Alpha Flight (3rd series) #9

Issue Date: 
January 2005
Story Title: 
Days Of Future Present: Past Participle - part 1

Scott Lodbell (Writer), Clayton Henry (Penciler), Mark Morales (Inker), Digital Rainbow (Colorist), Rich & Jimmy @ Comicraft (Letterers) Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Irving Forbush (President)

Brief Description: 

Alpha Flight are engaged in battle with the mind-controlled Big Hero Six, who are defeated and freed from the mind control by Alpha Flight when a former associate of the Flight’s - Flashback comes pleading for help. Major Mapleleaf gets a new costume after his was ripped to shreds by Honey Lemon’s creatures, before Flashback informs Alpha of his predicament, that he believes his past is about to catch up with him - meaning his past self is about to summon his current self to the past where he will be killed. He reveals that after witnessing his future self get killed, with the hope that he would end that future, he destroyed the costume, but it came back to him. Alpha Flight contemplate their first time travel mission with the hope that they can prevent both Flashback’s death and the first death of Guardian, but with little regard for the consequences. Nemesis uses her sword to send Major Mapleleaf to the past, where Mapleleaf comes to Guardian just before he was about to move to New York, and as Mac is easily convinced, he agrees not to move to New York, thus preventing deaths. Nemesis learns that Mapleleaf is haunted by his abusive failure of a father, the original Major Mapleleaf, before Alpha Flight witness dozens of Box robots approaching them, ready for battle.

Full Summary: 

They are Canada’s Greatest Super Heroes (well, at least their newest!) who have come together to defend their country from threats great and small, domestic, foreign, supernatural, intergalactic, transchronological and every once and a while, pan-dimensional!

They are: Sasquatch; Dr. Walter Langkowski; Gridiron PhD! Yukon Jack; Yukotujakzurjimozoata; Heir to the throne of an ancient civilization! Centennial; Rutherford Princeton; invincible retiree! Nemesis; She’s not saying her real name, being the Living Embodiment of Retribution and all! Puck; Zuzha Yu, bartender-cum-irresistible force! Major Mapleleaf; Lou Sadler, Royal Canadian Mountie!

Currently, the All-New, all-Different Alpha Flight are engaged in battle with Japan’s Greatest Super Heroes, um, well, sort of. Hiro Takachiho: Pint-sized leader! GoGo Tomago; um, that’s her real name, she’s really powerful! Sunpyre; Leyu Yoshida; she of the atomic flame! Honey Lemon; creator of the Nano-Purse! Baymax; big robot thingie - can’t you tell?! The Ebon Samurai; Brrr!

At a public park, somewhere in Canada, GoGo Tomago pulses towards the aged Rutherford Princeton, who is knocked through a picnic table, and tells the young woman that if he breaks a hip on account of her, then he is going to forget he is a gentleman. The Japanese mutant calls Centennial “Ancient One“ and tells him to not hold back because of his antiquated and sexist notions of chivalry, adding that she is more prepared to accept anything he can dish out. GoGo then finds herself flung backwards by Centennial’s incredible strength as he remarks ‘“Ancient One“ my brown bottom!’

As Nemesis engages in a sword fight with the Ebon Samurai, The handsome Major Mapleleaf asks Centennial if GoGo is going to be all right, when the pretty Honey Lemon comes up behind him, and as anime creatures leap out of her Nano-Purse, she tells Lou to concentrate on the matter at hand. The rugged Yukon Jack picks the young Hiro up by the collar of his shirt and asks him if he is seriously the leader of his team, to which a very unimpressed Hiro informs Yukon that he has three - two seconds to out him down, or he will see how serious he is. Yukon Jack only lets go of Hiro when he finds himself electrocuted. ‘Jerk,’ mutters Hiro.

Meanwhile, as a crowd gathers around the picnic area to watch the battle between the two teams of heroes, Sasquatch finds himself pushed to the ground, with his match-in-size, Baymax looming over him, and asking Walt if he has never read “The Art of War“. In the air, Leyu “Sunpyre“ Yoshida, the believed-to-be-dead sister of former Big Hero Six member and Alpha Flight ally Sunfire throws about her mutant flame powers, telling the new Puck to hold still. As Zuzha uses her acrobatic skills to jump around the picnic site, she shouts ‘Right. So you can turn me into a “to go“ order of friend shrimp, eh? Thanks not!’

In amongst the crowd of onlookers is man with black hair and a grey stripe running through it…uh-oh! Who’s This? As if Alpha Flight doesn’t have its hands full already!

The Ebon Samurai soon finds a large melon smashed against his face. ‘A melon? Really?’ he asks Nemesis who as she flips herself up and out from under his power tells him to consider himself lucky, as she made a pledge to Sasquatch that she will not take lives as a matter of course. Hiro stands over the dazed and fallen body of Yukon Jack as he tells Honey Lemon and Baymax to stop wasting time, as they need to take the newbies down.

Honey Lemon smiles as she stands over Major Mapleleaf as the cute anime creatures unsheathe deadly claws and jagged teeth and begin to munch their way through Lou’s costume. ‘Really Miss...err…Lemon…’ Lou begins as he tells Honey Lemon that as a duly appointed member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the wilful and wanton destruction of his uniform constitutes as a crime against a national landmark. Referring to the possibility of seeing Lou naked, Honey Lemon declares ‘That remains to be seen, hm?’

Zuzha runs up to the man she has a crush on and asks her if she doesn’t have enough men in her own country to hit on, so she has to come and pick up on one of hers. Honey Lemon is knocked out as Sunpyre flies up behind Zuzha, exclaiming ‘My beloved’ only to be thrown against a tree by Centennial, who in reply to her comment declares that he is not going to ask. Mapleleaf stands up, his costume torn and revealing much of his body,. He declares that this is humiliating. ‘Maybe not as humiliating as you think, eh?’ exclaims Zuzha as she checks him out.

Baymax leans down on Sasquatch and tells him that for a beast about to have his head handed to him, he seems in surprisingly good spirits. Smiling, Sasquatch tells Baymax that sometimes it is not the beast you need to worry about, but the man, and transforms back into his human form, revealing a geyser that was hidden by Sasquatch’s larger body. Noticing the geyser, Baymax asks if this is going to sting before being covered in the steam as Walt gets up and in answer to Baymax’s question says ‘lots’.

As Sasquatch joins his team he tells the Alphans to stand down, as everything is fine and Alpha observe as all of Big Hero six begin to come round. Zuzha asks the Japanese Heroes if they are okay as Yukon Jack asks them if they have come to their senses. ‘What? How did -? Canada?’ mumbles the Ebon Samurai as Sasquatch holds up a small device and informs Hiro that someone must have placed it inside of them, and used it to mind control Big Hero Six into attacking Alpha Flight. Hiro declares that this is fascinating and tells Langkowski that with his permission he will examine it as soon as his team returns to Japan. Walt begins to tells Hiro that he is welcome to, when someone makes their way through the crowd, calling to Sasquatch and telling him that he needs his help.

‘FLASHBACK???’ cries Sasquatch as the white and black clad man emerges from the crowd. Yukon Jack asks Sasquatch if he knows this man, as Gardner Monroe splutters ‘P-please, y-you’re my only hope…only hope’.

Soon, at what must be the coolest headquarters on the planet…(if you take into account Alpha Flight commandeered the country-spanning alien ship originally designed to dominate all life on planet Earth! Like you see that every day in the X-Men? I don’t think so!)

Behind a screen, Mapleleaf declares that this feels wrong, as the role of Major Mapleleaf is steeped in tradition, he tells Zuzha, adding that he represents a standard that people can get behind. ‘Emphasis on behind, eh?’ remarks Zuzha as she checks out Mapleleaf’s butt while he gets changed. Emerging from behind the screen, Lou stands in his new modified costume, exclaiming that it does look snappish, but he thinks his father might not approve of him updating the uniform. Eye’s still fixated on Mapleleaf’s butt, Zuzha tells Lou that his father doesn’t have to wear it, and asks him to trust her when she tells him he looks great.

Looking over his shoulder to the new maple leaf printed on his back, Lou supposes that it wouldn’t hurt for him to wear it for a little while, as Zuzha…eyes now fixated at his crotch reminds him that it is made of unstable molecules, so a ‘toss in Langkowski’s quantum washing machine and you’ll look you old self’. Zuzha then tells Lou that if he doesn’t like it, he can trust her when she says she will be the first one to get him out of it.

Soon, Lou and Zuzha enter the meeting room where the rest of the team and Flashback are seated around a large conference table. Everyone stares at Mapleleaf’s new costume, and Yukon Jack jokingly asks him if he was ill served by his tailors. Lou replies that it was a gift as Zuzha points out to Yukon that he is wearing fur “depends“. Centennial asks what everyone’s obsession about Mapleleaf’s is and declares ‘We’re Canadian, okay. We get it’.

Sasquatch asks Mapleleaf and Zuzha to take a seat and introduces everyone to their guest - Gardner Monroe a.k.a. “Flashback“. Walt informs everyone that Flashback possesses the ability to temporarily summon future versions of himself into the present, adding that he is formerly of the team Omega Flight, and prior to that an affiliate of the original Alpha Flight. ‘“Omega“? Seriously?’ asks Centennial as Yukon Jack asks how many Flight’s there be.

Sasquatch declares that there is currently just one, but that years ago, under the evil auspices of a Roxxon employee known as Jerry Jaxon, Guardian was lured to the United States where he ultimately summoned Alpha Flight into pitched battle with its opposite number, a team of mostly mind controlled members of Beta and Gamma Flight’s. Frowning, Gardner admits he is sorry for ever joining Omega Flight, because not long after that, he watched one of his future selves get killed.

Flashback asks the Alphans if they can imagine knowing the exact moment and circumstance of their death - to have witnessed it with their own eyes. ‘Not a real life motivator, let me tell you’.

(Flashback - sometime after Alpha Flight (first series) #28)

One night, it occurred to him as he sat at the end of a dock as the sun set on the horizon, that since he was killed in his costume, if he never wore the costume again, then he wouldn’t be killed. He burned it on the edge of the dock.

(Flashback, circa Alpha Flight (third series) #8)

Since swearing off ever becoming Flashback again, Gardner felt that he was safe, that he had escaped his destiny. He was fine for several years, until yesterday morning - when he woke up, and in his bathroom, hanging on the shower rail was his Flashback costume.


The former actor declares that apparently the universe is not so easily thwarted, and that no matter what he does he keeps winding up in the negative Flashback costume. He fears that his past self is about to summon his future self to his past self’s present - where he is going to witness his death in the past.

‘Lord, I’m getting a headache just hearing about this!’ mutters Centennial with his head in his hands. Nemesis declares that she also doesn’t appreciate where this is going, as Mapleleaf examines the notes he has been taking: ‘Okay, wait, wait, I think I got it. „Present Future Self summoned by Past…“ Yes, I think…hold on. Hmm’.

‘DEAR HEAVENS MAN! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME! YOU’VE GOT TO GET THE REAL ALPHA FLIGHT TO GO BACK IN TIME AND STOP ME FROM BEING KILLED!’ screams Flashback as he tugs on Sasquatch’s fur. ‘Um, this is the “real“ Alpha Flight’ replies Walter, before telling Gardner that if it even were scientifically possible to travel time, it would not be prudent, as manipulating the time/space continuum is a dangerous proposition. Walt reminds Gardner that the truth of the matter is that he has already died in the past before he even arrived here - but before he can continue, Flashback cuts him off, voice raised again as he points out he hasn’t died, as he is right here, right now.

Flashback exclaims that it is not like they are going back in time to change something that already happened, adding that if they don’t go back it makes them accomplices in his murder. Sasquatch frowns, telling Gardner that he makes an intriguing point, but informing him that they cannot go back in time - literally - as they are Alpha Flight, not the Fantastic Four, meaning they don’t do the whole “time travel“ thing as they do not have those kinds of resources.

Nemesis declares that it is not necessarily true, as her blade is magical - ‘Magic trumps science’. Nemesis tells everyone that as much as she is loath to admit it, Scell and she can arrange it. ‘You, um, named you blade?’ asks Zuzha, amused. Contemplative, Sasquatch supposes that if they were to prevent Omega Flight from ever confronting Alpha Flight, they could prevent the death of James MacDonald Hudson, the original Guardian. He exclaims that it could be a win-win for everyone.

‘Sort of…um…not killing two birds with one stone?’ asks Lou. ‘If I only knew then what I know now…’ mutters Centennial as Zuzha asks ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’. ‘Okay!’ declares Nemesis before shoving her sword into Flashback, telling her team not to say she didn’t warn them. Sasquatch quickly shoves Nemesis against a wall and reminds her they agreed to save him, ‘and you go and kill him?’ ‘Bunny. Fluffy bunny’ mutters the dazed Nemesis. Before telling Sasquatch to put him down and telling him that he knows her blade is enchanted.

Nemesis reveals that the only way her blade can reach the destination in the past is with the blood of someone who had been there. Sasquatch asks if the operation is a success with the patient’s death. Nemesis replies that it is not, and reveals that one of them has to travel into the past and prevent James MacDonald Hudson from taking his job at Roxxon in New York, meaning he will never meet Omega Flight and Flashback will never have to summon his future self and get murdered. ‘So technically I didn’t kill anyone - technically’.

Centennial exclaims that this is making less sense by the moment as Major Mapleleaf salutes Sasquatch and reminds everyone that James MacDonald Hudson had an office in the Parliament Building before his departure, and declares that since he was practically raised in those hallowed halls, he volunteers for the assignment, ‘Sir!’. Walt tells Lou to lose the “sir“ and tells him that he thinks he is the best candidate, but before he can finish his sentence, Nemesis rushes up to him and slices into him, telling him that it only hurts for a moment.

Zuzha leaps onto Nemesis ‘You lying psychotic dead nothing faced witch!’ she screams as she pulls her arm around Nemesis, who tells Zuzha to unhand her, or else she will remove her hands herself - at the wrist. Sasquatch separates the women. ‘Bring it on you frigid Gwyneth wannabe!’ shouts Zuzha, as Sasquatch declares that this is accomplishing nothing. ‘Nope, nothing’ remarks Rutherford as he checks Mapleleaf for a heartbeat. ‘Yum, that be something thou dost not see every day!’ exclaims Yukon Jack.

Sasquatch tells Nemesis that she cannot simply go about killing anyone who suits her. ‘Least of all the hottest member of the team!’ snaps Zuzha. Nemesis sighs before asking why it is that this is so hard for mortals to grasp. She declares that if they stop Flashback from dying, he doesn’t come to them for help, meaning she doesn’t kill him and is therefore not required to send Mapleleaf back in time to stop Hudson from going to New York. ‘Honestly! Maybe it would help if I wrote this down or something!’

Elsewhere…sort of…Major Mapleleaf stands over a grovelling man and asks him how many times he has to tell him not to haunt his childhood memories. ‘Talk about arrested development!’ Kneeling before Lou is his father, Louis Sadler, who tells his son that he is sorry. Nemesis walks up behind Mapleleaf, who turns around and asks her what she is doing here - and where here is. Lou then asks Nemesis how it is she has figured out that his greatest fear is that someone will learn that his father, the “hero“ was actually just a bitter old drunk. ‘Ha ha! I’m out of here!’ exclaims the original Mapleleaf as he runs away from his son.

Nemesis puts a hand on Mapleleaf’s face and tells him to rest easy, and reveals that this is a weigh station, somewhere between life and death. She informs Lou that once the time travel problem is solved, this will never have happened, no one will ever know what happened here. Lou solemnly replies ‘Oh, okay’, as Nemesis says to herself ‘No one, but me’.

Soon… Or simultaneously…(who can keep track?) Major Mapleleaf arrives in the past. ‘Wow!’ says Lou as he looks at Parliament Building. Walking up the steps he reminds himself that this is his first solo assignment and tells himself not to fudge it up. He walks down a corridor, knowing that #627 is the office and work space laboratory of Dr. James MacDonald Hudson. Lou opens the door, ‘As I live and breathe! It’s you!’ exclaims Lou. Mac looks at Mapleleaf and tells him that he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk right now.

Seeing that Mac is packing his office up, Mapleleaf informs the handsome scientist that he knows all that, which is why he is here. Lou then begins the tale, informing Mac that Dr. Langkowski dispatched him here from the future in order that he might be able to convince him not to leave for New York where he is about to start what he believes to be a legitimate job with the Roxxon Corporation, but it is actually a trap set for him by his former employer, Jerry Jaxon, which will end up in his death when the power pod explodes on the Guardian suit.

Mac looks at Mapleleaf bewildered and asks him how he knew that he was leaving for the States, or that Roxxon made him the surprise offer…Mac then realizes that Mapleleaf is indeed from the future. Lou asks Mac if he wont go to New York after all, and he and Mac shake hands as Mac admits that deep down he always felt the offer was a little sudden, and informs him he will not go to the States. Mac asks Mapleleaf what his name is, and Lou introduces himself as “Lou Sadler Junior“ as he declares he is glad to help and tells Mac to have a pleasant life.

Leaving Parliament Building, Major Mapleleaf thinks to himself that it went easier than he thought it would and wonders how long he has to wait until he disappears, on account he was never sent back here in the first place. ‘Math is hard!’

In the future / now: Walt has been drawing on a white board as he tells Centennial it is a rather simple equation, as Rutherford, sitting by the covered bodies of Flashback and Mapleleaf tells Walt that it may be a simple equation scientifically, but reminds Walt that he used magic. Sitting up on some equipment is the young Plodex alien that has been following Alpha around since they rescued him, but no one seems to be taking much notice of him. Zuzha folds her arms and growls at Nemesis who snaps back ‘Yeah, I’m shaking’.

Yukotujakzurjimozoata walks up to Zuzha and calling her “womangirl“ tells her he wants a word with her, and reveals that in recent days he has spied that she possesses enough of the finer qualities of womanhood. Zuzha just cracks up laughing and tells Yukon Jack that he almost had her going. ‘Yuk, eh!’ she adds as Yukon Jack looks on, rather forlorn.

Suddenly, a loud rumbling occurs, and Walt declares that it sounds like a bionantachian E.M pulse. ‘Aye?’ ‘Eh?’ ‘You’re kidding right?’ ‘Oy’. Remark the Alphans before they follow Walt outside into the snow - where flying towards Alpha Flight and their new headquarters are dozens of Box robots. Everyone looks on nervously as the robots approach, as Nemesis says ‘Three words: Told. You. So.’

Next Issue: Things get even crazier! More Time Travel! More People Dying! THE ORIGINAL ALPHA FLIGHT! Oh yeah - and the end of the world as we know it! Hoo Hah!

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


Baymax, Ebon Samurai, GoGo Tomago, Hiro, Honey Lemon, Sunpyre II (All Big Hero Six)

In Flashback


In Flashback / Illustrative Image


Box II, Flashback, Wildchild (all Omega Flight)

In Weigh Station (Between Life and Death)

Original Major Mapleleaf

In The Past

James MacDonald Hudson

Story Notes: 

The cover of this issue is a parody / tribute to the classic Uncanny X-Men #141, “Days of Future Past“.

Big Hero Six first appeared in the Sunfire and Big Hero Six limited series, before teaming up with Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight (second series) #17.

The Sunpyre that appears this issue is actually an alternate reality counter part of Leyu Yashida, who was murdered in Uncanny X-Men #404. This marks her first appearance. However, for some time it was assumed she was a resurrected Leyu, until it was mentioned in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Teams 2005, that she is an alternate reality Sunpyre. Not considered canon until it is confirmed in a comic, that confirmation came some time later, in the Big Hero 6 limited series, where it was revealed her real name is Lumina of Corona.

GoGo Tomago is incorrectly addressed as “ Go Go Tamayo“ throughout this issue.

First appearance of the Ebon Samurai, who is replacing Silver Samurai who died in Elektra #4.

Flashback was a disgruntled member of Beta Flight who joined the original Omega Flight. [Alpha Flight (first series) #1, 11-12]. However on the villainous teams last mission together, one of his future selves was killed. [Alpha Flight (first series) #28] Flashback then went to prison, where as revealed by Diamond Lil, one morning he was just no longer there. The widely believed theory was that Flashback’s past had caught up to him and he was pulled back to the Edmonton Mall and killed. This issue reveals otherwise, though as to what happened to him in prison, presumably he was released before Diamond Lil and Wildchild and not required to join the new Gamma Flight. [Alpha Flight (first series) #76]

Alpha Flight took over the Plodex base in Alpha Flight (third series) #6.

The confrontation between Alpha and Omega Flight’s took place in Alpha Flight (first series) #11-12.

To see how much of an abusive old loser the original Major Mapleleaf actually was, check out Alpha Flight (first series) #106 and Alpha Flight (third series) #4.

The scenario in which Flashback walks into the bathroom and finds his costume hanging there is a humorous take on possibly the worst retcon in TV history, in which 31 episodes, including many deaths were revealed to be a dream. The series of course was the long running Dallas, and after the revelation more than an entire season was a dream, the characters were rebooted to their pre-dream season status.
Thanks to Peter Luzifer for the info on Dallas.

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