Alpha Flight (1st series) #85

Issue Date: 
June 1990
Story Title: 
Marching To Doom

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

Brief Description: 

Alpha and Gamma Flight’s are joined by Persuasion, Laura Dean and Goblyn before Laura teleports them to the Eye of the World so they can help Talisman. The government sends soldiers to aid the heroes, and at first Vindicator isn’t so sure Aurora should be joining them, but Aurora reminds her that despite losing her powers, she hasn’t lost her fighting spirit, so she joins them. At the Eye of the World, Talisman realizes that she has to open the Gateway of Day to counteract the Gateway of Night, even though it may mean everlasting war between the two opposing forces forever. Alpha Flight and company engage the monsters from the Twisted Realms in battle, and at first have some success. Soon, Aurora and Northstar find themselves in a situation where Northstar is able to give back Aurora’s powers, and once again they are able to create brilliant light together. Talisman makes her way to the Gateway of Day, and prepares to open it, when Llan finds her and challenges her. The Alphans and the others find the next wave of monsters more powerful, and soon some of the heroes are rendered unconscious. Talisman is tricked by Llan and immobilized so she cannot use her powers nor open the Gateway of Day. Elizabeth sends a psychic plea to Northstar and Aurora, telling them to fly to New York, get Dr. Strange and tell him to open the Gateway of Day. The twins do so as Llan discovers what Talisman did, and tells her that it doesn’t matter, as they will be too late to save anyone. ‘Welcome to doomsday’ he says with confidence.

Full Summary: 

Edmonton, Canada…more specifically, Maison Alpha, home and headquarters of Alpha Flight - formerly Canada’s premiere super heroes - where a very large gathering of super beings have assembled. Vindicator, Sasquatch, Shaman and Box of Alpha Flight, their ally Diamond Lil, and former members Northstar and Aurora, along with Gamma Flight members Nemesis, Wildchild, Witchfire, Silver and Auric have been brought together.

Alpha Flight’s leader, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson, asks Gamma Flight’s leader Nemesis, if she sees the problems now - the problem being their enemy, Llan the Sorcerer, an ancient and powerful demon. Heather explains that Llan has opened a dimensional portal called the Gateway of Night somewhere in the far North of Canada. It is in a crater known as the Eye of the World, and Llan has used magic to open it.

Madison “Box” Jeffries adds that Llan’s armies are pouring through from evil dimensions called the “Twisted Realms”, as he is trying to make Earth into another Twisted Realm. He reveals that only Talisman might know how to stop Llan, but Llan has beaten her in the past - and right now, she has gone to the Eye of the World to fight him on her own. Former Alphan, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora declares that if Gamma Flight hadn’t attacked, then they would be helping Talisman right now.

‘Who are these Gamma Flight clowns anyway?’ asks Aurora’s twin brother, Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier. Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman, explains to his former teammate that Gamma Flight are Canada’s official super team, who have replaced Alpha since the government made Alpha Flight illegal. Doctor Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski exclaims that Alpha Flight are not criminals, so they shouldn’t let these Gamma Flight chumps get the upper hand.

Gamma Flight’s Jimon Kwan a.k.a. Silver proclaims that this is all a misunderstanding and that Gamma Flight accepts Alpha’s innocence now. Silver’s brother Zhao a.k.a. Auric agrees, and declares that they should all work together. Gamma Flight’s sorcereress Witchfire informs everyone that she can sense magic at work up North, so they should hurry. Kyle “Wildchild” Gibney thrashes about, ‘Yeah, lets rip off some heads!’ he yells. ‘Hmph! Barbarian!’ mutters Jean-Paul under his breath.

Lillian Crawley a.k.a. Diamond Lil points out to Heather that Gamma Flight accept them now, ‘Let’s boogie!’ Heather informs everyone that more allies will be here in a minute, and that as soon as they get here, no time will be wasted - because the enemy sure isn’t wasting any.

Meanwhile, at the Eye of the World, the Alphan Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, a.k.a. the phenomenally powerful Talisman, flies into the darkness, hideous creatures pour out of the Gateway of Night - three headed fire-breathing demons, flying clawed creatures and more. Llan the Sorcerer hovers above the Gateway of Night, ‘Go! Go and kill all that you see!’ he bellows.

‘So this is what the End of the World looks like,’ Talisman thinks to herself. She decides that the Sorcerer’s minions are limitless as more and more keep pouring out of the Gateway of Night - he has the armies of a thousand worlds at his command. Elizabeth knows that only the power of the Talisman keeps the demons from seeing her and attacking.

Talisman realizes that their only salvation against Llan is a last resort - she has to open the Gateway of Day to counteract the Gateway of Night. But she knows that in doing so, she will unleash the armies of the Shining Realms who are the eternal enemies of the Twisted Realms - and that might turn the planet into a permanent battle field.

Hovering above the masses of horrors, Elizabeth realizes that unfortunately there is no other option, as it is too late to do anything else. However, Elizabeth’s next problem is succeeding, as Llan is going to try and prevent her opening the Gateway of Day. Talisman sees Llan looking at her now, and can hear his voice inside her head, laughing as he says ‘I know what you intend to do Talisman - but it wont work’.

Meanwhile, at the Canadian Air Force HQ. The officer monitoring a radar alerts his general to a huge army in the Northwest Territories that suddenly appears on his scanner and is heading South.

Back at Maison Alpha, Nemesis takes a phone call, and informs everyone that the government has spotted Llan and is sending in troops ahead of Alpha and Gamma Flight’s from some of the Northern bases. Heather tells Nemesis not to worry, as the others should be hear any minute, revealing that one of them can open a warp gate so they can get to the battle in no time.

North, several jets streak across the sky, informing base that they have spotted the enemy, they move into attack formation and launch missiles, bombing the minions of Llan. From one jet, a platoon is being dropped to the ground, ‘Show these scum some Canadian courage!’ the commander orders.

In a small fighter jet, one officer informs his fellow to some incoming bogeys. However, the are unable to maneuver the agents of Llan, and the men in this plan crash to the ground, landing in amongst large monsters who ignore them and keep rushing South.

At Maison Alpha, the three young former members of Beta Flight - Kara “Persuasion” Kilgrave, Laura Dean and Goblyn finally arrive. ‘Wow! Looks like you’ve been doing some kinky interior decorating!’ remarks Kara. Heather tells the girls she is glad they are finally here, and informs them that they got into a fracas with Gamma Flight, but that is behind them now, and they need the three of them badly. ‘Looks like you need a clean-up crew,’ suggests Laura Dean.

Vindicator asks Laura if she could open a warp gate to the Eye of the World, and asks her if she remembers that place, explaining that the Sorcerer’s army is there and they have to move fast if they are going to stop them. ‘Great! More psychos to deal with!’ mutters Kara. Laura replies that she remembers the Eye of the World, it is the place Shaman was camping the day Sasquatch went crazy, before using her mutant powers to open a warp gate.

Northstar suddenly rushes up to Vindicator and asks her if she has forgotten something: ‘You never bothered to ask whether I wanted to join in!’ he exclaims, before reminding her he quit Alpha Flight. Heather points out that the whole world needs their help, and asks him how he could just stand by and let this happen, before turning to Aurora and telling her that she will have to remain behind, as she lost her powers and cannot risk getting her injured.

Northstar agrees to come, mumbling that Heather is playing on his guilt, as Jeanne-Marie tells Heather she cannot make her stay, that she must help, too. Aurora points out that she may have lost her powers, but not her fighting spirit, and reminds Heather that she was trained in hand-to-hand-combat. ‘Every Alphan knows how to defend herself’. Jean-Paul points out that his sister lost her powers by saving his life, giving him the inner light they once shared. ‘We all risk our lives in this business, let her go!’.

Vindicator smiles and admits that they do need all the help they can get, before telling Aurora to remember that if she gets caught, no one might be able to help her. ‘Everyone faces that possibility, no?’ points out Aurora, before one-by-one, Alpha Flight, Diamond Lil, Northstar and Aurora, the former Beta Flight girls and Gamma Flight enter the portal leading to the Eye of the World.

The Eye of the World…Laura Dean’s portal opens, and the heroes pour out of it. Sasquatch comments on how the army beat them here, to which Box declares they go and beat the Sorcerer’s army. ‘For Canada,’ says Heather. ‘For the world,’ adds Nemesis. The heroes run into battle, Shaman thinks to himself that the enemies they are facing seem endless, and wishes that Puck were here, as these are his kind of odds.

The heroes charge into battle, trying to help the beleaguered Canadian army, and for a short while, they seem to make a difference. The power of Nemesis’s sword, Witchfire’s magic and Wildchild’s ferocity cuts a swath through the enemy. ‘And I thought I was ugly!’ jokes Wildchild as he attacks a hideous creature.

Sasquatch’s strength, Shaman’s magic weapons and Goblyn’s savagery drive back their first set of opponents, while Laura Dean uses her powers to warp creatures back to their alternate worlds. Auric blasts demons with heat beams and his sister Silver freezes others.

But not everyone is occupied, as kneeled by a rock for safety, Aurora tells her brother that this is much worse than she imagined. Jean-Paul tells his sister not to worry as he knows she will acquit herself well, while he uses his speed to help the soldiers. A large creature is attacking some soldiers, but using his super speed, Jean-Paul manages to hold it off them, the soldiers surprised to see Northstar.

However, an ugly creature comes up behind Aurora, ‘MEAT!’ it yells, as Aurora tries to kick it - only to be knocked back by its strength. ‘Fresh meat!’ the creature cries, before Jean-Paul sees the danger his sister is in. The handsome speedster races over to the creature and knocks it over, before tending to his sister. Aurora claims that she is all right, but Northstar tells her that he cannot let her get hurt, as she is all he has right now.

Northstar wonders if he should try to give back to Aurora the light she once gave him to save his life, as it might return her powers. Northstar embraces his sister as Jeanne-Marie tells him that if he were to try, it could kill him. Jean-Paul tells Aurora that her life is as important - maybe more so - than his, and tells her not to argue, just to take it.

Aurora wonders if they could share the light like they used to, and asks her brother to try it and see what happens. Jean-Paul agrees, and suddenly the twins are bathed in a brilliant light, both of them crying out in pain.

Suddenly, chaos erupts throughout the battlefield, Box wonders what is going on as nearly all of the enemy begin howling about the light. Persuasion wonders where the light is coming from, to which Diamond Lil points out that it seems to be causing the enemy some agony, Laura Dean adding that they look scared. Sasquatch tells Heather and Twoyoungmen that he has seen this light before, back when Aurora and Northstar were able to touch, before he altered Aurora’s powers.

Vindicator wonders if the twins have somehow solved their problems, that Aurora’s physique may have slowly changed back to its former state. Sasquatch agrees that it would explain what is happening now. Shaman informs everyone that living light is something these creatures from the Twisted Realms cannot deal with, and so it has weakened them.

Joining the senior Alphans, Nemesis suggests they use this to their advantage, and Heather agrees that victory may be around the corner. Heather blasts the enemy with her powerful electromagnetic pulses, while Box smashes them with his fists, ‘They don’t call me Box for nothing!’ Lillian exclaims that it is “Rock n Roll” time as she tussles with the enemy. Some flying creature shoot a large bomb down towards Box, who extends his body so he can smash the bomb into dozens of pieces.

Nearby, Talisman sees that Northstar and Aurora have risen to the sky, which is now a golden color, and by reuniting their inner light, the power of it is driving the enemy’s troops insane. Elizabeth realizes that getting the twins together bought her some time, which is good, as she is going to need all the time she can get. Looking up at the mountain before her, she knows that inside it lies the Gateway of Day, and to open it will require all of her concentration.

Elizabeth hopes that she has enough power to do the job, for if she fails, then the whole world will die - though success may be just as bad. Standing on a ridge, Talisman knows that on the other side of this gate are mystic armies who oppose the Sorcerer’s, and that when they clash, they might turn the Earth into one huge battleground - a devastating war that could last forever. Elizabeth knows that it is a risk that must be taken, otherwise Llan wins and Earth dies.

Talisman concentrates, tries to complete her task - but she feels something wrong, resistance to her spells. Suddenly there is laughter, and the ridge crumbles beneath her feet, sending her falling to the ground - where Llan the Sorcerer is eagerly awaiting her. Llan asks Elizabeth if she really thought he would give her any chance to thwart him. ‘This is out final meeting, Talisman! Say your prayers!’ he boasts.

High in the sky, Aurora flies free, exclaiming that her powers are back again. Jean-Paul declares that he hopes so, as what just transpired hurt! Two armed creatures approach them and Jean-Paul warns his sister to look out, as they are about to fire. The twins easily evade the enemy, ‘Missed us by kilometers,’ boasts Jean-Paul, before realizing that they will need more to defeat these freaks than just the ability to flee.

Down on the ground, the heroes have all gathered and regrouped, Lillian pointing out that the light has gone and that there are more of the enemy coming their way. Goblyn growls as Box comments on how endless the Sorcerer’s army seems. Persuasion informs everyone that she cannot control so many with her power, as Wildchild declares ‘We should have a good death, I think’.
Witchfire tells Kyle not to be such a pessimist, before Vindicator asks everyone what they are all standing around for. ‘The fate of the world depends on us - are you going to let a few freaks and monsters scare you?’ she declares, before letting loose a blast of plasma and leading everyone back into battle. ‘That’s my girl,’ remarks Jeffries.

But things start to go wrong: a large green beast breaths some noxious gas out, rendering Persuasion, Laura Dean and Witchfire unconscious. Goblyn is lifted away by a two-headed flying creature, as are several soldiers. Sasquatch is bombarded by spears while Nemesis points out that this second wave of monsters seems to be much tougher than the first. Diamond Lil’s legs get caught in the mouth of some creature, while the soldiers begin to run out of ammunition. Several spears manage to stick in Sasquatch, and as he becomes drowsy, he realizes that they are poisoned. Nemesis is picked up and heaved away by a large grey creature, only to be trampled over by a stampede of creatures.

In the air, Auric finds himself in an ironic situation when a creature begins to burn him, while Silver is trapped by a creature, unable to break free, she asks her brother to shoot it. Box sees the plight of the Kwan siblings and tells them to hold on - but before he can aid them, he is blasted at by some creatures with weapons.

Vindicator is distracted and calls out to her lover - only to be knocked out of the sky by a horned creature, ‘Die human trash!’ it bellows, as Heather lands on the ground, telling herself not to lose, that she must keep going.

Meanwhile, Talisman now faces Llan who has increased his mass considerably. Llan asks Elizabeth if she is ready to die, Talisman just tells him to speak for himself. ‘Very well,’ he replies, before blasting her with his power. ‘You want a fight, you got it!’ exclaims Talisman as she retaliates, knocking Llan aside with her powers, until suddenly, two arms made of rock emerge from the ground and pull at her - until two more appear, and all four pull her back to the mountain, holding her down and trapping her.

Llan returns and laughs, asking Elizabeth if she thinks he was trying to hit her with that blast of energy, when in fact he was merely enchanting the stone of the mountain, so with Elizabeth’s hands tied, she can work no more magic. Llan boasts that the gateway of Day will remain closed, and help will never arrive to save her friends. Llan points out that with Talisman incapacitated, only one other person on this world can open the Gateway of Day, and blasting Elizabeth with more of his powers, Llan vows to deal with that other person shortly.

Llan claims that this is eternal nightfall for all mankind, and that with his very hands he will take Talisman’s life and usher in the darkness that will destroy all hope all hope and love - Earth will become part of the twisted realms forever. Talisman hopes that Llan keeps talking, as she knows she has one chance left.

In the sky, Northstar and Aurora are still fighting the enemy, before Jeanne-Marie points out that their friends and the others need them, so they should go down and help. Suddenly, Talisman appears before them, telling the twins that they are their last hope of surviving this day. She informs them that they need to use their super speed to fly to New York, and find Dr. Strange, whose house is in Greenwich Village. Elizabeth explains that Llan is blocking her so she cannot contact Dr. Strange herself, and asks the twins to tell Strange to open the Gateway of Day - before she fades from sight. Aurora calls out to Elizabeth, before the twins turn and fly to New York.

Llan had discovered what Talisman was up to and tells her it was pathetic as there is no way Northstar and Aurora can reach Dr. Strange in time to save her or her friends - or Earth for that matter. ‘No one can help you now, Talisman…welcome to Doomsday!’….

Characters Involved: 

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

Aurora, Northstar (Former Members of Alpha Flight)

Diamond Lil

Goblyn, Laura Dean, Persuasion (Former Members of Beta Flight)
Auric, Nemesis III, Silver, Wildchild, Witchfire (All Gamma Flight)

Llan the Sorcerer

The Sorcerer’s massive army of demons


Story Notes: 

Talisman went to the Eye of the World to fight Llan alone at the end of Alpha Flight (1st series) #84.

Several members of Alpha Flight had been to the Eye of the World in Alpha Flight (1st series) #68.

Aurora lost her powers in Alpha Flight (1st series) #50.

Aurora was trained in hand-to-hand combat by Wolverine.

Puck has been the captive of a mysterious assailant since Alpha Flight (1st series) #82.

Aurora and Northstar used to be able to create a brilliant light when they touched, however wanting to separate herself from her brother, Aurora had Sasquatch alter her DNA structure [Alpha Flight (1st series) #17], and from then on, only Aurora had light powers, until she gave up all her powers to save Northstar from dying in Alpha Flight (1st series) #50.

Issue Information: 
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