Alpha Flight (3rd series) #3

Issue Date: 
July 2004
Story Title: 
You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me - part 3

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: 

Sasquatch gives his All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight – Nemesis, Major Mapleleaf, the new Puck, Yukon Jack and Centennial – a detailed history of the deadly alien race known as the Plodex, the very enemies who kidnapped the Uncanny Alpha Flight, and who the new Alpha Flight have to battle!

Full Summary: 

From his loft in British Columbia, Canada, Doctor Walter Langkowski, the handsome scientist otherwise known as the super hero Sasquatch of Alpha Flight, has begun to tell his All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight – Nemesis, the new Major Mapleleaf, Yukon Jack, the new Puck and Centennial – a story about their enemy … the Plodex!

The name of the planet is long lost to the antiquity of the stars. The very word is illegal on countless planets throughout the known universe. For purposes we will call it the Plodex Homeworld … There never was, and has never been since a more inhospitable den of death and destruction then the Plodex Homeworld, a world where dominance is the single primary emotional function. Even though freedom, dignity and honor are at least “ideals” embedded in the hearts to humans, the Plodex had, since its very moment of creation, dedicated itself only to the art of war. This was not a war against opposing countries, for there were no such designations on this planet. Every Plodex was considered equal, and each united by a single genetic imperative – to dominate and destroy all life!

Two Plodex are all that are left in an arena covered with dead Plodex, where they are watched by a stadium packed with other Plodex.

From the first moment that a primordial sentient clawed its way from the very bowels of the planet, only to be clubbed to death by the primordial sentient that arrived only moments later, war, murder and genocide were the first languages that their “people” learned. This was the way of life for the Plodex and they managed to keep it to themselves … until one day.

The older Plodex draws blood, holding the younger, injured one to the ground he calls to the audience, telling them to arise and stand beside him, for he wants all Plodi to share in his victory. The younger Plodex asks the older if he is serious, and addressing all the Plodex he declares that a victory for himself is a victory for all their kind.

The older Plodex exclaims that for too long they have sought only to destroy themselves, used their strengths to topple mountains, to abuse their brethren and to lay low all that is good and noble within themselves. But to what purpose? he asks, before asking why they should be content in simply slaughtering themselves. The audience listens intently as the old Plodex asks why they should settle for obliterating their planet and why they should rest on the laurels of their ground-bound and short-lived ancestors. When instead we might rally and lay waste to nothing short of an entire universe! he bellows, before declaring that by pooling their resources there is no reason they cannot turn their attention to the stars,and crush entire civilizations beneath the boot heel that is the Plodex. You’re good says the younger Plodex as the tens of thousands of Plodi all raise their weapons in agreement.

One lone voice of reason in a sea of insanity … it was that single moment that changed the course of an entire universe. The Plodex had found their very own George Washington, their Genghis Khan, their Ghandi – with a hatred for all things true and free and good – and he was immediately struck down and killed – by the younger Plodex.

The younger Plodex stands up with a club in his hand and proclaims that he almost hated to do that, but that just because the older Plodex is dead doesn’t mean he didn’t have a great idea…. So, who’s with me? he asks loudly, and the entire Plodex race cries out, proclaiming their agreement.

The cheers that were roared that day would echo from planet to planet, from solar system to solar system and from one galaxy to the next. For the Plodex cut a bloody swath across the cosmos. Sometimes they killed, other times they opted for instead for subjugation. The only common denominator was the domination of any life form they encountered.

Zuzha “Puck” Yu watches Walt intently while the handsome Lou Sadler a.k.a. the new Major Mapleleaf clearly shows his fear of the enemy he will soon be facing. While Rutherford “Centennial” Princeton sleeps, Nemesis, as usual because of her mask, shows no emotion, while Yukotujakzurjimozoata folds his arms and tells Walter that he fails to see what this has to do with any of us, Langkowski. Zuzha agrees, exclaiming that none of this alien stuff was covered in bar-tending things more like bank robbers and the like

Nemesis tells Walter to continue, as she finds his choice of bedtime story oddly … titillating. Walt looks annoyed at his recruits and tells the enigmatic Nemesis that it is not his intent, and that he just wants to give everyone a sense of what they are up against. Up against? Surely you jest! exclaims Yukon Jack Even a dictator or two, possibly… mumbles Lou, as the snoring Centennial suddenly wakes up, he yells at his teammates, dagnabbit! And tells them to let Walter speak, adding that they are worse than a room full of grannies – and believe me, I know what that’s like. He tells everyone that if they do not like what they hear then they can always leave, but until then pipe down! Everyone watches the old man, stunned, until Yukon Jack says Proceed, physician, and he does…

It wasn’t long before the Plodex shifted gears, and turned their formidable resources from the art of war, to that of space travel. It is unknown how many years it took them, a hundred, a thousand, all that mattered was their cause – that nothing living would thrive beneath the crushing boot heel of the Plodex. Even upon their maiden voyage this much was clear.

The first planet the Plodex came to was a peaceful, pre-industrial planet, with happy people,the first people of a universe full that never stood a chance. Those that did not die in the initial slaughter were subsequently killed. Those that were not killed and slaughtered were sent to death camps, where they were killed and slaughtered.

Flush from their victory, it was not long before the Plodex took part in their own Manifest Destiny. Democracies? Dictatorships? Limited Collective Partnerships? All were consumed by the ferocious appetite of the Plodex as they ravaged their way through the universe.

However, it was not enough for the Plodex, or rather it was not happening fast enough for them and the armed military crafts, impressive as they were could only hold so many of the Plodex at any one time. In some ways, the Plodex were victims of their own successes, for the wider their empire expanded, the more ravenous their hunger grew. For that reason, the young scientists of the Plodex worked long into the night, until at long last they unlocked a key that would once prove to be their greatest weapon, while ultimately condemning them to their inevitable downfall. Entropy is like that.

In an effort to expand on their perfection, the Plodex made the mistake that all empires have made before them and after them – they looked to technology to take the place of hard work and commitment. Part of that had to do with the devourer ships, which were constructs, designed to bury their tentacles into the heart and soul of any terrain upon which they landed, easy access from which to stage ambushes, but also to allow for the studying of any target planet’s prevalent life forms. The ship’s goal was to imprint the DNA of the prevalent life forms into the Plodex eggs, thus creating a race of Plodex hybrids capable of more easily adapting to the home court advantage of the natives.

Sasquatch admits that this plan of the Plodi worked fine for a century or two, until their victories turned out to be pyrrhic. In the beginning, the Plodex were only one race, dedicated to a single cause, but as time passed, the Plodex warriors returned to the Homeworld – where they brought the mores and cultures of a multitude of different races with them. Naturally, chaos ensued. So not surprisingly for the Plodex, it ended the same way it began – with a world tearing itself asunder.

Nemesis sits on the back of the couch and says how tragic, to have come so far, only to be brought low by their own hubris. Tragic? asks Rutherford, who tells Nemesis that she is in need of some serious therapy. Phew, eh? says Zuzha before asking Walt why he didn’t just skip ahead to the part where the Plodex are some great big footnote in the Encyclopedia Galactica. Or were you just trying to scare us out of our respective Mapleleaf looks at Zuzha disapprovingly and tells her that he suspects Dr. Langkowski is not quite finished telling the story, as it pertains to Earth, and second, let me be clear: I don’t wear panties!

Patience, kids, this is the big wrap-up says Walt before he continues his story. The Plodex throneworld had been destroyed nearly a century before, in fact the entire Plodex empire had crumbled beneath the weight of itself. The vastness of space was such that by time the one remaining planet devourer had reached the only recently cooled planet Earth – the ship had fallen into a state of total disrepair.

The remaining Plodex ship did however crash land on Earth’s Northern Polar ice cap, where it embedded itself and began its for, well, us. 98 percent of the eggs however died in the crash. Several centuries later, the last egg was discovered by a fisherman, Tom Smallwood. Thinking back to his former teammate, Marrina, Walt says to his team We, as a species, sure lucked out.

Clapping his hands, Walt leaps out of his seat, telling his team that they have the story. Any questions? No? Good, let's get started. Zuzha yawns and Yukon Jack remains seated as Centennial asks Walt how long they have to train for battle against the alien punks that took his friends. Walt looks surprised and asks who said anything about training? He tells them that if it sounds too difficult he must have picked the wrong people. Major Mapleleaf salutes Walt and smiling, tells him he is sure he speaks on behalf of everyone when he says At your service. What’s the worst that can happen, eh? asks Zuzha.

Next: The Worst Happens!

Characters Involved: 

Sasquatch (Member of Alpha Flight)

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

In Illustrative Image

Marrina Smallwood-McKenzie

In Sasquatch’s Flashback history

The Plodex

Other Alien Races

Tom Smallwood

Story Notes: 

Puck II makes a reference to the Encyclopedia Galactica. This is a reference to Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book series.

Marrina first appeared in Alpha Flight (first series) #1. Her origin was revealed over the course of Alpha Flight (first series) #2-4, 14-16. She would go on to marry Namor McKenzie a.k.a. the Sub-Mariner [Alpha Flight (first series) #39-40] and become an honorary member of the Avengers until her death [Avengers (first series) #291-293]. Marrina was revealed to be alive in Avengers (third series) #47, held in a tank in the Master’s Arctic base.

Lodbell’s interpretation / retelling of the origin of the Plodex fits within the parameters of already established information. For more information on the Plodex, see the aforementioned issues.

A devourer ship is what captured the ancient being known as Eshu and merged him with itself, long ago. He would later go on to become the self-proclaimed Master of the World, one of Alpha Flight’s earliest and deadliest enemies, who was also obsessed with Marrina.

Only two eggs survived the crash to Earth: Marrina and her Plodex Mate.

It was not an ice fisherman that found the egg that would go on to become Marrina, but a deep-sea fisherman. [Alpha Flight (first series) #2] Marrina, damaged in the crash to Earth would imprint the form of Gladys Smallwood, the first Earth being she came in contact with, thus giving her the female appearance.

Guardian, Vindicator, Snowbird and the rest of the original Alpha Flight have all somehow been taken prisoner by the Plodex, in circumstances not yet made entirely clear.

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