Alpha Flight (3rd series) #7

Issue Date: 
November 2004
Story Title: 
Waxing Poetic - part 1

Scott Lodbell (Writer), Dave Ross (Penciler), Mark McKenna (Inker), Avalon (Colorist), Richard Starkings (Letterer) Mizuki Sakakibara (Cover Artist), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Irving Forbush (President)

Brief Description: 

Sasquatch and his All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight argue about whether or not to stay together as a team, when Centennial suggests they take some time off to think about things, which they do. Yukon Jack returns to his kingdom, only to discover that a celebration taking place in honor of his absence. He leaves, but not without the young Plodex that has attached itself to the team following him. Centennial returns to the home he hasn’t seen in twenty years because of being in a coma, only to find it run down and taken over by thugs. Sasquatch prepares to return Nemesis to prison, but she reveals that she is not immortal and as her time on Earth draws near, she has a task which she must accomplish. After she promises not to kill any member of the team, she shows Walter her face beneath her mask, and actually says „please“. Meanwhile, Major Mapleleaf and Zuzha get to know each other, going on a date, after Mapleleaf admits he finds her attractive, and gets drunk for the very first time. They visit the “Major American Super Heroes and the World that Worships them“ display at a wax museum, where someone called the Manimator plans some attack, and as they fly to Zuzha’s home on Mapleleaf’s horse Thunder, Lou and Zuzha are about to kiss - when three very angry looking American super heroes fly towards them.

Full Summary: 

They are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, banded together to defend the world from…okay, that’s not true. They are six of Canada’s handful of super heroes who do their best to protect their rounded corner of the world! They are…the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight!

Inside the spaceship of the deadly alien race known as the Plodex, founding Alphan and leader of this rag-tag group of Alphans, Doctor Walter Langkowski, better known as Sasquatch, reaches for the Plodex ship’s self destruct button and tells his team to ‘…um…run!’ ‘Or not, Walter!’ exclaims the red and black clad anarchist known as Nemesis as she waves her ebony blade in front of Sasquatch’s hand before he presses the self-destruct button.

The rugged Alphan code named Yukon Jack - his real name is Yukotujakzurjimozoata - tells Nemesis that she is mad, but coming to her defence is the handsome Major Mapleleaf, a.k.a. Lou Sadler who declares that „mad“ is too strong a word, but that it is not very team like. Zuzha „Puck“ Yu reminds her teammates that this ship was the way the Plodex were going to take over the world, and points out that that is more than reason enough to destroy it once and for all. Hovering above his teammates is the ninety-six year old Rutherford “Centennial“ Princeton, agrees with Zuzha, but suggests that Nemesis must have had her reasons for stopping Sasquatch and therefore there is no harm in hearing her out.

‘Yes Nemesis, please do. Enlighten us,’ Sasquatch sarcastically remarks. With her mouth showing through her torn mask, Nemesis informs her teammates that in designing this ship for world domination, the Plodex used an interspatial technology that allows for instantaneous cross-continental teleportation. She declares that from the central hub of the compound, any one of them step from one side of the country to the other, simply by opening a door. She points out that if they are going to be Canada’s new team of super heroes, it makes sense for them to capitalize on the alien technology and use it to their advantage. ’Eminently logical, I’ll give you that,’ remarks Sasquatch.
Mapleleaf steps up and tells Nemesis that as enticing as it seems, and as much of an honor as it has been serving with them all, he has responsibilities with the Canadian Royal Mounted Police that he cannot shirk. Zuzha smiles and says to Walt ‘bet notwithstanding,’ before asking how many times a year does an average super villain attack Canada. She points out that she would have taken full advantage had she won her bet with Sasquatch. ‘Bet? What bet?’

‘A pox on all thine heads!’ exclaims Yukon Jack before asking the others if they think he could serve with ones such as themselves, and declaring that he is much too busy to attend to affairs of state than to embrace such folly as to join a team of super heroes. Sasquatch announces that he is all for keeping some semblance of Alpha Flight together, but that it has only been recently that he has been able to spend time with his first love, which is science. He admits that he didn’t think anyone was thinking of ‘this super-hero thing’ as full time.

Always the voice of reason, Centennial tells everyone that it is not as if they need to make any life-changing decisions anymore, for they have all been through enough in the last twenty-four hours, and suggests they take a few hours to sleep on it. A moments silence, before in their typical tones, Walt, Lou, Yukon and Puck all agree. Sasquatch points the way to the central hub, as he admits that his Plodese is a tad rusty, but if he has read the instructions carefully, then they should all be at their respective homes before they know it!

A door begins to creak open in the side of a building, as Zuzha declares she doesn’t think this is going to work, but ever the optimist, Major Mapleleaf points out that Doctor Langkowski is smart, so if he says they are going to Montreal, ‘then Montreal it is!’ Walking into open space, Lou and Zuzha are surrounded by the busy Montreal shopping district, and Zuzha mumbles that this is going to take some time to get used to.

Lou turns to Zuzha and hesitantly tells her that it has been a pleasure, ‘except for, you know, that part where we almost got killed’, but that he has some “business“ in the city. ‘So I guess…I’ll be on my way. Unless, you…uh…’ his voice nervously trails off, before the plucky Zuzha grabs the collar of his outfit and tells him that she was an orphan and therefore has father issues that she may never get around to dealing with, so if he wants to spend the night with her, then she might just say yes. ‘Major Mapleleaf gasps in horror, to which Zuzha tells him is ‘too cute’ and begins dragging him towards a bar, telling him they can talk about it over a drink. He is speechless, so she tells him to breathe.

Meanwhile, in the wilds of Western Canada, an ancient civilization known as Kemteron exists - the kingdom of which Yukotujakzurjimozoata is heir to the throne. A door opens in the middle of a large tree trunk, and as the handsome hero steps out - he falls from a great height into a puddle of mud. Annoyed, Yukon Jack is convinced that Walter did that on purpose, when suddenly, he is startled by the sound of happy children, running through the forest laughing. Shocked, Yukon wonders what it is that could have brought glee into the hearts of the young ones - ’Unsanctioned glee that is’.

He brushes the mud off him as he makes his way to the center of the kingdom, mumbling that he has been gone for ’a handful of fortnights’ and that his entire kingdom has gone wild. Stepping into the main area, he sees the people of Kemteron celebrating, firing canons and shouting things like ’Oh happy day!’ ’Heck, I thought he’d never leave!’ Yukon wonders what kind of celebration it is, especially one that the crowned prince was not invited to.

Elsewhere, ‘Home again, home again, jiggety-jig…’ laughs Rutherford Princeton as he steps into a run down old house, looking around, he thinks it is granted that he spent the last two decades in a coma in the nursing home, which was nice enough, from what he could tell. Stepping out into the street however, Rutherford looks around at the derelict neighborhood and wonders what that saying is about not being able to go home again.

Once upon a time, these streets were the fashionable section of Eden Rock, and while time has been relatively kind to Princeton, the same can not be said about his ancestral home. From the porch of another home, a thug tells Centennial to move along, for there isn’t anything for him to see around here. ’You’d be surprised,’ snarls Rutherford, narrowing his eyes.

Meanwhile, a very drunk, almost incomprehensible Lou Sadler tells Zuzha that she doesn’t know what it is like - ’What’s that? Getting drunk on half a pint?’ Zuzha asks half-mockingly. Mapleleaf, replies ’growing up in the shadow of a great man’, referring of course to his WWII legend father the original Major Mapleleaf. ’More than a man! A national treasure!’ Looking bemused at Lou, Zuzha tells him one thing - ’Get over yourself! More people know Pink Pearl the Circus Girl than who your father was! He’s about as much a hero as my father is!’

Lou turns to Zuzha and apologizes for being rude before asking her who her father is. Zuzha replies ‘Not a clue, eh?’, revealing that she never met the man, that all she knows is he is a loser for missing out on raising her. Wiping a tear away as they leave the bar, Major Mapleleaf exclaims that it is the saddest thing he has ever heard. Jokingly calling him “Captain Canuck“, - to which Lou quickly reminds Zuzha his name is Major Mapleleaf - Zuzha tells him he is in desperate need of fresh air. ‘I love air!’ exclaims Lou.

And somewhere else, elsewhere, Sasquatch asks Nemesis if he looks stupid. ‘Yes,’ the unemotional woman replies, before saying ‘But, I am the living embodiment of retribution. Everyone looks stupid to me’. Transforming back into his human form, the handsome Doctor Walter Langkowski tells Nemesis he bets she is now proposing that he removes her inhibitor device and allow her to join Alpha Flight of her own free will. Nemesis promises to refrain from killing anyone, to which Walt asks her to be clear: ‘you mean “any member of the team“’.

Turning slightly towards him, Nemesis tells Walt that she means exactly what she said - that she will refrain from killing anyone period. Putting on his glasses, Walt asks Nemesis what it is that she gets out of this. Nemesis replies that her reasons are her own, but reveals to Walt that though she is long-lived, she is not an immortal. She adds that as her time here on Earth comes to an end, there is a matter to which she must attend.

Walt understands that Nemesis cannot do that from prison, but reminds her that he gave his word to Department H that he would return her to the authorities immediately after the mission. Walt begins to ask Nemesis how it is he can be sure she is being sincere, when he turns around, he gapes in shock - for Nemesis has taken her mask off, revealing an attractive young blonde woman, who with a genuine need in her eyes declares ‘I will say this once and never again. Please’. Walt rubs his head, sighs, and mumbles that if he were Guardian and she Wolverine then it would be a whole lot easier.

Back in Montreal, Mapleleaf and Zuzha walk side by side and Lou apologizes for earlier, pointing out that he doesn’t have a lot of experience with drinking. Zuzha tells him not to worry and declares that she remembers her first bear. Lou asks if she could tell, to which she replies she was joking and reminds him that she is surrounded by ‘hard-core drunk losers every night of the week’ and admitting that she finds him charming.

‘Holey moley!’ exclaims the flabbergasted Lou, not because of the compliment Zuzha gave him, but because standing before them on the footpath are Mr. Fantastic and the Thing ‘of North America’s Fantastic Four!’ ‘You know these, um, guys?’ asks Zuzha, to which Mapleleaf replies ‘No, not personally’. When the awe-struck young hero receives no reply from the Fantastic Four members, he tells them that he doesn’t mean to be presumptuous, ‘but professional super heroic courtesy would dictate a “hello“ at the very least’.

Zuzha smiles and tells Lou not to take it personally, before pointing him to Madame Trudeau’s Museum De’Wax. Lou reads the signage: ”Major American Super Heroes and the World that Worships them“? ‘Wow’. Zuzha grabs his hand and pulls him towards the ticket booth. When Lou asks where they are going, she points out that they are open until 3am. She begins talking to the woman at the ticket booth, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah… as Major Mapleleaf looks down at Zuzha’s hand holding onto his - ‘By the Great White North!’ he thinks. ‘She’s…she’s touching me!’

Inside the museum, Zuzha looks at a statue of former Alphan Wolverine, with claws outstretched and ready to pounce, she mocks him: ‘oooo, scary cat man. You frighten me!’ Looking up at members of the Uncanny X-Men, Lou exclaims that he wonders if they do become members of Alpha Flight, if they will ever be introduced to the real heroes. ‘I wonder if…anyone cares!’ Zuzha mocks. Lou points out that national affiliation not withstanding, the X-Men have saved the world dozens of times, and it would be an honor to meet them. He tells Zuzha that she has to admit, but Zuzha replies that she admits nothing, for it is part of her charm.

Nearby, a mysterious man cries ‘Fools!’ and declares that soon, all who are flesh and blood will fall before the might of…the Manimator!

Back in the woods, seeing his subjects throwing dirt and toilet tissue all over a giant statue of himself during their celebration, Yukon Jack suddenly realizes that the cause of their celebration is his own absence. With that, he walks solemnly away from his home. Little does he know, he is being watched by the small alien Plodex creature that recently attached itself to the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight.

After finishing at the museum, Lou asks Zuzha if it is too late to grab a bite to eat, and suggests that their must be an Ihop open still. Zuzha tells Mapleleaf that he does not have to spend his money on her, and suggests they go back to her place where he can attack her like a wild - ‘horse?’ asks Zuzha when she sees Mapleleaf’s horse tied to a parking meter. Lou greets his faithful steed, to which Zuzha tells him she thought he left it back at Walter’s before they entered the Plodex ship, and asks him how Thunder knew they were here.

‘Hence “Faithful Steed“’ remarks Major Mapleleaf before asking Zuzha where she wants to go, and hoisting her onto the horse. As the flying horse darts across the Montreal airspace, Zuzha exclaims ‘This is wild, eh? Note to self: Buy flying horse!’ Lou informs Zuzha that he doesn’t own Thunder, as they are more like partners, and hang out together because the like each other.

Zuzha replies that she doesn’t blame the horse, and tells Lou that he may be a big red square, but that he is surprisingly likeable. ‘Kiss me!’ she says, and Lou turns to her. ‘Kiss? You?’ He leans into her, their lips about to lock, when suddenly, Zuzha pulls away from the puckered-up Major Mapleleaf, and says ‘eh?’ when she sees Storm, Thor and the Human Torch flying towards them, looking very angry.

Characters Involved: 

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

Thunder (Major Mapleleaf’s horse)

Unnamed Plodex child

The Manimator

Citizens of Montreal

Citizens of Kemteron


Wax statues of Black Panther, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Hulk, Human Torch, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Nightcrawler, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Storm, Thing, Thor, Wolverine

In Illustrative Image

Major Mapleleaf

Story Notes: 

A continuity error occurs between this issue and the last, for at the end of Alpha Flight (third series) #6, the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight had already left the Plodex base.

Guest penciler, Dave Ross, is a previous Alpha Flight artist, being the penciler of Alpha Flight (first series) #35-44, 100, which included the death of Snowbird, the first appearance of the Purple Girl, and wedding of Marrina.

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]

Sasquatch’s comment about not being interested in being part of Alpha Flight and wanting to spend time with his first love, science, is somewhat misplaced, as he was part of Alpha Flight before the All-New All-Different Alphans were assembled, and presumably he does get to spend time doing his science when Alpha Flight are not saving Canada.

Pink Pearl is an obese enemy of Northstar’s who first appeared in Alpha Flight (first series) #22, before next appearing in the classic Alpha Flight (first series) #105, as the owner of a male strip club that the female Alphans go to for Diamond Lil’s bachelorette party.

Zuzha’s comment about the original Major Mapleleaf being as much a hero as her father, is because she does not know her father is the original Puck.

Walt’s comment about promising Department H that he will return Nemesis to the authorities after the Plodex mission reveals not only that Alpha Flight is still working in conjunction with the Department, but that Nemesis’ whereabouts since the end of Alpha Flight (first series) #130, were prison.

This is the first time Nemesis' face has ever been shown.

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