Alpha Flight (1st series) #82

Issue Date: 
March 1990
Story Title: 
The Quest for Northstar, part two: The Under Kingdom

James D. Hudnall (Writer), John Calimee (Penciler), Mike Manley (Inker), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Marc McLaurin (Managing Editor), Danny Fingeroth (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Vindicator, Sasquatch, Box and Diamond Lil are interrogated by General Winslow, who informs them of the strange occurrences that happened while they were missing, but that all were left with some kind of Alpha Flight calling card. Alpha Flight argue their innocence, but Winslow is not prepared to let them go, informing them that someone higher than he ordered their imprisonment. Shaman is discharged from hospital, but when he wants to see Puck, he is puzzled when told that he had been previously released. Shaman isn’t convinced that Puck has gone, and he is right, for Judd is having drugs forced into him to make him dream of how Alpha Flight ignores him and Heather Hudson rejected him, to make him very useful to the Master. Talisman can only watch as in Asgard, Aurora, Persuasion, Laura Dean and Goblyn face off against some trolls, before finally reaching the Cat Elves, and learning that Northstar has been taken to the realm of the Dark Elves. The girls are warned against going to Svartalfheim, but they go anyway. Upon arriving, they discover Northstar is about to be sacrificed, so fight the Dark Elves to rescue him, learning that they are minions of Llan the Sorcerer. Aurora manages to rescue her brother, and Laura opens a portal out of there. With Talisman’s help, they arrive at Maison Alpha, and are warned to prepare themselves - as they are about to enter a war.

Full Summary: 

What has gone on before: With Alpha Flight imprisoned, their sole free member, the sorceress Talisman has rounded up ex-team members Aurora, Persuasion, Laura Dean and Goblyn to battle the menace of Llan the Sorcerer. Their first step in amassing more powe4r with which to battle Llan is to search out another Alphan, the man called Northstar. To that end, the four have been sent by Talisman to the fabled realm of Asgard…where their troubles are really just beginning.

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora, and the former Beta Flight girls Kara “Persuasion” Kilgrave, Goblyn and Laura Dean, stand ready to battle as a horde of trolls approach them. Persuasion suggests to Aurora that she blinds them with her powers, while asking Laura to think of a way to get rid of them. ‘Maybe I can warp them to Mars?’ offers Laura, before Aurora confesses to Persuasion that she has lost her powers. ‘Great,’ mutters Kara.

The trolls approach, yelling ‘Fresh meat!’ as Persuasion steps forward, and uses her mutant power to control minds, she exclaims ‘Stay where you are!’ to the trolls - and they are frozen in their tracks. ‘A little purple power never hurts!’ boasts Kara, before asking the Asgardians who they are and why they attacked. ‘We’re trolls, miss. We eat the flesh of puny creatures like yourself,’ replies one of them.

Aurora, with her thick French-Canadian accent, asks the trolls if this is Asgard, and informs them that they have come in search of her “brozair”, adding that they should have been transported directly to him, before asking if he can tell them where the Cat Elves live. ‘The Cat Elves, miss? Why would they have your brassiere?’ asks the Troll. ‘My brothair, you bag of grease!’ Aurora screams.

The troll reveals that something has been screwy in Asgard for some time now, and that some say Asgard has been zapped into a negative zone. He explains that the Cat Elves have gone to the Land of Alfheim, a land of dolmens and talking trees. The troll starts to tells Aurora that this is the border of Norheim, when suddenly, Persuasion’s power over the trolls fades. ‘That’s not supposed to happen!’ shouts Kara.

Laura exclaims that she will try to stop them, and asks her sister Goblyn to hold them off. Goblyn rushes at the trolls with a large stick in her hands, as Kara orders the trolls again to freeze - but her power is no longer working. ‘Please let this work!’ whispers Laura Dean, as a troll lifts Kara up over a ridge and is about to throw her over - when suddenly he drops her - as all the trolls begin to sink.

Kara climbs down off the ridge, asking Laura where the trolls went. Laura replies that she made some warp gates under their feet, not knowing that she could pull it off. She doesn’t know where they went though, but thinks they should be okay. Aurora congratulates Laura, before telling the girls that they must find Jean-Paul, and fast, as Talisman needs them.

Maison Alpha, Earth 616, Elizabeth Twoyoungmen - the Talisman - watches her allies through the glass oracle, relieved that they made it, and knowing that Asgard can be a dangerous place, even for the Gods who dwell there. Elizabeth regrets that the glass oracle can only show her certain things and that she cannot give the others any help.

Talisman decides now to find out how Alpha Flight is doing, knowing that they have to pull together, as their world is crumbling around them. Elizabeth knows that in becoming Talisman, she set herself on a path of leadership, and manipulated Alpha Flight into doing things she thought were right. But they weren’t, and now Alpha Flight is being held in a prison while a government official decides their future, and Elizabeth is trapped in her circle of power, unable to help or join the discussion - all she can do is watch….

Winnipeg, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson, Doctor Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski, Madison “Box” Jeffries, and Alpha Flight’s ally Lillian Crawley a.k.a. Diamond Lil, sit at a table, while General Brian Winslow begins his interrogation. Heather, Walt and Jeffries watch Winslow, while Lil looks bored and faces a different direction. Winslow points out that they seem to be all that is left of Alpha Flight and assumes that the rest of the team is inactive. Heather explains that Shaman and Puck are in hospital, while Talisman is…”unavailable”, and everyone else has left or died.

Winslow claims that this is very interesting and informs Alpha that they have much to account for. He reveals that there have been an incredible number of bizarre occurrences in Canada over the last few months - strange deaths, lights in the sky, sightings of bizarre creatures, rains of blood and animal matter. Winslow explains that in one case, there was a rain of salmon that fell on the town of Moosejaw, and the air reeked for weeks afterward. Winslow then reveals that people noticed that the fish were lying in a pattern on the ground, so a helicopter was sent up to take a look from the air - and discovered that the fish spelt out “Alpha Flight”.

Diamond Lil is interested now, and turns as Winslow reveals that in every one of these cases, Alpha Flight’s name was found like some bizarre calling card. Madison reminds the General that Alpha Flight were not on Earth at that time, and Heather backs him up, telling Winslow that he cannot blame them for the problems, as they are incapable of causing things like that. Heather claims that it must have been Llan the Sorcerer, and tells Winslow that Llan is the one who sent them to the other dimensions. But Winslow doesn’t believe them.

Angry, Heather reminds Winslow that while Alpha were away, he had the government invoke the Emergency Powers Act to make them illegal, and Walt tells him that if it were not for him, they would be out there solving the problems he jailed them for. Diamond Lil adds that they let Gamma Flight bring them into prison, ‘We could’ve beaten those losers you know!’ Winslow starts to walk away from Alpha Flight, telling them that they are here because a higher authority than himself ordered it - someone very powerful - and that he has got big plans for them - very big plans.

Talisman realizes that things are getting worse, that everything is accelerating toward an unknown point - where it will all come crashing together. Talisman realizes that she needs her father’s advice…but where is Shaman?

Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman - has been in hospital after suffering injuries on Alpha Flight’s trek across various dimensions. A nurse informs Shaman that he is all checked out and that she just needs him to sign some papers. Twoyoungmen asks the nurse if she could tell him where Eugene Judd is, explaining that he was moved out of his room yesterday and that he hasn’t seen him since.

The nurse checks her computer and informs Shaman that Judd was released this morning as an outpatient. Shaman doesn’t think that is right, as his former teammate was in too much pain and asks the nurse to check under “Puck”. The nurse apologizes and explains that there is no “Mr. Puck”, and tells Shaman that she is sure his friend is all right if they let him go. She apologizes, telling Shaman that she cannot help him any further.

Shaman thanks the nurse and walks away, deciding that something is wrong here, as Judd shouldn’t have been released, he was in serious agony. Twoyoungmen doesn’t believe Judd would have left voluntarily, and walking past ward 13, decides that he must be in the hospital somewhere.

Inside the darkened Ward 13, a doctor approaches the sleeping former Alphan known as Puck, telling him it is time for more drugs to keep him far away in the realm of the unwaking. The doctor pulls a syringe from his sleeve, telling Judd that they want him to sleep for a while, that they want him to dream - to dream of how Alpha Flight has ignored and abandoned him all this time, and how Heather Hudson has rejected him. Grinning, the doctor tells Judd that when he awakens, he will be very useful to the Master - very, very useful.

Back in Asgard, Laura Dean sits on Aurora’s shoulders as the girls continue on their trek. Laura asks if this is the country of the Cat Elves and points out that they have been walking for hours now. Passing some strange rock cravings, Kara declares that they are ‘Mondo bizarre’, before suggesting that this may be some kind of wild goose chase, and that Talisman might have just been wasting their time. Aurora claims that Talisman wouldn’t do that, and tells Kara to be patient, as she is certain they will find her “brozair” soon.

Suddenly, Goblyn growls loudly - and as the others turn to where Goblyn is looking - they see dozens of Cat Elves on their flying cats swooping down towards them, shouting ‘Kill the outlanders!’ The Cat Elves throw their spears at the girls, until they manage to hear Aurora shout ‘Stop this! We come in peace!’ The elves ask the girls who they are and what their intent is in their kingdom.

Aurora introduces herself, and informs the Elves that she and her friends are looking for her “brozair”, Jean-Paul. She explains that they were told he is living here in Alfheim, and asks the Elves if they know him, adding that he is also known as Northstar. One of the Elves declares that Northstar was an ally, and sees the resemblance in Aurora. The Elves sheathe their weapons, before telling Aurora that they have bad news - ‘Your brother is dead’.

Elsewhere, the handsome Jean-Paul Beaubier is carried through a cavernous chamber on a plank, carried by hooded beings, who walk behind some supreme pontiff-like being.

Back in Alfheim, the Cat Elves bring Aurora and the others to the place where they found the corpse - the body of Northstar’ riding cat, who had been struck with many sword blows. The Elves found several broken weapons around the cat, but they never found Northstar’s body. The Trolls claim that Northstar did not go down without a fight, and Aurora asks who it was that attacked him, trolls? The Cat Elves reply that it was actually the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, and inform the girls that the Dark Elves sometimes make raids on their country using the dolmens as gateways, and that the Dark Elves often take unwary travelers as sacrifices to their strange gods.

Aurora is shocked and asks how they may save Northstar, exclaiming that there must be some way to follow the Dark Elves to their world. An Elf replies that they have never been able to fathom the secret of the dolmens, and that only the cursed Dark Elves seem to know the magic of the dolmens. Kara asks Laura if because she can make dimensional gateways, whether she could make this thing work. Touching the rock of the dolmens, Laura replies that there is something inside the rocks, like an energy, before revealing that she might just be able to pull it off.

Back in Svartalfheim, Northstar is carried up onto some kind of ceremonial platform and put on a table so that all the Dark Elves can see him.

Sitting by the dolmens, Persuasion admits she is worried about her recent power failure and suggests it might be something to do with the negative zone that Asgard is in, and she is afraid it might not work on the Dark Elves. One of the Cat Elves replies that he cannot say what will happen, but reveals that the trolls they fought earlier are minions of the Norn Queen, and that her spells protect the trolls from enemy’s magic.

Aurora boasts that they will take their chances, but the Cat Elves caution her to heed their words - that Northstar is probably dead by now and it would be foolish to seek him in the realm of Svartalfheim. The Elf declares that it is an evil place, full of magic and creatures from twisted realms. ‘Don’t go!’ he begs. Aurora explains to the Elf that she and her “brozair” spent their last moments together in that dark world, where she gave him the light within her and lost her powers - and him. She thought he was dead, and if he is dead, then she cannot let him rest alone in that horrible place, therefore she has no choice but to go in.

Laura informs everyone that she has activated the gateway, and that they can go through when everyone is ready. Aurora exclaims that they have no time to waste, and farewell’s the Cat Elves, telling them that they have been good friends. ‘May the Gods watch over thee!’ exclaims one of the Elves as the girls enter the dolmens.

Aurora and the girls find themselves in some strange warp-like field of blurred colors, and Kara asks if this is where they want to go. Aurora replies that it is not, and Laura suggests they keep walking. A train speeds past, and Kara wonders what is going on. Laura explains that they are walking the space between time, and reveals that she has been places like this before, and tells the others to ignore everything they see. Kara mutters that Whit is never going to believe this when she tells him, but Laura hushes her, pointing out that they are nearly there.

Just a few more steps - and suddenly, the girls find themselves in Svartalfheim, arriving several feet away from the platform where Northstar lies - and the supreme pontiff stands over him with a blade to his chest. ‘Jean-Paul!’ screams Aurora as she rushes towards her brother, while the pontiff orders the Dark Elves to kill the intruders.

Laura suggests to Kara that she uses her powers to keep the elves off, but Kara doesn’t think it will work, as there are too many of them. As Goblyn begins fighting the Dark Elves, Laura tells Kara that it has to work, and as the Dark Elves crowd in on Kara she screams ‘Protect us you filthy Elves!’ It works, and many of the Elves begin battling other Elves.

Aurora grabs the sword off of the pontiff, before punching him in the face and sending him flying off the platform. Aurora goes over to her motionless brother and calls to him, asking what the matter is. Laura tells Aurora to grab her brother so she can make a warp gate and get them out of here. The supreme pontiff approaches the girls and asks them if they think his master will let them get away with this. The supreme pontiff explains that the death of the sacrifice, will add to his power, and that he will not suffer this desecration lightly.

Carrying her brother in her arms, Jeanne-Marie asks whose ceremony this is, as she wants to know his name so she can repay him. The pontiff motions to a enormous statue behind them, and tells Aurora to behold the image of their lord - Llan the Sorcerer! The pontiff informs Aurora that Llan is going to open a gateway between their worlds and that their armies will join his dark cause. He boasts that they will sweep across Aurora’s world and night will reign forever. Persuasion calls to Aurora and tells her that they are running out of time.

Laura Dean opens another portal and ushers her friends through it. Aurora carries Jean-Paul through it as the pontiff orders his army to stop them, as he wants their blood and guts - but the portal closes after Aurora steps through.

Aurora and the others now find themselves in darkness, Laura claiming that this is not where she wanted to go. Aurora calls to her brother, asking him to wake up, but no response. Suddenly, Goblyn growls - and a brilliant light shines upon everyone - and they find themselves back on Earth, at Maison Alpha.

Talisman informs her allies that she wasn’t sure that would work, as it was more difficult than it should have been, adding that she almost lost them to the negative zone, but that when one is desperate for results, it doesn’t hurt to try something new. Aurora asks Talisman if she knew Northstar was alive, and Elizabeth replies that she needed him, like she needs everyone she can get.

Talisman declares that they can discuss her motives later, but that things are moving too quickly now, as the enemy is about to unleash the forces of night. Persuasion asks if the Dreamqueen is back, and Laura points out that they have been gone from the team for months so they do not know what is going on. Talisman explains that his name is Llan the Sorcerer, and that he is recruiting evil from every dimension imaginable. Persuasion informs Elizabeth that they fought Llan’s followers in Asgard. To which Talisman ominously declares ‘Prepare yourselves. We’re about to enter a war’.

Characters Involved: 

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

Aurora, Northstar, Puck (Former member of Alpha Flight)

Diamond Lil

Goblyn, Laura Dean, Persuasion (Former Members of Beta Flight)

General Brian Winslow

Hospital Staff

Asgardian Elves

Asgardian Riding Cats

Asgardian Trolls

Various Asgardian creatures

Story Notes: 

Aurora and the Beta Flight girls were summoned by Talisman to rescue Northstar and join the battle against Llan in Alpha Flight (1st series) #81.

The bizarre events that plagued Canada took place over a three month period while Alpha Flight were dimension hopping. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #72-75]

Shaman and Puck sustained injuries as they used the malleable matter of the Dreamqueen’s realm to alter their bodies in Alpha Flight (1st series) #75, and have been hospitalized since Alpha Flight (1st series) #76.

Aurora and Northstar’s ordeal with Svartalfheim, Loki and their illness took place in Alpha Flight (1st series) #50, which is also the last time they have seen each other.

The “Whit” that Persuasion refers to is her former boyfriend and Beta Flight teammate Whitman “Manikin” Knapp. Manikin had been thinking about quitting Beta Flight some time before the team was disbanded in Alpha Flight (1st series) #61, and refused to aid Alpha Flight against the Dreamqueen. [as mentioned in Alpha Flight (1st series) #67]

Issue Information: 
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