walter stirs, and Narya asks him what he is doing there, and how he got there. Walt seems equally surprised to see Snowbird, but can give no such answer, and only pleads for her help. Narya wraps the freezing doctor in her cloak, which will protect him long enough till they reach a hospital, then they will contact James Hudson and Michael Twoyoungmen. Narya picks Walt up, and flies away with him.

Some hours later, Walt is resting in a hospital bed, looking a lot better and talking to James Hudson. Mac tells Walt that some workers at the drill site said the monster that tore through it was orange! Mac asks Walt how it could have been him. Walt tells Mac that he is not too sure, as the gamma radiation should have turned him green! Walt guesses that something got mixed into the gamma rays. He thinks there may have been some heavy activity in the Aurora Borealis, which may have interfered. Walt tells Mac that he won’t find out just sitting here, and asks Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen when he can get back to work.

Michael tells Walt that he can’t go back to work for a month, and that he is lucky Snowbird found him when she did, as another few hours and he would have been dead. Walt starts to climb out of the bed, and tells his friends that that is another reason why he has to get back to work – he has to find out what went wrong that caused him to end up in such dire straights to begin with. Mac tells Walt that he has had his back-up team checking all of his notes, and they found that his theory on controlled gamma holds, and apparently, the problem lies in his genetic make-up, biologically or physically.

Suddenly the window to the room opens and Snowbird flies in saying ‘And that is where I come in, I take it’. Calling her “Birdie” Walt tells Snowbird that it is good to see her, and that she flew off without him getting the chance to thank her for saving him. Michael Twoyoungmen tells Walt that Narya has not come for thanks. Snowbird agrees, and tells Walt that she is here to help him overcome his beastly other-self, after all, she too is a metamorph, and knows all the pitfalls of shape shifting. She tell Walt that she must help him turn his mind inwards to leash the beast, so that he is the master. Walt smiles and tells Snowbird that it sounds good to him. Mac tells Walt that it sounds good to him as well, especially after his aborted attempt at reclaiming Wolverine from the X-Men. Mac says that if the Prime Minister orders a second try he is going to need his help…and he asks what they are going to call the beast. Walt smiles, and tells everyone that based on Mac’s description, there is only one logical choice – they can call him Sasquatch!

Characters Involved: 

First story :

Guardian (Alpha Flight)

Heather McNeil Hudson

Mr. LaPierre, the Hudson’s former landlord

Airport attendants

Box/Roger Bochs

Diamond Lil/Lillian Crawley, Flashback/Gardner Munroe, Smart Alec/Alec Thorne, Wildchild/Kyle Gibney (all Omega Flight)

Delphine Courtney

Jerome Jaxon

Second story, set in the past :

Dr. Walter Langkowski/Sasquatch

James MacDonald Hudson


Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen

in flashbacks:

Bruce Banner / Hulk

fellow students of Walt and Bruce

Story Notes: 

The credits were left out this issue.

At first glance, the silhouettes on the cover seem to be the X-Men. There is a man in a wheelchair (Xavier), a tall woman with long hair (Storm) a bulky figure (Colossus), one wearing a costume with pointed shoulders (Nightcrawler) and someone wearing a helmet/visor (Cyclops).

First story :

First full appearance of Diamond Lil, Wildchild, Box and Flashback. Just like Smart Alec, all were seen briefly before in an illustrative image in issue #1. Smart Alec and Delphine Courtney first appeared in issue #7, Jerry Jaxon first appeared in Guardian’s origin story in issue #2.

Mac received a letter from Roxxon Oil in Alpha Flight #6, off-panel he and Heather decided to move to New York so he could take up the job offer.

The reason that the Beta and Gamma Flight members have to be introduced to themselves (aside from letting the reader know who they are) is that they probably not all have not met each other, as Box and Flashback were Beta Flight members, while Diamond Lil, Wildchild and Smart Alec were members of Gamma Flight.

Mac, Heather and Jaxon’s story was told in the back-up stories of Alpha Flight (first series) #2-3, the origin of Guardian.

Second story :

This story is set after the Alpha Flight origin special “First Flight”.

Walt’s transition into Sasquatch proved to be more than just something in his makeup, as like Snowbird warned everyone against, the location of Walt’s laboratory was right on the border to the Great Beasts, and in fact Walt, when transforming into Sasquatch, actually inhabits the body of the Beast Tanaraq. This proves to not only have dire consequences for Sasquatch and Snowbird, in particular, but Aurora and Box also. [Alpha Flight (first series) #23].

Mac tried to reclaim Wolverine from the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #109. The story was seen again in Alpha Flight (first series) #17, with the aftermath of the battle seen from Mac’s point of view.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: