Alpha Flight (1st series) #69

Issue Date: 
April 1989
Story Title: 
Wrath of the Dreamqueen part 3: And All That We Seem…

James D. Hudnall (Writer), John Calimee (Penciler), Hilary Barta (Inker), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Marc McLaurin (Assistant Editor), Carl Potts (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

China Force abduct the Jade Dragon and begin to return him to China, until they fall under the Dreamqueen’s power, and she makes them believe they are already in China so that she can use them to kill Alpha Flight. The Dreamqueen realizes that Talisman is her real threat, and that Talisman is even more powerful than she is. As Alpha Flight heads towards the Dreamqueen, she forces the Boxship to crash short of its destination, which causes them to land in the West Edmonton Mall, and Talisman and Vindicator begin to argue about what is going on. Everyone survives the crash, but Jeffries is unconscious. The Dreamqueen admires her work, which is beginning to spread all over Canada, and soon the States. Back in the mall, the Purple Girl believes she is sees her father, but it is just Rat, who attacks and wounds her. Shaman uses his powers to heel her, but by doing so she goes into a deep sleep. Sasquatch and Vindicator go off to find the rest of China Force, and engage in battle with them, eventually Laura Dean opens a portal, showing the real China, and Alpha Flight send them back to their own country. The Jade Dragon is freed, but decides to return to China so he can make amends with his people and clear his conscience. Jeffries wakes up and Alpha Flight travel through one of Laura Dean’s portals, right to the Dreamqueen, but leaving the sleeping Purple Girl behind.

Full Summary: 

Ottawa, 5.45pm. Thirty seconds ago, Dei Guan, a Chinese operative known as the Jade Dragon was being escorted down a hall. Dei Guan had been brought to Canada through a misadventure, and had become a prisoner of Canadian Intel. Dei Guan belongs to a super-team called China Force, and China Force want him back, as they think of him as a traitor to his country. Twenty seconds ago, they burst though the wall and killed his escorts, now they want Dei Guan….
In his native Chinese, the Jade Dragon asks his comrades what it is they are doing here, and why they have killed the people he was with. Rabbit, who is leading this operation, orders Snake and Ox to disable Jade Dragon. Ox lunges at Dei Guan, telling him that if he moves, he will snap his neck, as Snake laughs and declares that he will get the Dragon’s legs. The Jade Dragon is pulled to the ground as Snake asks Rat to come in and help them. ‘Leave him to me!’ boasts the diminutive member of China Force as she uses razor sharp talons to scratch Jade Dragon’s stomach.

Rat’s talons are lined with some drug inhibitor, and as the Jade Dragon falls to the ground, Rabbit points out that the drugs must have worked. Rat declares that Dei Guan will not be able to change form for twenty-four hours, and by then they will all be back in China anyway. Rabbit orders Ox to take Dei Guan to their van, and the muscular member of China Force complies.

Two hours later, heading North West, Dei Guan is handcuffed in the aircraft as the members of China Force surround him. Dei Guan asks Rabbit why she had to kill his escorts, as now the Canadian people will find out and shoot them down. Rabbit quickly points out that the Canadians do not know at this stage who killed the agents, and reminds the Jade Dragon that they left no witnesses alive. Rabbit adds that in any event, they made sure that no one saw them enter this plane.

Rabbit reveals that in a couple of hours they will rendezvous with their ship in Anchorage, and therefore the Jade Dragon will be on his way home to face trial. ‘For what crime?’ asks Dei Guan. Rabbit reminds Dei Guan that he tried to defect to the West and deserted the People’s Army during a battle with menaces from a foreign power. Dei Guan interrupts Rabbit, claiming that he didn’t desert, that he was caught in a warp field that brought him to Canada.

Rat tells Dei Guan that it is not the four of them that he has to convince, but the Committee. Snake declares that he hopes the Committee has Dei Guan killed, which will be a message to the others who have defected - Horse, Monkey and the Dog, boasting that they will get the three of them next. The aircraft begins flying over Edmonton, a large sign dubs it ‘Canada’s Dream City’. Dei Guan turns to Ox and reminds him how they used to be friends, before asking if he believes he is a traitor to his country. Ox declares that it is for the courts to decide, and he could not care less what happens to him.

Rabbit looks out the window of the aircraft and informs everyone that they are making their descent, adding that there is nothing lovelier than Peking in the evening. Snake agrees, declaring that it is good to see China, as Ox exclaims that he cannot wait to eat some real food, as the “food” Westerners eat is worse than rubbish. Dei Guan asks China Force what they are talking about, pointing out that they have from only been in the air for a couple of hours, and reminds them that they said they were going to rendezvous with a ship in Alaska.

Rabbit tells Dei not to be silly, as it will not do him any good. She tells him to look out the window and he will see their beautiful country, the one he tried to escape from. Dei Guan gazes out the window, declaring that all he sees is a big parking lot and a shopping mall, telling China Force that they must be out of their minds. China Force just look at Dei Guan and laugh at him, believing he thinks he can plead insanity, as their plane lands on a large freeway in West Edmonton, the Dreamqueen laughs from her dark tower.

From high in her dark glass tower, the Dreamqueen, ruler of Edmonton, turns her attention to her enemies - the heroes once known as Alpha Flight - as they approach in their ship made of living metal, controlled by Madison “Box” Jeffries. The Dreamqueen wants to kill them. She wants to watch them die, screaming in pain and bitter anguish. The Dreamqueen wants to spread her fell influence over out over the Earth, filling the minds of people everywhere with fear and despair.

She is the Dreamqueen, she is the architect of madness. The Dreamqueen can distort the perceptions of any person making him or her see whatever she desires. Thirty minutes ago, she felt the minds of China Force entering her sphere of influence. She laughed, making China Force her own champions, the slayers of her enemies.

The Dreamqueen watches a large viewing panel, looking at her foes who are fast approaching, “Alpha Flight”, she can feel their thoughts and their tensions. But it is one of the heroes who is beyond the Dreamqueen’s own powers, her name is Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, she is called Talisman, and she is the real threat. Talisman wears a circlet of mystical power, she is even more powerful than the Dreamqueen herself. But does Elizabeth know this? The Dreamqueen doesn’t think so. Soon, the Dreamqueen’s champions will kill the Alphans, they will wrest the circlet of power from Talisman, and the Dreamqueen will rule this nightmare forever.

Inside the Boxship, Alpha Flight’s former leader, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson asks her long-time friend Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen if he is willing to help them now, reminding him that he said he could not help them when he was wearing the Talisman. Shaman replies that he will, and that he is sorry about the earlier confusion. Shaman explains that the wearer of the Talisman is a director of the forces, not a combatant. The Talisman’s power is for guiding things, not destroying them. Twoyoungmen adds that now that he is Shaman again, he can use his powers to aid the cause.

Heather turns to young Laura Dean, who was one of the youngsters collectively known as Beta Flight, and reminds her that she has the power to open dimensional gates, and asks her if she thinks she can do it again. Laura, somewhat unsure, replies that she thinks so, as she used to send Goblyn from Earth to Liveworld all the time. Heather informs Laura that when they find the Dreamqueen, she wants her to open a gate so they can send her back through, and asks her if she can do that. Laura Dean replies that she will do her best.

Vindicator turns to another former Beta Flight member, Kara Kilgrave the Purple Girl, and states that as she has the power to influence peoples minds, she want her to try her powers on the Dreamqueen. Kara asks Heather what it is she wants her to do, so Heather explains that once Laura opens a warp gate, she wants her to try and make the Dreamqueen go through it. The Purple Girl jokes that it will be a real pleasure.

Heather turns to founding Alpha Flight member Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski and asks him if he is with them. Walt replies ‘Of course!’ before pointing out that it was not his fault he went on a rampage, it was the Dreamqueen who had taken over his mind, so he can hardly wait to get his hands around her neck!

Jeffries informs everyone that they are almost over Edmonton, and suggests they check the city out on the screen. Elizabeth tells Jeffries that he needs to head toward downtown, which is where the Dreamqueen is located. Jeffries alters the Boxship’s coordinates accordingly, when suddenly Elizabeth snaps ‘Madison! I told you to head downtown, you’re heading too far west!’ Puzzled, Jeffries turns to Elizabeth and asks her what she is talking about, pointing out that he is going the way she told him to.

Vindicator looks out the window and sees that Elizabeth is right, and informs her lover that the West Edmonton Mall is ahead, so they are at least fifteen miles off course. But Jeffries is not convinced, and tells the women that they are crazy, declaring that downtown is ahead. The Boxship swerves violently, causing Heather to ask Madison what the matter with him is. Elizabeth jumps in front of Jeffries and tells him that it is the Dreamqueen making him see something that is not there. ‘Hey! I don’t need any back-seat drivers telling me what to do!’ shouts Jeffries.

Noticing that they are nearly upon the mall, Heather suggests to Jeffries that he better land so they can get out and take a look around. ‘Get off my back, Heather!’ snaps Jeffries, before asking her how she is sure that it isn’t she who is seeing things. Talisman apologizes to Jeffries and tells him that this is the only way, before placing her hand on his armor-covered head and using her powers to knock him out. With no one in control of the Boxship, it begins to descend, ‘We’re going to crash!’ screams the Purple Girl, as the Boxship plows through the glass ceiling of the West Edmonton Mall and into a the swimming pool and amusement park area.

As water begins to leak into the Boxship, the heroes gather themselves and Heather calls to Madison, asking him if he is okay, but he offers no response. Walt asks where the hatch is, pointing out that with the fast rising water, the ship will be full of it in minutes. Heather calls to Madison again, asking him if he can hear her. Elizabeth supposes that Jeffries is unconscious, that she thinks the crash must have done it.

‘Please don’t die on me!’ Heather whispers to Jeffries before turning to Talisman and exclaiming ‘You did this to him!’ and telling her to get Jeffries out of here before he drowns. Talisman tells Heather not to worry and claims that Madison will be fine, but Heather quickly replies that no crash like this would have knocked Jeffries out, so she believes Elizabeth used too much power on him.

Talisman tries to calm Heather down and tells her to relax, claiming it was necessary, before using her powers to remove Madison from his Box armor. Goblyn suddenly howls, and Laura Dean informs everyone that her sister has found a way out, and that they better leave because the pool is deep. Holding onto Jeffries, Vindicator boasts that she will make her own exit and blasts a hole in the roof of the Boxship, before flying through it with Madison. As the others begin to swim out, Walter informs Heather that they will meet her at the shallow end.

Looking around the mall, Kara asks where everyone is, exclaiming that the mall should be packed on a Saturday. Shaman reminds Kara that the Dreamqueen has been influencing the people of this city, so there is no telling what she has done with them. As she climbs out of the water, Elizabeth declares that it has been so long since she has worn the Talisman she forgot she could fly, and if she remember, she would not be wandering around soaking wet.

Heather, who is holding onto the unconscious Jeffries, looks up at Elizabeth and asks her if that is all she can think about, reminding her that she almost killed her fiancée and everyone else moments ago. In her own defense, Elizabeth points out that Jeffries was going to crash anyway, and that all she did was cut off the Dreamqueen’s influence. Heather mutters that now they have to wait for Jeffries to come around, as Elizabeth points out that they are all still alive, and asks Heather if she thought about the possibility that the Dreamqueen may have tried to get Jeffries to kill them.

Heather looks down at Madison and apologizes to Elizabeth, admitting that she could not handle losing another man in her life. Heather thinks to herself that they have all been having such a horrible time since the government disbanded them, but even separately they were attacked and had to re-group this last time to protect themselves. Heather turns back to everyone and boasts that it is time she lived up to the name of Vindicator, and exclaims that as soon as Jeffries wakes up they are going to show the Dreamqueen what Alpha Flight is made of.

The Dreamqueen is of course watching Alpha Flight’s every move and laughs at Heather’s claim. The Dreamqueen loves the emotions in Heather’s mind, determination and anger are the sweetest things to steal she believes, and boasts that she will take Heather’s determination and give her despair instead. She will take her anger and give her anguish, poisoning her, filling her heart with blackness. The Dreamqueen is going to give to Vindicator what she gave to the people of Edmonton, and what she shall give to all the other people of this pitiful world.

In the lobby of the Dreamqueen’s building, the people of Edmonton bring her their gems and jewels as a tribute, not knowing they are living in a waking dream. They think they are dumping their garbage…if only they knew the truth. In the streets men wracked with violent dreams stalk among their victims with dripping axes and smoking guns. The twitching bodies that still live dream their worst fears, while their lives seep away into the crimson asphalt.

In the suburbs, people act out their darkest fantasies, taking care of that nagging spouse or unruly child without realizing it is for real. In the countryside the Dreamqueen’s influence begins to spread, the vileness of their deepest instincts begin to take over, pushing them into the void.

In a matter of hours, the Dreamqueen’s dark dreams will have spread to Calgary, Seattle, Boise and Chicago…across two countries. By tomorrow, the whole continent will be drenched with darkness and pain.

Back at the West Edmonton Mall, Kara thinks to herself that hanging around here is an immense pain, and sitting down beside a water slide she sees that the water is still running even though no one is here. She remembers when she was a child and this place first opened, her mother brought her here and she rode the slides for hours. Suddenly, someone walks up behind Kara and calls out to her. ‘Daddy?’ asks the surprised Kara as she turns and sees her father, the Purple Man.

Kara is about to declare that her father is dead, when Kilgrave asks her how he could die when he still has not taken his little girl to the fair. Kilgrave approaches Kara, claiming that there is so much he wants to tell her, that he needs to explain why he left she and her mother all those years ago. Hesitantly, Kara tells her father that she wants to believe him, when Shaman, rushes towards Kara, telling her to look out as she is trying to kill her. ‘Daddy? I’m not your daddy!’ declares Rat before she slices Kara across the throat.

Rat rushes away as everyone runs towards Kara. Shaman informs everyone that it is only a shallow scratch, but Kara exclaims that she feels like she is burning up and cannot move her legs. Shaman discovers that the Purple Girl has been infected with some disease, and pulls from his medicine pouch a potion that should be able to help her.

Vindicator looks in the direction where Rat came from and tells the others that there could be more of them. Shaman urges Kara to drink the potion, before telling Vindicator that whatever attacked Kara was real, and the only cure he has will make her sleep for a while. Vindicator thinks that with Jeffries and Kara down in a matter of minutes, the Dreamqueen is already taking a heavy toll.

‘Not anymore!’ exclaims the handsome Walter as he transforms into Sasquatch and tells Heather as he runs past her that he is going to catch that creature and get some information out of her. Heather turns to Sasquatch and tells him that they should do this as a team. But Sasquatch doesn’t hear Heather and he ventures off on his own, despite Heather telling him not to. Heather turns to the others and tells them that she is going after Walter, and to look after Madison and Kara. Shaman tells Heather to be careful, as Talisman informs her that she can sense at least five others. With that, Heather flies off after Sasquatch.

Sasquatch runs through the jungle within the mall, boasting that no forest is going to hide his opponents from him. Suddenly, tied up to a tree, Dei Guan calls to Sasquatch. Walt is surprised to see him and asks him what he is doing here. Dei Guan just warns Sasquatch to look out, as “they” are all around him. Ox suddenly emerges from a thicket and addressing Sasquatch as ‘Fool’ asks him if he thinks he could so easily evade them. Sasquatch asks the member of China Force if he thinks he could hurt his friend and get away with it.

Both behemoths rush towards each other, when suddenly Rat comes running up behind Sasquatch. Dei Guan tells Sasquatch to not let Rat scratch him as she will take away his powers. Vindicator dives towards Rat just in time, ‘Wrong move, lady!’ she declares scooping Rat up and flying her away from Sasquatch.

Vindicator approaches the large swimming pool while Rat is thrashing about in her arms, screaming ‘Let me go our I’ll tear your eyes out!’ Vindicator tells Rat to suit herself, and drops her onto a water slide, where Rat goes careening down it, screaming all the way, and landing with a huge splash in the swimming pool.

‘Got ya!’ declares Sasquatch as he punches Ox and sends him flying through a tree trunk. ‘Who got who?’ asks Rabbit as she springs onto Sasquatch, kicking him in the face and knocking him to the ground. ‘Prepare to die!’ boasts Ox as he runs towards Sasquatch, who is about to get up to defend himself, when Rabbit knocks him back down, enabling Ox to sit on him and start pummelling him.

Back at the swimming pool, Rat begins to climb out of the water, until Goblyn growls at her and leaps at her, pushing her back under the water. Vindicator heads back towards Sasquatch who has since got himself out from under Ox. Vindicator calls to Sasquatch, when suddenly, she is pulled backwards, by Snake who has stretched his body to catch Heather, telling her that she will not even be able to save herself. Heather struggles with Snake and asks him if he is going to get off her, but when he replies that he is going to kill her, Heather exclaims ‘Okay!’ and dives forcefully into the swimming pool, with Snake in tow.

Rabbit approaches Talisman, Shaman and Laura Dean who are all standing guard over their unconscious allies, and tells them to stay where they are, as they are under arrest. Talisman asks Rabbit what it is she thinks she is doing, to which Rabbit tells Talisman that the Canadians have invaded her country, and must either surrender or die. Shaman asks Rabbit what country she means, as this is their country too. Rabbit laughs and tells the elderly hero that he is not Chinese, and tells him that she doesn’t have time for stupid statements and that he has been warned.

Snake is suddenly thrown next to Rabbit, and Vindicator lands beside him, asking her opponents who they are and what the meaning of all this is. Rabbit introduces her team as China Force and declares that the are obviously defending China against the imperialistic aggressions of the Canadians. Shaman is confused, until Elizabeth points out that obviously, China Force are under the Dream Queen’s spell, and recommends that Laura Dean open a warp gate to China so she can send them back.

Suddenly, Rat comes rushing past everyone, ‘Get away from me!’ she screams, ‘Help! Keep that thing away from me!’ she cries, pointing to Goblyn who growls as she chases her opponent. Laura Dean just laughs, when suddenly Rat bumps into Sasquatch, who tells her to ‘Back off! Now!’ before throwing Ox to the other side of the forecourt. Sasquatch informs his friends that China Force had Dei Guan tied to a post, but that he set him free.

Vindicator tells China Force to consider her advice and leave, as this isn’t China. She begins to explain that they have been the victim of the Dreamqueen, when Rabbit interrupts, labelling Alpha Flight the invaders, and boasting to fight them to the end.

Suddenly, Laura Dean speaks up, ‘You want China? I’ll give you China! She shouts, opening a portal revealing China on the other side. China Force are obviously taken aback, even more so when Shaman pulls from his medicine pouch some spell and declares ‘Let the winds speed your journey’, forcing them through the portal, but not without the arrogant Rabbit shouting back ‘We’ll get you for this!’

Dei Guan approaches Vindicator and thanks her for saving him, as China Force were insane. While Laura admits to Talisman that she was not sure her plan was going to work, Heather asks Dei Guan how he got here, as she thought he was still in Ottawa. Dei Guan begins to step through the portal to his homeland, revealing to Heather that he was in Ottawa but that his government sent China Force to bring him home, adding that something happened to them on the way, as they are not usually like this.

Heather tells Dei Guan to wait and asks him what he is doing. Dei Guan apologizes and declares that he must return to his home country and explain his case and clear his conscience. He reminds Heather that his government thinks he is a traitor, so he must prove them wrong. He waves to his newfound friends, telling them he will never forget them.

As the portal closes, Madison wakes up and asks what is going on around here. Heather wraps her arms around Jeffries, telling him she is so glad he is all right, as she was so worried about him. Jeffries asks if he missed anything, to which Heather replies ‘Naw…just the usual madness’.

Vindicator gets up and asks Laura if she can open another gate to take them to the Dreamqueen. ‘I guess so…’ Laura replies as Jeffries shouts in horror ‘my suit!’ upon seeing his Box armor scattered through the swimming pool. Twoyoungmen informs everyone that Kara is still asleep and will not wake up for another hour or two. Heather declares that it is too dangerous to take her, so they will leave her behind.

Elizabeth asks Laura if she can open a gate to downtown Edmonton, to which Laura replies that she is really starting to figure out how to make these gates work. Walking out of the swimming pool in his reassembled Box armor, Jeffries declares that someone is going to have to tell him what happened, but Heather replies that there is no time, as the they have to stop the Dreamqueen.

Heather tells Laura to open the gateway, and using her mutant powers, young Laura Dean does as she is required. The heroes run through the portal, Vindicator exclaiming ‘Let’s finish this once and for all!’ With everyone through the portal, it closes, leaving the unconscious Purple Girl lying on the ground…and the Dreamqueen’s laughter all around.

Characters Involved: 

Box IV, Sasquatch, Shaman, Talisman II, Vindicator II (Former Members of Alpha Flight)

Laura Dean, Goblyn, Purple Girl (Former Members of Beta Flight)


Jade Dragon

Ox, Rabbit, Rat, Snake (all China Force)

Citizens of Canada

In Purple Girl’s hallucination

Purple Man

Story Notes: 

Instead of having the stars of the book appear in the cover corner box, the Dreamqueen appears in it this issue.

The Jade Dragon’s ordeal with Alpha Flight and the Dreamqueen began in Alpha Flight (1st series) #59.

Shaman was Talisman III from Alpha Flight (1st series) #38-68.

Under the influence of the Dreamqueen, Sasquatch (then as “Wanda Langkowski”) stole the Talisman as it was being passed from Shaman to Talisman, and tried to bring it to the Dreamqueen.

Some of Alpha Flight are familiar with the West Edmonton Mall, having battled Delphine Courtney and Omega Flight there previously [Alpha Flight (1st series) #26-28].

Vindicator’s comment about not being able to handle losing another man in her life is of course because her first husband, Guardian, was blown to pieces in front of her [Alpha Flight (1st series) #12].

An error occurs when Sasquatch says to Ox “Did you think you could hurt my friends and get away with it?” The word balloon is coming from Ox.

The Jade Dragon next appears, years later, in X-Force (1st series) Annual #3 as a member of 3-Peace, his final appearance to date.

China Force next appear, year later, in X-Force (1st series) Annual #3, complete with new costumes, in their final appearance to date.

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