Alpha Flight (3rd series) #6

Issue Date: 
October 2004
Story Title: 
You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me - conclusion

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

Brief Description: 

Discovering that there are hundreds of Plodex eggs within the complex, the All-New All-Different Alpha Flight debate whether or not that the eggs should be allowed to survive. Sasquatch and Yukon Jack want to destroy the eggs, because they have the Original Alpha Flight’s templates downloaded into them and as the Plodex are a deadly race, they would be a serious threat to the world. Major Mapleleaf, Puck and Centennial however do not want the eggs destroyed, claiming that with the proper nurturing they may not turn out to be evil. They engage in a physical battle with each other, until the Uncanny Alpha Flight are broken free of their restraints. The Uncanny Alpha Flight reveal that while they were captured, they learned that the Plodex home world has repaired itself over the past 1000 years and therefore want the eggs to be taken back to their true home where they can get a proper chance at a new life. Meanwhile, Nemesis has been separated from her teammates and has met up with an already hatched Plodex, who leads her around the compound while mimicking what she says. Eventually they discover some space craft, and upon arriving back at the location of the rest of the Alpha Flight’s, she informs them how they can return the Plodex home. The Uncanny Alpha Flight leave Sasquatch and his All-New All-Different Alpha Flight to protect Canada in their absence, as Sasquatch and the others, along with Nemesis’ new “friend” also take their leave - but someone is watching them….

Full Summary: 

Deep within the labyrinthine catacombs of the three-thousand-year-old Plodex mother ship (How’s that for an opening line!)…The wounded Nemesis lies in a puddle and looks up to the young Plodex that has taken her sword. She tells the creature to slay her if it must - if it dares -but asks it not to taunt her. She tells the yellowish-greenish creature to be done or be gone. ‘B’don, b’gone, b‘don, b’gone’ the young alien says as it smiles and hands Nemesis’ sword to her.

Nemesis stands up and looks at the young Plodex, declaring that she supposes it is waiting for her to say “thank you” for not slaying her. She tells it not to waste it’s breath, revealing that it has been quite some time since anyone has - The young Plodex turns from Nemesis, repeating ‘b‘done, b’gone’ over and over again while laughing. ‘Is it any wonder I never had children?’ Nemesis asks, before adding that the curse of her Onyx Blade is almost a child and following the young Plodex.

Meanwhile, not far away, the rest of Nemesis’ team - Sasquatch, Major Mapleleaf, Yukon Jack, Centennial and the new Puck stand on a small platform with the captive Original Alpha Flight - Guardian, Vindicator, Snowbird, Shaman, the old Puck and Earthmover. ‘Um, okay, now what?’ asks Zuzha Yu, the plucky young Puck as the handsome Lou Sadler a.k.a. Major Mapleleaf motions to the literal sea of Plodex eggs surrounding them, asking Sasquatch what it is they should do.

Doctor Walter Langkowski, a.k.a. Sasquatch declares that it seems apparent that the biocentric transubstantiation matrix code is drawing from the bound members of the original Alpha Flight for their genetic codes. He continues, pointing out that his teammate’s genetic codes are then being downloaded directly into the dormant dionucleic substrata genes of the Plodex embryos in the nest. He reminds his current teammates that he and the Original Alphans were assured the nest was destroyed nearly three thousand years ago. ‘Which I can conclude means one shouldn’t believe everything one hears’.

Sasquatch declares that his main point is that if they do not stop this from happening right now, then the Alpha Flight templates they fought moments ago will seem like toy soldiers compared to the one hundred thousand weapons of mass destruction that will be unleashed upon an otherwise defenseless world populace. He reminds everyone that the Plodex have a millennium or two of experience with adapting and standing over the body of the fake Shaman he fought moments ago, he points out that the Alpha Flight wannabes they just fought were only templates, but doesn’t believe they will be so lucky a second time.

He turns to the contraption keeping his teammates prisoner and declares that in order to save them, the world at large and the universe itself should the long-dead Plodex start breeding again…’We have no choice but to destroy these eggs before it is too late!’ Before he can act however, someone tugs at his fur and declares that they cannot allow him to do that. Sasquatch asks Mapleleaf what he is talking about, but Mapleleaf tells Sasquatch that it is he who is talking about murder, pointing out that moreover the murder of a hundred thousand infants while they are still in the womb. Declaring his position, Major Mapleleaf proclaims he cannot be a party to that nor can he allow it.

Sasquatch asks Lou if he listened to a single thing he has said about the Plodex as the ruggedly handsome Yukotujakzurjimozoata tells Mapleleaf not to be an idiot and points out that the Plodex chose to live by the sword and shall therefore die by the sword. Major Mapleleaf tells Yukon Jack that he is incorrect and declares that these Plodex have not even been born yet, so they have made no choice what so ever. He asks who is to say that with the proper nurturing they couldn’t be a tremendous boon to the world. He points out that if they kill the Plodex then they are taking away even the possibility of their choice.

Sasquatch tells Mapleleaf that his opinions are duly noted, adding that if they were not discussing the resultant genocide of the entire human race then he would say Lou’s argument is admirable, but he tells him to step aside. Lou holds his hands up and repeats ‘no’. The elderly mutant Rutherford Princeton the third, aptly codenamed “Centennial” tells the boys to calm down and points out that they have a common enemy the need to be dealing with. He exclaims that the last thing they need to do is to start fighting each other.

Rutherford asks the Major if there is any possibility that during the battle he was cut by ‘one of them Plodex things?’ and suggests that they may have somehow screwed up his mind into making him defend them. Lou snaps back that there is nothing wrong with the way he is thinking. ‘Enough prattle!’ exclaims Yukon Jack, who reminds everyone that he is the leader of his own race and will not gamble on Mapleleaf’s fantasy of a utopian society. With his large and deadly knife ready to strike he rushes towards Major Mapleleaf, declaring that this is a war and in war, blood - sometimes “innocent” blood is spilled.

‘Sorry kiddies! But I tend to agree with the boy scout here!’ declares Puck as she leaps over Sasquatch and snatches Yukon’s knife out of his hand. ‘Why is it you never read about this sort of thing happening with the Avengers?’ frowns Centennial. Rutherford informs his young companions that he was forty-three years old when America made the decision to drop one of two atom bombs in an effort to stop World War II. He declares that he understood why they did it, but points out that understanding and accepting are two different things.

Centennial apologizes to Doctor Langkowski and declares that he sides with the kids on this one. Pointing out that ‘if we don’t believe that where there is life there is hope, then I reckon we don’t believe in anything’. Sasquatch and Yukon Jack stand against Mapleleaf, Centennial and Puck, as Walt apologizes that it has to come to this - ‘but this conversation is overrrrr…now!’

Elsewhere, Nemesis catches up the young Plodex, telling it that she grows weary of the chase. She declares that since the nano-technology coursing through her system does not prevent her from killing aliens she has no choice but to - suddenly, the young Plodex’s webbed hand touches a panel, clicking open a large hidden room. ‘Oh my’ exclaims Nemesis as she looks in at the various forms of Plodex spaceship kept inside the room. ‘Wow’. ‘Wow!’ repeats the young Plodex.

Sasquatch and the rest of the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight have now engaged in physical battle with each other, everyone on Sasquatch‘s back as he is forced to the ground. ‘Stand down!’ ‘I will not!’ ‘This is madness!’ ‘We’re wasting time here!’ ‘Violence isn’t the answer!’ ‘Then what is?’ ‘Off my back!’ ‘That hurts!’ ‘‘ says someone dressed in red and white who now stands before Sasquatch. ‘Walter, what are you doing?’

‘Kids, eh?’ mutters Eugene Milton Judd - the original Puck - as he stands in between James MacDonald Hudson and Heather McNeil Hudson, a.k.a. Guardian and Vindicator respectively. The beautiful goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird, Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen codenamed Shaman and his protégé Chuck Moss a.k.a. Earthmover have also been freed. Sasquatch leaps up off the ground, knocking the All-New All-Different Alpha Flight off his back as he exclaims ‘Mac! Heather! Judd! Kid whose name I keep forgetting! You’re alive!’ ‘Watch my hip!’ cries Centennial.

You really have to see this to understand, but the next two pages have the faces of various Alpha Flight members along the edges of the actual panels, talking…

Sasquatch tells his original teammates that he is sorry, but that when the Plodex ship took them hostage he felt the best way to free them all was by forming this new team. ‘It was an honor!’ exclaims Major Mapleleaf. ‘Pfft’ mutters Nemesis - who shouldn’t even be there - well, she’s not really, and she is quickly gone in the next panel -. ‘I lost a bet’ mumbles Zuzha. ‘Psst! Kids! Floating heads denote flashbacks! Shut up!’ whispers Centennial. ‘The Ancient One is right’ mutters Yukotujakzurjimozoata.

Heather asks Walter if he is serious (as Nemesis is pulled back to the part of the compound she is actually supposed to be in) and asks him why he didn’t think to just call the Avengers, but is just relieved that the battle of a few minutes ago liberated them from their restraining devices.

‘Yes…an odd thing about that device’ remarks Mac as he reveals that while they were in its thrall, they all experienced several thousand years of the Plodex’s pan-galactic history. ‘Essentially, it was a collective genetic memory. We…bonded with them’.

Scowling, Yukon Jack says ‘Quite the affront, that’ before informing the classic Alphans that they will be glad to know the Orange one and he were in the process of smiting the ship and its cargo, ‘lest the entire world doth crumble before this alien onslaught’.

Shaman has important information to reveal however, and informs the All-New All-Different Alpha Flight that he and the others also learned that the once-destroyed Plodex home world has repaired itself over the past thousand years.

Unemotionally, Snowbird informs the newcomers that she and her teammates
discussed it amongst themselves and have decided that the yet-to-be-born lives of the next generation of Plodex deserve at least the opportunity to return to their world and try again.

‘Yeah, it ain’t like the lot of us didn’t come with a lot of baggage eh?’ exclaims Puck as the younger Puck whispers to Major Mapleleaf ‘Am I like the only person here who cant do the “floating head” thing? Mapleleaf (who by then by along with Centennial got to do the “floating head” thing earlier in the issue), frowns at Zuzha and tells her that ‘It’s a convention of the genre - shh!’

‘You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me! Exclaims Sasquatch who tells Mac and Heather that they are obviously talking about escorting the eggs back across the universe and trying to start from scratch, ‘minus the propensity for genocide? Okay!’ ‘Rassem frassum’ mutters Yukon Jack under his breath.

Mac exclaims that all they need now is a means to transport the eggs to the Plodex home world. Heather points out that they also need to bring their own child with them. ‘Of course, Heather’. Suddenly, Nemesis appears on a ledge and exclaims that she has the solution and chucks down a set of keys to Guardian, who smiles.

Soon, the Uncanny Alpha Flight loads the Plodex eggs onto one of the ships that Nemesis found as Mapleleaf plays with the Plodex child that has been hanging around with his anarchist teammate. Mac thanks Walter for everything and tells him that they will be back. Walt tells his friend to take his time before motioning to his All-New All-Different Alpha Flight and telling Mac that while they may not look like much, they are good people and will keep the country safe in his absence.

As the Originals leave, Zuzha asks if they are not forgetting someone. Looking down at the young Plodex, Mapleleaf declares that they are not and points out that the little fella was born here and for all intents and purposes she is a Canadian citizen. ‘Itizen. Itizen’. shouts the young Plodex. Nemesis somewhat uncomfortably says ‘His…her…um, ist gender orientation certainly seems vague at this point’.

Away from the others, Yukon Jack watches Centennial use his newfound heat vision powers inscribe something on the front of another, smaller, Plodex ship and asks him about the heat vision. ‘Who knew?’ mumbles Rutherford before Yukon asks him if he is not going to join the team full time. ‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world’ replies Rutherford and asks Yukon what he is going to do. ‘Sigh’ is all Yukon can say.

Lou and Zuzha walk up to Sasquatch and Lou tells him that while he does not regret his stance, he appreciates the need for order in the ranks and therefore understands if Walt is going to withdraw his offers of membership. ‘What he said’ mutters Zuzha. Sasquatch frowns says to Lou ‘At ease soldier’ before declaring that without a free and open exchange of ideas, they are nothing. ‘What do you say, gang? Who wants to save the world?’

Sasquatch, with the new Puck beside him pilots the team’s small craft, with a maple leaf inscribed on the front, courtesy of Princeton’s new power. Centennial flies beside the ship and tells Yukotujakzurjimozoata that it wouldn’t hurt to smile once in a while. ‘Silence’ is all the handsome hero replies. As Major Mapleleaf’s horse, Thunder, flies behind the ship, Lou smiles as the young Plodex points at Nemesis who is flying alongside the ship and cries ‘Nem’sis…Nem’sis!’

Who - ?

What - ?

Nearby, someone is watching the All-New All-Different Alphans as they take their leave…and laughs. ’Heh heh heh…’.

Characters Involved: 

Sasquatch (Member of both the All-New, All-Different and the Uncanny Alpha Flight)

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

Earthmover, Guardian, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird, Vindicator II (Uncanny Alpha Flight)
Unnamed Plodex child

Thunder (Major Mapleleaf’s horse)

Plodex copies of Uncanny Alpha Flight

Unidentified person watching the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight

In Sasquatch’s Proposed World

Plodex copies of Alpha Flight

In Major Mapleleaf’s Ideal World

Plodex copies of Alpha Flight

Flooded civilians

In Flashback


Story Notes: 

Nemesis’ sword has always been called the Ebony Blade, this is the first reference to it as the Onyx blade.

The Plodex’s full origin was seen in Alpha Flight (third series) #3.

Centennial’s remark ‘The last thing we need to do is to start fighting each other’ is a timely reminder to those who always read Alpha Flight, and a informer to those who have never read it, that Alpha Flight’s infighting began right back in Alpha Flight (first series) #1, with the question whether or not to even be called “Alpha Flight” after they were disbanded by the government.

The bet Zuzha lost is an arm wrestling bet, which technically she didn’t lose as Walter cheated by turning into Sasquatch to defeat her after she agreed to join his team if he could beat her in an arm wrestle. [Alpha Flight (third series) #2]

Mac and Heather had a baby in X-Men Unlimited (first series) #45, the girl’s whereabouts over the course of these issues is anyone’s guess, but it would be safe to assume that she was given to Heather’s parents or siblings to look after her when Alpha Flight first embarked on the mission.

It would seem that the original Alpha Flight members are not going to be written out of the series all together, as certainly Snowbird and Puck have roles to play considering a new costume has been designed for Snowbird and of course the revelation that the old Puck is actually the new Puck’s father must come about.

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