Alpha Flight (2nd series) #8

Issue Date: 
March 1998
Story Title: 
The Weapon X Files

Steve T. Seagle (Writer), Scott Clarke (Penciler), Chris Carlson (Inker), Lee Ann Garner (Colorist), Richard Starkings & Albert Deschesne (Letterers), Dan Hosek (Assistant Editor), Jaye Gardner (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Heather begrudgingly participates in a training session in which Alpha Flight battle synthetic versions of Wolverine, though Heather points out that it teaches them nothing about how Wolverine works, as it is his mind that makes him dangerous. When the training session is over, Heather storms out, only for the mysterious pink energy form to capture her and take her to the mind-wiping chamber. The rookies go for the weekly medical check-ups, before Flex learns that he has received some mail from the Adoption Uplink Network. Radius, Flex and Murmur attend a session in which Guardian gives them a video footage history of Wolverine / Weapon X. General Clarke finishes with Heather in the mind-wiping chamber and lies to her, telling her that she suffered a seizure, before they go to the briefing. Heather watches the footage, but has a feeling that it is all wrong. Clarke tries to discredit everything Heather has to say, while Puck phones his landlady and asks her to keep watch of his apartment, when he suddenly remembers the missing Madison Jeffries. Racing to find Clarke, Judd thinks that this isn’t the first time he remembers Jeffries, and wonders why nothing has been done about it. On the way, he runs into Lilli, and after hearing her story, promises to also find out why she hasn’t been allowed to leave. However as he enters the media room, Judd, and the other Alphans are shocked to see video footage of Wolverine murdering Madison Jeffries. Clarke claims that Wolverine has gone insane and that it is their mission to take him down and bring him in for the stolen adamantium in his body. When Alpha Flight depart, General Clarke congratulates Lieutenant Oculus on his good work of creating the fake footage. Meanwhile, Northstar has an interesting conversation about being gay with the captain of the boat he crashed landed on, and reveals that he was trying to escape Earth’s gravity.

Full Summary: 

Have you looked over your shoulder lately, Heather Hudson?

She should, because no matter how much she might wish to ignore the world around here, she should never turn her back on an enemy. Or, for that matter, within Department H’s Combat Centrale, the state-of-the-art training facility for her team of Canadian champions, Alpha Flight, a friend. Not that it’s easy to tell your friends in Department H…from your enemies.

‘I will not be a part of this,’ Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator, Canada’s finest super hero as she stands defiantly, arms folded across her chest. ‘Wanna bet?’ remarks one of the five bio synthetic duplicates of Heathers dear friend and former Alphan Wolverine. Heather swings around as the brown and yellow costumed duplicate of Wolverine lunges at her, asking her if anyone has told her she is beautiful when she is angry. ‘Anyone ever tell you’re sexist?’ Heather replies.

Heather’s teammates are all finding themselves dealing with one version of Wolverine or another also in this “Danger Room”. James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian is confronted by Wolverine in the costume he wore back in his Department H days. “Wolverine” says to Guardian ‘If you really want to tangle with someone, why not try your luck against the Wolverine?’ Mac just replies by boasting that he doesn’t need luck to defeat him.

A savage duplicate of Wolverine from when he had his adamantium stripped from his body tells Jared “Radius” Corbo that he made a nice shot, but that he should make no mistake, for when you throw down with Wolverine you’re throwing - ‘I’m throwing up over your stupid lines! Shut up and fight me!’ Jared exclaims, interrupting “Wolverine”. Adrian “Flex” Corbo and Arlette “Murmur” Truffaut find themselves lifted high into the air by their opponent, the version of Wolverine in his classic X-Men uniform. The youngsters wonder how Wolverine is able to jump so high, to which their answer is ‘How? I’m the best there is at what I do’. The fifth version of Wolverine, wearing some civvies, is tussling with Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck, and says to him ‘I like your style, short stuff’. Judd replies by telling “Wolverine” that it isn’t the size of the package, but the power of the punch.

Watching the scenario from the safety of the control room is Department H’s supervisor, General Jeremy Clarke, and Chief Engineer Su. Friends? Enemies? How can you tell? Clarke remarks to Su that they’re faring far better than he expected. Su agrees, and explains that customizing the Alphans training regiments based on Manbot’s performance recordings is building strong individual skill bases. Su points out that if the semi-organic Weapon X Synthoids were programmed for collective attack strategies, then he doesn’t believe they would be observing such high levels of effectiveness.

Clarke exclaims that he is most impressed with Radius, as he shows no fear whatsoever, and remarks that Jared may be in line for a promotion, or at least an augmentation. Su points out that Guardian appears preoccupied, as if he is battling some kind of internal psychic discord. Clarke doesn’t react to Su’s comment, instead he changes the subject by declaring that he is more concerned with Heather, as she is downright uncooperative. He points out that she is posing serious problems and that they may have to supplement her conditioning program, adding that she can have no future here if she doesn’t get in line soon.

Clarke makes his way out of the control room as he tells Su to bring things to a close, as he needs to go down and start prepping them for the mission - ‘Gradual revelations have to be sprinkled out gradually’. Su speaks into the intercom, informing Alpha Flight that the training session is about to be terminated, so they must advance to “Kill or be “Killed” scenarios.

‘All right! I can finally do some permanent damage!’ shouts Radius as he smashes the savage “Wolverine” to the ground. Radius reveals that he has a new trick that he has been waiting to try out, adding that it is called the “Nutcracker Special”, Radius begins to push his force field outwards, explaining that his force field is the cracker, and “Wolverine” is the nut! The move appears to be very deadly, and as Radius’ force field collides with the Wolverine synthoid, wires and bolts begin to pop out of “Wolverine’s” body.

Judd tells his “Wolverine” that they have just been play fighting so far, but as he flips the synthoid over he exclaims that now he really wants to know what he is made of. As the synthoid is flung towards Murmur’s opponent, Judd adds that he is guessing it is nuts and bolts and Duracell. Murmur’s X-Men “Wolverine” is ready to bring his claws down upon the sultry rookie Alphan, telling her that it won’t hurt - for long. But Arlette is not phased and wishes her opponent farewell, as Judd‘s move worked, sending his synthoid crashing into Arlette‘s.

Guardian informs his Department H era Wolverine that his error was in coming here, but that it is an error he can correct - easily, and Mac unleashes a powerful surge of electromagnetic energy on the Wolverine synthoid. Heather is concerned at her husbands actions, for he is acting like he doesn’t even know Logan, like he doesn’t remember they were the oldest of friends, even if it isn’t the real Wolverine.

Suddenly, the final “Wolverine” asks Heather if she is distracted, or if she is just wanting Mac to watch her die before his eyes for a change. ‘How dare you?’ exclaims Heather, furiously turning to “Wolverine” and using her geothermal abilities to literally steam off the lower half of his body. Heather asks Clarke if he is listening to her, and declares that she will not have the most painful memories of her life used as training fodder. ‘That is sick! Sick!’

Standing on the edge of Combat Centrale, with Su at his side, General Clarke replies ‘Perhaps…but I’ve never seen you so committed to a training scenario!’ ‘You should be committed!’ Heather snaps back before asking Clarke if Alpha Flight is about ends justifying any means now. She asks if she is supposed to melt the flesh of all her enemies in the field now, or just the ones that have been her friends for years. Heather adds that, furthermore, this isn’t training, but a waste of tax dollars. She points out that it is not effective because it is not Wolverine, therefore it teaches nothing about defeating Logan.

Chief Engineer Su pipes up and informs everyone that, actually, the Synthoids are highly representative and that great lengths were taken to ensure that their individual combat personalities would match all available data on Weapon X. He is about to say something else, when Heather narrows her eyes and tells Su that, for a bright man, he isn’t very smart. Heather declares that what makes Wolverine dangerous is his mind, not his powers or his fighting skills, and that there is no way to recreate that in this environment.

Before Heather can continue, Arlette loudly asks Mac if he is hurt. Heather turns to her estranged husband and watches Arlette put her hand on Mac’s neck as she points out that he is bleeding. ‘Oooh! Poor thing!’ Murmur exclaims. Mac replies that it is nothing, just a little cut, as he got too close to the first claw. Heather begins to storm out of Combat Centrale, telling Clarke that she has had enough of this - all of this. She reminds Clarke that she has said it before and will say it again - ‘I want nothing to do with your little mission. You want to capture “Weapon X” you go on right ahead. But you’ll do it without me’.

Walking swiftly through the Department H corridors, Heather feels good about her defiance, almost like she is gaining control of her life once more. Almost. Heather is in disbelief, she cannot believe that the little hussy Murmur would rub herself up against Mac seconds after they started patching up their strained relationship. Not to mention that Mac just stands there taking it in front of her, blank faced. Heather wonders what that big rooftop proclamation of love was all about if Mac is just going to follow it up by playing the field with one of his own teammates.

Heather doesn’t notice the strange humming noise beside her, nor the pink glow behind her as she puts a hand to her head and thinks that she has got to get a hold of herself, for she feels like she is losing her mind at a time when she needs very much to keep her wits about her. Has Heather looked over her shoulder lately? The question was asked, but she never answered. And suddenly, she finds herself engulfed by the strange pink energy creature. Heather remembers seeing this on the rooftop when she was with Mac, and struggles to break free, but it begins to carry her along the hallway. Just because you ignore something does not mean it is going to go away….

General Clarke knows that to be true, that’s why he doesn’t ignore his problems, he integrates them directly into his cover stories. Clarke stands before the remaining five Alphans and tells them that Vindicator is partially right, that they all do need to know more about Weapon X - much more. Clarke tells the rookies that because of Guardian’s experiences, Mac is just the person to lead that background discovery. Clarke announces that they will determine proper security coverage and prepare some visuals, then they can all reconvene in the media room following their weekly medical work ups.

Clarke notices Judd leaving the training room and asks him where he is going. Judd explains that he is going to check up on Heather, make sure she is okay. ‘Seems like someone should’. Angrily, Clarke tells Judd that it will have to wait as they are in an official meeting. Clarke informs Judd that he can check on Heather during Mac’s briefing, for there is nothing about the Weapon X situation that he doesn’t know already, as he was there for most of it. Judd doesn’t face Clarke as he remarks that he has never been the sort to be told what to do. ‘I’ll be back…maybe,’ he says as he enters the hall. Puck’s heart may be in the right place, but his teammate isn’t. ‘Heather…?’ Judd calls down the hall. But Heather is gone, and Judd is left with empty halls and questions.

Empty halls and questions are a combination in no short supply within Department H this day. In the Helios Project lab, Shiro “Sunfire “Yashida” cries out and unleashes am massive amount of power, destroying a lot of the lab. For Sunfire, the empty hall outside the lab in which his powers are being studied is his only hope for salvation. Because his diagnosis of radiation poisoning induced by his mutant abilities, has left him with a shocking and unexpected symptom. ‘Shiro…?’ asks Doctor Horatio Huxley, before suggesting to the former X-Man that he come back inside, as there is no point in running away from this.

This, Doctor Huxley?’ Shiro asks, revealing over half of his body now consumed by the radiation poison. ‘What…is this? What is happening to me?’ he asks angrily. Sunfire is most certainly not feeling well. So perhaps he should get out of the Helios Project all together and join the Alpha Flight rookies in the standard Department H med-labs.

Entering the med-lab, Radius mutters that he is sick of this, and wants to know why they have to get tested every week. ‘Hi, all. Who’s first today?’ asks the nurse. ‘Me, Miss Langford!’ exclaims Flex, to which his brother is surprised, pointing out that Flex is always the one crying about the needles every week, yet now he is volunteering. Adrian explains that he has something he has got to do, so which is why he has to be first.

As the nurse injects Flex, Murmur asks her young teammate what he has to do. Adrian replies that he cannot tell her, to which Murmur points out that he can, as she is his friend. Adrian apologizes, and offers that he may tell her later. Finished, Adrian prepares to leave and Arlette tells him not to forget, or else she will have to make him tell her. ‘I wont, bye!’ Flex exclaims, rather excitable. Guardian enters the lab as Flex is leaving, and asks him why he is in such a hurry. Adrian replies ‘Oh, hey, Guardian! Nothing! See ya!’ and rushes off.

Arlette addresses Guardian as “James” like she always does and asks him if he has come for his weekly test as well. Mac isn’t really paying attention and just replies that he came to get a bacterial scrub for the cut he took in Combat Centrale. Arlette asks Guardian if it hurts and if there is anything she can do to make it feel better. Mac replies that the scrub should take care of it. While Murmur makes the moves on Mac, Radius thinks to himself as he is getting some tests done ‘No way. I give her a little push away and she goes right after him? We’ll see about that!’

As to why Flex was in such a hurry, arriving back in his quarters he turns his computer on and it informs him that he has got mail - and it’s from the Adoption Uplink Network!

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Brunswick, a former member of Alpha Flight is searching for well-hidden truths as well. ‘So you’re finally awake, huh?’ asks the captain of the small ship. ‘Am I?’ replies the super hero. The Captain remarks that he recognized the hero from his outfit as he saw it on the news. ‘You’re that Alpha Flight guy’. Still gazing over the ship at the setting sun, the hero replies that he is no longer part of Alpha Flight as it is disbanded, ‘But yes. I am Northstar’.

‘Yeah, yeah, the gay one, right?’ asks the captain. ‘I am gay,’ replies Northstar, before pointing out that he is not “the gay one”, and informing the captain that he is the one with light powers. Jean-Paul Beaubier adds ‘I am the one that has saved your life more times than you can ever know’. Annoyed, Jean-Paul remarks that heroes are defined by what they do, not by their sexual orientation. The captain tells Northstar not to get all bent out of shape, and informs him that he has a son that turned gay. ‘I still like him same as I ever did. Mostly’.

‘You son did not “turn” gay. It is not a choice!’ exclaims Jean-Paul, pointing out that if it were, no one would chose to be something that would immediately make them hated and feared by the ignorant majority of this callous and intolerant world. The captain tells Northstar that there is no need to get all over his case, and points out that it was he who saved Northstar this time, kind of. The captain remarks that if his boat hadn’t been out in that spot last night, then Northstar would have fallen from the sky into the sea and probably drowned.

The captain informs Jean-Paul that he and his crew watched him fall for a long while, and asks him what he was doing so high up anyway. ‘Some outer-space super-villain or something?’ ‘No. I was trying to escape Earth’s gravity’ Northstar replies. The captain seems surprised by this and asks Northstar if his powers would let him breath in outer space. Frowning, Northstar replies that they would not.

Back at Department H, Guardian stands before the rookies in the media room and asks them if he can have their attention, as it is time they got on with the story at hand. The monitor behind Mac turns on, and Wolverine’s image appears. Guardian informs everyone that it is Weapon “Chi”, and adds that eventually his name was streamlined to “X”. He explains that the Chi Protocols were initiated by the Ministry of Defense as a counter to America’s “Super Soldier Serum” program, to generate champions for Canada.

Mac reveals that one of those champions turned bad and spelled the end of the entire program, before informing the rookie Alphans that this briefing will detail the hidden secrets of Canada’s biggest ever defense disaster. ‘I guess you could call this “The Weapon X Files” Mac adds. Radius beings to laugh, ‘That was funny! I’m dying over here!’ he exclaims. Mac tells Jared that this isn’t some goof-off session but an important training opportunity that he had better take seriously.

Radius tells Guardian that it was he who cracked the stupid joke to begin with, and suggests that if he wants a certain tone, then he should set it as he is in charge here. ‘Mac asks Radius if he could be a little less immature, to which Flex, sitting towards the back of the room, raises his hand. ‘Yes, Flex?’ Mac asks. ‘I think you’re both acting like babies,’ Flex remarks. ‘Thank you, Flex,’ Guardian replies.

Mac informs Radius, Arlette and Flex that what they are about to see and hear is highly classified and under order of Department H may not be discussed with anyone - including the objective himself, currently code-named “Wolverine”. Mac directs the rookies’ attention back to the monitor, where they will be shown some composite video of Weapon X.

(Shown with fake “flashback” images)

Mac reveals that ten years ago, a man known only as Logan broke free from McNally Penitentiary where he was serving time for assault and robbery. It was there, that, wielding a knife he had fashioned from his own finger bones, Logan murdered two prison guards in making his escape. At the age of twenty-six, Logan had already worked secret service missions as a soldier of fortune and a marksman, and during that time he lost his sanity, becoming a cold-blooded killing machine.

Guardian reveals that Logan followed up his prison break with a second major crime spree near Halifax, Novia Scotia, where he stole the helicopter of an island delivery service to make good his escape. But unfortunately for Logan, the helicopter only had enough fuel to make it into dense forests slightly to the west, where it crashed a short time later.

(Present / Reality)

Mac adds that how Logan survived is still unknown, to which Radius asks if Weapon X kept home movies of all of this. Guardian explains that the films are computer generated recreations of the events based on his memories and other eye witness accounts. ‘Made by who? George Lucas?’ Jared asks. ‘The Department produced these,’ Mac replies, before asking if they can continue.

‘Should we continue?’ a doctor asks General Clarke in a lab elsewhere in Department H. Heather has been here before, but she just doesn’t remember it. The doctor points out that Heather is still unconscious, so there is a chance that - Clarke interrupts him, exclaiming that she will be fine, in fact, the sooner they are done, the better she will be. Heather doesn’t remember being here before, because General Clarke won’t let her remember.

Standing beside the memory regressor, with Heather inside it, the doctor asks Clarke how much he wants to be taken off. Clarke explains that he wants Vindicator susceptible more than specifically wiped. ‘Just mess with her a little. Addle her up’. ‘Can do’ replies the doctor, as the tank is suddenly brought to life with energies flowing through it. Heather is woken and she screams.

When it is over, Clarke helps Heather out and asks her if she is all right. ‘No, I…don’t know…I…what happened?’ she asks, rubbing her head. Clarke explains to Heather that she was on her way to the team briefing when she had a mild seizure of some sort. As they enter the hallway, Clarke comments that Heather suffered from childhood epilepsy. ‘Yes, but…that’s not…I’m not a child…where…am I?’ Heather asks.

Clarke suggests to Heather that they get her back to her quarters and that she can disregard the briefing and rest. Heather exclaims that she wants to make the briefing, before asking what the briefing is for. ‘It concerns Weapon X. Would you like me to tell you what you’ve missed so far…?’ Clarke offers.

Back in the media room, Mac informs the rookies that records for Logan’s next actions are sketchy, but from what Department H has surmised, there were bones found near the crash site - gnawed to almost nothing. He adds that Department H investigators speculate that Logan may have killed and eaten a lost hunter in the area to survive, and that from whatever he ate, he contracted a near fatal illness from the meat that - suddenly, General Clarke and a still drowsy Heather enter the room.

Clarke apologizes for interrupting, as Mac seems shocked at Heather’s state. Heather tells her estranged husband that Clarke has caught her up, so she knows what’s going on. ‘I think’. ‘Do not let her interrupt you, James, continue’ Murmur exclaims.

(Shown with fake “flashback” images)

Mac declares that something had to save a man who, by all rights, should have been dead. Mac reveals that exit interviews conducted by the Department during its last shutdown phase revealed that Logan was actually found in the forest by future Alpha Flight member Michael Twoyoungmen, who would go on to become Shaman. Guardian explains that Twoyoungmen’s mystic powers drew him to Logan’s dark psyche and for reasons known only to him, Michael chose to nurse Logan back to health and provide him with a totem that to this day gives Weapon X the ability to heal himself.

Guardian continues, revealing that, unfortunately, in light of Weapon X’s recent actions, Shaman must now be considered an official accomplice and brought in as well. Mac announces that for a time, Logan lived in the wilds, elusive as the Wendigo, and it was during this undocumented period that he and Heather came across Logan during their honeymoon. Mac exclaims that to save his wife’s life, he shot Logan in the chest at point-blank range. ‘He was a dead man,’ Mac adds.

(Present / Reality)

‘Righteous! I’d never pick you to have the guts for that!’ Radius exclaims. Radius exclaims that he gets it, that Department H must have known Wolverine was up there and wanted Mac to go and find him, so he and Heather went undercover. Mac exclaims that Department H had nothing to do with their trip as they were sent on their honeymoon. ‘I mean, we went on our honeymoon’. Heather begins to say something, but she is still out of it, and thinks to herself that it seems what Mac is saying is real, but she cannot stop thinking that it was different somehow.

(In Heather’s Memory)

It lurks right behind her present thoughts - a vision of her honeymoon taking place in a slightly different province. If she could remember, Heather might recall is as a mid-winter hunting trip further West, in Wood Buffalo National Park. A suppressed voice inside her wants to yell out that it was Mac who was attacked by Logan, and that it was she who shot the feral attacker to save her husband, not the other way around? There is a secret part of her mind fighting to retain the memory that she alone reluctantly remained and nursed Logan back to health, while Mac went off to contact Department H. Or is it just her mind playing tricks on her?

(Present / Reality)

‘Heather? Did you want to say something?’ asks Mac. Dazed, Heather replies that she doesn’t think so, and tells Mac to go on.

Meanwhile, in the Department H residential entertainment complex, Judd is on the telephone to Mrs. Marley, his old neighbor. He jokes that he hasn’t died, but that he has just been busy. He informs Mrs. Marley that the funny thing is he had forgotten all together that he even had an apartment, for some reason he forgot about everything in the excitement of rejoining Alpha Flight. Judd tells Mrs. Marley that he was hoping she could keep his apartment for him and collect his mail if he sent her the next three months worth of rent.

Mrs. Marley agrees and asks Judd a question, to which he replies ‘Oh, fine, fine…some world class villains, a big wind monster, glowing energy bags that suck people up, except for losing one of our men on out first mission, I can’t complain’. It’s then that a very surprised Judd remembers losing Madison Jeffries. Judd tells Mrs. Marley that he will call her back, as he has got to go!

The diminutive Alphan rushes from the entertainment room and thinks to himself that this isn’t the first time he remembered Madison getting abducted by the Zodiac - but the question remains then - if this isn’t the first time he has remembered, then why has nothing been done about it? Judd mutters to himself that he doesn’t know why, but that he is going to get answers right now and nothing is going to stand in his way - until he bumps into Lilli that is. ‘Oh my gosh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean -’ begins Lilli, before promising to go back to her room. Judd gets the teenage girl to calm down, and tells her that he wasn’t looking where he was going, that neither of them were.

Judd asks the mystery girl what a nice young girl like herself is going in a high-security area like this. Lilli introduces herself and informs Judd that Coordinator Proctor said she was supposed to join Alpha Flight, but that so far she hasn’t met any of them, all she does is train and get a bunch of weird tests - and all of it by herself. Lilli reveals that she snuck out of her room to try and find a phone so she could call her friend back at Hull House.

Judd introduces himself to Lilli before informing her that there is a phone in the room at the end of the hall, and gives her permission to go ahead and use it, before exclaiming that he is going to go and get some answers for the both of them. ‘Okay, thanks, um, Puck,’ Lilli exclaims. ‘Don’t mention it’ Judd replies as he rushes off.

‘Don’t mention any of what I’m about to tell you to anyone’ declares Guardian, informing his teammates that this is the most highly classified information of the entire briefing. With that, he continues with the Weapon X files.

(Shown with fake “flashback” images)

Facing possible extradition which he knew would lead to his permanent incarceration, Logan was given the alternative option of trading his identity and his checkered past with it, for extensive physical and behavioral modifications as part of his Chi Protocols. Though potentially life-threatening, Logan also volunteered to have his skeletal structure bonded with adamantium, the world’s rarest, strongest and most expensive metal, Mac adds, before explaining that the documents Logan signed at the time of this process stated that if ever left the program, the adamantium would remain the property of Canada.

(Present / Reality)

Flex asks Guardian why, if Logan was a criminal and a killer, he was made so powerful, as it is dumb, before asking if he was indeed crazy, how could he legally sign anything? Mac replies that he has already explained Logan underwent hours of exhaustive counselling and therapy to both rehabilitate his dark side and temper his violent tendencies. Mac begins to conclude by remarking that the Protocols and treatments were both resounding successes, and Canada finally had her new champion - Weapon X was born. In his finishing statement, Mac reveals that, unfortunately, the service of Weapon X didn’t last long, for after a few sanctioned missions he fled Canada and has lived as an illegal alien in the United States acting as member of the X-Men ever since.

Guardian informs everyone that not wanting to cause an international incident, Department H decided to let Weapon X remain AWOL, constantly negotiating with him for his return. However, because of recent events, the Department has been forced to reconsider its position. Thoughtful, Heather exclaims that there is something wrong about this. ‘Like, isn’t his codename “Badger” or “Wolverine”? Didn’t he leave because we -’

Heather cannot continue as General Clarke re-enters the room, declaring that whatever he is calling himself these days, the Department will only refer to his as Weapon X until he has made restitution for the property he stole - the adamantium - and answered for his recent crimes. Clarke is followed by Lieutenant Oculus, and he introduces him to the Alphans as the Department’s surveillance specialist. Heather tells General Clarke that they are missing something here, ‘Me memories are…’ she begins, until she is interrupted once more by Clarke.

As Lieutenant Oculus puts a video tape into the console, Clarke tells Heather that Guardian has been having similar faulty memories centering around something called “First Flight” , and suggests that perhaps it is her suit, for like Guardian’s, it might be generating a field causing nodal points with certain brain waves. Alternatively, Clarke offers up that Heather may still be feeling the after-affects of the epileptic seizure she suffered.

Guardian is concerned and goes over to Heather, helping her out of her chair, he asks her if she is okay. Heather exclaims that there is nothing wrong with her, to which Arlette mutters ‘Some testing couldn’t hurt’. ‘Whatever’ exclaims Heather before telling Clarke that this all sounds like a lead-up to him sending them out to bring Logan back in. She asks why they should capture one of their former members - because he left? She remarks that it was Logan’s right - that it is the right of any of them.

Clarke declares that the “why” reason is brutally simple, that Weapon X, aside from being in possession of stolen property, has regressed from his modified behavior back to his earlier ways of crime and unspeakable acts. Clarke informs the Alphans that the video tape Lieutenant Oculus has just loaded contains irrefutable evidence of one transgression which is nothing short of heinous.

Suddenly, Judd enters the media room, in a raised voice he tells Clarke that he wants a word with him now, and that he isn’t going to be delayed or… Judd’s voice trails off as he stares up at the image on the monitor. ‘Oh, no!’ utters Heather. ‘Rank!’ exclaims Radius. Clarke tells the Alphans that as they can see, the image is disturbing in ways he cannot eve begin to voice. Clarke pauses the monitor and the screen becomes frozen - with Weapon X gutting Madison Jeffries.

Clarke informs Alpha Flight that in Department H’s massive effort to locate Madison Jeffries after his capture at the hands of the Zodiac, they came across this video taped image of Weapon X murdering the former Alphan in cold blood. He tells the heroes that their mission is clear, that they must capture Weapon X and return him to Canada to stand trial for his actions and rescind his stolen adamantium. Clarke informs Alpha Flight that they are to leave immediately and wishes them luck.

Have you looked over your shoulder lately? You should. Every so often, you should. Watching Alpha Flight leave in the Alpha-Jet, Clarke tells Lieutenant Oculus that it was a truly remarkable simulation he and his monitor staff crafted for the final tape. He adds that it was completely convincing and didn’t even look like computer graphics. Oculus reveals that it wasn’t computer graphics, although they tried it, but the final result felt too much like “Jurassic Park” - nice, but definitely not real.

Oculus explains that, instead, they took footage of Logan in training from a year ago and edited in the figure of Jeffries. ‘It took some doing, but I think the results spoke for themselves’. Clarke tells Oculus that he is brilliant, before suggesting they go and tell the Director that their greatest failure may yet become their most stunning success. Why should you look over your shoulder? Because you’ll never know what’s lurking behind you if you don’t.

Meanwhile, in the Department H incinerator room, Two men are loading the Wolverine Synthoids into the furnace. One of the men remarks that they are heavy, and asks how many more there are. The second man replies that this is the last. ‘Talk about a waste’ the first exclaims, before wondering how much these “robot things” must have cost them as tax payers. As the last Wolverine Synthoid goes up in flames, the second man replies that he doesn’t know, but that you can bet the price is high - good and high.

Characters Involved: 

Flex II, Guardian IV, Murmur III, Puck, Radius, Vindicator II (all Alpha Flight)

Northstar (Former Member of Alpha Flight)



General Clarke

Dr. Horatio Huxley

Chief Engineer Su

Lieutenant Oculus

Other Department H staff including Miss Langford

Boat Captain

Wolverine Synthoids

On false video recording:


James MacDonald Hudson

Heather McNeil Hudson

Michael Twoyoungmen

Madison Jeffries

In Heather’s Memory:

Heather McNeil Hudson

James MacDonald Hudson


Story Notes: 

The Wolverine synthoid’s comment about Heather waiting to die in front of Mac’s eyes for a change is a reference to (the original) Guardian’s previous deaths in Alpha Flight (1st series) #12 and #100, in which Heather watched him die.

Heather and Mac started patching up their relationship in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #7.

The pink energy creature plagued members of Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #7.

Northstar is indeed the first openly gay super hero. He came out in Alpha Flight (1st series) #106, though it was apparent long before that.

Northstar fell onto the boat in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #6.

The notion that Wolverine was actually Weapon Chi (fitting with the Greek letter theme among Alpha Flight characters) was later seemingly negated by the proclamation made in Morrison’s New X-Men run that stated Wolverine was actually Weapon “Ten”.

George Lucas is the man behind the creation of the “Star Wars” franchise.

There has never been any mention of Heather suffering from epilepsy as a child, so it is presumably a lie General Clarke has fabricated to explain to her why she cannot remember things.

Department H was last shutdown off-panel after Alpha Flight (1st series) #130 and Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1. Department H itself still existed for a short time after Alpha Flight was disbanded in Alpha Flight (1st series) #130, as seen in Northstar #1-4 and X-Factor (1st series) #116.

Heather and Mac’s actual discovery of Wolverine on their honeymoon can be seen in Alpha Flight (1st series) #33 and Alpha Flight #minus1. Indeed, it was not Mac that shot Wolverine to protect Heather, but Heather who shot Wolverine to protect Mac.

As revealed in Alpha Flight #minus1, Department H did indeed have something to do with Mac and Heather taking their honeymoon at the location where they found Logan.

Judd’s landlady and neighbor Mrs. Marley was briefly seen in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1.

Madison Jeffries was abducted by the Zodiac in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1. Both Heather and Judd have remembered this at various times since then.

General Clarke comment about “First Flight” is of course a reference to the Alpha Flight Special entitled “First Flight”, in which Wolverine led and pre-Alpha Flight team which included Snowbird, and how the team’s mission ended rather disastrously. “First Flight” seems to have impacted upon Wolverine regarding his decision to leave Alpha Flight, which Clarke is obviously trying to cover up, regarding his remark that Guardian has been having “faulty” memories about First Flight.

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