Alpha Flight (1st series) Annual #1

Issue Date: 
May 1986
Story Title: 

Bill Mantlo (Writer), Larry Stroman (Penciler), Gerry Talaoc (Inker), Bob Sharen (Colorist), Janice Chiang (Letterer), Rosemary McCormack-Lowry (Assistant Editor), Carl Potts (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Alpha Flight prepare for a relaxing night at home in their mansion on Tamarind Island, with the usual bickering and personal problems going on – Northstar doesn’t approve of his sister Aurora being romantically involved with the paraplegic Bochs, while Snowbird has developed a death wish. Shaman has grown removed from humanity, and Vindicator tries to keep her “family” together. However, someone else is roaming Mansion Alpha, its former owner Lillian von Loont, a.k.a. Gilded Lily, who is shocked to learn that she is only a spirit after her previous encounter with two of Alpha Flight, and sets out to get herself a new body – namely Aurora’s. Gilded Lily uses her alchemical powers to free her former lover, fellow alchemist Diablo, from prison, while she attacks Alpha Flight, as she is intertwined with the mansion, in the process she kidnaps Aurora. Diablo and Gilded Lily are reunited, at first he wants nothing to do with her, but when he sees that she will get Aurora’s body provided their potion works, he agrees. However, Alpha Flight track them to a secret cavern beneath the mansion and together with Aurora they thwart the alchemists’ plan, in the process, Gilded Lily’s spirit is destroyed. Afterwards, Diablo is returned to prison and Alpha Flight are left alone in their home.

Full Summary: 

This midsummer evening, if you happened to be walking past the grounds of Tamarind Island, home to Canada’s premiere super hero team – Alpha Flight – you might have heard, over the sighing of the sea breezes, a strange disembodied cry…I am alive! …But what has become of me? I feel as if I were everywhere – and nowhere – all at once! I don’t understand! Could I have been wrong? Is this…death? It cannot be! How can I be dead and yet remember my past, ponder my present and experience such an overwhelming of such…powers?

The voice flows through various parts of the large mansion on Tamarind Island, but stops when it comes to the dinning room – where eight very special people are getting ready for dinner. Seven of these eight comprise the team Alpha Flight, the other is their ally, Madison Jeffries, mutant transmutator. Team leader, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson carries some food to the table and declares that punching a dinner-program into the kitchen computers and having it prepare the meal makes cooking a dream! With a book in his hands, Eugene Milton Judd, a.k.a. the diminutive Puck tells Heather that supper might be a nightmare if it wasn’t for her recipes, while Jeffries asks Judd if it is not impolite to read at the table.

Seated down from Jeffries, is the paraplegic Roger Bochs, who tells his teammate, the mutant Aurora, whom he has a crush on, that the dinner is ready. Aurora leans seductively over the table and tells the scientist that she has no thought for food – only for him. Sitting on the other side of the table are the outsiders of the team - Aurora’s twin brother the handsome speedster Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier, and the beautiful goddess Narya, a.k.a. Snowbird, while Michael Twoyoungmen, the new Talisman sits not at the table, but stares out the window. Northstar puts his hands to his eyes, so he does not have to watch his sister fawn over Bochs, but nevertheless he wonders how she can fawn over such a cripple.

The mysterious voice realizes that some of the power it sensed emanates from the people in the dining room, but wonders who they are and what it is that they are doing in its house.

Aurora asks Heather why she feels compelled to cook for them, to which Heather replies that it is habit, for being the oldest of seven siblings she often cooked for her mother, then for her late husband Mac, and now - since Alpha has become her “family” – for them too! She adds that Bochs’ “servobots” make thing easy for her, and with the government’s funding they have been able to make the isolated island into a state-of-the-art paradise! Jeffries asks Judd what it is he is reading, and Judd replies that he is reading a play about his namesake, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Northstar snidely remarks that he is sure the team’s enemies would relish in the image of Vindicator as a happy homemaker.

Aurora tickles her “Dear Rogair” on the chin and asks him if he can design her something to make her as happy as his drones make Heather. Roger reminds Aurora that Jeffries is who makes the inventions real, and that if she could give him some idea of what it is she would like… “Like?” Aurora asks before declaring that she likes to have men around her – men with brawn and men with brains. Roger thinks to himself that it is his genius that helped him to create his Box armor, that fascinates Aurora – because he thinks she can’t possibly see much else in a wheelchair bound paraplegic. He realizes Aurora is so physical, and wonders how long his intellect alone will continue to satisfy her.

Northstar turns to his fellow loner, the sultry Snowbird and reminds the goddess that she is a shapeshifter and asks her if she could assume the form of Aurora’s last lover, Sasquatch, and show his sister what a real man is like. Narya replies calmly that Sasquatch is the name given to one of the Great Beasts, and as its spirit corrupted the soul of Walter Langkowski, so would it corrupt hers should she assume it too long.

Judd asks Jeffries if he has never read the Bard, and Jeffries replies that he thinks he caught something he wrote on public T.V before switching to the hockey. Heather asks Shaman if he is joining them for dinner, he does not respond and she calls to him again. Michael Twoyoungmen thanks Heather, but reveals that he no longer eats food.

The mysterious voice wonders if the world has gone mad, or if it is just itself – for these beings, mortals and immortals, dwarves and cripples – seem to be imbued with as yet un-guessed powers, but none of them perceives its presence. Am I indeed dead then? A spirit in my own house? For sanity’s sake, I must know! The voice flows throughout the mansion, examining various rooms in the great building. Madness! This was my kitchen, but I recognize it not! And this is my study, yet where are my books? It thinks that the corridors seem the same as when it last walked them, but senses hidden power behind the wainscoting, throbbing beneath the floorboards. The voice enters the elevator and takes it to the lower levels, believing that no matter whom the interlopers might be, they could not have discovered the hidden laboratory!

But the “interlopers” have discovered the laboratory, and turned into a swimming pool and gymnasium. Furious, it passes through more rooms until it eventually comes to a halt in the computer chamber of Mansion Alpha. It declares it needs to know what has become of it and its house and senses it will find its answers in this room. It examines the computer and learns that its home is now called Mansion Alpha and is occupied by beings that the world calls Super Heroes. The voice thinks that it recognized one of them earlier…Yes! Aurora, the hussy invaded my home some time ago…in the company of a talking orange ape who called himself my grandnephew!

The mysterious being reads from the data in the computer that Sasquatch is dead and thinks that it is a pity, for death is too good after what he and his tart did to it. But what did they do to me? it wonders, and thinks perhaps the machines may be able to reveal what happened to it. Data stored in the Alphanex computer is summoned and analyzed, and soon, shuddering from foundation to topmost turret, Mansion Alpha screams…for the being has learned it is dead.

The Alphans seated at the table are thrown off their chairs, as Aurora asks if it is an earthquake or an attack. Roger declares that the sensors should have given them plenty of warning either way, and Judd remarks that Twoyoungmen’s spirits would have also. Northstar correctly declares that he sometimes gets the feeling that one of the chief virtues everyone places on belonging to a team, is the fact they can all share the blame for not being prepared. Heather rudely remarks that she gets the feeling the only reason Jean-Paul has remained an Alphan is because he would have no one to criticize if he were all alone. When the shock subsides, Heather suggests they go find out what caused it.

Back in the computer room, the mysterious spirit thinks that the answer is as astounding, as it is unbelievable, for in the aftermath of the battle with Sasquatch and Aurora, though it was not defeated, it did not die, but somehow, the spirit passed into the house. As Alpha Flight thought the mysterious entity dead, they remodeled the mansion and took up residence. It also realizes that it took some time for its own consciousness to re-form…but now it is mistress of the house again, and thinks she could use Alpha Flight’s technology against them and destroy their headquarters.

But, she thinks, her most fervent desire is to live, and she sees stored in the Alphanex computer files on various villains, including a file on the very man who can help her achieve reincarnation…Diablo, Master of alchemy, her former lover, but as she has learned he is currently incarcerated, it is she who must first help him. Something passes through Mansion Alpha and into Roger Bochs’ workshop and laboratory. There, chemicals carefully segregated from each other suddenly commence to mingle and mix, while a futuristic “modemphone” begins to auto-dial a number a continent away.

The mysterious woman has not forgotten any of the alchemical secrets her beloved taught her and can enhance her experiment with the enormous power she senses coursing through the cables in the walls. When the experiment is completed, some electrical creature-like-thing is created and the woman boasts that not even Diablo himself has ever raised such an electrical element. She orders her demon forth to fetch her lover and bring him to her, and it does, entering the mouthpiece of the phone….

In Oswego, New York, a fortress of high walls and well-armed guards keep the inmates of this state prison from getting out, telephone lines carry transmissions and other things dispatched from the outside world in. A phone rings and a officer picks it up, but hears nothing coming through the phone – but something does emerge – an electrical demon that quickly attacks and subdues the guards. Through the phone, the mysterious woman’s voice can be heard ordering her demon to go to “him”.

The electrical creature sweeps its way through the prison seeking the self-styled master of alchemy, eventually finding Esteban Diablo, who is surprised to see such a creature. As the creature hovers in the room, Diablo orders the guards to keep it from him, reminding them that they are charged with his safety. One of the guards points out that the bars are charged with electricity and that they don’t want to touch them.

The demon sways mesmerizingly before Diablo like a cobra, and he realizes that it is an alcemically conjured creature, and wonders who but he, who has mastered such arts over the eleven centuries of his extended life, could have raised such a demon. There is only one person – she that he trained and divulged all of his secrets except of his longevity…’but she is dead! She must be!’ The guards watch as the electrical demon zaps Diablo, and converts him to an electrical current, in which the demon brings its prize back into the telephone cables that carries them both away from the prison and across international borders, between the United States and Canada, over 3000 miles of continent, and through underwater cables that link the mainland of British Columbia to Canada.

Somewhere in Mansion Alpha, a telephone is answered before it even rings. No member of Alpha Flight is any the wiser. Vindicator, Jean-Paul, Twoyoungmen, Jeffries and Puck are in the computer room, and Twoyoungmen asks if none of their instruments detected any earth tremors. Vindicator asks what it was that struck the mansion, and sitting at a computer, Jeffries declares that he is trying to find out, but has so far found nothing.

Puck reminds Twoyoungmen that since he has donned the tiara of the Talisman, he has gained the power to command spirits, and is hinting at using them, but Twoyoungmen cuts Judd off and declares that he uses that power sparingly, if at all. Northstar reminds Twoyoungmen that he doesn’t eat or sleep – that he hardly seems human anymore. Shaman just stares at them and declares ‘I am…what I am’.

The mysterious spirit thinks to herself that as a “Binder of Spirits” Twoyoungmen presents perhaps her greatest threat, but of equal concern is Jeffries and his mutant transmuting powers. Jeffries supposes he should run a systems check, and Heather proclaims that all the technology in the mansion responds to his touch, so he should do what he knows. But as for the rest of them, she is calling a team alert and wants everyone to search the house and island for any signs of intruders, including Twoyoungmen, as his spirits should know if anything is wrong. Shaman albeit reluctantly agrees to request the aid of the spirits. Jean-Paul leaves the room on his way to find Aurora and tell her that she is needed, ‘That is if she can tear herself away from her pudgy paraplegic’.

Jeffries is left alone in the computer room and thinks how “nice” Northstar is, and guesses he loves pulling wings off flies. Jeffries doesn’t think he understands Jean-Paul, after all he is more at home with machines than people. He starts to check why the systems he and Bochs rigged up didn’t register any anomaly when he touches a button he is electrocuted. He thinks how odd it is that he received a shock, especially as machinery is supposed to respond to his command. He wonders if the machinery is booby trapped, and makes his way to the elevator where he plans to warn the others.

In the elevator though, the doors close on their own, and the weakened Jeffries falls to the ground, while the mysterious voice declares that she cannot let Jeffries go, not now and not ever, and gives him the occasional electrical shock to keep him unconscious.

Elsewhere in the mansion, Judd asks Michael exactly what it means now that he has become the Talisman. While summoning some spirits, Twoyoungmen informs Judd that ancient Indian myths state that the Binder of the Spirits is one with those he binds. The duo enters the elevator and Judd asks Shaman if what he means is that he is one with the Spirit World. Twoyoungmen tells Judd that what it means is that his concerns are different from those of other humans. Judd asks Michael if that is what he wants – to transcend such cherished human attributes as love and longing – even life itself.

Judd points out that the elevator is not going up, and both men are pulled off the ground by a whirling center force. Judd asks Shaman to summon more spirits and make it stop, but Twoyoungmen is unconscious. Judd thinks that perhaps mentally, Shaman is beyond being human, but physically he isn't as able as he is to withstand the incredible increase in centrifugal force the spinning elevator is exerting on them. ‘Pleasant dreams, Alphans’ whispers the woman.

In a hallway, Jean-Paul walks in search if his sister, but feels that someone is watching him, mocking him. He ponders the idea that some unseen enemy has assaulted Mansion Alpha, and that if so he must see to Aurora’s safety, so he speeds along the hall. But the mysterious enemy has already learned that Northstar is a speedster, but boasts that not even the ability to race at incredible speeds will enable him to reach his destination, as the hallway keeps growing longer and longer, Jean-Paul’s destination retreating as swiftly as he races towards it.

Outside, the beautiful Narya sits on a rock, and Vindicator sees her as she starts to search the Island perimeter. Heather asks the Goddess why she isn't aiding the search, and the sultry Snowbird replies that ever since the decision to bear a mortals child cost her not only that husband and baby, but also her God-hood, she has no desire for anything except for death. Narya believes that in death she may be able to transcend her loathsome existence and dwell among her fellow Gods.

Heather asks Narya if she is contemplating suicide and tells her that it is quite selfish of her – but cannot continue her sentence, as the mansion porch begins to collapse on her. Snowbird sees her friend under attack and races towards the porch to aide her – transforming into an Albino Sasquatch as she goes, for Narya thinks it will take physical strength mightier than her own to wrest Heather free, even if it comes at a risk.

Snowbird pummels through the broken porch in search of the swallowed Heather, but Heather manages to burst free herself, by using an electromagnetic blast. Heather asks Narya if she has gone crazy, reminding her that she knows the dangers of assuming the form of a Great Beast, even if she did it to aide her. Heather informs Narya that whatever caused their porch to collapse she was in no danger, as her battle suit comes equipped with a forcefield.

Snowbird informs Heather that the evil of the form can only affect her if she remains in it for longer than is necessary, which she wont, but in the meantime it is a mighty force in which to face a strong foe. ‘What for?’ asks Heather, although she did presume the sudden attack on her did stem from the same source as the shock wave earlier, but they have no idea who the enemy is.

Snowbird reveals to Heather that it is not “who”, but what, for she senses that it is Mansion Alpha directly responsible for the attack. The mysterious enemy realizes that somehow Snowbird knows, but even so, thinks her knowledge will do her little good, and she slams all the windows to the mansion shut, for neither Snowbird nor Vindicator can inflict serious harm on her without endangering their teammates held hostage within the mansion.

Heather fires an electromagnetic blast at the mansion, shocked that their own headquarters is sealing itself off and sealing them out, but even as she attacks the building, it seems to resist even further. Snowbird, in the Sasquatch form, proclaims that they must get in if they are to save their teammates. It is only immersed in this action that Narya can find solace from her sorrows.

In the gymnasium, Aurora and Bochs are relaxing, both kept deliberately unaware, by the mysterious spirit, of the attacks being launched on their teammates. Sitting on the edge of the pool, Aurora apologizes to Roger for having to turn the room to full light, ruining the romanticism, but the dark scares her. Aurora points out that Roger swims well, and he informs her that having no lower body, he has developed a lot of upper body strength.

Aurora tells Roger that Northstar has no right to deride him as overweight, and Roger asks Aurora if her brother thinks of him as a ‘legless fatty’, adding that he doesn’t think Northstar likes him. Aurora reveals to Roger that Northstar doesn’t like any man she likes, and snidely, Roger suggests Jean-Paul might be jealous. ‘Oui, maybe’ smiles Aurora. Roger begins to ask Aurora if she truly likes him, when suddenly his Box armor, which was standing beside the pool, begins to fall towards Aurora. Aurora tells Roger that of course she likes him, and he pushes her out of the way as his armor is almost upon her.

However, the result causes the Box armor, which weighs a quarter of a ton to fall on Roger, in the pool. Aurora slinks back to the wall-to-wall mirrors and calls to Roger, when suddenly, she is pulled into the mirror, the mysterious assailant telling Aurora that she cannot help Bochs now, for she has more need of her body than Bochs ever did! As she is pulled slowly into the mirror, Aurora declares how dark it is, and her captor reveals that all the mirrors in the house not only severed as her eyes but due to her alchemy are now portals leading into her dark heart, which only she or those she touches can penetrate. With a blinding flash, Aurora has been fully pulled into the mirror, and is at the mercy of the mysterious woman.

Roger, now in the Bochs armor, leaps out of the pool calling to Aurora, while revealing that while he was pinned beneath the armor he realized that he could phase into the armor and save himself – but now Aurora has been seized.

Meanwhile, in Bochs’ lab, electricity surges through the phone mouthpiece, and Diablo emerges, becoming corporeal again. He wonders where he is, and at that moment, Mansion Alpha heaves a sigh – and Diablo finds himself experiencing the sickening sensation of being held in a disembodied embrace. He is overcome with revulsion and runs from the corridor, as the mysterious woman calls Don’t, my darling, not after I’ve waited so long!

Diablo however runs straight into Box, ‘A metal man’. Roger asks Diablo who he is and how he got into Mansion Alpha, not to mention where he has hidden Aurora. This is all too much for Diablo, and after being sent to prison after being defeated by the Fantastic Four, he has sworn never to be so stupid as to oppose super beings again. Box declares that he wants answers, and Diablo proclaims that he would gladly give some – if he had any!

The mysterious woman tells her beloved that he has nothing to fear of this bludgeoning behemoth and she causes the walls to shrink in towards Bochs. Bochs thinks it is Diablo’s doing and asks him if he has telekinesis, but Diablo replies it isn't him and begins to run from Box, who sarcastically remarks that it must have been his invisible friend, and will show him how much he believes it when he breaks free!

Diablo does not know where he is however and therefore knows not where to flee to, but the mysterious woman seems to be guiding him, by opening an elevator for him. Entering the elevator, Diablo wonders if it is a trick by the metal man or an unseen foe. The mysterious woman whispers that Diablo is still so suspicious, but supposes that is how he has managed to stay alive for all these centuries. Perhaps I can allay your suspicions? and Diablo sees on a table before him an array of chemicals.

The master of alchemy is familiar with chemicals, but he has never witnessed them mix themselves! Smoke begins to form before him, and the woman informs him that this is an interim measure, which she has realized must be taken to that he may see and hear her, and as such she will become more-or-less a creature of chemical mists. Hardly preferable to the real flesh and blood maiden you once held in your arms.

The woman continues, informing Diablo that now he is here he will help her to regain the flesh form she lost. The smoke dissipates and a woman stands before Diablo. Dressed in white, she asks him why he stands and stares and why he doesn’t rush to the eager of embrace of…Gilded Lily!

The evil woman holds out her arms, as Diablo remembers the woman’s voice and the features from which the horrible golden mask was modeled, it is the same, but has been over 100 years since he last lay eyes on her! But he thinks this woman cannot be alive, it would be impossible! Lillian von Loont walks slowly over to her beloved, declaring that her return is no more impossible than it was for him to walk the streets of 9th Century Spain.

Lillian von Loont reminds Diablo that he unfolded to her the wonders of alchemy, and she finally discovered the secret of immortality for herself. Gilded Lily wraps her arms around Diablo’s neck, and reveals to him that in her case, since he never taught her the secrets of immortality, something went wrong in her experiment, and she only gained immortality of the consciousness, while her body decayed away. She boasts that she has longed for they to be reunited so he could help her attain true immortality, in body and soul.

Gilded Lily, in a stern voice, tells Diablo that he will help her, as she helped him, and uses her powers to garb him in his costume. Diablo seems surprised to learn that Lillian helped him. Gilded Lily tells Diablo that it must have been an affront to his dignity to have been incarcerated in that prison. Diablo proclaims that he was safe from enemies in the prison, and Gilded Lily tells him that he must jest, for the Diablo she knew would never seek safety, but supremacy over mankind.

Gilded Lily asks Diablo if he doesn’t recall how he found her, hurt and hideously deformed from a motor car accident, lying at the gates to his castle in the Transylvanian Alps. Lillian wished only to die like her new husband had. However, Diablo helped her, and awoke love in a heart that she thought incapable of ever loving again. Soon, Diablo became her tutor as well as her lover, and she learned all of his alchemical arts. However, before Diablo could reveal to Lillian all of his secrets, a superstitious rabble hunted him down when his powers were at their weakest, and sealed him away in a crypt, for, what Lillian thought, would be an eternity.

Lillian informs Esteban that she grieved, but went on to revenge herself on his attackers. With that task done, she ensconced herself in her ancestral house on Tamarind Island, never dreaming he was still alive, and she sought in her own fashion, the immortality Diablo had found. Though it came at a cost – her beauty and her body – when her accursed grandnephew tore away her life-giving gold mask from her face, and she thought death had come to claim her at last. But as she began to crumble, she managed to make it to a secret hideaway, her laboratory, though nothing would halt the progress of decay.

Now though, Gilded Lily knows that although she crumbled to dust, her consciousness lived on in that dust until they were both mixed into the very mortar of from which her home was reconstructed when it became the new headquarters of the super team Alpha Flight. Diablo is more concerned about the “super team” comment than anything else Lillian has mentioned and asks if there are more than just the metal man he met in the hallway. Gilded Lily tells him that they are a powerful assemblage and that one of them possess a body both young and lovely…and that in her form, Diablo can help her attain immortality!

Diablo tells Lily ‘No!’ and the stern-faced woman stands still, shocked at his answer, she tells him he better explain himself. Diablo tells Gilded Lily that he is done with fighting super heroes, as never in all of his encounters with them has he been victorious, and that if he were to help Gilded Lily possess one of their number, dooming her so that she herself may live, then the heroes would never rest until they had his head. Gilded Lily tells Diablo that together, their power pooled, they could defy the heroes and the world too. Diablo replies that he doesn’t want to be joined ‘to some century old female fury who’s every bit my alchemical equal’. ‘WHAT?’ shrieks Gilded Lily, and again, Mansion Alpha shakes.

Outside, Narya’s mystical senses feel their foe’s attention drift elsewhere and uses the lapse to smash her way into the mansion. Vindicator flies ahead, declaring they need to find the others. The male members of Alpha Flight also benefit from Gilded Lily’s lapse: in the elevator, Shaman manages to call forth spirits to aide him and Judd, while in the other elevator, Jeffries is no longer being shocked and can transmute an exit through the metal. Box smashes the enclosing walls, while Northstar finally finds himself free of the never-ending corridor.

Gilded Lily tells Diablo that he will help her, but the male alchemist sternly replies that he won’t. Gilded Lily wonders how she could have ever loved such a spineless specimen of humankind such as Diablo, and declares again that he will use his powers to help her attain immortality, and pointing to the oncoming heroes, she declares she shall let them have him. ‘Oh no, not them!’ cries Diablo watching as Vindicator, Snowbird, Northstar and the rest rush into the room.

Box motions to Diablo and declares that he is the creep he told them all about, but now he has a costume and a girlfriend. ‘And Aurora, I’ll bet’ adds Jeffries, while Judd remarks that from what he has seen of their powers so far, they better brace themselves for a fight.

Gilded Lily turns to Diablo and asks him what he has decided. Diablo announces that he is still the Master of alchemy, and that all of his potions – his weapons – are restored. Lillian reminds him of what he said himself earlier – that none of it has ever won him anything other than defeat. Diablo starts to curse Gilded Lily, until she puts a hand on him and asks again for him to join with her and she will deliver him from his enemies, for she has developed new tricks even he didn’t dream of.

Albeit hesitantly, Diablo agrees, and as Alpha Flight approaches their antagonists, a hole appears in the floor, and the villains drop through it. Heather orders Alpha Flight to follow them, although Box points out that they are in the sub-basement now, so there is no where to go. Not that they could go where Lillian and Diablo are going, for the hole has closed up. Northstar declares that where the villains have gone is no doubt where they will find his sister. Box smashes at the ground, expecting the hole to re-open, and Heather tells Twoyoungmen that there has to be another way, to which the sorcerer replies that there are doorways between reality, and begins to cast a spell.

Beneath the ground, Diablo stands in a dark makeshift lab and calls to Lily, asking where she is. From within a mirror comes Lily’s voice, beckoning him to the mirror. Diablo looks into the mirror where he sees Gilded Lily holding Aurora, ‘a sweet, young thing is she not?’ Lily asks. Gilded Lily declares that it is lucky, as she learned when she and Aurora first met, that due to Aurora’s strict upbringing in a religious orphanage, it left her prey to personality disorders, and one that causes her to paralyze when she finds herself trapped in the dark.

Aurora thinks she is back in the orphanage and begs to the nuns that she has done nothing wrong. Lily boasts that it is very dark where she is holding Aurora – the body she wants Diablo to help her make both immortal and her own. She tells Diablo that he must formulate his unique potion, adding the dust of her remains to it so she will enter and control the immortal body. Diablo realizes Lily would then look like Aurora and exclaims that he spoke too soon when he said he had no wish to spend eternity by her side, ‘we would make such a splendid match after all!’

At that moment, Alpha Flight have found the secret cavern, and burst in. Roger wonders exactly where this is, and Judd points out that the cavern shouldn’t even exist below Mansion Alpha. Everyone rushes towards Diablo, Heather pointing out that if Lily could take over the mansion, then perhaps she could hide the existence of the cavern from them. Jean-Paul recalls that Aurora told him that Gilded Lily once owned the island. Judd suggests that there may be even more hidden mysteries.

Diablo looks frightened as Alpha Flight approach him, but from inside the mirror, Lily tells him to hold them off, as he has to finish the formula, but it is no use, as Diablo has frozen with fear. Since Gilded Lily needs him for now she acts to save them both, and uses her own immortal dust, with the dust that lay on the cavern floor to animate the environment as easily as she controls the mansion, by creating a dust storm. Box’s armor is equipped with video-sensors, not eyes and exclaims that he is going to rescue Aurora.

As Alpha steady themselves in the dust storm, Diablo points out to Lily that it is not stopping them, but Lily tells him to just finish the work while she sees to his safety. Judd points out that the dust is hardening around them and that they are consuming all the air in the cavern very fast. Box reminds everyone that he doesn’t need air to breathe and tries to bust them out.

Gilded Lily sees what the Alphans are attempting and form inside the mirror casts a spell, trapping everyone inside rock. But Vindicator has other ideas, and declaring that she loves this house that she has tried very hard to make a sanctuary for a special group of people who cannot live anywhere else, so that when their home comes under attack it is up to her as leader of Alpha Flight who fights the hardest to defend it, and she uses an electromagnetic pulse to blast free of the rock prison.

Heather extends the pulse of her super suit, designed by her late husband, Alpha’s original leader, Guardian, and frees her teammates as well. Box proclaims that they will protect their hearth and home and along with the others, he rushes towards Diablo, set on rescuing Aurora, whom they can now see in the mirror along with Gilded Lily, who boasts that no one can reach either of them from within the mirror. Box points out that Diablo is an alchemist and bets that he knows a way they can rescue Aurora. He suggests they take him down before he can use the potion he is holding on them.

Diablo tells Alpha Flight to stay back, declaring that he will deliver their teammate to them, that he will do anything to avoid being hurt. But his plea comes too late, as Jean-Paul and Judd both strike Diablo down, sending the vial with the potion flying – right into the mirror, and the clutches of Gilded Lily. Gilded Lily smiles with the realization the immortality is almost within her grasp – until Aurora breaks Lily’s hold and informs the villainess that she has made a serious mistake.

Aurora uses her power to create light to dispel the darkness, she shines brightly, a power she was once only able to do in tandem with her brother, until a “mutual friend” altered her genetic structure. Aurora grabs the vial and reveals to Lillian that all it took was the light let in by her armor breaking the surface of the mirror to restore her to her true self, and while she is unclear as to everything that has happened, she is now stronger than ever. ‘Let us discard zees potion, shall we?’ asks Aurora.

In the cavern, Jean-Paul discovers Diablo’s hidden chemicals in his gloves and gets Judd to help disarm him before asking his sister if she is all right. Aurora calls out from inside the mirror, telling her brother that she is, but that she is unsure what to do with Gilded Lily or the potion, and that Lily is struggling, but she doesn’t want to drop the potion because of the unknown results. Box orders Diablo to reveal what the potion does and to tell them how Aurora gets out of the mirror.

Diablo warns Aurora that whatever she does she must not spill the vial as it is extremely volatile and combines with organic molecules. Scared, Diablo tells himself that this cannot be happening, for all he wanted was to be left alone, and his time in prison was nearly up! He doesn’t think anyone will believe him when he tells them that he didn’t arrange his escape and they will probably add more time on to his sentence. He decides that he cannot go back to prison, but that he will not let himself get hurt by the “heroes” either. He thinks that there still might be a chance with Lily as Aurora is confused and if he tricks her into drinking the potion, Lily’s will be free to defend him, not to mention he will have a good-looking woman in his possession. He knows he has to decide, but cannot! Diablo fears though that if he waits much longer Aurora will spill the potion and kill everyone – ‘why wont they all just leave me alone?’

Aurora turns from the verbally silent Diablo to his “lovair” and informs Gilded Lily that he is not answering her, and that she cannot help from dropping the potion much longer if Lily keeps struggling. Aurora realizes that it must combine with one of them to stabilize, and motioning towards Lily she tells her that she chooses her for the experiment, and forces the villainesses mouth open with her lightening speed, and shoves the potion down her throat, while all Lily can utter is a feeble ‘No!’

Flying through the mirror into the cavern, Aurora declares she made the right choice, and motions to the disintegrating form of Gilded Lily, which also created a portal for her escape. Jean-Paul and Box are relieved to see Aurora unharmed, while Diablo reminds himself that his immortality formula contains both Lily’s essence and her own potion, which neutralized her and caused all her years to catch up with her.

Later, Alpha Flight have gathered at the lakeside of Tamarind Island and are holding Diablo as the RCMP arrive. Box points out their arrival, informing the villain that Jeffries has a key to give them which will let him out of the bonds he is in, adding that he is lucky he wasn’t injured for endangering Aurora. Diablo thinks to himself that he is not lucky for his indecision cost him everything. Vindicator tells Diablo that he is lucky, as he will probably only get another five to ten years added on for his escape and asks him what that is for someone who has lived as long as him.

One of the Mounties calls to Vindicator, informing her that they are ready to take the prisoner for extradition of the United States. As the RCMP leave with Diablo, Heather suggests to her team that it has been a long night, and walking beside Aurora and Box, followed by Twoyoungmen, Jeffries and Puck, and walking at the back of the group are Jean-Paul and Snowbird, and Heather says ‘lets go home’.

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Box, Northstar, Puck, Snowbird, Talisman III, Vindicator II (all Members of Alpha Flight)

Madison Jeffries (Ally of Alpha Flight)

Gilded Lily


Security Personal

RCMP officers

In Illustrative Image


In Flashback


Lillian von Loont


On Alphanex Computer

Aurora, Box, Northstar, Puck, Snowbird, Talisman III, Vindicator II (all Members of Alpha Flight)

Deadly Earnest, Dr. Doom, Flashback, Master of the World, Mephisto, Modok, Pink Pearl, Rhino, Scramble the Mix-Up-Man and other villains.

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place between Alpha Flight (first series) #40 and #41. An obvious continuity error occurs in that during the invasion of Atlantis, Roger incurred the bends and could not phase out of the Box armor. Also, the whereabouts of Elizabeth “Talisman” Twoyoungmen are not mentioned, considering she was still residing at the mansion until Alpha Flight (first series) #41.

The play Judd is reading, A Midsummer Nights Dream, by Shakespeare has a character called Puck, who is a sprite, and is apparently who Judd was based on, not the hockey puck.

Aurora and Sasquatch encountered Gilded Lily and Tamarind Island, which was left to Walter, in Alpha Flight (first series) #20-21. Gilded Lily and Diablo’s past was also told of in these issues.

Sasquatch died officially in Incredible Hulk (second series) #313.

Snowbird’s baby was possessed by Pestilence in Alpha Flight (First series) #37. Her angry husband, Doug Thompson, began his own search for the baby in Alpha Flight (first series) #39, declaring Snowbird an uncaring mother.

Snowbird’s mother Nelvanna is incorrectly called “Helvanna” in this issue.

Diablo was sent to prison after his defeat by the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four (first series) #232.

Alpha Flight will face off against Diablo in Alpha Flight (first series) #102-103 when he takes over a small country.

Alpha Flight moved to Tamarind Island in Alpha Flight (first series) #29, just after it was rebuilt somewhat and modernized by the government.

Issue Information: 
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