Alpha Flight (3rd series) #2

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me - part 2

Scott Lobdell (Writer), Clayton Henry (Penciler), Mark Morales (Inker), Andy Troy (Colorist), Richard Starkings (Letterer), Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Irving Forbush (President)

Brief Description: 

With Alpha Flight captured some three days ago, Sasquatch was the only one who made it out alive and set forth in gathering a new team to rescue the old, but was thus far unsuccessful. However, his second attempt proves much better as he bribes, drugs, knocks out and manipulates three recruits – Yukotujakzurjimozoata, Zuzha Yu and Nemesis – who he takes to his apartment. There they are joined by solo hero, Major Mapleleaf who Walt originally did not want on the team, but after Mapleleaf scared Nemesis, he decided to let the eager youngster on the team, before he goes and convinces the ninety-six year old Rutherford Princeton who just woke up from a coma to join the team too. Zuzha is given a costume, and everyone agrees, some of them reluctantly, to join the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight!

Full Summary: 

Call them the legends of tomorrow, call them the heroes of today, call them Alpha Flight! Every story needs to start somewhere….

Six unique individuals stand gathered together, all prepared for battle, before some menacing threat. The ebony and scarlet clad woman known as Nemesis turns to the furry orange monster Sasquatch – or when he is in his human form, known as Doctor Walter Langkowski – and tells him that she has been to Hell – twice – and that even that did not look as bad as the situation they are in. The young Asian-Canadian woman towards the back of the group supposes that it is too late to turn back now, and the loincloth wearing man in front of her admits that he was pondering the same question. The strikingly handsome blond man at the front of the group tries to rally the spirits of the others and gives them a quote his father once said; “When you feel most like a sap – that’s the time to make syrup”. The elderly black man near the back of the group declares that all things considered he would rather be back in the day room watching “The View”.

The only difference this time, is that this All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight are standing before the official Alpha Flight, Canada’s premiere super heroes, who are unconscious and restrained in some mechanical contraption. Roll Call! The beautiful goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird. Chuck Moss, a recent recruit codenamed “Earthmover”. Alpha Flight’s creator and founder, James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson, a.k.a. Guardian. Mac’s wife, Heather McNeil Hudson, who after her husbands death donned a battle suit and took the codename Vindicator. The diminutive Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck and Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen, “Shaman”.

Okay. Well. Maybe this isn't the best place to start this particular story….

(Flashback, sometime earlier)

His name is (Pretty much unpronounceable) Yukotujakzurjimozoata, he lives in an ancient civilization that has long existed in secret in the uncharted Canadian Northwest, and he is the heir apparent to that civilization. The handsome man walks past citizens of this sovereign nation who bow before him as he walks up towards the temple which holds the throne room. The people of this secret society, Kemteron have managed to avoid detection (Some might argue “contamination”) by the outside world for centuries – since the so-called “Dawn of Mankind”.

Entering the citadel Yukotujakzurjimozoata approaches the man on the throne and says ‘How art thou, he whose loins gave me life?’ The old man replies that he is ‘well met’ and that not since the creation of the wheel has he felt such vigor. ‘Well met indeed’ replies Yukotujakzurjimozoata. The old man tells his son to ‘unfurrow’ his brow, adding that he will not live forever, even though he has outlived a legion score of offspring who desired to one day sit upon his throne. However the old man tells his son that he suspects it will be he who shall one day replace him as the sovereign liege of their ancient race. He hands his son a drink and informs him that he thinks it is important that he sees more of the outside world before he become leader.

Yukotujakzurjimozoata scoffs at that idea and declares that the outside world’s contribution to the plant has been little more than a history of genocide and molestation of the Earth’s natural resources. He asks what the outside world could possibly have to offer and teach one such as himself. He is about to ask something else when he feels strange, and watches as his father tells him that he asked good questions, which he will no doubt inform him the answers of, when and if ever he returns from the outside world. With that, Yukotujakzurjimozoata’s muscular body slams to the floor, drugged from something put in his drink.

From out of the shadows of the throne room, the handsome scientist Doctor Walter Langkowski steps and tells Yukotujakzurjimozoata’s father – Makkamakkamaktsptoo – that he will not regret this. Walt declares that, as he is a representative of the outside world he is heartened that Makkamakkamaktsptoo has seen the wisdom of pooling their resources at a time when all life on Earth is threatened. Walt asks if large bills are okay, and Makkamakkamaktsptoo replies that they are fine, accepting the wad of money Walt gives him.

Shortly, Yukotujakzurjimozoata is loaded into Walt’s aircraft and Walt tells Makkamakkamaktsptoo that he will see that his son is returned safely. ‘Whatever. ‘Bout time the kid grew up a little’ the old man replies.

Later, at the pub in the shadow of McGill University in Montreal, Walt has come again to try and recruit Zuzha Yu to his cause. Zuzha asks Walt if he is serious, that he wants to arm wrestle her and if she loses she has to join his Alpha Flight “Super Team” for one year. If Walt loses he has to do what Zuzha wants for one year, which is be her “Love Slave” (Love Slave is a registered trademark). ‘I doubt you’d last the whole year, Dr. Langkowski, but you’re on!’ says Zuzha, adding that Walt is going to look ‘so cute’ in the French maids uniform. ‘Funny’ says Walt who informs her that he spent all last night coming up with a secret identity codename for her. ‘On three, eh?’ says Zuzha, who counts to three…

… only to find herself smashed against the wall by Walt who has transformed into his somewhat better known identity, the furry orange known as Sasquatch. He jokes to himself that this might not be his brightest moment, but that at the end of the day he still needs a super hero team. Although she is knocked out, Walt tells Zuzha that it is amazing how much like her father she looks. ‘Well, if you don’t count the mustache, and you know, the dwarfism’. With that Sasquatch picks Zuzha up and carries her away to his aircraft.

A little while later, back at the undisclosed location… and no, we’re still not going to tell you…the anarchist known as Nemesis is just coming around. ‘Its not fair, all the other girls have bunnies’ she mumbles drowsily before sitting up when she sees Walt and telling him that this is growing tedious. She asks him what manner of body control this is that he is using on her, and Walt informs her that as she is technically “dead”, her body continues to function strictly as a result of her physical connection to her Soul Sword. This sword, as Walt points out, it forged of Prometheum, is in and of itself a “living metal” which needs a non-living entity, such as Nemesis to function as a vessel in order to allow it movement.

Walt reminds Nemesis that the device at her spine, should she seek to harm an innocent or even dislodge it, will automatically flood her body with neo-toxins capable of permanently severing her connection to the sword. Nemesis stands up and tells Walt that she knows he is bluffing. ‘Try me’ says Walt, opening his arms ready for her to attack him. Nemesis pauses before saying ‘Thank you, no. I believe that you believe it. Which is enough for now’. Nemesis walks past Walt, ready to join his crusade and tells him that just so they are clear when the opportunity does arise she has every intention of killing him and everyone else on his team. ‘Now that’s the team player I need!’ says Walt smiling.

Soon, inside Walt’s aircraft, Walt flies it as Nemesis sits in the passenger seat and looks to the back, asking if she and the two unconscious bodies are his new Alpha Flight. ‘Tee hee’. ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ Walt replies. ‘Right. Can I ask you a question?’ says Nemesis. Walt tells her she can’t, but of course she does anyway. She asks him why this is all so important to him, “creating” a new Alpha Flight, and even the whole super hero debacle in the first place, especially as she knows he is a man of science at heart.

Walt tells her that what she says is true, but as a bio-physicist of some renown and after winning a Nobel prize ‘and stuff’ he got carried away with his theories on Gamma and Cosmic research, which ultimately led him to experiment on himself. Walts body was altered forever, reputation shattered and career ended forever. But there was one man who still believed in him, James MacDonald Hudson, leader of Alpha Flight, then known as Vindicator.

Walt supposes this sounds silly to an anarchist zombie like Nemesis, but it was nice to be part of something important, for when he, Snowbird, Mac, Shaman, Walt’s girlfriend Aurora and her gay brother Northstar first started they genuinely believed they could make a difference.

Nemesis is suddenly overcome by pain, and when Walt asks her what is wrong as he lands the aircraft on the roof of his apartment, Nemesis declares that she senses goodness, pure, unadulterated goodness. Walt helps Nemesis out of the plane and he begins to walk her to the entrance to his apartment and Nemesis tells him there is no other way to describe it. Walt finds this rather strange, as they are only at his loft in the warehouse district of British Columbia where at this time of night there is nothing of “pure goodness” around at all.

‘Hiyo, good citizens!’ cries someone, who as Walt and Nemesis turn around to see is actually Major Mapleleaf! Lou Sadler declares he is at their service, which of course means his faithful horse Thunder is on board to lend a hoof as well, he adds as he gallops on Thunder towards them. ‘I don’t know if I’ll be killing you after all, Doctor’ says Nemesis looking amusingly at Major Mapleleaf’. Walt tells Nemesis to ‘shush it’ before Nemesis enters the rooftop entrance to Walt’s apartment.

Walt says ‘Hmmm…’ as Major Mapleleaf approaches him and declares that he hopes he is not being terribly forward, but that when his fellow peace officers informed him that they question him regarding his presence on the school grounds yesterday, he realized that Walt must have been scouting for new members to join Alpha Flight. Lou realizes that when Walt saw him working with the young students he must have thought “How can he manage to do public service and be a super hero at the same time?’ Lou tells Walt that he thinks he can do it if he is given the chance.

Looking somewhat frustrated with the eager young man, Walt tells Lou that he is in. Surprised, but overly happy, Lou asks ‘just like that? Don’t you want to know what my powers are? Reaching for Yukotujakzurjimozoata and Zuzha Yu in the plane Walt nonchalantly replies ‘Internally generated bio-centric powers including blasts, invulnerability, marginal strength enhancement and gravitational negation…’ is his best guess based on the news footage of his exploits to date. ‘Wow. You are good’ says Lou somewhat stunned. Passing the unconscious Zuzha to Major Mapleleaf, Walt tells him that at first he thought he might have been a little “Wonder Bread” for this operation, but now anyone who can freak Nemesis out so thoroughly has got something going for him. ‘“Nemesis”, sir?’ asks Lou.

Walt returns to the plane and tells Lou to ‘be a buddy’ and bring those two downstairs and to make himself at home, as he has an old friend to visit and will be back shortly. ‘Um…yes, sir’ replies Major Mapleleaf.

Shortly, at the “Dream Girls” club, Rutherford Princeton sits at the bar and sighs, as for the past twenty years he has been in a coma, and now, not only does he wake up, at ninety six years old with super powers he did not know he had. He reveals that last night he got “cozy” with nearly a dozen different women, yet this morning he feels empty. Walter asks Rutherford if he is ready to make a difference, and leaving the bar with Walt, the old man says ‘I guess’.

A few hours later, Walt sits at a small table as his new recruits gather around him. Zuzha examines her new outfit and declares that in all her life she has never seen such clothing as this…‘well, unless ya count that “special place” I frequent every Friday night…’ she adds quietly before telling Walt that the costume is beautiful and fits perfectly. ‘What costume?’ scoffs Rutherford. Walt informs everyone that the costume is constructed of unstable molecules which adjust themselves where necessary – ‘oh never mind, lets just get down to business shall we, people?’

Walt reveals that three days ago, Alpha Flight was called out to investigate an… “occurrence”… that could very well alter the fate of all humanity as they know it. Walt declares that he was the only one who made it back, and he has no memory of what happened to the rest of his team or why he was the only one to escape. ‘Yeah. And, eh?’ says Zuzha before Rutherford asks Walt what exactly it is that he is asking them here. Mapleleaf smiles and tells Walt that surely he will take the time necessary to ‘forge us into one well-oiled fighting machine, right?’ Walt doesn’t answer him. Yukotujakzurjimozoata asks if all humans are this stupid, to which Nemesis says ‘You don’t even know’ and revealing that it is one of the reasons she became an anarchist in the first place, ‘it felt more honest’.

Walt transforms into Sasquatch to get their attention and tells them to listen, declaring that he could have gone to the Avengers for help, or SHIELD, and ‘I’m pretty sure the X-Men owe us a favor, though it admittedly gets hard to keep track’. However he felt that as this is a Canadian problem it falls to Canadians to come up with the solution. ‘Its up to us’ he says.

Zuzha rolls her eyes and says ‘oh what the hey. Who wants to live forever, eh?’ ‘That’d be me’. Replies Rutherford before declaring that he is in. Major Mapleleaf salutes Sasquatch and smiling he is sure he speaks for everyone present when he says ‘It would be an honor’. ‘Whatever’ says Yukotujakzurjimozoata before Nemesis sarcastically declares she wouldn't miss it for the world. Sasquatch smiles at his accomplishment and tells the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight that it is time to go kick some booty!

Characters Involved: 

Sasquatch (Member of both teams of Alpha Flight)

Centennial, Major Mapleleaf II, Nemesis III, Puck II, Yukon Jack (the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight)

Earthmover / Chuck Moss, Guardian / James Hudson, Puck / Eugene Judd, Shaman / Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen, Snowbird / Narya, Vindicator II / Heather Hudson, (all Members of Alpha Flight)

Thunder (Major Mapleleaf’s horse)
Makkamakkamaktsptoo (Yukon Jack’s father)

The people of Kemteron

In Illustrative Images / Flashback

Aurora, Guardian, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird (Original Alpha Flight)

Earthmover, Guardian, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Vindicator II (Current Alpha Flight)

Story Notes: 

The opening scene is exactly the same as from the previous issue, however this time we see from behind the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight, and see that they are looking at the other Alphans, trapped. Everything that the All-New Alpha Flight say is exactly the same as last time, but the words are all backwards.

Shaman was recently trying to retire [Wolverine (second series) #179], and set about training his protégé, Earthmover, however it would seem that his retirement did not go according to plan, being captured with the other Alphans.

Sasquatch calls Nemesis’ blade her Soul Sword, when its real name is Ebony Blade. It is not to be confused with the Soul Sword wielded first by Magik and now by Amanda Sefton.

Sasquatch placed the device on Nemesis to cause her serious damage should she try to attack on one in Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (3rd series) #1]

Sasquatch’s origin can be see in Alpha Flight (first series) #11, 23, 64 and is touched upon again in Alpha Flight (second series) #14.

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