Alpha Flight (4th series) #3

Issue Date: 
October 2011
Story Title: 
Powered & Dangerous

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Dale Eaglesham (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Sonia Oback (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Phil Jimenez & Frank D’Amato (cover artists), Eaglesham, Hennessy & Oback (variant 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), Louise Stephenson & John Denning (special thanks)

Brief Description: 

Agent Brown informs WalteLangkowski that his frequent transformations into Sasquatch have exacerbated previous brain injuries, and offers to have Unity rebuild him. Marrina undergoes the Unity programming, but resists it, as does Shaman. Guardian frees Snowbird, and Marrina is happily reunited with Puck. However, Aurora - actually Jeanne-Marie - is furious when she is removed from the Unity programming, and lashes out at Northstar. The Department H soldiers attack Alpha Flight, while Sasquatch discovers he cannot transform. After regrouping, the heroes escape the complex beneath Parliament Hill. Vindicator informs Prime Minister Gary Cody that she is ready to go after them, but Cody wants her to stay. Alpha Flight are about to meet up with some local soldiers, but soon discover that they are on the side of Unity, so they take cover in a local pub, where they watch media reports where Gary Cody announces they are wanted for treason, terrorism, murder and attempted murder, while Vindicator reports that she is going to lead a team to bring Alpha Flight down. Northstar wants to call his boyfriend, but Guardian stops him, which is when Sasquatch notices that Aurora is missing. Aurora / Jeanne-Marie is flying to LaVelle in Quebec, where her two personalities are constantly fighting with each other trying to assert their dominance. They battle for some time, until Jeanne-Marie shoves a piece of glass into her side. She makes her way to where Alpha Flight are hiding out, and she tells them that she has never felt better. Guardian informs his friends that they will head to the States to find Wolverine, as they need his help. At Department H, Agent Brown informs the Purple Woman and Citadel that they have been drafted onto the government’s new team, Alpha Strike, while Vindicator arrives at a cave in the Rocky Mountains, where she wakes Ranark the Ravager, and he agrees to join Alpha Strike so that he can get revenge on Alpha Flight!

Full Summary: 

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, ‘Whoa, what a headache’ Dr Walter Langkowski also known as Sasquatch mutters as he rubs his head, sitting on a bed in the infirmary. Director of Department H, Agent Jeff Brown, asks Walter what the last thing he remembers is. Straining, Walt replies that he remembers Canada under attack, and Attuma wiping out Vancouver - but Alpha Flight kicked his ass. ‘But then we came back here for the debrief…’ his voice trails off, before Director Brown informs Walter that upon arrival he collapsed on the flight deck. ‘Really? Wait. There was something else…’ Walter remarks as he tries to remember. But Director Brown tells him that he needs to focus, and motions to scans of Walter’s brain, displayed on a monitor. Director Brown tells Walter that the dark blotches show the hundreds of concussions he suffered from his years in American Pro Football.

‘Why…why am I only just seeing these now, Brown?’ Walter asks, confused. ‘You’re not’ Brown replies, confusing Walter even further. ‘You’re a biophysicist, Walter. You ordered these scans yourself three years ago. You told me this day might come’ Brown claims. Brown remarks that Walter’s frequent transformations into Sasquatch have only exacerbated his condition. ‘I’m not going to sugar-coat this. Without treatment, your cognitive degeneration will grow more and more pronounced. Deepening memory loss, depression, vicious mood swings, until...finally…you’ll cease to be you at all’ Director Brown tells Walter. Walter sees that Brown is smiling and asks ‘What’s with the smile’, to which Brown replies ‘Well, you’re sitting in Department H…and with your consent, we’re going to rebuild you. You’re about to achieve unity, Walter’.

Elsewhere within Department H, beneath Parliament Hill, two scientists are monitoring another member of Alpha Flight - the Plodex alien Marrina. The female scientist tells her male colleague that a candidate for unity should be entirely relaxed and accepting of the procedure. She adds that Marrina has consistently been rated Alpha Flight’s most anti-social and rebellious member. ‘I’m hard pressed to -’ she begins, but the male scientist assures his colleague that she is ready. From inside a cell, Marrina calls out ‘I know you can hear me. All I can say is believe me…you’ve shown me what’s coming. And I want it. I’m ready!’ The male scientist remarks that they were not entirely sure how the psychotropics would work on her alien physiology, but tells his colleague to check out the results. ‘She believes what she’s saying’ he adds. ‘All right. Quickly then, move her to unity chamber 8!’ the female scientist orders.

Two Department H soldiers stand ready to move Marrina, but the male scientist checks some readings and exclaims ‘Who, hang on. Heart rate, endomorphism…everything just went haywire!’ Marrina frowns and snarls ‘Oh, you know us aliens. So tricksy!’

In the chamber where Agent Brown is with Walter, a voice calls out to him, ‘Excuse me, Director Brown…’, to which Brown turns to the door and declares ‘I said not to disturb us…’, but the voice informs him that there has been an escape. Agent Brown steps backwards when he sees a large bull appear in the doorway, but the bull is just mystic smoke, which dissolves as Dr Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen explains that it is he who has escaped, as he smacks Director Brown in the face with a punch. ‘I know you’ve been drugged…but are you too addled to know when you’ve been saved?’ Shaman asks his friend. Walter adjusts his glasses and replies’ Heck no. Just a little surprised to find out my favorite moony man of mysticism actually knows how to throw a punch’.

Elsewhere in the labs, James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian uses his electromagnetic power to break open the tank that Snowbird a.k.a. Narya is being held captive in. Shaman informs Mac over the communicator that Walter is free, and Mac replies’ Great - so’s Snowbird’, to which Shaman tells him to be careful, as she will not react well to imprisonment. ‘Right as usual’ Mac replies as Narya growls and shouts ‘These traitors will learn to fear the gods!’, while Mac tells Shaman that Narya is not the one he is worried about.

‘Marrina! We’re here to rescue you!’ Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier calls out to his former teammate as he and the recently returned Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck stand in the doorway of the chamber. ‘HA!’ Puck laughs as he sees that Marrina has already beaten up the security personnel and the scientists, who all lie motionless around her. ‘Gee. Thanks. It’s the thought that counts’ Marrina remarks, before suddenly, ‘PUCK?! You’re alive!’ she shouts as she races over and lifts her friend into the air. ‘Thanks for noticing, kid. But put me down - I don’t bruise easy, but my dignity does, eh?’ Judd replies. Northstar crouches beside the motionless Department H staff and announces that they are alive. ‘Of course they’re alive. Just with a few scars’ Marrina tells him, grimacing as she declares that the next time they try and break someone, they will remember they are fragile, too.

In the other part of the lab, Mac and Snowbird find themselves under attack by Aurora, who speeds about and knocks them both to the ground. Mac asks her to calm down, and assures her that they are here to save her. Speaking French, Aurora replies ‘Save me? You fool! Unity was going to save me!’. Suddenly, Northstar speeds into the room and tells his sister that Unity were going to dissect her. But Northstar calls his sister Aurora, and she asks, in French, ‘How many times have I asked you not to call me that, Jean-Paul? I’m Jeanne-Marie. Not Aurora!’ she shouts. ‘Damn, Hudson - I warned you about this. Her personality splintering just like -’ Northstar begins, before an explosion smashes open a wall, and Department H soldiers open fire at Alpha Flight, knocking Aurora backwards.

‘Worry about her body splintering!’ Mac tells Northstar, while one of the soldiers orders him to surrender. ‘It’s Sasquatch time!’ Walter exclaims as he and Shaman rush into the room, and Walter lunges at the guards - but his transformation does not occur, and a guard smacks Walter in the face, causing him to fall to the ground. ‘What the hell…my power…I can’t…’ Walter utters. ‘Mortal. Useless’ Snowbird declares before she transforms into the albino Sasquatch form she sometimes assumes. The soldier just screams as he stares up at her.

Suddenly, Puck bounds into the room through a high window, ‘What’d I tell you, Mac?’ Judd asks. ‘The multinationals are in with the saucer people! This is the first step to North American union! Canada will be no more!’ Judd exclaims. ‘Eugene. Look. I know you must have had a rough time in, uh -’ Mac stops himself before he can finish the sentence, but Puck does it for him: ‘Hell’ he tells him. ‘- Wherever you’ve been, but the only alien I see around here I on our side -’ Mac declares, although he may have spoken too soon, as he turns to see Marrina, hanging from an overhead beam, and wrap her legs around two soldiers, banging them together as she shouts Die, human scum!’ ‘- in a manner of speaking’ Mac utters.

Soon, there is massive explosion on the side of Parliament Hill that overlooks the water. Guardian, Puck and Marrina exit the area with ease, while Snowbird, still in her Sasquatch form, clears a path. Northstar carries his unconscious sister, while Shaman hovers in the air, the same hover-spell around Walter. ‘Woo-hoo! Let’s go get sushi and not pay!’ Marrina calls out. Walter tells Michael that he just can’t seem to activate his powers, but that he can still walk. ‘Doctor’s orders’ Shaman replies, pointing out that Walter still seems disorientated.

Nearby, Heather “Vindicator” McNeil Hudson turns to Prime Minister Gary Cody and tells him that she is ready to go after Alpha Flight. ‘No, Vindicator. Unity needs you here…to organize plan B’ Gary replies.

Nearby, in the city, armed forces have gathered, and General Edmundson radios Guardian. ‘Loud and clear, Sir! what’s the sit-rep?’ Mac responds. ’You tell me. We’ve been trying to reach you for hours’ Edmundson replies, explaining that since the attack on St John’s, people have been panicking and rioting across the country. ’Wait, St John’s been attacked?’ Mac asks. ’Where the hell you been, son?’ Edmundson asks. Alpha Flight use various means to fly towards the Major as Mac explains that they ran into some trouble with Department H. The General informs Mac that they have lost contact with Parliament Hill. ‘They’ve gone rogue, General. We’ve got o lock down the whole area’ Mac explains. ‘What? Who’s gone rogue?’ the General asks. Mac replies that Department H and the Prime Minister’s office have, maybe more, as he doesn’t know how far the rot has spread.

The General asks Guardian to slow down and follow his “ping” and get his team down for a debrief. Guardian changes direction and informs Alpha Flight that they have got friends. ‘Follow me!’ Mac orders. Hanging on to Northstar, Judd calls out ‘Hold your horses, ya dumb cub scout - I spent some time with a disappeared Black Ops agent down in the Eighth Circle, and -’ but Puck is interrupted by Northstar who tells him that his crazy talk is getting a little less amusing with each passing hour. ‘All right, fine…’ Judd mutters. ‘Guess I was gonna end up back there soon enough anyway’ he declares as Alpha Flight approach the General - only for a tank to unleash weapon fire at Guardian, knocking him backwards through the air. The General looks up and radios the Prime Minister: ‘Direct hi!’ he announces, assuring the Prime Minister that they will have the traitors in body bags.

But before any more shots can be fired, ‘Run for the hills, puny earthlings!’ Marrina shouts as she leaps from the back of the giant bird that Narya has transformed in. The General is shocked as some form of energy is emitted from Narya’s giant-bird mouth, and disables the tank. Before Marrina can attack anyone, Guardian swoops down and picks her up, taking flight once more. ‘Hey!’ Marrina shouts, while Mac calls out to Shaman, tells him that this is out of control. ‘Agreed’ Shaman replies as he hovers over the General, a bearskin cloak strapped to him, Michael calls out ‘All right everyone, chill!’ and an icy blast falls over the soldiers and their equipment.

Nevertheless, the General raises a weapon and tells his men to keep firing. ‘This can’t hurt you! It’s just a little bit of…ice’ he calls out, but is surprised when that “little bit of ice” turns out to be a huge chunk of ice that falls down on the tank. The soldiers dodge the ice, to which Walt asks ‘Wow, you’re quipping now, too, Mike?’ Shaman replies that he is multifaceted, before Guardian suggests that they get off the street. An instant later, the heroes enter a bar, only the patrons inside begin to run out the other door. ‘Look out - it’s them! What are they doing here?’ one man exclaims. ‘You dumb enough to stick around and find out? Run!’ someone shouts.

Alpha Flight, Northstar and Puck gather around the bar as Marrina declares that she is used to people fleeing and screaming in terror when they see her. ‘How you guys holding up?’ she asks. Mac remarks that he needs five seconds to think, and figure out how they have gotten people to believe whatever lies they are telling about them. ‘Lies? Who needs lies? The truth is damning enough. Look!’ Judd points out, motioning to the television which shows recordings of Alpha Flight battling Department H soldiers and the army, only moments earlier. A voice-over announces that in her darkest our, their country’s greatest protectors have betrayed them. ‘The Minister of National Defense has released footage of Alpha Flight attacking its government support team and destroying its taxpayer-funded headquarters’.

The news report continues, ‘These images, coupled with this terrifying scene captured by our cameras in the nation’s capital just moments ago, point to a disturbing shift in allegiance of those Canada once gave its highest trust’. The report continues as the unseen reporter remarks that shocking as they are, these events are not without precedent as the global crisis continues to rage. ‘American heroes such as the Thing have turned on those innocents they once defended -’ suddenly, the reporter gets word that Prime Minister Cody is speaking to reporters in the House of Commons. The news report goes there live, as Cody announces that he is afraid to report that Department H has discovered proof that the leader of Alpha Flight, Guardian, is in league with the hammer-wielders.

Cody continues, remarking that Guardian’s anemic defense of Vancouver appears to have been only a feint to allow St John’s to be completely destroyed. The Prime Minister tells viewers that, fortunately, not all of Alpha Flight has followed their leader into treason. ‘And one who still wears the flag proudly will track him down’ Cody declares. ‘Thank you, Mr Prime Minister’ Vindicator replies. ‘My God. This is a nightmare. I’m gonna wake up. Any second now…’ Mac whispers, while Heather remarks ‘Mac, if you’re watching, wherever you are…I don’t know why you’ve done this’. Heather tells Mac that she wants him to know that she is not going to let him get away with it. ‘The Canadian people won’t let you. And I’m going to organize the team that will bring you down’.

The Prime Minister announces that the Department of Justice herby issues a warrant for Alpha Flight on multiple accounts of treason, terrorism, murder and attempted murder. Headshots of the team - Guardian, Sasquatch, Snowbird, Aurora, Shaman and Marrina - appear on the screen as Cody declares that anyone who knows about their whereabouts should notify the authorities immediately, but should not approach or engage them. ‘At all times, Alpha Flight should be considered powered and dangerous’.

Northstar suddenly speeds to the phone behind the bar, thinking about his boyfriend, Kyle. He begins dialling as he remarks that he has not had a chance to check in with Kyle since he left for Vancouver. But Guardian grabs Jean-Paul’s wrist and asks ‘Are you nuts?’, stopping him from finishing dialling. Mac declares that any phone Northstar’s boyfriend owns has been tapped. ‘You’ll lead them right to us!’ he exclaims. ‘Fine. I’ll go by myself’ Northstar mutters, warning Mac to let go of his wrist, before he takes his hand with him. But Mac declares that Northstar is not going anywhere. ‘Not until the team figures -’ Mac begins, to which Jean-Paul quickly reminds Guardian that he is not a member of his team. ‘You don’t see my face on that wanted poster!’ Northstar remarks. ‘Tough. I’m deputizing you!’ Mac announces, pointing out that they are the only people who know the truth about Unity. ‘We stick together until we figure out how to bring them down -’ Mac calls out when suddenly, ‘Wait - where’s Aurora?’ Walter calls out.

At that moment, Aurora / Jeanne-Marie soars over Quebec. ‘Wait! Stop, Jeanne-Marie! Are you mad? I don’t want to go back there!’ Aurora shouts. Jeanne-Marie’s reply comes in French: ‘Of course you don’t, whore. They said they were going to cure me! Then you would be forever gone! No more powers! No more mutie madness! No Aurora, only Jeanne-Marie!’ she cries. The young woman continues to argue with herself, ‘You little fool! How can you be so naive?’ Aurora asks. ’You think these Unity fascists are “helping” us out of the goodness of their hearts? They want to convert us so they can exploit our powers! If anything, they’ll cut out prim, cowardly useless you!’ Aurora shouts.

Using her super speed and ultra-agility, the young woman begins fighting with herself mid-air! ’No! They’re the government - they wouldn’t do that!’ Jeanne-Marie cries. ’Gahh! How can you be such an idiot?’ Aurora asks. ’What has any figure of authority ever done for us?’ she points out, before continue on her journey, arriving at the nunnery in LaVelle, Quebec. ’Don’t you remember what they did to us at this place?’ Aurora asks as she bursts into an upstairs room, shattering the window. ’How we tried to kill ourselves by leaping from the ledge of this building?’ she reminds Jeanne-Marie. The young woman continues to fight with herself, remarking that they were saved only because their mutant power of flight manifested itself. ‘Don’t you get it, Jeanne-Marie, you ungrateful little prig?’

Aurora continues, remarking that Jeanne-Marie would be dead without her, and boasts that she is going to beat her self-deceptions right out of her head. ‘Maybe then you’ll have room for the truth. I’m not your enemy here!’ The young woman begins strangling herself as she reminds Jeanne-Marie that when they told their teachers what happened they called her a liar and locked them away, where that bastard LaClos could paw them. Jeanne-Marie’s face flinches at the mention of her abuser’s name. She screams his name, before the floor beneath her collapses. She falls to another floor and recalls that Unity has LaClos and they will give him to her if she helps. But Aurora tells her that it is just bait, that they are trying to manipulate her. ‘Shut up! I’m through with your lies!’ Jeanne-Marie shrieks.

‘Everyone thinks you’re soooo much stronger than me, but you’re not. You’re not!’ Jeanne-Marie exclaims, asking if it is strong to succumb to the temptation of demonic powers and men’s beds. The young woman continues to fight herself, as Jeanne-Marie boasts that she is the stronger one, that she always has been, and can prove it. ‘Jeanne-Marie! Don’t do this!’ Aurora calls out, as Jeanne-Marie picks up a shard of glass. ‘I can play their game.! I’ll give them what they want - as long as they give me what I want!’ Jeanne-Marie declares, before shouting ‘UNITY!’

Back at the bar a short time later, ‘Allo’ a voice calls out. ‘Whoa!’ Walter gasps. ‘Aurora!’ Northstar exclaims as everyone looks up and sees Aurora enter the bar, clutching her side, which is bleeding thanks to the large shard of glass sticking out of it. ‘Forgive me…I got separated…the soldiers…they attacked me…’ Aurora lies. ‘That’s some piece of glass…sit down, and let me see if they have a first aid kit behind the bar’ Shaman tells his teammate, but Aurora tells him not to worry, as it looks much worse than it is. She smiles as she looks at her brother and announces that inside, she has never felt better.

‘Great. Now we’re all here…here’s the plan. Soon as night falls…we head south’ Guardian announces. ‘What? You’re yanking my chain, right?’ Judd asks. ‘As soon as the going gets tough, we run sobbing like little babies into the arms of Uncle Sam?’ he asks. Guardian replies that their backs are up against the wall, and therefore they cannot let national pride prevent them from getting reinforcements. Mac points out that in the States is one of their own who can call on the might of the Avengers and the X-Men. ‘We need to find Wolverine’ he announces.

Meantime, back beneath Parliament Hill, ‘Citadel. Purple Woman. Congratulations!’ Director Brown calls out as he enters the holding cells. Both prisoners look up at Brown, and Kara Kilgrave, now known as the Purple Woman asks ‘Why, Brown? We didn’t get to break your nose’, referring to his broken nose. Brown has trouble speaking as he tells them that Alpha Flight has been dissolved, by decree of the Prime Minister, effective immediately. He informs them that the two of them are hereby drafted into Alpha Flight’s replacement - Alpha Strike, also immediately. “Alpha Strike?” Citadel asks, telling Brown that the busted septum must have got into his brain, announcing that he will never serve his oppressors. ‘The Prime Minister was most insistent, I’m afraid’ Agent Brown replies as an energy courses through Citadel’s cell, harming him. Kara suddenly finds herself confronted with an array of whirring blades that close in on her. She screams, and Brown tells her that ‘While being relaxed is Citadel for avoiding brain-damage while achieving unity - I won’t tell if you don’t’.

Elsewhere - the Rocky Mountain foothills in Western Alberta, Vindicator pops into the airspace above the lush expanse surrounding her. She flies towards a cavern in the side of the mountains, and as she hovers through the cavern, a voice suddenly calls out ‘I smell mortal woman’. Heather comes to a stop before a large mass of skeletons, as the voice asks ‘Who risks her soul by passing through the burial mound of the ancient shamans?’ Heather replies ‘One who, like you, has much to vindicate’. The mysterious being sniffs again and remarks ‘You serve the one of the Earth, older than I’. ‘I do, wise one’ Heather confirms. Heather explains to the mysterious figure before her that his fragment of the Great Beast helped them to subdue Snowbird, the half-child of the Inua, but she has escaped with her friends, including the Shaman of the Two-Young-Men. ‘I gather an army to crush them and ask you to wake from your long slumber and join -’ Heather begins ‘Save your shallow reservoir of breath’ comes the reply.

A blue-skinned being with skeleton-like hands and fingers, bones hanging around his neck and the skull of a deer over his face emerges from the bones. ‘Your enemies are the enemies of Ranark the Ravager’ he declares. ‘Gladly will I return to smite he of the Two-Young-Men and all who dare stand with him!’ Ranark booms. However, he warns Vindicator that by waking him, she wakes his masters, the Great Beasts of the North - and that they shall soon hold dominion and sway over all….

Characters Involved: 

Aurora / Jeanne-Marie, Guardian, Marrina, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)

Northstar & Puck (former members of Alpha Flight)

Citadel, Purple Woman, Ranark the Ravager, Vindicator II (all Alpha Strike)

Prime Minister Gary Cody

Director Jeff Brown

Department H scientists

Department H soldiers

General Edmundson



Story Notes: 

Of course Sasquatch did not collapse on the flight deck - he, Snowbird, Aurora, Shaman and Marrina were ambushed by Box units. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #1]

The female scientist’s comment about Marrina “consistently been rated Alpha Flight’s most anti-social and rebellious member” can only refer to her recent post Chaos War resurrection, as prior to that, Marrina was only a member of Alpha Flight for a very short time, and during this time never demonstrated the anti-social or rebellious behavior she currently does.

A thirteen year old Aurora’s suicide attempt took place in her origin story. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #9 (second story)]

Though his appearance has changed dramatically, Ranark the Ravager first appeared, and fought most of the original Alpha Flight, in Marvel Two-in-One #83-84.

The Great Beasts last appeared in Chaos War: Alpha Flight, were they were once again seemingly slain by Alpha Flight.

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