Alpha Flight (1st series) #70

Issue Date: 
May 1989
Story Title: 
Wrath of the Dreamqueen part 4: …Is But a Dream within a Dream

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

Brief Description: 

Alpha Flight arrive at the Dreamqueen’s base and split up while they search for their deadly enemy. Sasquatch, Laura Dean and Goblyn search a floor where they encounter Aurora and Susan and Darby Dean, or rather the Dreamqueen’s illusions of them, and they must deal with facing their former lover and parents respectively. Vindicator, Box and Shaman encounter a greenhouse, and after thinking he saw Heather and Shaman kiss, Jeffries goes off at them, until realizing that it is the Dreamqueen. Shaman believes he sees Elizabeth being attacked, when really he throws himself out the window, and lucky for Laura Dean he does, as soon after, she is hurled out the window, but he rescues her. Heather and Jeffries are attacked by plants in the greenhouse, before making their way to the top floor, as do Sasquatch and Goblyn, and Shaman and Laura Dean. Talisman meanwhile has already engaged the Dreamqueen and her handsome henchmen, Talisman already knew that the Dreamqueen would be on the top floor, but as the other Alphans arrive, they fall under the Dreamqueen’s influence, except for Shaman and Laura, who opens a portal, enabling Talisman to punch the Dreamqueen through it, thus freeing the Alphans from her thrall. Back to normal, Vindicator expresses her anger towards Elizabeth for lying to them, before Elizabeth explains that it was the only way, and that they have to reform the team - as the worst is yet to come! Meanwhile, the Purple Girl wonders if her former teammates have left her behind and forgotten about her, while the Prime Minister and Canadian military officials watch the proceedings over Edmonton, worried that Alpha Flight may reform.

Full Summary: 

Twilight falls over Edmonton. On Jasper Avenue, those who can still walk shamble up and down the street…dreaming awake. Something has taken over the city, their minds are full of dark visions. Blood and pain…sorrow and confusion…these are the things that fill their thoughts. Above them, a demoness looks down with lust filled eyes, drinking in the pain, gorging on the fear. They don’t feel her. They don’t know she is there. They only know the death thoughts, the visions of their loved ones dying. The dreams of their own flesh peeling…of their eyes falling out.

Only the circle of fire can save them, it grows from the mind of a young girl, fifteen miles away. She is part of a group of fantastical beings…and they come to do battle. Their leader is a woman named Vindicator whose suit is a matrix of electro-magnetic energy. There is a man whose mind can transform metal into machines. His flesh is merged with a steel and aluminium robot. There is a creature like a Goblyn from an ancient fairy tale…a man who can turn into a supernatural monster…a shaman with an infinite bag of tricks…a girl who can create doorways through space and time…and a sorceress who is one with a mystic power.

At one time or another, they were all members of Canada’s premiere super hero team, Alpha Flight, or its junior team, Beta Flight. Sometime ago, Alpha Flight disbanded, but now, several former members have banded together, and at this very moment, they are teleported to Edmonton, and rush from the gateway, for they come to do battler. Vindicator! Sasquatch! Shaman! Talisman! Box! Laura Dean! Goblyn!

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister of Canada along with several other officials and Military personnel are watching the current happenings from a satellite monitor. The Prime Minister points out that despite their best efforts to keep Alpha Flight apart, it would look as if they are getting back together. A military official tells the Prime Minister that the super heroes may be the only ones who can deal with this problem. The Prime Minister asks what the problem is, as he thought they had only lost all communications with the cities in that zone.

The military official informs the Prime Minister that it began around 12.00 this afternoon, adding that planes flying into Edmonton were not reporting back on the radio. Next, the telephone company started getting complaints from people trying to call into the area, nobody was picking up their phones. The military official reveals that they sent a team into the area to check it out, but that they never reported back, nor did they come out of the area.

The military official explains that they then noticed the area was growing, that more and more towns seemed to fall under this “zone of silence”, that cars and trucks entering the area are not coming out, that the roads from the zone are empty. When the Prime Minister asks what the satellites are telling them, a second military official changes the view screen which now depicts people on the ground, cars crashed into walls, and some people who seem to be shambling around like zombies.

The second military official informs the Prime Minister that they are not sure if this is some sort of plague, or chemical problem, but that it is starting to spread out further and further. The Prime Minister reveals that Washington is unable to send any of their own super-teams right now, as they are all tied up with their own problems. ‘Whether we like it or not gentlemen; Alpha Flight’s our only hope!’

Meanwhile, in her room of dark shadows, in her tower of glass and steel, the Dreamqueen watches the advance of her most hated enemies. As they draw near, she reaches out with her mind…touching them…but no…for the sorceress called Talisman blocks her, keeping the Dreamqueen’s influence from the heroes minds. The Dreamqueen has the ability to take peoples reality and twist it any way she likes - but this one is too powerful, she must wait for the right moment, the right opening.

The Dreamqueen’s anger is a blazing bonfire now. She thinks of her failed attempt to kill them, a Chinese super team and Alpha Flight were led to a mall, for she had convinced China Force that Alpha Flight were their enemies. The Chinese were supposed to win, she wanted Alpha Flight’s blood. She wanted their pain, their deaths. But Alpha Flight prevailed and their young gate-maker brought them to Edmonton. She knows that they will soon be searching for her, coming to do battle…but she will be ready for them.

In the bloodied streets of Edmonton, Elizabeth “Talisman” Twoyoungmen looks up at the Dreamqueen’s dark tower, thankful that she was able to block the Dreamqueen from filling her friends’ minds with nightmares. Elizabeth boasts that she will decide when and how much influence the Dreamqueen can have over them. ‘I’m on to you, Dreamqueen. I’m coming for you’.

Dr. Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch motions to the road where dozens of civilians lie asleep, and declares that the Dreamqueen really has a hold on this town. Alpha Flight’s once-leader, Heather “Vindicator” Hudson asks Elizabeth where the Dreamqueen is. Pointing up at the tallest building in Edmonton, Elizabeth reveals that the Dreamqueen is on one of the floors, but she is unsure which one. Heather urges everyone on, telling them that it is time to finish this. Elizabeth silently agrees, thinking that now they can see who is really the most powerful woman in town. ‘Is it you, or I, Dreamqueen? That’s what I want to know. That’s what I’m going to find out’ boasts Talisman was she enters the dark tower.

Inside the lobby, Sasquatch, Madison “Box” Jeffries and Goblyn have discovered a large pile of jewellery, which Sasquatch decides is the real thing. Jeffries wonders where it all came from, but Heather points out that the Dreamqueen is more important, so they better start their search. Elizabeth rushes over to her allies and tells them to wait, declaring that she can feel the Dreamqueen now, that she is somewhere above the tenth floor.

Vindicator suddenly declares that she is getting the feeling that Elizabeth is not telling them everything that she knows. Elizabeth explains that the Dreamqueen can still cause everyone to see things, but that she has limited her power over them, and suggests that they split into teams and search for her.

Hesitantly, Heather agrees, and suggests that they split into two teams to keep from getting themselves spread to thin. Heather starts to split everyone into teams, but Talisman interrupts, and explains that she wants to be alone, as she is the most powerful person and can take care of herself. Elizabeth begins to enter a elevator as Vindicator asks her foster sister what she means by that. But Shaman reminds Heather that as Talisman, Elizabeth is the most powerful member of the team.

Reluctantly, Vindicator agrees, before warning Elizabeth if she gets into any trouble. But Elizabeth tells Vindicator that she knows what she is doing. ‘That’s what I’m afraid of,’ remarks Heather as the elevator door closes, before suggesting that if they did not have to leave the Purple Girl behind, then they could have used her to get some straight answers from Talisman. Box agrees, suggesting that Elizabeth seems to be holding back, almost as if she has been leading them on.

Sasquatch wonders what Talisman is trying to pull, to which Heather replies that she doesn’t know, but that Elizabeth was right about one thing, they do need to split up. Heather tells Laura and Goblyn to go with Sasquatch, but as the trio prepare to enter a elevator, Sasquatch realizes that he is not going to fit, so returns to his handsome human form, before asking Box what he is going to do.

Vindicator agrees, and asks Jeffries what he is going to do. Box explains that even though he could shrink down, he would still be too heavy for the elevator so suggests that they just go up a elevator shaft, as the two of them can fly, and Shaman can levitate. Shaman points out that levitation is much slower than flight and can only go in one direction. Walt enters the elevator with the Dean twins and tells Heather that they will start on the tenth floor and work their way up. Heather replies that they will start on the fifteenth floor, and flies up the elevator shaft followed by Box, then Twoyoungmen, who declares that he can feel something up there…something horrible!

In the elevator, Walt tells the young Dean girls that as soon as the door opens he will go out first and transform into Sasquatch, telling the girls that they need to be on guard, because there is no telling what they will find. But the elevator door opens to a restaurant, packed with patrons.

Walt walks cautiously out, followed by the twins, warning them to be careful as this could be a trap - when suddenly, a voice cries ‘Walter, mon cheri. Come over and join me!’ Surprised, Walt turns to see Aurora sitting a table, and asks her what she is doing here, as he thought she had become a nun. Aurora tells her former boyfriend to have a seat and she will tell him all about it.

Laura Dean sees two people wave at her and realizes that it is her mother and father. Darby and Susan Dean beckon their children over to their table, suggesting that they all have dinner together. Susan tells Laura that they missed her and have come looking for her. Laura approaches her parents, but Goblyn looks back at Walt and growls.

On the fifteenth floor, Vindicator and Shaman find themselves walking through a greenhouse, Shaman surprised that one is even kept here. Suddenly, Box enters the greenhouse, asking Heather and Twoyoungmen if they found anything - but his sensors show him his lover and Shaman embracing in a passionate kiss. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ he shouts before phasing out of the Box armor.

Heather asks her lover what the matter is and why he is phasing out of his armor. ‘Why were you kissing him?’ shouts Jeffries, telling Heather that he thought what they had was something special. Heather protests, explaining that they just came out of the elevator…’and started making out!’ snaps Jeffries. Before Shaman can get in on the argument, Talisman screams for help, she is trapped by three giant beasts, and shouts that she cannot fight them by herself.

Back at the Edmonton Mall, Kara Kilgrave the Purple Girl is on her own, and just waking up. Startled, she wonders where she is, but noticing the Native American style blanket that is lying across her, she realizes that it looks like something Shaman might put on her, when she remembers the battle with the Rat-woman, who scratched her, causing her to pass out. Kara stands up, wondering what happened next, she looks around before remembering the drink Shaman gave her, some kind of potion, then everything went black.

Kara wonders where Alpha Flight is…they wouldn’t have abandoned her, would they? ‘I’m Purple Girl! I can make people do what I want!’ she boasts, before declaring that Alpha Flight wouldn’t leave her, they need her…’don’t they?’

Back on the tenth floor of the dark tower, Aurora pours Walt a glass of wine as she tells him that she needs him and that she came looking for him, knowing he would be here. Holding his head, Walt asks Aurora how, as he and the others came here because…his voice trails off, he doesn’t remember, it is all so confusing, something about a Queen. ‘A Queen who…uh…’ ‘Take your time, darling’ Aurora tells Walt as she pours herself a glass of wine.

Several tables away, Darby Dean tells Laura to take a seat. Laura asks ‘what about Goblyn’ to which her mother, Susan, replies sure, and declares that they want both of them to have dinner as they need to talk. Laura and Goblyn take seats across from each other and declares that they will order from this menu. ‘Yeah, we’re really hungry’ declares Susan looking at Laura.

Back at Walt’s table, he tells Aurora that this doesn’t seem right, that he gets the feeling something here is wrong. Aurora tells Walt that nothing can be more right, and asks him if he can guess why. ‘No, tell me…’ says Walt, when suddenly, Aurora lunges across the table, eyes popping from her head she declares ‘Because I only have eyes for you!’ and laughing as her eyes wrap around his neck, strangling him, while a demon pours from “Aurora’s” mouth.

Back on the fifteenth floor, Shaman rushes to his daughter’s aide, pulling from his medicine pouch a flaming stick ready to hurl at the monsters - but instead, he hurls it at a window, and shouting ’Take that, demons…’ before crashing through the window and plummeting fifteen floors to the street below.

On the tenth floor, Laura Dean tells her parents that she doesn’t understand, reminding them that they hated Goblyn for being a mutant, yet now they are saying that she is okay. Darby tells Laura that they are both okay, in fact they are so delicious they could eat them up. ’Real sweet looking’ says Susan, laughing as Laura and Goblyn are both trapped as their chair’s secure them in, and their “parents” prepare to eat them.

Laura calls to Sasquatch for help, and after freeing himself from “Aurora”, Sasquatch tosses the demon out the window, before rushing over to rescue the Dean girls, shouting ’This is a nightmare!’, when suddenly, the tables begin to attack him, blocking his route to the Dean girls.

However, Goblyn manages to free herself, and makes her way over to her sister, when Laura, still stuck in her chair, finds the chair walking away from the battle, and she calls to Sasquatch and Goblyn to help. Sasquatch tells her to hold on, when suddenly, the chair tosses Laura out of the window.

Back in the greenhouse, Jeffries admits to Heather that he may have been seeing things, that the Dreamqueen must have the drop on him, before motioning around and asking where Shaman is. Heather also begins to call out to Twoyoungmen, when Jeffries suddenly alerts her to the foliage that is creeping up behind her! Jeffries and Heather become trapped within the trees, Heather unable to fly out of their grip, and Jeffries unable to reach his Box armor. The plants then proceed to lower Heather and Jeffries to the giant, venus fly traps below, teeth bared ready to eat the heroes, as Heather is unable to move her hands so she can blast them. ‘Then we’re dead!’ cries Jeffries.

They struggle, they cry out, they die. They drown in the excess of their own fears, in the poison of their phobias. And the Dreamqueen’s influence spreads out, farther, flooding the continent in a tidal wave of twisted dreams. She looks out the window of her dark glass tower and like petals of a hallucinogenic flower, unfolding, engulfing, she can feel the people of Detroit, and Chicago, their visions dim, then brighten, they see what she wants them to see, and their fear fills her up, it enriches her, it feeds her.

Suddenly, the Dreamqueen’s father, Nightmare, appears before her, reminding her that he tried to warn her, but that she obviously didn’t listen. He tells her again that this world is a dangerous place to play in, that it is a lot safer in Hades. The Dreamqueen asks Nightmare what it is he is doing here, is he jealous of success so he has come to sour her mood with his presence. Noticing how she addressed him as Nightmare and not as Father, he comments on this, but the Dreamqueen just screams ‘What do you want?’

‘I came to warn you of your impending death’ Nightmare replies, but the Dreamqueen just laughs and as she asks him who is going to kill her ‘You?’ Nightmare replies that he wouldn’t, as he is her father. Pointing to the doorway where Talisman is standing, he declares ‘She will’.

Laura Dean continues to fall from the skyscraper, screaming, when suddenly, she lands in Shaman’s arms as he levitates back up to the building. Laura is surprised and asks him how she knew, to which he informs her that he was tricked into falling and only managed to levitate back up when he saw her falling down. He explains that levitation is not a very fast way to travel so it may take a few minutes. When Laura asks Shaman where he is going, he motions to the top floor, where a dark cloud hovers above, for he has a feeling that is where they will be needed.

On the top floor, Elizabeth approaches the Dreamqueen, who asks Talisman if she is feeling suicidal today, before asking her why it is that she has come to face her. Elizabeth asks the Dreamqueen if she remembers their phone conversation, ‘The one where I said I was going to kill you? Well here I am…’. The Dreamqueen realizes that is why Talisman lied to her friends, making them search other floors so she could face her alone. Elizabeth tells the Dreamqueen that she is smarter than she looks.

As Talisman powers up, the Dreamqueen smiles as she says to Elizabeth ‘I imagine you think you’ll be able to beat me’. Talisman points out that she can block her powers, but that the Dreamqueen cannot block hers. ‘I don’t need to control you to kill you’ boasts the Dreamqueen, before Elizabeth tells her that she is going to make her regret everything she has done in the last nine hundred years.

‘Is that so?’ asks the Dreamqueen as her four handsome and half-naked henchmen come up behind Talisman and hold her still. The Dreamqueen explains that she brought these men up here to pleasure her while she did her work, but admits that they have other uses. Talisman tells the Dreamqueen that she better make them let her go, but picking up a large butcher knife, the Dreamqueen tells Talisman not to waste her time trying to block her influence, as she has the men completely spellbound. The Dreamqueen rubs the large knife before handing it to one of them men, ordering them to start with Talisman’s feet and to work her way up.

In the greenhouse, Vindicator manages to get one of her hands free, and tells Jeffries to look out as she starts to cut away at the plants with her plasma blasts. She tells Madison to get to his suit, as they have got someone to visit. Jeffries boasts that it is payback time before phasing into his armor, just in time for more plants to attack the lovers. Jeffries points out that this is nuts and urges Heather to head for the top floor. Heather agrees, claiming that she has some feeling that the top floor is where Talisman went. With that, the powerful Alphans fly out of a window and head upwards.

Back on the tenth floor, Sasquatch keeps fighting the tables, declaring that they probably are not even real, that it is the Dreamqueen, and she is the one they have to fight. He smashes one table into another before grabbing Goblyn away from her “parents”, explaining as he rushes towards the elevator that they are wasting their time down here, that the Dreamqueen must be at some other place. Sasquatch transforms back into Walt as he ushers Goblyn into the elevator, believing the Dreamqueen to be on the top floor, where else would she be he wonders, and realizes that Talisman has been leading them on.

Held still be the handsome agents of the Dreamqueen, Elizabeth declares that she wasn’t sure before, but know she knows it…;You’re crazy!’ she exclaims, knocking back the four men with blasts of powerful energy. Elizabeth tells the Dreamqueen that she would have to be crazy to think she could come here and take over the world. ‘Only a lunatic would believe she can use the people of this planet for her sick amusement!’

The Dreamqueen laughs before telling Talisman that everyone uses people, reminding her that she used her friends to get to her, and as Talisman’s former teammates arrive on the top floor, the Dreamqueen declares that it is now her turn to use them, ‘Kill her!’ she screams, pointing at Talisman. Vindicator, Walt, Box and Goblyn approach Talisman, the Dreamqueen just laughs.

Watching through a window, Shaman tells Laura to open a gate behind the Dreamqueen, and to hurry. Laura does so, declaring that she knows just where to send the her. The Dreamqueen notices the portal behind her, and urges the mind controlled Alphans to stop Talisman - but it is too late, as Elizabeth steps forward and whacks the Dreamqueen hard in the face, knocking her through the portal, which closes quickly behind her.

The Alphans all return to normal and Heather grabs Elizabeth, telling her that she has got some explaining to do. Heather points out that Elizabeth lied to them, having them search the other floors while she was up here with the Dreamqueen. Vindicator informs Elizabeth that they almost died down there, and asks her how she could use them like that.

Talisman points out that she was an inch away from getting killed, and that the reason for that is because the closer everyone else is to the Dreamqueen, it is harder for Elizabeth to keep the Dreamqueen out of their minds. Talisman reveals that she didn’t want the others getting close to the Dreamqueen as she knew they would fall under her spell, ‘And you almost killed me!’ she points out.

Heather calms down and tells Elizabeth not to lie to them again, as the safety of Alpha Flight is too important. Jeffries asks if this means they are going to be a team again, to which Talisman declares that they are, for there is no other way that they can survive. Somewhat taken aback and annoyed, Vindicator asks Talisman what makes her say that. ‘Because the worst is yet to come’ Talisman declares.

Characters Involved: 

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

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



Dreamqueen’s Henchmen

Citizens of Canada

Canadian Prime Minister

Government Officials

Military Personnel

In Dreamqueen’s Illusion

Talisman II


Darby & Susan Dean


Story Notes: 

Each subtitle to the Wrath of the Dreamqueen joins together to make a full title: The Wrath of the Dreamqueen - The Ties that Bind; All that we Are…And All that we Seem…Is but a Dream within a Dream. The last three lines are from Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “dream within a Dream.”

Alpha Flight and China Force fought in Alpha Flight (1st series) #69.

Shaman is not capable of flight, only horizontal and vertical levitation. Though this is mentioned in the issue, the way he is drawn makes it similar to flight.

The injured Purple Girl was left behind at the Edmonton Mall in Alpha Flight (1st series) #69.

Aurora joined a nunnery in Alpha Flight (1st series) #50, after the manipulation of Loki.

Laura Dean and Goblyn’s origin, involving their mutant hating parents can be see in Alpha Flight (1st series) #54.

Issue Information: 
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