Alpha Flight (1st series) #58

Issue Date: 
May 1988
Story Title: 
Well, you can bet your bones it’s not on Liveworld

Bill Mantlo (Writer), Jim Lee (Penciler), Al Milgrom (Inkers), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Marc McLaurin (Assistant Editor), Carl Potts (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Aboard the Boxship, Alpha Flight work at a plan as to how to retrieve the flight plan back to Earth from the ship’s memory banks, until Laura Dean is attacked on Liveworld by a sorceress named the Dreamqueen, who claims to be the mistress of Liveworld, and who wants Goblyn. This causes Goblyn to react, but whereas she would normally take her sister’s place in times of danger, she cannot, and lashes out aboard the Boxship, destroying the flight path memory and incapacitating all Alphans except Heather. In the process, the Purple Girl used her powers to mind merge with Goblyn, but at the same time is merged with Box, meaning the new flight plan sends them to Liveworld. With Jeffries not in control of the Boxship, Heather must stop it from crashing into a floating island, and while she succeeds, she also fails because it crashes into another. In the process, most of the metal matter is vaporized, Jeffries only has enough left to recreate his original Box armor and Heather is unconscious, no one can figure out if she is alive or dead. Goblyn makes her way to the Dreamqueen’s citadel where Laura is imprisoned, and the Dreamqueen asks her to take her to the other world where she comes from, realizing that it can be done as there are strangers in her realm. However when Goblyn refuses, the Dreamqueen sets dozens of warriors upon her as Alpha Flight make their way to the citadel as the Purple Girl sensed Goblyn and Laura Dean in danger.

Full Summary: 

Space, the Final Frontier’ exclaims Madison “Box” Jeffries, who has transformed himself into a chair for his leader and lover, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson, as they streak through space in the Boxship that Jeffries designed for the team. Heather, the leader of Alpha Flight, formerly Canada’s premiere super hero team, tells her lover that he is very funny, but that she would more likely to laugh if they were safely home. Wanda “Sasquatch” Langkowski asks Heather where home exactly is, reminding them that it is not as if Alpha Flight gets shot out into space everyday, explaining that it took the full force of the metal mass of Bedlam’s complex to make Box large enough to battle Tundra, then converting most of that mass into energy to destroy Tundra that blasted Box, with Alpha inside him, spaceward in the Boxship.

‘That’s what I call a snappy synopsis!’ jokes Jeffries as Heather remarks Sasquatch may have been a trifle long-winded, but that she did point out the teams peril. Heather adds that Box has to continually convert his mass into energy if they are to get anywhere, but that his mass is finite, so when it runs out, they will be stranded in space. Heather mutters ‘Some leader I am - I can lead them into battle, but I can’t lead them home!’ Sasquatch jokes that they should break out the violins and asks Heather when it is that she is going to ease up on herself. Wanda tells Heather that she is doing fine and that she knows she will get them home.

To the side of the Alphans stand three members of Beta Flight - Whitman “Manikin” Knapp, Kara “the Purple Girl” Kilgrave and Goblyn. Holding Kara, his girlfriend, Whit points out that with Mansion Alpha destroyed, its not like they have a home to go to anyway. Kara declares that she doesn’t want to die here and turns around to face Whit. They hug as Whit tells Kara that it will be okay, because they will be together. ‘Knowing you’re going to die in good company isn’t exactly comforting, Whit,’ Kara remarks.

Sasquatch declares that no one is going to die and announces that she has a plan. She points out that the Boxship is just a variation on the Box robot, and that the Box robot is run by an intricate central processing unit. ‘That’s my brain you’re talking about!’ exclaims Jeffries, to which Wanda agrees, but points out that it is linked to a sophisticated computer, and as she adjusts the equipment aboard the Boxship, exclaims that all computers can be programmed.

Wanda asks everyone if they understand, but no one seems to, so she begins to explain, that when Jeffries phased Box into the Boxship and blasted them all off Earth, the “memory” of that flight must have been imprinted in his computer-brain programming. Heather asks why then can he just not fly them home, to which Manikin declares that he forgot the course, but that if Sasquatch is right, then the computer-brain didn’t, and shows Heather where to use her electromagnetic powers to open up the memory banks of the Boxship.

Working with some equipment, Wanda declares that with a little “brain salad surgery” they may be able to unlock the memories, to which Kara asks what will happen if they screw up. Wanda just says that she would rather have a bottle in front of her than a frontal lobotomy. ‘Intense!’ remarks the Purple Girl. When Goblyn growls, Kara asks her what has gotten into her, but Goblyn begins to skulk off somewhere in the Boxship, with Kara following her. The Purple Girl should however, be familiar enough with the newest member of Beta Flight by now to know that Goblyn’s growling usually mean danger - to her twin sister, Laura Dean.

Elsewhere, is this danger? No, it is Liveworld. Laura Dean smells a flower and smiles in this other-dimensional refuge to which Goblyn transports her sister when danger threatens on Earth, a.k.a. Deadworld. Liveworld has always been sanctuary, a safe haven - until now. The flower shoots something out of itself, knocking Laura Dean back into a river. She begins to stand up as leech-like creatures emerge from the water, so she runs, but the follow her, try to tangle her up as even the butterflies attack her.

Laura escapes the attack, rushes away from the water and looking behind herself she calls to Goblyn - only to run into a white-skinned woman’s outstretched hand. The fear on Laura’s face doubles, as the green-haired woman tells Laura it is funny she should mention her savage sister, for she is interested in her whereabouts also! The woman lifts the scared child up by the collar of her shirt and introduces herself as the Dreamqueen…Mistress of Liveworld!

The Dreamqueen informs Laura Dean that she and her sister have shared her hospitality for some time now, and all that she asks is that Laura arrange a return visit. ‘Show me how you walk between worlds…or else!’ The Dreamqueen threatens. Laura drops to the ground as she begins to declare that it is all Goblyn, when she finds a collar placed on her neck, and the Dreamqueen tugging the leash as she orders Laura Dean to summon her sister. Crying, Laura informs the Dreamqueen that it doesn’t work that way, for Goblyn only trades places with her when she is in danger. The Dreamqueen walks away, dragging Laura behind her as she points out the obvious - ‘You are, my dear, you are!’

Back aboard the Boxship, everyone turns to Goblyn as the young mutant begins foaming at the mouth and grabbing at her throat. Vindicator asks the Purple Girl why she cannot control ‘That creature’ as Manikin tells her to keep ‘It’ away from the warp-relay circuit. Kara declares that Goblyn is not an “It” and that she is not her pet, before pointing out the obvious - that something is bothering her - she is choking!

Manikin declares that perhaps her flea collar is too tight and unleashes his past and future selves. When Kara asks him what he is doing, he explains that he is unleashing them to keep their were-Betan under control. The Purple Girl tells everyone to back off as she can keep Goblyn calm, reminding everyone that Goblyn is now one of them, and asks them all why they cannot try to understand her instead of always flying off the handle. Whit declares that he is willing to understand Goblyn, but he is a little short on trusting her. Kara tells her boyfriend that that is because he has never been in her mind like she has, and never seen what she sees.

The Purple Girl uses her mind control powers on Goblyn, and merges her mind with that of Goblyn’s where she sees the Dreamqueen attacking Laura Dean. Goblyn begins to run around the room, dragging Kara around with her. ‘Pain! Danger! Laura! Dreamqueen!’ exclaims Kara, while her boyfriend is more concerned about her. Goblyn leaps right for the warp-relay circuitry, sparks begin to fly around arm-chair Alphan Box as Sasquatch asks everyone to keep her away, as the course back to Earth is being fed through now, and if Goblyn interrupts it, they could end up lost.

Sasquatch then finds herself electrocuted, as Box feels the pulse as well. Vindicator asks if they are warping home, but Whit declares that he doesn’t think so, but that something seems to be wrong. Kara’s mind merge causes Goblyn’s mind to be involuntarily merged with Box’s bionetic brain, and the course back to Earth is lost - erased, but replaced with new programming from Goblyn’s memory - a new course, elsewhere - to Liveworld.

Vindicator exclaims that this is insane and orders someone to get everyone off the warp-relay wires, but when Manikin attempts to, he too finds himself caught up in the electrocution. Heather tells Manikin that she meant one of his other selves, before Manikin passes out. The Boxship flies around Liveworld, crashing into the small floating islands. Heather flies to the large window at the front of the Boxship, seeing that they are flying directly towards the middle of a large land mass and tries to tell Box to change course. ‘Liveworld! Brrrp! Danger! Brrrp! Dreamqueen! Brrrp!’ replies the near-incapacitated Box.

Vindicator realizes that it is no use, as Box is plugged into Goblyn, meaning they are on a collision course to wherever she wants to go. She flies through the corridors of the Boxship, deciding against trying to separate them, as it could cause a deadly psychic shock. Heather knows she has to try and prevent impact, and as she tries to open an airlock, she discovers that Box is so out of it, the airlocks will not even open. Heather calls to her lover, telling him that she knows what she is about to do will hurt him, but she doesn’t have any choice - and uses her electromagnetic powers to blast a hole in the Boxship’s side.

Jeffries unleashes a mighty scream: have you ever heard a spaceship scream? Heather hovers at the hole she created while using her plasma blasts as thrusters to change the Boxship’s course. The Boxship changes course just barely, so that only a wing scrapes against the side of the large floating island. Heather flies completely out of the Boxship, pleased that she cleared the island, and ready with what she has to do next - until it is too late.

Surgeon’s general warning: Where there’s one floating landmass, there’s most likely to be…two. The Boxship crashes hard into another landmass, splitting in two as Alphans and Betans are thrown in every direction. Goblyn growls as she emerges from some shrubbery and howls as she rushes away from her teammates. Kara manages to climb out of the river, calling to Goblyn, but when Goblyn doesn’t heed her calls, says to her ‘Good riddance’, before wondering where everyone else is.

‘Oh, just hanging around’ remarks Highbrow as he, Manikin, Apeman and Proto all cling to a tree. Sasquatch joins the Betans and asks if everyone is present and accounted for. Manikin points out that there is no sign of Vindicator and that the Boxship is now in pieces. Highbrow declares that a brief eulogy would be appropriate, but when he sees the Boxship begin to transform, he exclaims that it would be a bit premature.

‘That was the worst trip I have ever been on!’ exclaims Jeffries as he reforms his Box armor. Sasquatch catches the weakened Jeffries as he phases out of the armor, informing everyone as the rush over to him that most of the metal was vaporized in the crash, when he suddenly, spies Heather lying on the ground and informs everyone that she was underneath him when they crashed. Highbrow asks if she is alive, but as Jeffries holds onto the unmoving Heather, Sasquatch declares that they cannot tell, because they cannot turn off her battle suit’s force fields.

Not too far away, Goblyn prowls, her every sense intent on her sisters spoor. The trail is distinct, for fear hangs on the breeze like a palpable object - and the trail leads…to a particular floating island, with a large citadel upon it, and a winding staircase leading up to it.

Inside the citadel, Laura Dean is strapped to some device, telling the Dreamqueen that she doesn’t understand, as this place was her and Goblyn’s refuge. She asks the Dreamqueen what she has done to it, and the wicked woman grins, telling Laura Dean ‘whatever I wish’, and boasting that Liveworld is hers to dream and to shape. The Dreamqueen informs Laura that when Goblyn first arrived here, she dreamt her realm into a pleasant paradise where she would not feel threatened. Laura asks the Dreamqueen why she did this, to which the Dreamqueen reveals that Goblyn was the only creature, beside herself, that she did not dream into creation - she came from outside the reality.

The Dreamqueen continues her story, informing Laura that she wanted Goblyn to feel content so she would remain and therefore be able to study her at leisure, then determine who she was and where she came from - and follow her back to whatever world she came from! Stern faced, the Dreamqueen informs Laura that she is tired of dreams and that she desires new realms, real realms to experience and rule. Laura defiantly tells the Dreamqueen that she will not get Goblyn to show her the way out, but the Dreamqueen tells Laura that she will if Goblyn realizes that it is the only way to save her.

‘Save me? From what?’ asks Laura. ‘From a very, very bad dream!’ laughs the Dreamqueen as two monster-like creatures walk over to Laura. The Dreamqueen takes the creature’s masks off and reveals two human faces. She asks Laura if she recognizes her executioners - ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ exclaims Laura before her “father” Darby asks her where her mutant freak of a sister is. Laura tells her “parents” that she will not say where Goblyn is, before reminding them that she didn’t let them destroy her in the womb, and wont now. “Darby” tells his daughter that she needs to be punished and flicks a switch on the contraption she is attached to, giving her an electric shock.

Suddenly, Goblyn suddenly drops through a stained-glass window in the citadel, seeing that the creatures wear the faces of her hated parents, who tried to kill her before she was even born because she was a mutant - now she returns the favour to the creatures wearing her parents faces, by slitting their throats. Goblyn leers at the Dreamqueen, who is astonished to see both her and Laura Dean together. ‘Unprecedented!’ she exclaims, before realizing that there is more than one way to bridge barriers between worlds, and in a vision sees the members of Alpha Flight and Beta Flight, she then understands that they did not arrive in her realm unaccompanied.

The Dreamqueen looms over Goblyn and bellows that she must know how it is done, and that Goblyn must educate her. Goblyn growls, causing the Dreamqueen to ask her why she does so, and reminding her that she created a paradise for she and her sister to share. The Dreamqueen realizes that it may be less than pleasant at the moment, but that it could be a paradise again - if Goblyn is good. The Dreamqueen tells Goblyn to show her the way, asking her what allegiance she could owe to a world that tried to destroy her. Suddenly, Goblyn clamps down hard on the Dreamqueen’s hand, causing the sorceress to scream, and from the citadel causes the weather to turn foul.

The change in weather is seen by Alpha Flight, as the Purple Girl informs everyone that she senses Laura and Goblyn are very near and in extreme danger. ‘That’s all we need!’ mutters Jeffries as he phases into Box and tells Kara to lead the way.

Back in the citadel, the Dreamqueen asks Goblyn if she would dare bite the hand that sheltered and sustained her during her adversity, before telling Goblyn that while she may not serve her willingly, she can rest assured that in the end, ‘serve me you shall!’ she screams before dozens and dozens of warriors charge toward Goblyn and Laura Dean.

Characters Involved: 

Box IV, Sasquatch, Vindicator II (All Alpha Flight)

Laura Dean, Goblyn, Manikin, Purple Girl (All Beta Flight)

Apeman, Highbrow, Proto (Manikin’s Past and Future Selves)



In Dreamqueen’s Illusion

Darby and Susan Dean

In Flashback

Box IV


Story Notes: 

“Space, the Final Frontier” is taken from the opening of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, said by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) respectively.

Alpha Flight were blasted into space at the end of Alpha Flight (first series) #55, their adventures in space have continued since then.

Mansion Alpha was destroyed by Bedlam in Alpha Flight (first series) #53.

Goblyn and Laura Dean’s origin can be seen in Alpha Flight (first series) #54.

Issue Information: 
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