Alpha Flight (3rd series) #5

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me - part 5

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

Brief Description: 

The All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight have finally located the Uncanny Alpha Flight within the Plodex ship. However, before they can free the original Alphans they are attacked by Plodex in the guise of the original Alphans. The battle rages until all the Plodex doubles are defeated, though during the fight, Nemesis is separated from the others. Weakening, as her sword was flung from her, she is soon aided by a young amphibious Plodex boy. The Plodex ship’s automated defense system kicks in and traps the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight on a small ledge. Strung above Sasquatch and the new Alphans, Snowbird’s restraints suddenly break, while the ground below separates and reveals a sea of Plodex eggs.

Full Summary: 

The story so far… The reviews are out and the sales are in…and the ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT ALPHA FLIGHT is here to stay! Woo hoo! Oh, sure, some of the reviews were “It’s too different!” or “It’s not the same!” or “It’s too funny!” or “It’s not funny enough” or “Blah Blah Blah” or “Wah Wah Wah”…but the REAL critics – the fans – are having at least as much fun as we are! Comic shops across two continents, and message boards across the Etherest are abuzz! From Montreal to Minneapolis, from Toronto to Toledo, fans ask, “What are Yukon’s powers?”… “How is Zuzha going to react when she learns Puck is her father?"… “Mapleleaf IS getting a name change right?” (NO!) “Is this the same Nemesis we’ve loved to hate and hated to love?”… “When are you going to de-age Centennial like we all know you’re going to do eventually?” And of course, the inevitable flood of questions dealing with everyone’s particular original ALPHA FLIGHT members! Keep reading over the coming months and this and many other questions will be answered! THE STORY SO FAR?…WE HAVE YET TO BEGIN TO FLIGHT!

The Arctic Circle, deep within the vast alien Plodex ship, where Doctor Walter Langkowski a.k.a. the furry behemoth Sasquatch and his “All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight” have come to rescue the original Alphans. After splitting into groups of two, Sasquatch and his oddball team have all met up in the same part of the ship … sort of. The ninety-seven year old Rutherford Princeton the Third a.k.a. Centennial tells the mysterious Nemesis that he can hear the others, but not see them, ‘Like we’re all here but we’re not?’ Nemesis informs the elderly man that it is called ‘Trans-spatial displacement,’ adding that in some alternate realities it is a common means of defense.

‘Kind of neat, no?’ the plucky Lou Sadler a.k.a. the new Major Mapleleaf says to his aloof partner, Yukotujakzurjimozoata a.k.a. Yukon Jack. ‘“Neat?” What means “Neat”?’ the prince of a hidden nation replies.

The feisty Zuzha Yu, a.k.a. the new Puck asks Sasquatch, if what happened was even though they approached the Plodex ship from three different locations in teams of two, starting at the farthest points of the Great North, they all somehow ended up at the same place, even though they’re not really in the same place at all. ‘Basically,’ replies Walt. ‘And who says being a super hero is any harder than being a bartender eh?’ Zuzha remarks.

‘Check please!’ declares Sasquatch, to which Zuzha asks what he is talking about. Standing in between the two mighty pillars in the room, Walt exclaims that he is so tired of being yanked around by this ship. ‘The X-Men have Magneto, the Avengers have the Red Skull, and we fight a three-thousand year old ship!?’ He smashes the pillars, forcing Zuzha to dodge the falling debris as she mockingly asks the founding Alphan if he feels strongly about this.

Walt’s actions cause the same effects in the “other” parts of the room too, as Nemesis, Centennial, Major Mapleleaf and Yukon Jack all find themselves falling through the floor, along with the roof. . Dust fills the room, and as it clears it reveals the Alphans, all fallen on top of one another. ‘Life was less chaotic when I was an Anarchist’ exclaims Nemesis. ‘Oops! Pardon me ma’am,’ blushes Major Mapleleaf, who has landed on Nemesis. Rutherford tells the others that if he has broken his hip, then there will be heck to pay.

At the bottom of the pile of Alphans, Sasquatch mumbles ‘that worked out better than it had a right to’. Zuzha turns to Sasquatch and reveals to him that when she first met him she thought he was ‘a bit of a flake, eh?’ But now she thinks he is clearly a lot smarter than he looks. Brushing dirt off of himself, Rutherford tells Zuzha that Sasquatch looks like a throw-rug and asks how smart he has to be. Annoyed, Yukon Jack wishes they would all concentrate upon the task at hand – ‘The location of those thou call Alpha Flight!’

Worriedly, Major Mapleleaf looks at something, and suggests to his companions that they look too. Turning, everyone else sees what Mapleleaf does. ‘It’s Alpha flight! My Alpha Flight! I mean the one I used to – oh, what’s the use?’ mumbles Sasquatch. Strung up in high-tech technologies are Canada’s premiere super heroes: James MacDonald and Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Guardian and Vindicator respectively, Narya a.k.a. Snowbird, Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. the original Puck, Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman and Chuck Moss, a.k.a. Earthmover.

Nemesis reminds Sasquatch that she has been to Hell and back – twice – and even that didn’t look this bad. ‘I guess it’s too late to turn back, eh?’ asks Zuzha. Yukon Jack tells the ‘womangirl’ that he was pondering the same thing. Rutherford tells his companions that all things considered, he would rather be back in the day room watching “The View”. ‘Chin up people!’ smiles Major Mapleleaf who tells his companions that his dad always used to say “When you feel most like a sap, that’s the time to make syrup!”

Looking at the classic Alphans and the recent recruit, Earthmover, Zuzha guesses that what they are going through must hurt. ‘Dr. Sasquatch, sir? By your command?’ asks Mapleleaf. Sasquatch narrows his eyes and tells Mapleleaf to cut them down – now – when suddenly, an electromagnetic blast knocks Walt over. Rutherford rushes over to him and asks if he is okay, and Lou asks what hit him. Sasquatch gathers himself as he declares he recognizes that energy signature – but before he can reveal whose it belongs to, Guardian stands before them and reveals himself.

Guardian tells Walt that he and his friends did an excellent job of liberating him and the others from the clutches of the Plodex hatchery. All of Sasquatch’s Alpha Flight look extremely puzzled, and motioning towards the Guardian strung up to the wall, Zuzha asks who he is supposed to be if this is the real Guardian in front of them. Sasquatch tells James that they didn’t to anything, but Guardian reveals that their multi-assault on this complex forced the installation to free them from their imprisonment. He declares that those unfortunate “Alpha Flight” entities strung up behind them are only Plodex constructs, templates for the 100,00 eggs waiting to be imprinted with their genetic codes.

“Our?” asks Walt. Smiling, Guardian declares ‘Yes! Alpha Flight’s!’ and behind him appear his five teammates. Heather tells Walt that he did good, and Shaman tells them that they all did, and asks them to lead him and the others away from this evil place. Taking Heather’s hand, Rutherford tells her it would be his pleasure. Nemesis folds her arms crossly, but Heather accepts his offer. Walking up to Snowbird, Yukotujakzurjimozoata says ‘Greetings, Lady, I am a God amongst men’. ‘Sure you are,’ replies Snowbird unimpressed.

Major Mapleleaf smiles and sheepishly asks Dr. Hudson if he wouldn't mind an signing an autograph for him. Mac replies ‘sure’ and asks who he should make it out to. ‘Major Mapleleaf,’ replies the handsome RCMP officer – to which Mac replies ‘seriously?’ The original Puck stands on a rock, so is eye-level to the new Puck and he asks ‘Hmph, what are we going to do with thirteen Alphans, eh?’ ‘Are you making fun of me, eh?’ asks Zuzha. ‘Eh?’ replies Judd.

Heather starts to say that they will certainly find some use for everyone, when she is stabbed in the back – by Nemesis! Rutherford is surprised by his companion’s actions, but as Vindicator falls to the ground, Nemesis says ‘Intriguing, no?’ Sasquatch replies ‘to say the least,’ and declares that the nano-technology in Nemesis’ system should prevent her from acting against any members of Alpha Flight. ‘Ipso facto –’ says Walt, when suddenly, Guardian blasts Nemesis back with an electromagnetic pulse, informing her that she just killed his wife and that this blast is the least of all she deserves.

Whispering to Zuzha, Major Mapleleaf asks if they are not the original Alphans, to which Zuzha sarcastically replies ‘Wow, you’re smart’. Rutherford announces he is going to check on Nemesis, but Sasquatch says ‘Belay that Mr. Princeton,’ for their priority at the moment is to ‘take these posers down – hard’.

‘We are Plodex!’ declares “Guardian” and informs the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight that even without the powers of their host bodies they are notoriously difficult to kill. ‘You’ll excuse us for trying though’ remarks Centennial as the impostor Heather Hudson joins her fellow Plodex. Sasquatch tells his team to grab a sparing partner and start wailing on them, as Yukotujakzurjimozoata asks if this is how things are done in the “Civilized world”. The impostor Judd tells the All-New, All-Different Alphans that once they are captured and placed in the transubstiator all their powers, abilities and memories will be available to create templates from their genetic structures. ‘Pretty cool, eh?’

‘Y’know, for a little alien, you’ve got a big mouth’ Zuzha tells him. Major Mapleleaf takes on the fake Heather Hudson as her fake husband takes to the air against Centennial. The false Guardian informs Rutherford that even though he is the first in an overwhelmingly large army of genetically superior warriors intent on the subjugation and ultimate decimation of the entire human race … the genetic imprinting of human nature on his DNA makes it difficult for him to strike an elderly man such as he. Rutherford doesn’t hesitate and smashes the fake Mac in the face, before telling him to get over himself.

The fake Heather lies on the ground as Major Mapleleaf declares that he really, really hopes these are not the members of the original Alpha Flight, for it would look very bad on his permanent record if they were. Zuzha kicks the fake Judd and asks him if he has all the memories of his host’s floating in his head if he could solve a mystery for her. ‘Maybe,’ the fake Judd replies, to which she asks ‘why “Puck”?’ The phony Puck declares it is because Eugene Judd is a big hockey fan, and shouts ‘Go, Oilers!’ as he strikes the young Puck.

As she blocks his next attack, Zuzha exclaims that she always read about the real Judd in The Star and assumed he was named after the sprite from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The fake Judd replies ‘Nope. Small. Fast. Tough. Like a hockey puck’. Preparing herself for another attack, Zuzha replies it is good to know, for maybe she will name herself after the Shakespeare Puck. ‘I can’t imagine he’d mind,’ says the fake Puck, to which Zuzha kicks him and declares she was not asking for permission.

Centennial declares that he thinks now would be a good time for him to go check on Nemesis adding that she may be the Living Spirit of Retribution,, but she has got gumption. Sasquatch tells Rutherford that if it is any consolation, as he himself has smacked Nemesis around a few times, he can tell him that she can take care of herself.

Elsewhere, Nemesis comes to in a damaged, water-logged part of the Plodex ship, and seeing her sword out of her grasp, she knows it is bad, for without her sword within her grasp she is paralyzed. Her head sinks into the water – but she is strong and defiant. She thrusts a hand out towards her sword, exclaiming that she has not struggled and endured one hundred years of pain to die here such an ignoble death. The sword is suddenly pulled from the rock it is stuck in – by a greenish-yellow webbed hand. And as Nemesis looks up from the water, she sees a young Plodex staring down at her – and handing her the sword.

As the fake Shaman casts various spells on Yukon Jack, he finds the handsome Alphan to be quite resistant and asks how much one human can endure. ‘Whoever said I was human?’ snarls Yukon Jack before ramming his knife into the old Shaman. ‘Brrr…’ remarks Major Mapleleaf. ‘What he said,’ declares Zuzha as the two watch their teammate. Yukon Jack tells them that they are certainly thin-skinned, when he turns upon seeing the false Snowbird, in her ookpik form screech down towards him.

Yukon Jack turns his face, but lets the Arctic owl dig her claws into him as he exclaims he ‘cans’t raise arms’ against a beast of the land. ‘Here! Allow me!’ declares Sasquatch as he grabs the owl in his hands and crushes her – sending feathers flying everywhere. ‘A multitude of “thank you’s,”’ says Yukon Jack as Sasquatch looks at him frowning mocking “cans’t raise arms”. Major Mapleleaf begins to sneeze as the feathers float around him as Zuzha asks if she is the only one who feels something moving beneath them.

‘Yes, ma’am, that’d be the floor,’ declares Lou as the floor separates beneath them, causing him to be knocked off balance and almost fall down, but Rutherford grabs him. Sasquatch suggests that it is another automated defense system, forcing them into a smaller area in which to attack them. Yukon Jack declares that it seems as though the Plodex are running out of tricks, but as everyone looks below them from their platform, they see a literal sea of Plodex eggs. ‘This could be a problem,’ whispers Zuzha. ‘Ulp’ mumbles Major Mapleleaf. ‘“Ulp” indeed,’ remarks Yukon Jack, as Sasquatch tells them not to move. While up above the five heroes, the beautiful Snowbird hangs, and suddenly the restraints cuffing her hands break open.

Chapter Next: Alpha Daycare! (sort of) (but not really) (but sort of!)

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, Guardian, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird, Vindicator II (the Uncanny Alpha Flight)

Plodex in the forms of the Uncanny Alpha Flight

Plodex boy

Story Notes: 

When Sasquatch says “Check, please”, Zuzha replies “Eh, Doc?” however her words are mistakenly connected to Sasquatch’s bubble and said by him.

Pages 5-6 is the same opening scene seen in issues 1 and 2, only from a different perspective this time, we actually see what the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight are looking at.

The line “What are we going to do with thirteen Alphans?” is a homage to Giant Sized X-Men #1. However, in the X-Men’s incident, there were actually thirteen X-Men. Here, there are only twelve Alphans, unless someone else is lurking around the Plodex base … Marrina? She was last seen there in Avengers (third series) #47, presuming of course this is the same base, as it was believed to have been blown up. Perhaps it was not entirely destroyed.

The original Puck was indeed named after the Shakespeare Puck, not the hockey Puck as stated this issue.

Nemesis’ revelation that she has “endured one hundred years of pain” fits in well with possibility that she is the first Nemesis Alpha Flight encountered [Alpha Flight (first series) #8, 31], and that somehow she survived her “death” in Alpha Flight (first series) #31 to return in Alpha Flight (first series) #76. This would also make her real name indeed Jane St. Ives. The tattered black and white photograph seen in Alpha Flight (third series) #4 would also place the time frame as suspected.

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