Alpha Flight (4th series) #0.1

Issue Date: 
June 2011
Story Title: 
Unity: Just Watch Us

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Ben Oliver & Dan Green (artists), Frank Martin (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Phil Jimenez & Frank D’Amato (cover artists), Taylor Esposito (production), Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

In Montreal, RCMP officer Anne McKenzie deals with an aggressive civilian while Canadian citizens queue up to vote in the election, when suddenly, the lights go out. In Ottawa, Guardian and Vindicator watch an election speech by Gary Cody, leader of the Unity Party, and briefly discuss their daughter, before they receive a priority call from Department H. At the Grand Lac Victoria Indian Settlement Hospital, Shaman is performing surgery on a patient, when he too receives the call from Department H, so his spirit form departs, leaving his physical form to finish the surgery. At the La Grande Dam Power Station, on the St Lawrence River, Citadel is causing trouble, as he spouts anti-Unity messages. Aurora and Sasquatch arrive on scene, and engage Citadel in combat. Vindicator soon arrives and joins in the battle. The trio manage to keep Citadel at bay until Marrina appears and captures him so that Shaman’s spirit can enter Citadel’s mind, where he learns that Citadel took out Montreal’s power grids as means to another end, and the real danger, lies elsewhere. Back in Montreal, in the apartment Northstar and his boyfriend, Kyle, share together, Northstar ignores the summons from Department H. Kyle encourages Northstar to go and help, so Northstar leaves to do one sweep of the city, telling Kyle to stay inside, before he heads off into the dark city. At AmCan, a SWAT team arrives, while Guardian hovers overhead - he is met by Northstar, who berates him for coming to assist AmCan when the rest of the city is in danger. They argue, before the apparent terrorist within AmCan emerges - its Alpha Flight’s former ward, Persuasion! She uses her power to command the SWAT team to fire at Northstar and Guardian. Guardian easily deflects the bullets, while Northstar engages the SWAT team in combat, as Persuasion, carrying a stolen database, which she claims has the truth about the Unity Party on it, from AmCann, makes her escape, by controlling dozens of nearby civilians, forcing them to climb together and act as one being - including Kyle, who had come to take photographs of Northstar. Guardian and Northstar find themselves unsure of how to handle the massive being, while Persuasion discovers a parking ticket on her getaway vehicle - and Anne McKenzie standing nearby. However, Anne McKenzie is no ordinary RCMP officer, and as Snowbird, transforms into several creatures, so Persuasion cannot take control of her mind, and eventually, Snowbird defeats Persuasion. The rest of Alpha Flight arrives on scene, and Vindicator is saddened to see what has become of Persuasion. She tells Guardian that she is sick of losing her children, and as Agent Brown, Department H’s new liaison, arrives, Persuasion is taken into custody, and Alpha Flight, minus Northstar, who insists he is not part of the team, pose for a publicity photo. Northstar finds Kyle, who is fine, after being controlled by Persuasion. They share a kiss, before Kyle realizes that he forgot to vote in the election - and they watch a television which announces that Gary Cody and his Unity party won the election by landslide vote - and Gary is looking very pleased with himself….

Full Summary: 

Montreal, where a pro-Unity Party poster lines a building. Suddenly, ‘Fascist!’ someone calls out. ‘Please, sir. We’re Canadian’ an attractive young blonde woman replies as she stands next to the man’s car. She is a Royal Canadian Mountie and is writing him a parking ticket. ‘You can’t ticket me! This is voter suppression!’ the man exclaims. ‘And that is a fire hydrant’ the young woman points out. The man asks the woman what is wrong with her. He declares that this country is going down the toilet. ‘Fifteen percent unemployment, inflation out of control - and you’re harassing the patriots trying to change things?’ he asks as he motions to a queue of Canadian citizens waiting to cast their vote. ‘Just move your car, sir. Polls stay open ‘til eight’ the young woman replies as she hands the angry man his parking ticket.

‘“Anne McKenzie”, huh? Well, commandant, your superiors will be hearing about your Gestapo tactics!’ the man declares. Anne begins to walk away and tells the man that he can contest the infraction by mailing the ticket to the municipal court within thirty days. But the man suddenly rips the ticket up. ‘Do you see this? Do you see what I’m doing? I’m taking a stand for the people!’ he declares, when suddenly, there is a BRRRZZZT and the city is plunged into darkness. ‘Hey! What happened to the lights?’ the man wonders. ‘Dammit…’ Anne whispers.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, The side of a small truck has a television screen on it, which is playing an important speech - from Gary Cody, the leader of the Unity Party. ‘The right has no ideas. The left has no guts. And so the country’s been driven into a ditch. It’s time for a new way…the Unity way!’ Gary proclaims. Standing in a nearby park, two very important people are watching Gary’s speech. ‘Tired of hearing that guy flapping his yap everywhere I go. Promising everything to everyone, just like always’ declares James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson - better known as Guardian. ‘It’s just Gary, Mac. And for the most part, he delivered’ Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator tells her husband. ‘Except when it mattered’ Mac replies.

Looking at a woman and her child playing nearby, Heather assures Mac that they will get their daughter back, she knows it, before suggesting that they talk about something pleasant. ‘It is our day off -’ she begins, before the two Canadian super heroes both hear a communications alarm sound. Heather sighs and mutters that she had to jinx it. They remove their jackets, revealing their red and white costumes underneath. ‘Department H, this is Heather Hudson. Priority Call A received’ Heather reports back, and as they take to the sky, she announces that they are en route now.

At that moment, inside the Grand Lac Victoria Indian Settlement Hospital, several nurses and other medical professionals hover around a very talented surgeon, ‘All right, Rita. Clamp that down’ the surgeon orders. ‘Yes, Dr Twoyoungmen’ the nurse replies. Suddenly, the power goes out. Dr Michael Twoyoungmen looks up and tells the staff not to worry, as the emergency generators should kick in in sixty seconds. ‘Oh for the love of…this is the third blackout this year!’ Rita complains. Suddenly, Dr Twoyoungmen receives a signal - the same signal that Heather and Mac heard. His eyes glaze over as he replies ‘Very well. Shaman responding, Department H’.

‘And now Ottawa calls. And, as usual, the Rez can wait’ Rita mutters. Shaman informs the medical team that he suspects this is not your garden variety blackout, and that he has to step out momentarily. ‘Wait - you what? In the middle of open heart surgery?’ Rita shouts. Shaman tells her that there is no need for alarm, as his body will complete the operation during his spirit’s absence. ‘Don’t think I’m not reporting this to the union’ Rita warns Shaman as his spirit leaves his body, while his physical form asks for the clamp.

At the La Grande Dam Power Station, at the St Lawrence River, a civilian is confronting some soldiers, ‘The lights are going out all over Quebec! And they’re staying off - ‘til the truth about Unity is illuminated!’ the villain declares. Gun shots are heard, while flying towards the damn are Aurora a.k.a. Jeanne-Marie Beaubier and Dr Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski. Aurora keeps the handsome Walter aloft as she informs him that the terrorist’s name is Citadel, an anti-government fanatic in an adamantium exoskeleton. ‘Wow, Aurora. Actually reading “H”s’ briefing papers these days?’ Walter asks, smiling. Aurora ignores the question and suggests that they start with a drill-and-punch, just to see what he’s made of.

‘I like this new you. Efficient. Authoritative. Masterful’ Walter replies. Jeanne-Marie tells him that it is called therapy, and that he should try it. ‘Love to! Tonight at eight, my place?’ Walter suggests. Jeanne-Marie tells Walter that she is sorry, but doctor’s orders are that she is supposed to drop her baggage. With that, she lets go of Walter, who is wearing a specially-designed jumpsuit to protect from the super-speed that Aurora travels at. Walter begins tugging at the jumpsuit as he shifts into his Sasquatch form, and shouts ‘I…love…this…job!’ as he lands on the surprised Citadel, smacking the villain into the ground.

‘You celebrate your enslavement, Sasquatch?’ Citadel asks as he punches Sasquatch off of him. ‘While your government is being stolen beneath your nose?’. Suddenly, Aurora lands beside Citadel and casting a blinding light, she remarks that the property damage is bad enough. ‘Do you have to bore us with politics, too?’ Citadel gains the upper hand and tells Aurora that if she was just stupid, she could be forgiven. ‘But wilful ignorance?’ he asks as her grabs her and wraps a hand around her neck. ‘That’s a crime’. Jeanne-Marie warns Citadel that if he was not wearing that armor, she would cut off his hand.

Aurora suddenly speeds up, and liquifies Citadel’s hand, causing the villain to cry out in pain. Aurora takes flight, and Citadel tells her to run, to stay blind, and that when the truth comes out - ‘You’ll be reading it in prison!’ Vindicator announces as she attacks Citadel with a blast of energy. ‘You’d like that, eh, Vindicator?’ Citadel asks as he turns around, informing her that the exoskeleton that her government grafted onto him grounds him against even her blasts. He leaps towards her, and declares that it is such a pleasure, using the regime’s own weapons. ‘Uh-oh’ Heather utters, ‘To bring down it’s champions!’ Citadel booms as he smacks into Heather, but as she is knocked aside, Heather is picked up by Aurora.

Heather tells Aurora that she is fine, and calls out to Sasquatch, alerting him to a nearby turbine. ‘What, this old thing?’ Walter asks as he rips the turbine from its mooring - and throws it at Citadel. ‘Fools! You can’t crush me!’ Citadel replies as he swats the turbine away with ease, shattering it. ‘Good point’ Heather remarks. ‘So we’ll just have to sweep you off your feet’ Heather adds, while telling Marrina to have fun. Controlling the water from the nearby river, Marrina, sporting a new look, enters the dam, and does indeed sweep Citadel off his feet. Marrina climbs onto Citadel’s shoulders. ‘Tough shell. Squishy center. Come with me, land mollusk’ she tells him. ‘No! Get off of -’ Citadel exclaims.

Shamans’ spirit appears, and Heather tells Citadel that if he has a problem with the government, there is an easier way to change it. ‘It’s called an election. Y’know, like the one you’re trying to disrupt?’ Heather adds, before telling Shaman that he is up. The water swirls around Citadel as Shaman’s spirit hovers over him. ‘Hey, Indian! What has the regime done for your people? You should understand!’ Citadel exclaims. ‘What I understand is the nearly overwhelming desire to punch the hell out of anyone who tells “Hey, Indian” at me’ Shaman replies, before remarking that, for the moment, he will just probe into Citadel’s darkest depths. Shaman soon learns that Citadel taking out Montreal’s power grid was but means to another end. ‘The real danger, my friends…lies back in the city!’ Twoyoungmen announces.

At that moment it. ‘You got it, didn’t you, Jean-Paul? You got the “ping”’ remarks Kyle as he stands and gazes out the window of their high-rise apartment. ‘How would you know? You can’t hear it’ Northstar tells his boyfriend. ‘Because you made a face like you bit down on something bad’ Kyle replies. ‘Then you can guess whether or not I’m going to answer it’ Northstar replies as he continues to read a newspaper by candlelight. Gazing out the window, Kyle announces that he hears sirens, and tells Northstar that it looks like there is a major fire down the block on Notre-Dame. ‘I bet there’s looting’ Kyle adds. ‘All the more reason to stay here with you, Kyle’ Northstar tells his boyfriend, reminding him that he got this place in his hometown to get away from super-craziness.

Kyle goes over and wraps his arms around Jean-Paul, telling him that is very logical, very sensible, with only one problem. ‘Super heroes are hot’ Kyle exclaims. ‘Groupie’ Jean-Paul smiles. An instant later, Northstar’s suit has vanished and he stands wearing his costume, informing Kyle that her will do one sweep of the city - just one. ‘Yah!’ Kyle exclaims, while telling Northstar that even when he is expecting it, he cannot get used to his super speed. They go out onto the balcony, and Northstar tells Kyle that he will be back in twenty minutes, and that he needs to stay inside. ‘No way! I’m still your PR rep! I need photos of you in action for the press file!’ Kyle replies as he waves at Northstar, who flies off into the darkness.

Meanwhile, at the AmCan offices, a SWAT team has surrounded the building. A chopper hovers in the air, while someone reports to Guardian that motion sensors indicate the bogie is on its way out, with an ETA of two minutes. Guardian calls the officer Sergeant Mercier and tells him that he is ready to move on his signal. Suddenly, ‘Look at you, Hudson. Literally draped in the flag, “guarding” the corporate headquarters of the largest energy conglomerate in the country’ Northstar exclaims. Jean-Paul then sarcastically tells Mac that he is glad to see the rich and powerful are first protected in any crisis as he hovers alongside Mac, arms folded across his chest, unimpressed.

‘Hey, Northstar. You refused my offer to rejoin Alpha Flight. Don’t you think that means you gave up the right to criticize policy?’ Mac replies. ‘No. Kind of the opposite, actually’ Jean-Paul replies, matter-of-factly. ‘Look, you know I’ve had my own problems with the Department. But I’ve chosen to change the system from within’ Mac tells Jean-Paul. ‘Good luck’ Northstar tells Mac as he hovers alongside him. ‘And far be it from me to contradict your precious self-righteousness with facts - but the police have located a super-perp within AmCan that may be the source of all this -’ Guardian begins, when suddenly, one of the SWAT team shouts ‘Lock and load! Here he comes!’

But “he” is actually a “she” - a purple-skinned woman, armed with a machine gun and carrying a server. The SWAT team calls out to her, both in French and English, ordering to her drop her weapons and lay down on the ground. ‘Mmm. Pass’ the young woman replies. ‘Instead, this!’ she exclaims as she uses her powers on the SWAT team, ordering them to take their weapons and point them to the sky. Mind controlled, the SWAT team all have purple skin now, too, and they do as they are commanded. ‘Don’t tell me that’s little Kara Kilgrave!’ Northstar asks. ‘They grow up so fast’ Guardian remarks as they look down at their ally - now apparently former ally. ‘And now down Alpha Flight!’ Kara, known as Persuasion and formerly Purple Girl, exclaims as she rushes away in the other direction, dressed in a blue and green spandex costume, with a trench coat wrapped around her.

‘I am not a member of Alpha Flight! Why does everyone just assume that?’ Jean-Paul declares. ‘Ah, don’t fight it, Jean-Paul’ Mac tells his friend as he blocks the dozens of bullets with an electro-magnetic shield. ‘See all the fun you’ve been missing?’ Mac remarks as the bullets bounce back at the SWAT team, who are protected by their armor. Northstar speeds down to the SWAT team and engages them in physical combat, while replying to Guardian: ‘Oh, yes - being shot at as a “national hero” when not being spat on as a mutant!’ Jean-Paul replies, before remarking ‘Though…if we beat up les blues more often…’ his voice trails off.

Guardian radios Heather, and informs her that he is in pursuit of Citadel’s accomplice - Kara Kilgrave - who is fleeing northeast on foot down Sainte-Catherine. ‘Be advised -’ Mac begins, but Heather interrupts: ‘Wait. What? Kara - Purple Girl? From Beta Flight?’ Heather exclaims. Mac replies that he thinks they will have to call her Purple Woman, from now on, but yes, that is her. ‘This - I don’t believe - there has to be some kind of explanation -’ Heather declares.

Down below, Kara dashes through the crowd, ‘You. You. You’ she exclaims as she puts several under he spell - including Kyle, who was amongst the crowd taking photos of Northstar! Mac tells Heather that he doesn’t know what the explanation is, and reminds her that she has had more contact with the trainees than he has. ‘Just be advised as Alpha approaches the city to stay out of range of her pheromone power’ Mac reminds his wife, before announcing that they have got to figure out how to get close enough to lower the boom. ‘Be as one!’ Persuasion suddenly shouts, and several dozen civilians begin climbing onto each other. Guardian begins to suggest that Shaman might be able to assist, when suddenly, ‘CANADA WANTS UNITY, GUARDIAN?’ Persuasion shouts. ‘I’LL SHOW YOU SOME UNITY!’ she declares as the dozens of civilians have formed one large being - and race towards Northstar and Guardian.

‘Kyle!’ Northstar gasps as he sees his boyfriend as part of the being. ‘Hudson, be careful, that’s my -’ Jean-Paul begins as he holds Mac back, but Mac replies ‘Of course, Jean-Paul. Just get out of my -’, but it’s too late, as the large mass of civilians smacks into the two heroes, knocking them aside.

Kara rushes towards her getaway vehicle, only to find a ticket stuck to the window. ‘Who gives me a !@#$% ticket?’ she shouts. Suddenly, Anne McKenzie appears, and informs Persuasion that if she wishes to contest the alleged infraction, she has thirty days. ‘Have you lost your mind?’ Kara asks, not recognizing who Anne really is. ‘We took out an entire city’s freaking power grid to unlock security on the AmCan mainframe room! The data on this server proves what Unity really is! People deserve the truth!’ she exclaims. ‘You think I’m going to let some overzealous meter maid stop me?’ Kara asks, before using her pheremone power: ‘Take your ticket book and shove it up your -’ she tells Anne - but Anne vanishes, replaced by a polar bear!

‘Ahh - I mean - rip your own throat out with -’ Kara declares, but the polar bear morphs into a snow owl. ‘Your wings! Your wings can’t -’ Kara exclaims, but the owl morphs into a seal. ‘Gahh - transforming too fast - too many minds - can’t -’ Kara shouts as the seal gives way to the form of a small lizard - before the goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird, transforms into her default form and punches Kara in the face, knocking her out. Snowbird looks down at Persuasion, as Vindicator and Shaman’s spirit arrive on scene. ‘Impressive’ Shaman tells Snowbird, who replies that it was child’s play, pointing out that a prairie skink does not have the higher brain functions Persuasion’s pheromones could affect.

Vindicator picks up the server, and exclaims ‘Kara - you plunged an entire province into chaos over this? How could you?’ Mac goes over to his wife and asks her if she is all right. ‘She was my student once. I’m just…tired…tired of losing my children’ Heather replies as she and Mac look closely at each other. ‘Ah, Heather…’ Mac whispers, before Agent Jeff Brown approaches them and informs them that Department H will take it from here. Heather tells Agent Brown to be gentle with Persuasion. ‘She used to be one of us’ Heather declares. As Kara is loaded into a Department H transport, Agent Brown tells Heather that Persuasion will not be able to tell the difference between him and her own mother. ‘Ah - hell. Poor choice of words…sorry’ Agent Brown mutters. ‘Kill yourself -’ Kara begins to say to one of the paramedics. ‘Nighty-night!’ the paramedic replies as he injects her with a drug that knocks her out. Agent Brown tells Heather to let Department H take care of this. ‘You guys go do what you do best…and be adored!’ he exclaims.

Shortly, Heather, Mac, Snowbird, Sasquatch, Aurora, Twoyoungmen and Marrina are gathered for a team photograph in front of several cameras. Suddenly, Martina pulls the finger at one of the cameras that was focussing in on her: ‘What’s that? Gotta have pictures of the freak, huh? Yeah, that’s right. I’m an alien - and proud of it - bit me, Earth media!’ she shouts.

Nearby, paramedics have set up emergency tents to treat those injured in Persuasion’s attack. ‘Kyle! You’re all right!’ Northstar exclaims as he drops down beside his boyfriend. ‘Thanks to you - and Alpha -’ Kyle begins, but Northstar declares that if it wasn’t for Alpha Flight, he would not have been out here in the first place. ‘Jean-P -’ Kyle begins, but Northstar interrupts again: ‘Listen to me! I don’t care about the fame or the adrenaline rush. Or politics’ he exclaims, telling Kyle that he just wants to be with him. ‘You’re the only cause worth fighting for’ Northstar announces. ‘Wow. Major boyfriend points’ Kyle replies, before they kiss passionately. Breaking, they turn and look at a nearby television monitor, which depicts Gary Cody, looking very proud of himself. Kyle tells Northstar that in all the hubbub, he realized he forgot to vote - and a notice flashes across the monitor: Unity wins in landslide….

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Guardian, Marrina, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Vindicator II (all Alpha Flight)

Northstar (former member of Alpha Flight)

Persuasion / Purple Girl (former member of Beta Flight)


Gary Cody

Agent Jeff Brown


Rita and other medical staff at the reservation

Various and numerous civilians

SWAT team

Department H personnel


Story Notes: 

This issue takes place before Alpha Flight (4th series) #1.

Snowbird was originally given the guise of “Anne McKenzie” (misspelt “Mackenzie” this issue), an RCMP officer to help her adjust to human life. She stopped working for the RCMP many years ago, and in recent times has been portrayed as fully adjusted to human life, and sometimes not interested in human life. Her reason for re-joining the RCMP remains unknown.

Gary Cody was Alpha Flight’s very first government liaison. He first appeared in Alpha Flight (1st series) #1, and remained a supporting character until his death in Alpha Flight (1st series) #52. Although he was mostly supportive of Alpha Flight, there was a time when suspicion over took him and he sought to control the team. He supposedly was killed by Bedlam the Brain-Blast.

Guardian and Vindicator’s daughter was born in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #45. When Heather and Mac were killed in New Avengers (1st series) #16, the status of their daughter was unknown. Presumably she was left in the care of one of Heather’s relatives, most likely her parents Claire and Ramsey, or her sister, Becky.

Heather and Mac now appear in matching red and white costumes. Mac was the first to wear the classic red and white flag-style costume. After his death, Heather donned a version of the costume for herself, and wore it for years. When Mac returned to life for the first time, he started wearing the costume with inverted colors. Not long after he died again, Heather donned the Alpha Flight team costume, and then a new green and yellow/white geothermal costume, while Mac returned again and went back to his original white and red costume. They were killed in those costumes. When they returned in Chaos War: Alpha Flight, Heather was once again wearing the classic white and red costume, but now with the geothermal powers. However now, her costume has been re-worked so that the maple leaf design is reversed, so they have “opposite effect” costumes, similar to Northstar and Aurora.

Citadel’s first, and only, appearance prior to this issue was in Wolverine: First Class #5, where an early Alpha Flight squad consisting of Wolverine, Snowbird, Aurora and Shaman battled him. Incidentally, that issue was also written by Fred Van Lente.

Persuasion a.k.a. Purple Girl first appeared in Alpha Flight (1st series) #41. She became the first member of Beta Flight II (consisting of younger super beings, similar in age to the New Mutants). She remained with Beta Flight II for all of its existence, never quite graduating to Alpha Flight. She was last seen in Alpha Flight (1st series) #130, when Alpha Flight and Beta Flight II were disbanded. Her wherabouts since then remain unknown, but it is safe to assume she returned to Etobicoke to live with her mother. It should be noted that Persuasion was slated to appear in Weapon X (2nd series) #5, as one of many mutants headed to the gas chamber in Neverland. A coloring error prevented this from happening. A young woman with purple skin was seen in the Digital Marvel Holiday Special, celebrating the holidays in San Francisco with the X-Men. However she was not identified by name, and if it was Kara, would seem very strange.

Agent Jeff Brown was last seen with the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service (CSIS), handling the affairs of Omega Flight III [Omega Flight #1-5, Marvel Comics Presents (2nd series) #1-12]. His appearance here indicates that the disarray Department H was left in following Alpha Flight’s demise in New Avengers (1st series) #16 has since been cleaned up, and Department H is now functioning once again.

The Alpha Flight logo used this issue is the same logo that was used for Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1-20.

Issue Information: 
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