Alpha Flight (1st series) #119

Issue Date: 
April 1993
Story Title: 
The Clampdown, part 2

Simon Furman (Writer), Pat Broderick (Penciler) Bruce Patterson (Inker), Bob Sharen & “Co.” (Colorists), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Dan Cudy (Assistant Editor), Rob Tokar (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Puck, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora and Nemesis continue to battle the Wrecking Crew, though the villains are not all themselves after their recent encounter with Loki, and Thunderball and the Wrecker in particular are at each others throats. Guardian rallies other Department H heroes to go aid in the battle, including Wildheart, Pathway and Goblyn, but Persuasion doesn’t want to go, as she wants to stay by Manikin’s cocoon in case he wakes up. Inside the cocoon, Manikin is greeted by his past and present selves, inside what is called the Mind Well. With most heroes out of Department H, a group known as Judgement makes its entrance, and after blowing up Witchfire’s room, they knock out Persuasion and prepare to destroy Manikin’s cocoon - until they are confronted by Wyre. In Toronto, Guardian and the others arrival helps to turn the tides in favor of Alpha Flight, despite Nemesis’ solo attempts to destroy the Wrecker. When the Wrecking Crew teleports out, Heather is glad that Alpha Flight won, but with all the destruction in sight, Puck thinks that Alpha Flight might have lost this time - especially with the Super Powers bill coming up. The man behind the Super Powers Bill, Robert Hagon, plays some sport with Joshua Lord, the man in charge of the Hardliners, and informs him that the Hardliners will have a large part in the registration of super humans, but Lord has his own plans for Hagon. Meanwhile, Albert Louis is still on the run from the Hardliners and is heading for Alpha Flight.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere…one week ago: a group of men are watching a newsreader who is announcing something about Alpha Flight, an incident in which Windshear, Alpha Flight’s spokesperson refused to comment on the rumors that a hero affiliated with the team was suffering from some new and deadly strain of a super-virus. One of the men watching the news declares that the government’s super-powered lackeys have made an error by placing one of their own in a public hospital - heedless to the possibility of contamination. He adds that with opinion firmly turned against Canada’s so-called “protectors”, it is time to pass judgment on Alpha Flight!

Toronto…now: where Alpha Flight is in more trouble, facing off against the Wrecking Crew! ‘Ya got that, Alpha Flight? No on messes with the Wrecking Crew! Tackle one of us, ya get all four - right in your face!’ shouts the aptly named Wrecker. The Wrecker thinks to himself that this is the time he gets to show Bulldozer and Pile Driver that it should be him leading the Wrecking Crew instead of Thunderball.

The Wrecker smashes his crow bar into the road, causing a mini earthquake, which sends all the cars and Doctor Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski up into the air. It takes a lot to surprise Sasquatch, even more to uproot him, but this is one time that works on both occasions. This may no longer be the Great Beast Tanaraq inside Sasquatch, but it is clear from recent fights that each time Walt shifts form, a lot of the good Doctor is subtracted from the equation. Sasquatch turns to the Wrecker and growls. The Wrecker shouts that Thunderball may have had the smarts to get back what Loki stole from them, before claiming that it takes power to lead the Wrecking Crew.

In the air, the handsome Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier doesn’t know what the maniac is yelling about, and quite frankly doesn’t care, before boasting that he will silence him, Jean-Paul flies swiftly towards the Wrecker, but Bulldozer steps in the way and tells Wrecker to take it easy, reminding him they have a job to do, before turning and smashing Northstar back up into the air. Bulldozer now turns his attention to Sasquatch.

Nearby, Eugene “Puck” Judd is still talking to Nemesis and informs her that he is needed. He is about to tell her something, but Nemesis snaps at him, telling him to spare her his misguided concern and just go. Judd turns and leaves, re-entering the battle by pushing his powerful little body upwards and kicking Bulldozer square in the face, then turning to Wrecker and leaping on the man who is shocked that his teammate Bulldozer was actually just hurt.

Leaping off of Wrecker, Judd gives him a word of advice - to keep his mind on the matter at hand, when Sasquatch slams Wrecker in the face, who reciprocates by smashing his crow bar into Sasquatch stomach and sending him flying backwards. Judd thinks that it would be so easy to lose himself in this fight - his old self wouldn’t have hesitated, but fact is the Wrecking Crew are too strong and Toronto could be torn apart trying to prove otherwise. Judd knows that they need help and wonders if this makes him a realist - or is he just losing his edge?

Meanwhile, at Department H headquarters, the home of Alpha Flight, Kara “Persuasion” Kilgrave sits where she has sat since Manikin’s body was brought back to Department H, staring at him through the window. Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, Alpha Flight’s leader discovers Kara and asks her if she didn’t hear the alarm which requested all available personnel - Alpha and Beta Flights - as there is trouble in Toronto.

The former Purple Girl just stares back at the cocoon which her former boyfriend lies in and tells Guardian that if it is all the same to her, she would rather stay here, just in case. Heather looks at the cocoon and realizes that Kara still cares for Whit very much. Kara begins to cry, remarking that she feels so helpless, before explaining that Walter thinks Whit’s multi-persona nature is keeping him alive, in a sort of cocooned stasis, but Kara wonders if it is really just that - just a way of keeping death at bay? Or is Manikin healing? Fighting the Jackal’s poisoning. If there is some way they could be helping, well, Kara would give anything to know exactly what is happening in there….

Inside the cocoon that has formed around Beta Flight’s only male member, Doctor Whitman “Manikin” Knapp, Whit himself seems to be walking in some sort of timeline, with various stages of humanity and its technologies all around him - from dinosaurs to horse and carriage to jet planes and astronauts. ‘Where am I?’ he shouts. What is this place? ‘It is the Mind Well’ comes the reply from Manikin’s future self, Highbrow. Whit is surprised to see Highbrow and his past selves, Proto and Apeman here too.

Highbrow explains that they are all here - all the possible past and future selves of Whitman Knapp - in this wondrous place, created and sustained by Whit himself. ‘How?’ asks Whit. Highbrow explains that the Hub is damaged. Chaos - time folds upon itself unless Manikin can be repaired. ‘The final collapse of the Mind Well is assured’ he remarks ominously.

Just outside of Department H, a convoy of vehicles stands ready and watches as a helicopter carrying five occupants takes off. ‘Mobilize crash teams…and move in!’ someone orders.

Back in downtown Toronto, Northstar and Aurora move together as one. Two halves of the same whole, they are formidable opponents on their own - but together they are devastating, which Bull Dozer discovers when they both slam into him. However, the problem with Jean-Paul and Aurora is that neither will admit one needs the other - so more often than not, they do their own thing, and Northstar then speeds off to battle the Wrecker.

But as Northstar approaches the Wrecker, who has his crow bar aimed and ready, Northstar seems to forget that an irresistible force such as he…can still meet an immovable object - and Northstar cries out in pain as the metal bar slams into his body. Seeing her brother wounded like this, Aurora calls out to him, before aiming her powers right at the Wrecker, telling him to burn, and she begins to use her mutant ability to generate light energy, a power that Northstar possesses, but seldom uses. In this case, Aurora wields it as a concussive force.

Aurora seems to be using her power as lightning, but Wrecker just exclaims that he eats lightning, and relishes in the power he is being doused in. Judd realizes that Jean-Paul has internal injuries, and imagines he can almost hear the bones grating against one another. Judd wonders how they managed to let the situation get out of control so fast, and decides that while Thunderball was berserk and needed brining down, this is now different - it is just two teams flexing muscle.

Suddenly, Nemesis, who has retrieved her sword, comes up behind Wrecker and informs him that it is time for death. ‘That so?’ Wrecker asks as his crow bar clangs against Nemesis’ sword, surprised that his bar didn’t snap her sword like a stick. Judd thinks to himself that it is strange how much he has learned to hate vigilantes, even stranger because he used to be one. Nemesis informs the Wrecker that just as magic powers his villainy, magic also guides the divine blades of her retribution.

Judd decides that Nemesis is seriously disturbed, thinking she is Fate’s Angel, he thinks that she is a liability at the best of times. ‘And these aren’t the best of times’. The two metals clang once more, as Nemesis declares ‘Let us see whose magic is the stronger!’ Judd decides that they need to end this quick and clean - before Alpha Flight paint themselves as the sort of menace Robert Hagon believes should be stamped, indexed and filed under obsolete!

Nearby, Thunderball begins to stir, slowly opening his eyes, he gets to his feet and watches his teammate Wrecker fighting Nemesis. He thinks to himself that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Wrecker doesn’t give two hoots Alpha Flight just defeated him, for Wrecker just wants to make him look bad - and himself look good. Thunderball realizes that he cannot fault him, because it was exactly what he did to him.

Wrecker thinks back to recent events - long before Loki stole their Asgardian might and dropped the Wrecker into some one-dimensional backwater, he had laid some contingency plans. For sooner or later, the Wrecker was bound to get tired of sharing his power between all four of them and take it all for himself. So Thunderball had figured out a way to take it right back by way of a trans-dimensional power siphon, pattered on his own altered cell-tissue and programmed to begin a search-retrieve sweep should his bio-reading alter.

It worked well, was easy even, Thunderball thinks that Loki might have gone and got himself killed or something (one can hope). It made Thunderball look real good with the others when he fished Wrecker out of that dimension - and the Wrecker had no choice to accept him as leader. But now this has happened. Thunderball thinks that he knew Wrecker would make his play first chance he got - question is - how does he stop him now?

Back at Department H, several foot soldiers are waiting outside. ‘Can you believe this?’ one of them complains, ‘Six kitchens, twenty or more automated food stations and a pantry the size of a football field…all that…and someone orders takeout!’ When the pizza delivery van approaches the loading bay to Department H, one of the soldiers asks the driver if he is sure that he has the right place, when he and the other soldier are suddenly shot right in the head. The door to the pizza delivery van opens - and a different kind of delivery emerges from it - a group of weapon-carrying men, who head straight for the entrance to Department H.

Back in Toronto, the sword and the crow bar continue to clash, with the Wrecker complaining that Nemesis is making him look like an amateur. Nemesis knocks Wrecker off balance and announces that twilight is gathering, that the eternal night beckons, she orders the Wrecker to surrender to its - ‘SHUT UP!’ shouts the Wrecker as he slams his brow bar down on the concrete by Nemesis’ feet, causing her to leap backwards.

Wrecker exclaims that he isn’t surrendering to her or Thunderball and that he will show them all - ‘Only the Wrecker is fit to lead the Wrecking Crew!’ Nemesis swoops past the Wrecker and slices his chest with her sword, causing him to cry out in pain. Judd thinks back to Department H’s files on the Wrecking Crew, which state that the Wrecker leads the group, so he finds it odd that the Wrecker is carrying on like it is Thunderball who leads the group. He decides that there must be a way to use this to Alpha Flight’s advantage,

Suddenly, a dimensional portal opens above Judd where he is tending to Northstar, and from it leaps the Beta Flight member Goblyn, followed by her sister Laura “Pathway” Dean who is the creator of the portal. Then, sporting a new grey and red costume similar to that of Beta Flight’s, but unique to himself, leaps from the portal ‘Weapon Omega!’ shouts Judd, surprised to see Kyle back in action so soon. ‘My name is Wildheart!’ replies Kyle. ‘Uh huh. Well, whatever. At least it means…the cavalry has arrived!’ Judd thinks as Wildheart leaps onto Wrecker.

Judd gives the command before he is consciously aware of it himself - it is a gut thing. If he is right, if Thunderball jumps like he thinks he will, then it is over. If Judd is wrong, then it is over too…most likely for Alpha Flight.

Elsewhere, at the Ottawa Heights Racquet Club to be precise (Not in the six figure income bracket? Not in this club). Robert Hagon and Joshua Lord have just finished a game and are taking their leave. Hagon exclaims that he wanted results, and tells Lord that his Hardliners have fumbled the ball not once, but twice - first with Albert Louis in Nova Scotia and now with the Wrecking Crew. Hagon reminds Lord that he set up a fictional job, bring the Wrecking Crew in to do it…and in stead of the Hardliners deep-sixing Thunderball, they trigger a rage that takes out half of Toronto.

Lord says nothing as Hagon remarks that when his Super Powers bill is passed - ‘And it will be passed,’ he boasts - he will suggest that the considerably lucrative job of enforcing the registration of such beings goes to a private contractor. ‘Namely you,’ but Hagon tells Lord that he needs proof that the Hardliners have what it takes. ‘I need HEADS!’ he yells. The two men walk side by side, with Lord thinking to himself that he would have Hagon’s head for him daring to speak to him this way - but for the moment, he has need of Robert Hagon. Lord tells Hagon to trust him, and assures him that he will soon have all the trophies he requires.

Back at the battle, Judd orders everyone to target the Wrecker with everything that they have. Heather hits him with the full spectrum of her electromagnetic powers, fluctuating the wavelength too fast for the Wrecker to compensate. Windshear hardens air molecules into microscopic bullets and fires them at gale force into the Wrecker. While Sasquatch finishes the job. ‘Here’s that last one right back at you!’ he shouts as he smashes the Wrecker across the road, where he lands at the feet of his fellow Wrecking Crew.

Power crackles around the Wrecker’s crow bar which Thunderball picks up, declaring that this stinks, for the Wrecking Crew snuck into this town so quiet that even their mothers wouldn’t have known they were here - and yet someone knew exactly where to find Thunderball. Thunderball tells Alpha Flight that the lucked out this time, for the Wrecking Crew had been set up and they don’t dance to anyone’s tune but their own. As the four men begin to disappear, Thunderball warns Alpha Flight that when they find out who set them up, they will be back for them, and Alpha Flight.

Judd thinks that Thunderball made a good speech, smart enough to give them an out, tough enough, with the Wrecker out of the picture to keep Thunderball in charge. Heather narrows her eyes. ‘They’re gone! We did it - we won,’ she remarks, but Judd wonders if they really did, for looking around at the devastation, the shell-shocked faces he realizes how monstrous Alpha Flight must appear - how terrifying. Hagon wants registration - a slight edge to protect his fragile world, and Judd is not sure he disagrees with him anymore.

Back at Department H, Witchfire’s quarters are ablaze. The group that call themselves Judgment enter the med-lab where Manikin is kept - and one of them smacks Persuasion out cold. One of the men announces that the base is cleared, that there was just the two - ‘The witch girl and the purple freak, both accounted for’. The leader of Judgment replies ‘Good’ before declaring that it is time to show the world once and for all that they will no longer sit back as their country is overrun by these abominations.

Motioning to the cocoon which holds Manikin, he declares that with the destruction of this “thing” they strike a blow for - suddenly, he notices someone else in the room, and turns, to where a very angry Wyre is standing. ‘Sorry to interrupt such a pretty speech…but you missed one!’

Elsewhere, Albert Louis hides behind some garbage cans. The Hardliners have followed his steps for days, relentless, unstoppable. There is now only one place for him to run. One possible haven. Toronto - and Alpha Flight!

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Guardian III, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch, Wildheart, Windshear (all Alpha Flight)

Goblyn, Manikin, Pathway, Persuasion (all Beta Flight)

Apeman, Highbrow, Proto (Manikin’s other selves)

Nemesis III


Albert Louis

Joshua Lord

Robert Hagon

Department H foot soldiers

Bulldozer, Pile Driver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)


The Hardliners


On TV Screen:

Guardian III, Northstar, Windshear (all Alpha Flight)

In Thunderball’s Memory:

Bulldozer, Pile Driver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)

Story Notes: 

The incident the newsreader is referring to is Manikin’s injuries at the hands of the second Jackal in Alpha Flight (1st series) #114.

This issue is, in part, narrated by Puck.

The Wrecking Crew’s encounter with Loki can be seen in Thor (1st series) #430-431.

First actual appearances of Joshua Lord and Robert Hagon. Hagon is the man responsible for the Super Powers bill, while Lord is a man who will come to cause plenty of trouble for Alpha Flight - as well as hiding a mysterious secret.

When the helicopter leaves Department H, Judgment remarks that there are five Alphans in the copter, however only Guardian, Wildheart, Pathway and Goblyn arrive in Toronto, and in Alpha Flight (1st series) #120, the possible fifth passenger, Talisman or Shaman, is still not shown. In addition, when searching Department H, Judgment only take into account Persuasion and Witchfire, once more leaving out Talisman and Shaman. While their whereabouts is unaccounted, both Talisman and Shaman appear at the end of Alpha Flight (1st series) #120 at the team meeting.

Issue Information: 
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