Alpha Flight (1st series) #12

Issue Date: 
July 1984
Story Title: 
... And One Shall Surely Die

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

Brief Description: 

Heather Hudson becomes impatient waiting for Mac, and demands some answers from her host Delphine Courtney. Turns out that the job offer from Roxxon was a hoax to lure them to New York, all part of a revenge plan from Jerome Jaxon, who almost ruined Mac’s career years ago. Heather learns that after a failed suicide attempt, Jaxon now sits in a wheel chair, and became obsessed with destroying her and Mac. Heather tries to escape Delphine, her current kidnapper, only to find out that the woman is actually a robot. Delphine leaves the room open, and though Heather realizes that it has to be a trap, she walks out to search for Mac. On an isolated hill in Ontario, Snowbird, Shaman, Northstar, Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch assemble, responding to the Alpha Signal, only Marrina doesn’t show up, as she is with her lover Namor in the city of Atlantis. A brawl starts out between Northstar and Sasquatch over Aurora, and Shaman suspects that Sasquatch'’ rage is caused by a mystical affect. With the combined might of all the Alphans they separate the combatants, and Aurora calms Sasquatch before Shaman teleports them all to New York. They arrive in the chamber where Guardian is holding his own against Omega Flight. The two teams engage in battle, with casualties among both sides. Aurora is wounded by Wild Child, while Snowbird painfully discovers that her lifeforce is bound to the land of Canada. Sasquatch doubts himself, fearing to lose control of his bestial side again. Smart Alec grabs the medicine pouch off Shaman, and despite the warnings from Shaman, looks inside, losing his sanity. Northstar, Shaman and Puck defeat Wild Child, Diamond Lil and Flashback, and it seems the battle is won, when suddenly Box pushes Guardian into secret chamber. He gives him a heavy beating, and reveals to be Jaxon inside the suit, not Roger Bochs the former Beta Flight member. Struggling to survive, Mac uses some wires from his beat-up suit to repel Box from him, which subsequently frying Jaxon’s mind due to the feedback. Mac tries to shut down his power pack, and with ten seconds to go seems to be doing an okay job - until Heather walks into the room, distracting him – and he blows up, his body turning to ashes.

Full Summary: 

In a very modern office-residence suite near the World Trade Center, New York, Heather Hudson has become a very impatient woman. The mysterious woman with her, the woman who picked her up from the airport asks if everything is to her satisfaction. Heather tells the other woman that it is not, and that she has been waiting two hours now for her husband, whom she was told, would join her here, but still is not here. Heather asks where he is. Delphine Courtney comes over to Heather, and tells her that she too was assured Dr. Hudson would be with them soon after. Delphine tells Heather that he had a very important meeting to attend, which is why he could not meet her at the airport himself. Abruptly, Heather tells Courtney that she knows the story, and so she was to meet her at the airport, and bring her here – which just raises more questions.

Heather continues one of the questions being exactly who she, Delphine, is, as Heather tells her Mac didn’t mention her at all. Delphine walks over to the television, and tells Heather that, like she told her at the airport, she is a business associate of Macs. Delphine suggests Heather watch some television to pass the time. Heather begins to get very cross, and tells Delphine that as there hasn’t been anything interesting on the television since 1966 she is not interested in watching it – but she wants answers. In a patronizing tone of voice Delphine tells Heather that she shall get her answers, but first she should watch this television program, as Delphine assures Heather shall find this particular program very interesting….

Heather tells Delphine not to use that condescending tone with her. Heather tells Delphine that she is beginning to smell a very large rat here, and wants to see Mac now. ‘Hello Heather. It’s been a long time’ is suddenly heard from the television. Heather’s face shows an expression of pure shock, and even fear as she turns to the television and sees Jerry Jaxon…after all these years! Jaxon’s voice cracks from the television and informs Heather that it is a prerecorded tape, so he is not sure if she actually recognizes him, especially as, no doubt, the years would have been much kinder to her than they were to him. Though considering the amount of time they spent together, Jaxon suspects she remembers – after all, how could she forget the man she betrayed?

(partially flashback, ca 10 years ago, continued from flashback sequences of Alpha Flight #3)

Jaxon, obviously still very bitter after the ten years that passed since he saw Mac and Heather last, reminds Heather of how at the time they both worked for him at Am-Cam Petro-Chemical in Canada. And that Mac was just a bleeding-heart boy genius who got uppity when he found out that the American military had been sponsoring them, and that they had come to claim the exploration suit that he had designed and built.

Sarcastically, Jaxon reminds Heather of the extraordinary coincidence it was that the suit was stolen that same night, by someone who knew how to operate it, and left it on a hillside overlooking Am-Cam – without the cybernetic helmet that operates it. But of course Heather knows all of this…Jaxon continues, and gets on to what Heather does not know – what she and her husband never bothered to find out…is that two days later Jaxon was summoned to the head office in Houston – and fired!

Jaxon had given eighteen years of his life to Am-Cam, yet in seventy-two hours he had become a corporate non-entity. At the airport in Houston, Jaxon discovered that his ticket back to Canada had been canceled. Jaxon used his own money to get back to Canada, and arrived back at his house just in time to see his wife leaving with the children. Jaxon did marry the boss’s daughter after all. Suddenly, Jaxon discovered what a fragile house of cards the life he built for himself had become. In the space of eight months, he went from the golden-boy, the head-hunters dream, to an unemployed unemployable. Am-Cam’s reach was long, their vengeance was inescapable, as he had broken the number one rule in business – he had failed. By the end of the year, Jaxon had no money, no prospects, and decided to kill himself. He would have succeeded too, had not the landlady decided to evict him at that moment. She called the police, who in turn called the hospital.

Three weeks later in the charity ward of the hospital, Jaxon was dealt the final ironic hand – his unsuccessful suicide attempt…the noose had however cut off oxygen long enough to cause brain damage, and Jaxon would never walk again.


Heather is somewhat taken aback when the television suddenly reveals Jaxon in his wheelchair. Jaxon probably knew how his former secretary would react and speaks to her appropriately. While Jaxon admits to being a cripple, he tells Heather that it is only in body, as his spirit, while crushed, would soon take a new lease of life – revenge.


Jaxon’s turn to vengeance began with the first public of the man called Guardian, the first super-hero Canada had known since the Second World War. The country was overcome with patriotic pride, here was its own Captain America! A hero that was for their times, in a Country torn by internal bickering. This super-hero was to Jerry Jaxon something much more – after all, how could he fail to notice that Guardian’s battle suit clearly operated on the same principles as James MacDonald Hudson’s inventions. For the next several months, a very unkempt Jaxon practically lived in the public libraries, as he poured over every reference to Guardian in the news paper files. Jaxon found, buried inconspicuously in a tiny article, Guardian’s connection to the government. It appeared that Guardian was quite fully authorized by the Ministry of Defense.

Jaxon tells Heather that he was light-headed and almost nauseous with anticipation, and using the last of his change he called the Ministry of Defense. Jaxon asked to speak to James Hudson, thinking that it was an impossible long shot, twenty seconds later however, it paid off – as Hudson answered the call….

Suddenly, Jaxon’s shattered life was put back together, as he found a purpose again. But Jaxon knew he needed special help, and he knew where to get it from too. For the first time in ten years, a wheelchair bound Jerry Jaxon returned to New York. Jaxon knew from his past dealings that Roxxon Oil was interested in obtaining and controlling unique energy sources. He told their chairman what he deducted about Guardian. Thankfully for Jaxon, not so for Mac, the chairman was intrigued. Jaxon outlined his plan to D’Angelo, the chairman, and he took Jaxon to the Special Developments Department, where he was introduced to a very special woman - Delphine Courtney. Delphine became Jaxon’s intermediary, his legs, as she traveled all across Canada, contacting certain special people, inviting them to join a very special project, not to mention that she has rather tremendous influence….


Jaxon’s appearance leeks from the television and tells Heather Hudson that just as her husband recruited super powered individuals for Alpha Flight, he followed in his footsteps, creating Omega Flight- but they have one purpose only – the death of James MacDonald Hudson, and the destruction of Alpha Flight…. The television screen flickers to black, and fists clenched, Heather stares at it still. She realizes that the job offer for Mac, and the move to New York was all just a set up.

Heather begins to rush out of the room, saying that she is not going to be part of it, that even though other wives and girlfriends may be content to play bait, she is not going to stand around waiting for anyone to use her to lure Mac into trouble. Delphine begins to follow Heather, and tells her that she misses the point, and as she grabs Heather and throws her back across the room, she tells her that her husband has already been taken – but that she must remain with them anyway. Heather lands across the room, and Delphine tells her that her subjugation and destruction is important to Jaxon - especially as their research led them to the conclusion that the betrayal was in fact Heather’s idea. As Heather is picked up off the floor by the surprisingly strong Delphine, she tells her that she uses the term “betrayal” rather loosely, especially as Jaxon could learn a few lessons himself on that one.

Heather tells Delphine that Mac built the exploratory suit based on designs he made while he was still in college, and that Mac trusted Jaxon because he told him the decisions governing the use of the suit would be Mac’s – but Jaxon betrayed him! Heather is about to swear when Delphine cuts her off by slapping her, knocking off her glasses. Delphine tells Heather that she shouldn’t speak that way about Jaxon, as he is a fine and decent man who has had a very hard life. Heather scrambles up, and Delphine tells her that if she does not wish for her to chastise her any further – ‘Chastise?’ Heather cries, and calling Delphine a “blue-haired harpy” claws at her face – which when Heather pulls away her fingers, she is revealed a nasty surprise as Delphine’s skin pulls away easily…

Meanwhile, as Heather makes a very startling discovery, two of her closest friends are preparing for the events yet to come. Atop a hillside, Ontario Canada. Shaman tells Snowbird that the others come. Shaman senses the flow of ancient energies as the rest of Alpha Flight has heard Guardian’s call. He tells Narya that they will be here soon. Snowbird tells Shaman that she feels it too, but she also feels that he is greatly troubled. Twoyoungmen tells Snowbird that she is correct as he feels a terrible and great evil, and that the stench of Death hangs heavily on the winds. Narya asks whom Death waits for, and Michael tells her that all he knows that it is a friend of long-standing. Snowbird suggests to her friend that he reads the signs incorrectly, especially as the fates struggle to keep their secrets, even from adepts such as themselves. The innocent Snowbird hesitates before asking Michael if it is also the anniversary of his wife’s death. Twoyoungmen turns away from the goddess and tells her that it is, and that is probably the Ghost of Ancient Pain that colors his thoughts today. He prays that is the case. Snowbird tells him to save his prayers as he may have greater need of them before they day is out. In an attempt to change the subject, Narya tells Michael that she wonders which one of their teammates will join them first.

Vancouver, British Columbia…in an apartment near False Creak. Walter Langkowski is changing into travel clothing which allows Aurora to carry him, and protects him against the friction of her speed – but she hasn’t returned to his apartment, and the outfit is very hot, so Walt is getting rather annoyed at Aurora’s lateness, especially as he expected her back more than forty minutes ago. He wonders where on Earth – and in knowing Aurora, he means literally – she can be.
As if on cue, Aurora suddenly appears clad in only a swimsuit at Walter’s window. Aurora tells her lover that he should of come with her, as the ocean at St. Tropez was magnificent. Walt tells her that he is sure it was, but he thinks his neighbors probably aren’t quite prepared for flying ladies.

Aurora enters the apartment, and tells her lover not to scold her as she was simply returning the way she knew quickest, by flying back. Walter asks her how quick it was, as they received Guardian’s signal an hour ago. Aurora agrees with Walt, but asks him if they have to answer the signal straight away, as there is something else they should do first… the two kiss, but Walt resists. He tells Aurora that she knows he has zero resistance to her charms, and that this is not the time to start something they will not be able to finish. Being held up in mid air by Walter, Aurora asks him why he is in such a rush. Walt tells Aurora that it is because this is the first time since the battle with the Ravager that they have received the Alpha Signal, which means it, is important. Walt asks Aurora to get her costume on – which she does in the blink of an eye. He thinks to himself that he will never get used to her speed. Rather moody, Aurora says ‘D’accord Walter. Let us be on our way’.

Minutes later, a slightly less than aerodynamic form streaks east across the Canadian Rockies. Clinging onto Aurora’s shoulder’s Walt tells her to be alert, as they should be picking up Shaman’s homing vibes any second. Aurora tells her lover she senses Twoyoungmen’s direction. She tells Walt to hold on to her tightly as she is about to ‘as they say…”pour it on”’. And the sonic boom of Aurora increasing in speed breaks the tranquillity of the mountains.

(nearly one hour ago)

In a less fashionable part to Toronto, Eugene Milton Judd, a.k.a. one of the newest Alpha Flight members, Puck, sits in a small room and meditates, turning mind and spirit inwards, seeking and isolating centers of pain. It is an old and familiar process for the man known Puck, as his body is distorted by dwarfism, he is not stranger to the pain. But his ritual will today be interrupted… Eugene stirs as the Alpha signal, implanted in his ear, sounds. Judd quickly dresses in his costume, and races from his from his room thinking he had not had much action since the Brass Bishop affair. On the roof of the apartment block, Puck thinks that someone should be along to pick him up soon, and is excited about what is to come, especially after Hudson promised he wouldn’t be left out like last time.

Suddenly, Puck sees someone flying over towards him, though he is very surprised to see that the figure is Northstar. As Northstar lands on Puck’s roof, Puck welcomes him, and tells him he was more expecting to see Snowbird or Aurora, and asks why Aurora is not with him. Angrily, Northstar tells Puck that it is none of his concern, and asks him if he has felt Shaman’s signal. Puck tells Jean-Paul that he received it a few minutes ago, and that they are being summoned north. To himself, Puck thinks that something is very wrong between the twins, and is mad at Jean-Paul for biting his head off like that. As Puck holds onto Northstar’s shoulders, the two fly away, and Judd thinks that from the first time he met the twins he thought something odd about them - as if they were hiding something. Judd says nothing however, keeping his thoughts to himself, while Northstar wonders what will happen if his sister has answered the call as well.

Meanwhile, at that time also, only beneath the ocean in the fabled city of Atlantis. Alpha Flight’s other new member, Marrina plays in the crushing depths, with the Prince of Atlantis, Namor the Sub-Mariner. Marrina is unlike any woman the Prince has ever met, and she accepted his offer to come to Atlantis to unlock the mysteries of her past. The two are now lovers, and she has found much, much more. The Alpha Signal, located in her amulet, goes unheard and unanswered as it hangs in her quarters, some miles away.


Back in Ontario, Snowbird’s question as to which of her teammates will join her and Shaman first is answered, as Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora and Puck all arrive at the same time. Shaman welcomes them all and thanks them for answering Guardian’s signal. Walter tells Shaman that it is good to see him again, and asks if he has any ideas as to what is going on. Before Shaman can answer, Northstar asks Aurora if they can talk. Jeanne-Marie tells him that she has said all she needed to say to him, and that there is nothing further to discuss. Northstar grabs his sister by the shoulder, and tells her there is more to discuss, and that while he said some foolish things, it was never his intention to hurt her. He tells Jeanne-Marie that there must be another way to resolve their problems other than terminating their partnership.

Aurora calls for Walter, and her boyfriend pulls Jean-Paul off of her. Northstar pleads with his sister some more, and Walt tells him that he has said his piece, and Jeanne-Marie obviously is not interested. Northstar says he should have known his sister would end up back with Walt again, and says to him ‘Keep your stupid paws to yourself. I am not in the habit of being manhandled’. Pushing Walt back, he trips on a root and falls over. On the ground Walt sarcastically remarks at how careless Northstar is today. Telling everyone it has been a while since they all got together, Walt begins to shapeshift into Sasquatch. He guesses Jean-Paul must have forgot whom he was shoving…and as his clothes rip off his body, Walt tells Northstar he has been in need of being taken down a peg or two for years…and that today it is going to happen!

Fully transformed, Sasquatch picks Jean-Paul up before he can even think about flying away. Before Sasquatch’s fist meets Northstar’s face however, Puck intervenes and somersaults against Sasquatch’s face, knocking Jean-Paul out of his grasp. Puck dodges away from Sasquatch while he rubs his eyes, and realizes that he didn’t even hurt him, but hopefully shook him back to his senses. However…as Sasquatch uproots a tree, it obviously didn’t work. Sasquatch tells Puck that he has stuck his nose into a private argument, and so he uses the tree as a makeshift hockey stick…and says he will see how many goals he can score with Puck.
Puck is narrowly missed as the tree slams into the ground.

Shaman was afraid something like this would happen, as he has noticed subtle changes in Sasquatch, and that his physiognomy has altered since he was first able to transform himself, and now the bestial nature is coming into force. From his medicine pouch, Shaman pulls a stick, and decides that Walt’s mental stability is for a later debate and for now he must be stopped! Shaman plunges the stick deep into the ground, and though at first nothing seems to happen… until, like a time-lapsed photograph, roots sprout from the ground and begin to climb Sasquatch. Sasquatch drops the tree and within seconds he is utterly immobile. However, a certain someone views the event in a different light – the wrong light, and Northstar begins to punch the restrained Sasquatch. Northstar congratulates Shaman for capturing Walt, and sets about showing him his way of “correcting” him. To some, they may just see Northstar lay a single blow on Sasquatch, but in reality, Jean-Paul has punched Sasquatch over a hundred times in less than a second.

Meanwhile, watching with growing concern, the teams’ resident goddess now acts. Snowbird orders Northstar to stop his beating of Sasquatch, as he is only making him angrier. Her command goes unheeded however…until she changes into the form of an Ookpik, and as a great owl, she flies at Northstar. Jean-Paul tells her to keep out of it. Shaman wonders if Snowbird would be so quick to protect Sasquatch if his suspicions about Sasquatch’s true nature prove correct, but again decides it is something for later though, especially as they are wasting pointless time bickering. From his pouch, the medicine man pulls mystical powders, and cries ‘Enough’! The powders barely touch the air, though there is suddenly a dramatic change – as for nearly a mile around all flying things find themselves suddenly immobilized, unharmed, but unable to move.

Shaman now turns to Aurora, and reminding her that her presence has calmed Sasquatch in the past, requests that she tries to do the same again. Somewhat uncertain, Jeanne-Marie tells Twoyoungmen that she will try. As Jeanne-Marie slowly approaches the trapped Sasquatch she remembers him of the many intimate moments they have shared together, and while their relationship has not been perhaps love, it has been something close to it. Now though as she looks into the twisted features, the rippling muscles, she is afraid of him. Jeanne-Marie gathers her courage and speaks to Walt in a soft and soothing voice, and slowly, Sasquatch ceases his struggles, and his rage subsides. Until, he seems to not know what just happened to him. Shaman releases him from the roots that held him in place, and tells him that he will explain later. He tells Walt that now he is back in control, they must be on their way, as Guardian has need of them.

Suddenly, the air around the six Alphans seems to crackle, like the distant sound of ice breaking in the far north, as Shaman reveals the teams method of transportation – a teleportation spell. A ring of powder stirs around the group, yet it is not disturbed by the wind, and almost like a solid thing it settles, and it is Canada’s premiere super heroes who fade from view…

… and reappear suddenly in Roxxon Oil HQ, New York, right in the midst of a battle between Guardian and Omega Flight! Alpha Flight is stunned at the scene before them, and Mac tells them to ‘Pick a “partner” and finish the fight’. A electromagnetic blast fired by Guardian, bounces right off Diamond Lil, who tells him that while it is powerful, he should know it cannot hurt her. At her side, Wildchild tells Lillian Crawley not to get too cocky, as Guardian knows their powers just as well as they do. Being sarcastic, Flashback tells Wildchild that he knew he was the smart one in the group, to which Smart Alec tells Gardner Munroe to save his sarcasm, and reminds him that no one in Omega Flight can fly, and that only his dopplegangers can reach Mac while he is in the air.

Flashback obliges, and, using practically no will at all, Flashback summons one if his future men, who, with a comical popping sound, lands on Guardian. Guardian comments that he Department H must have trained him well, but not well enough, as Mac throws the doppleganger against a wall. The negative costumed future Flashback is silent as he is hurled across the room, but Flashback has no interest in his fallen other-self, and the air around Guardian explodes with more popping, and the red and white hero suddenly vanishes beneath the growing pile of Flashbacks.

The rest of Alpha Flight have not been standing by idle as this all occurs, and Aurora flies into the action, telling her brother not to stand there like a “lump”, and reminds him that Guardian said these others are their enemies, so they must stop them, and quickly. Aurora lands by Wildchild, and tells her “ugly friend” that he looks about the right size for her. Wildchild turns around, and tells Aurora that while his face may not be as pretty as hers, it is shame on her for one freak to call another names. Kyle Gibney lunges at Aurora, and tells her that such a lapse in manners should be dealt with severely! Wildchild rakes his claws across Aurora’s shoulder, and as she screams, he tells her that while his talons are not as impressive as Wolverine’s, they are similarly effective.

Before Wildchild can progress any further, Alpha Flight’s resident goddess, Snowbird tells him to ‘Hold’ and says to him that he is ‘not the only one with claws…or the urges to use them!’ Snowbird moves like a hawk ready to swoop, calling upon the power of the land to nourish her and give her strength. For just a moment a portal seems to open to another realm, and in that brief moment, the woman called Narya seems no longer human. But tragedy strikes, and before Snowbird has gone three paces, the world turns askew, and Snowbird stumbles. Crouching on the ground, Snowbird is shocked and scared by the sudden disappearance of her powers.

Diamond Lil seizes the opportunity, and plucks a strand of hair from her own head. Lillian Crawley tells Snowbird that if she falls down on the job, she just may not get back up again. Diamond Lil pulls the single strand of hair around Snowbird’s neck, the powerless goddess tells Diamond Lil that she must not bleed. Diamond Lil says to Snowbird ‘Where’s it say that honey? In yer super hero rule book?’ Shaman approaches the two woman and tells Diamond Lil that Snowbird speak the truth, and the words are written in a place older than she can even imagine... Reaching into his medicine pouch, Twoyoungmen tells Lil that while his magicks cannot harm her indestructible body, there are other things he may do against the likes of her – more subtle things…and an odd mist floats in the air, it twirls and changes and Diamond Lil tries to brush the powers away, as they enter her only vulnerable spot – her mind.

With Lillian now distracted, Shaman aides Narya. He asks her what is wrong, as he lifts her from the ground she tells him that she does not know, only that she has never felt this way before, and it is if her very life is being drained away. Twoyoungmen is shocked when he looks at Narya. Where once there was a healthy young woman, now lies a withered old woman, who withers away before his eyes. Michael wonders if it was a mystical weapon that their enemies had prepared for her arrival – but suddenly remembers that it is his entire fault! He remembers back to when he delivered Narya, and had to bind her to the land and to humanity. Shaman regrets that he must have been to specific in his spell, and bound her life-force to Canada, whereas if she steps out of Canada…she can die.

Just behind Shaman, another mind has reached the same conclusion. Smart Alec had deduced that Snowbird might succumb if she were removed from Canada, and takes the opportunity to act further, with Shaman occupied with Narya’s safety, Alec Thorne grabs from Shaman his medicine pouch. Thorne tells Shaman he intends to find out just what it is that he keeps inside. Shaman tells Smart Alec that the medicine bag is more than even he could comprehend, and warns him against looking into it. Thorne tells Shaman to spare him the warning, as during their Gamma Flight training sessions he has seen him pull almost anything out of it. Thorne tells Shaman that with the new ecephalo-helmet he wears, it augments his IQ. The audio-visual scanners let him hear on every frequency, and see on every radio wave length. Alec grins as he tells Shaman the secrets of the pouch will now belong to Omega Flight.

Smart Alec looks, and like he said, he looks on all wavelengths of light, far beyond those of human capabilities of perception. Simultaneously, he probes high into the ultra-violet and deep into the infrared. With radiation not normally considered part of sight, he sees. And of what he learns, if anything at all, he will never be able to tell anyone. For when Michael Twoyoungmen’s grandfather taught him the ways of the medicine bag, he warned him against ever looking into. As the last dwindling spark of sanity flickers out, of him, for an instant, Smart Alec knows why.

As Shaman recovers his bag from Omega Flight’s first causality, Box, who is spinning Sasquatch around way above his head, tells the Alphan that he is disappointed, as from his reputation, he was expecting a real fight out of him. He asks the silent Sasquatch if this is the best he can hope from someone who went one-on-one with the Hulk? As Sasquatch is thrown across the room, he thinks to himself that he should be able to take Box apart easily, but regrets that he is afraid to use his strength, and afraid to loose control again. As Sasquatch lands against a wall, he wonders what if he doesn’t fight back, doesn’t do everything he can, then what good is he to Alpha Flight?

Not quite meanwhile, Wildchild lifts Aurora off the ground, and asks her if she would like to continue from where they started? Frightened, Aurora pleads with Gibney, and tells him that she is sorry. Meanwhile, Northstar is aware of his sister’s plight, and realizes that she is not resisting Wildchild, as she is too badly shaken, and hurt seriously for the first time in a battle. Jean-Paul decides that if he doesn’t act quickly, she may revert to her Jeanne-Marie persona. And then there will be no hope for her at all. At close to his top speed, Northstar flashes across the chamber, a silver and ebony streak, almost invisible to mortal eyes, he picks Wildchild up, telling him they will vary his little game. Wildchild is taken aback by Northstar, and Jean-Paul tells him that he is not so eloquent when taken by surprise. But Northstar assures him not to worry, as his decomposure will be short lived – and as Wildchild slams into the wall, as Northstar let go of him before turning direction at the last moment – Jean-Paul tells Kyle that his will be also.

Elsewhere, as Heather McNeil Hudson lay injured on the floor, the woman known as Delphine Courtney has suddenly revealed her true nature after Heather ripped her face. Delphine says that it is a shame her secret is discovered, as even Jaxon does not know her true nature. Heather is shocked to see that Delphine is some kind of android. Delphine corrects Heather, telling her that she is actually a robot, a very special kind of robot built with the highest degree of artificial intelligence, which some people have likened to intuition. Delphine tells Heather that that is why she was given the form and voice of a human female, especially as her creators were rather chauvinistic in that respect. Heather asks Delphine how she can be helping Jaxon in his scheme to kill Mac, as all robots were programmed never to harm a human being.

Delphine tells Heather her idea is very quaint, but that she has not been programmed with any such notions, and that she has only been programmed to help Jaxon in achieving his goals – whatever they may be. With that Delphine leaves the room, and Heather rises from the floor. Heather sees that the door is left open, and after remembering that Delphine said that she was to be used and abused like her husband…that the invitation of an open door obviously means trap. As Heather limps out of the room, she gets the feeling that she will not get any closer to Mac unless she plays the “good little moussie” and walk into it.

Back in the chamber where the battle between Alpha and Omega occurs, Flashback grumbles that his future men are not bringing Guardian out of the air like they are supposed to, and regrets that he has to keep summoning more and more future selves. Puck taps him on the shoulder, telling him otherwise. As Judd twists the former Beta Flight member down, he tells his former teammate that he was always too cocky for his own good, as even in Beta Flight, he was always forgetting he had nothing else going for him other than his temporal displacement. With that, Judd knocks his former teammate out, and as he lapses into unconsciousness, his future men suddenly disappear from Guardian. Now free to help his teammates, Mac tells those that are available that they are hardly up against the X-Men! He tells them to put ‘Omega to Omega Flight’.

However, in the fraction of a second that James Hudson dropped his guard to speak, Box jumps up from behind him, telling him that he will not find it that easy. Mac is surprised to see Box lunging for him, and as a panel in the wall opens up revealing a ductway, he pushes himself and Guardian through. Instantly the armored panel shuts again, thus stopping Northstar or Aurora to get through, and the two combatants plunge down the duct. Plummeting to the ground, Box tells Guardian that he cannot win, and Mac lands first, shattering the ground beneath him. Box reminds Mac that he helped in the development of the Box robot, and made him powerful enough to shut down his own suit’s forcefield, and powerful enough to take away the cybernetic helmet. Mac pleads with Roger Bochs, telling him he understands how the other four turned against him, but is puzzled as to why he would. Mac reminds the armored man that he recruited him into Department H himself, as his psych profile was perfect; intelligent; patriotic; loyal…

Box tells Mac that he is a fool! As he uses his armored strength to punch the defenseless Mac, he asks him why he hasn’t worked out who it is really that is killing him, and tells him that Roger Bochs would never turn on he or Alpha Flight! The voice crackles from behind the robot, telling Mac that he is not Roger Bochs…but Jaxon! Jaxon whacks Mac again, and tells him that even he should have realized that he would allow anyone else the pleasure of killing him. Jaxon tells Mac that his life belongs to him, and he is going to grind it out of him. He tells injured Mac that when he is dead, it will be his pleasure to do the same to his witch of a wife! Mac thinks only of Heather, and Jaxon interrupts those thoughts by asking him if he ever wondered if he would find a way, over all the long years, to punish him and his wife for what they did to him.

Mac thinks that he only has one chance, even with the suit shorted, the power pack is still alive. Mac tears some circuits out of his cybernetic suit, and pushes them into the Box robot’s helmet, which all of a sudden charges, and with a flash of light separating the archenemies. Not far away, in his wheelchair, Jaxon receives some nasty feedback from the blast, which in effect destroys his brain. After letting out a cry, Delphine Courtney asks him what is wrong. Of course he cannot answer, and hidden in the shadows, tied up on the floor, the quadriplegic Roger Bochs tells Courtney that he warned Jaxon, that Mac knew everything about the Box robot, and that if he anyone on Earth could beat him, it would have been Guardian.

At that same time, a battered Mac, in a broken cybernetic suit thinks that he knew it would work, even though it was huge risk, as he may have been killed by the blast. But Mac probably would have been killed otherwise. He walks over to the Box robot, and thinks he will have to help Roger build a new one. He hopes roger is still alive, and glad that he didn’t betray Alpha Flight after all. James thinks that he probably even would have been ready to be moved up to Alpha Flight if the government had not cut Alpha loose. Right now though, Mac decides he better disconnect his power pack, as the suit has taken such a beating, it will blow any second if he doesn’t cut it loose…Mac thinks he has got about ten seconds.

9… Mac tells himself not to feel too pressured… 8… After all, it is only the basic life or death situation… 7… And of course he designed the suit with easy access to all parts… 6… Though, that was before it took such a beating… 5… Trying to remain calm, Mac tells himself to take it easy… 4… He detaches all primary leads to the power pack… 3… But the pack doesn’t want to slide all that well… 2… Mac gets it, and pulls the secondary leads out as well… 1… Unfortunately, the suit is still overheating…

Wondering what is behind a door, wounded, Heather opens the door – and is shocked to see Mac. Distracted, Mac turns to the door, equally shocked to see her, he quickly tells her not to come in – when suddenly, Mac’s suit explodes, and enflamed, he falls to the ground, calling Heather’s name. Heather stumbles over to his burning body calling his…but only sees the ashes of James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, Canada’s premiere super-hero. And her nightmare is about to begin.

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Guardian, Marrina, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)

Heather McNeil Hudson

Box I


Box II / Jerome Jaxon, Diamond Lil, Flashback, Smart Alec, Wildchild (all Omega Flight)

Delphine Courtney

In flashbacks:

James MacDonald Hudson / Guardian

Jerome Jaxon

Jaxon’s unnamed wife and two children

American Military official

Am-Cam President

Airport clerk




August D‘Angelo, Roxxon Oil chairman

Roxxon Oil staff

Delphine Courtney

Smart Alec

Story Notes: 

The cover to this issue is one of the most famous Alpha Flight covers, and has been homaged three times since. The first time was Alpha Flight (1st series) #129, during the three-part final to the first series “No Future”, the second time was on the twelfth issue of the second series, as a tribute to John Byrne. The third time was on the twelfth issue of Alpha Flight (3rd series).

In the flashback sequence, Jaxon refers to Mac as Guardian, though at the time of Mac’s first costumed appearance he was called Weapon Alpha, and it was not until after another code name, Vindicator, that Mac chose Guardian as his code name. [Uncanny X-Men #109, 121, Alpha Flight (1st series) #2]

Heather and Mac’s origin in dealing with Jaxon and stealing the exo-skeleton was shown in the Origin of Guardian [backstories of Alpha Flight (1st series) #2-#3].

Shamans’ wife, and grandfather, both died on the same day as was seen in the Origin of Shaman [backstory of Alpha Flight (1st series) #5]

Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar and Shaman teamed up with the Thing to deal with the mystical Ravager. [Marvel Two-in-One #84]

Puck thinks about his recent battle with the Brass Bishop, but this story was not told until many, many years later in the second series of Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #16] Puck was left out of Alpha Flight’s full team battle that occurred in the first issue of Alpha Flight.

Marrina has been with Namor since the two met, and instantly intrigued each other. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #4]

Northstar and Aurora have been at odds since they had an argument regarding Aurora’s choice of men, and when Northstar thought that she slept with Deadly Earnest. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #8]

While Northstar and Aurora possess super speed, their reflexes are not proportionately faster.

To bind Snowbird to the Earth, and give her the power to form a human body, Shaman had to bind her to the land, [backstory of Alpha Flight (1st series) #7] which as seen here had serious repercussions for Snowbird. Later, when she fell in love with a mortal man, she would denounce her heritage and the gods broke the spell, enabling her to leave Canada easily. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33, 39] With her resurrection, the restrictions no longer apply either. [Generation X #58, Uncanny X-Men #422]

The only known person who can look into Shaman’s pouch is his daughter, Talisman. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #18-19]. Smart Alec is later revealed to have been shrunken by Shaman and stored in the pouch, until Shaman can restore his mind. However Shaman kind of forget about him until some spirit possesses Thorne’s body to wreck havoc on Alpha Flight [Alpha Flight (1st series) #45].

Box will go on to join Alpha Flight, [Alpha Flight (1st series) #29] though end up as a great threat to the team also. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #48]

Heather will continue to have the nightmare of walking in on Mac before he explodes off-and-on throughout both series of Alpha Flight.

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