Alpha Flight (4th series) #4

Issue Date: 
November 2011
Story Title: 
With Many, Strength

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), Mayela Gutierrez (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 (special thanks)

Brief Description: 

In Saskatchewan, an Am-Can base has been set up, and several prisoners, including Alice Hu, are brought there, where they find themselves with the task of donning an exo-skeleton and having to mine some of the land. In Ontario, Guardian and Sasquatch have a heart-to-heart about the troubles going on, and Guardian drops the outer layer of his costume, the Canadian flag design, off the Niagara Falls, unaware that Marrina was watching him. At the US / Canadian border, Department H soldiers have been posted to keep an eye out for Alpha Flight. Alpha Flight are able to get through the border thanks to mystical manipulation courtesy of Shaman. Northstar, is currently searching for his boyfriend, Kyle, and locates a doctor from the hospital where Kyle was taken. Northstar challenges the doctor, who reveals that the people around Canada who have been vanishing have been taken to Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, Vindicator arrives at the home of her cousin, now the legal guardian of her daughter - and promptly kills him and his wife, reclaiming her daughter. Returning to Department H, Heather disobeys Director Brown by releasing Canada’s newest heroes from their cells. Across the border, Snowbird and Shaman are plagued by the mystical chaos in the States, while Guardian is keen to get to Wolverine and help him. Northstar arrives convinces Alpha Flight to return to Canada. Shaman teleports them to Saskatchewan, where they discover a strangely familiar spaceship. Northstar searches for Kyle, while Alpha Flight rallies the prisoners and battles some androids. Alice Hu and the leader of the opposition party are amongst Alpha Flight’s new allies, as they prepare to take their country back. However, at an undisclosed location, Kyle wakes, and a voice tells him that they have rebuilt his body from scratch. Kyle turns to see Alpha Strike, Canada’s newest heroes, along with Heather’s baby - and the Master of the World, who informs him that he will deliver Northstar to them….

Full Summary: 

A heavily armoured transport vehicle trudges along a dirt road. Inside the vehicle several civilians are packed in, their hands tied together and their heads covered with dark sacks. The vehicle passes a sign that says “Entering Saskatchewan. From Many People, Strength”. The vehicle passes through a gate. Several buildings are inside a high-fenced area, with a sign that says “Private Property” Am-Can. No Trespassing”. The vehicle comes to a halt, and several Department H soldiers are waiting. ‘Out! Out!’ they shout to the civilians. A soldier rips one of the sacks off, and recognizes the person - ‘Hey - I know you - you’re Alice Hu, you’re on the TV in Vancouver, right?’ he remarks. ‘That’s right - and you can be too - a whole night to yourself if you want…if you just tell me where the hell I am’ Alice replies.

The Department H soldier holds out a large knife and replies ‘Somewhere you ain’t special no more’. Alice looks at the knife and replies that she never thought that she was special. The soldier cuts the rope tying her hands together and tells her that she cannot sweet-talk her way out of this one. He hands her a helmet and announces that everybody gets one. ‘Everybody gets a harness’ the soldier adds, motioning to a rather familiar exo-skeletal armor, several of which stand nearby. ‘And everybody gets to work!’ he shouts, pushing Alice towards a pit. ‘My…God…’ Alice utters.

Meantime, in Ontario. ‘You sure you want to do this, Mac?’ Dr Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch asks as James MacDonald Hudson, better known as Guardian opens a duffel bag, part of his costume - the red and white Canadian flag part - is inside it. Mac tells his friend that he is not sure of anything anymore. ‘I used to recognize this country’ Mac adds. Walter tells him that he thinks he is being too hard on Canada. ‘A bunch of villains with God powers are destroying cities all over the world. Not too hard to see why people believe whatever the Prime Minister tells them’ Walt explains. Nearby, Marrina Smallwood listens intently as Walt tells Mac that fear is a primal motivator, and that it gets the best of most of people from time to time.

Water adds that Shaman says there are real mystic forces at work here. Mac replies that there is nothing mystic about getting spit on in the street. Mac reminds Walter that he knows he had his qualms about sharing all his tech with the government when it was run by the good guys. ‘Now Canada’s turned her back on everything she believed in. We’re going to save this country…but I refuse to wear her flag any longer’ he declares as he throws the bag with part of his suit off the top of the Niagara Falls.

Meantime, at the US / Canada border, several Department H soldiers stand ready, as one of them announces that their number one priority remains Alpha Flight. ‘They dumb enough to actually try and get past here?’ another asks. ‘Those questions are above my pay grade - and yours, Gibson. The Party says we look for them’ the first soldier declares as he hands out photographs of Alpha Flight. ‘So if you catch what even looks like one of their shadows - shoot it!’ the soldier adds.

Nearby, a minivan is stuck in a traffic jam with cars queued up trying to get through the border. Inside the minivan, Mac and Walter have rejoined their teammates - Alpha Flight. Narya a.k.a. Snowbird, Jean-Marie “Aurora” Beaubier, Dr Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen and Eugene Milton Judd, better known as Puck. A Department H soldier approaches the van, which Snowbird is driving. ‘Anne McKenzie, Montreal PD, Sir’ the glamorous goddess remarks as she hands her RCMP badge to him. Narya tells the soldier that she and her colleagues are attending a law enforcement conference on the Hammer-wielders in Albany ‘Fine’ the soldier replies, before telling her to remain in the queue for the final checkpoint.

‘Sir Alec would be proud’ Walter remarks, before asking Shaman how long he can keep up the cloaking spell for. Shaman replies that so long as he can make this gesture, but that manipulating the minds of others has always troubled his conscience. ‘Maybe we should all hop out and kick in their heads instead?’ Walter suggests. ‘Cute’ Shaman mutters, while Mac, wearing his battle suit without the Canadian flag design, tells his team that Gary Cody claimed the border would be clogged with refugees from the attacks in the States, but that the checkpoint on the other side is empty. ‘Ooh! The totalitarian regime lied! Pinch me, I’m dreaming!’ Judd exclaims, while asking ‘And we’re running from these losers? Where am I supposed to get a decent poutine?’

Suddenly, a sopping wet Marrina appears at the van, and gets into it. ‘Marrina! Where have you been, child? The guards could have seen - and you are dropping everywhere!’ Jeanne-Marie points out. Marrina replies that she has no idea how long they are going to be stuck in the “Mystery Machine”, possibly all the way to Avengers Tower, which is why she took a dip. Sitting next to Jeanne-Marie, Marrina asks her why she is picking on her anyway. ‘I don’t see your brother anywhere -’ Marrina begins. Aurora replies that he flew off to Montreal to fetch his roommate, Kyle. ‘Jean-Paul, always with the wrong priorities. I a still waiting for him to find a nice girl to settle down and start making nieces and nephews with!’ Aurora declares. ‘Uh…what? No offense, Aurora…but how well do you know Northstar?’ Marrina asks.

At that moment, in Montreal, ‘Kyle…?’ Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier calls out as he arrives at the apartment he shares with his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu, only to find the apartment in ruins. Northstar narrows his eyes, furious.

Shortly, at a hospital, two medical personnel are discussing sport in their native French, when suddenly, one of them is lifted into the air. Northstar holds the doctor up by his collar, high above the city and asks, also in French, ‘Kyle Jinadu. Where is he?’ The stunned doctor is speechless, as Northstar realizes that is because of the altitude. ‘Let me help you with that’ Northstar remarks as he drops the doctor, who screams as he plummets towards the ground - and almost smacks into the street below until Northstar speeds down and pulls him back up. ‘I - I thought you liberals were against torture?’ the doctor asks. ‘Tch. Liberal? I’m a terrorist, remember?’ Northstar replies, as he hovers at about the twelfth floor of a nearby building.

The doctor’s shirt begins to rip at the sleeve where Northstar is holding him up, and Jean-Paul tells the doctor what that what he really needs is a tailor, as the sleeve will tear right out of his hands any second. The doctor shouts that he doesn’t know where they took him, and that he is telling the truth. He explains that Unity Party people muscled out Montreal PD, and those “Department H” men in black took him. ‘And you let them. I can hear your seams popping out, one by one’ Northstar replies. The doctor urgently tells Northstar that there are rumors around the station, as one of the guys has a cousin at “H”. He reveals that a lot of the people that have disappeared are being sent to some kind of camp, in northern Saskatchewan, near the lakes. Northstar frowns.

Meantime, outside of Ottawa, a dozen Department H soldiers have surrounded a home. ‘What are you people doing here? We haven’t done anything wrong!’ exclaims David McNeil as he stands at the front door, his wife Yvette and their adopted daughter / niece, Claire McNeil Hudson in her arms. ‘I voted for Gary Cody! He’s my MP! We don’t have anything to do with anybody holding a hammer!’ David declares. The Department H soldiers remain silent, but David states that Claire is his baby now, and they won’t let her anywhere near that traitor Guardian, even if he is her biological father. ‘Heather Hudson - her mother - is my cousin! And if she knew you were here, she’d -’ David begins, when suddenly, he feels a sting of energy on his shoulder, and looks up as Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator drops down through the ceiling. ‘No need to guess, Davey. I’ll tell you’ Heather tells her cousin.

‘You give me my baby back. Now. Or I’m gonna kill you’ Heather warns her cousin. Yvette looks horrified and covers the baby’s face as they and David are backed into a corner of the room. ‘You crazy fascist @#$%&!’ Your side of the family’s always been nuts! My father always said so! He never wanted anything to do with you!’ David shouts angrily as he puts his arms around his wife and the baby. Without hesitation, Heather releases a burst of electromagnetic energy and fires it at their heads, killing them. The baby drops out of Yvette’s arms and Heather picks her daughter up. Outside, one of the Department H soldiers states that Commander Hudson acted in self-defense, as the suspects went for weapons. ‘Clearly, sir’ another soldier replies, adding that is exactly what his report already says, while Heather flies overheard, smiling as she holds her distressed baby in her arms.

Soon, back at Department H, ‘Ah. Congratulations, Vindicator. We’ll have the nursing staff take care of the child for now -’ Director Jeff Brown calls out as he strides towards Heather, who holds her baby in her arms. ‘Back off, Brown!’ Heather replies as she continues down a corridor. Brown calls out after her, telling her to wait, pointing out that she is heading into the red zone. ‘We’re still stabilizing the new recruits -’ he begins, before Heather sends an electromagnetic charge through a console and announces that this should help. ‘What are you doing? They’re animals!’ Brown exclaims. ‘No. They’re heroes’ Heather replies, while the computer states ‘Master override - all cells opening’. Heather enters the cells, and holds her daughter up, while several figures stand in the shadows. ‘They need to know what we’re fighting for’ A large furry white hand reaches down and touches the baby’s face, causing her to cry, while Heather just smiles.

Ten miles south of the Canadian border, the minivan comes to a screeching halt on the side of the road, and Snowbird leaves the van, clutching her head. ‘What the hell?’ someone asks. ‘Snowbird! What is it!?’ Mac exclaims as he gets out of the van, following Shaman. ‘The Ssserpent! The Asgardian who attacks out world grows stronger!’ Narya announces. Shaman concentrates hard and announces that he feels it, too. ‘New York has fallen’ Shaman states, creating an mystical projection of the city in flames. Mac urges Shaman to find Wolverine, and a mystical image of their friend appears. ‘Logan! Don’t worry! We’re coming to help!’ Mac remarks. But Shaman points out that Wolverine cannot hear, before asking Guardian what he is talking about. ‘I thought he was going to help us’ Shaman remarks. But Guardian replies that the people are broken, that they cannot help them until they kill the thing that is spreading this fear. ‘People are always broken, Mac…that’s why they need you!’ Northstar declares as he drops down beside his former teammates.

Soon, at the Am-Can facility in northern Saskatchewan, a teleport signal glows in the air as Alpha Flight, Northstar and Puck arrive in one of the tunnels. Marrina asks Shaman why he didn’t just teleport them out of the country in the first place, to which Shaman explains that he didn’t for the same reason he doesn’t like doing it now, as expending this much mystic energy exhausts him and leaves traces for their enemies to track. Northstar announces that the enemy will know they are here soon enough, and motions to an area where several prisoners are going about their duties, moving some rocks into containers. Northstar announces that the prisoners are journalists, activists, and intellectuals - anyone that Prime Minister Cody thought might make trouble.

‘Dammit. Those are my original “Groundhog” suit designs’ Mac announces, adding that they were supposed to terraform Mars, not strip mine a nature reserve. ‘That’s what you get for trusting the government’ Northstar mutters. ‘And what did I get for trusting you?’ Mac replies. ‘Eh?’ Northstar asks, to which Guardian announces that he just counts twelve guards. ‘Why’d you come back for us rather than rescue Kyle yourself?’ Northstar replies that he is fast enough to handle five times that number of minions, but that he needed a little more firepower. He turns Alpha Flight’s attention to a large spaceship positioned in a small valley. ‘My God’ Mac utters. ‘…to take out the alien starship’ Northstar finishes his sentence. Puck smiles and laughs, boasting ‘I told you! The multinationals are in it with the saucer people! You owe me a beer!’ he tells Mac, who ignores his diminutive companion and remarks ‘Here‘s the plan…’.

A short time later, Northstar speeds down a tunnel, punching his way through the Department H soldiers, while calling out to his boyfriend as he checks all of the exo-skeleton armor. ‘Kyle! Where are you?’ Jean-Paul shouts. Nearby, ‘Die, alien scum!’ Marrina shouts as she leaps into battle against several large insect-like robots who fire laser beams. ‘Or even just dent a little, maybe?’ Puck suggests as he struggles against one of the robots, while Walter tries hitting one with a large stick. Mac sees the robot fire at Walter, and he flies down to rescue his friend. ‘Watch it!’ Mac exclaims. ‘Dammit - they’re tearing us apart! This isn’t normal metal’ Walter remarks, wishing he could figure out how to transform again. ‘You need a Sasquatch here…’ he states. ‘Or maybe ten’ Mac replies as he drops Walter to the ground. ‘What?’ Walter asks.

Nearby, several prisoners in the exo-skeletal armor are gathered, and one of them utters ‘Oh, God…oh please…’ and Mac recognizes her. ‘Alice Hu, isn’t’ it? Get up’ he tells her. ‘What? No…no…’ Alice utters. ‘Come on. You’re wearing the toughest armor this side of Tony Stark’ Mac tells her, before shouting ‘NOW GET UP!’ while laser fire continues around them. Snowbird has transformed herself into a massive bird and she attacks one of the robots, while Marrina bases it with a rock. Aurora darts about, dodging laser fire. Mac turns to Alice and the other prisoners and tells them that he knows they are scared, but that they are here because someone was scared of them. ‘Because someone thought you might stand up for what’s right. Because you actually might care about your country enough to fight for it. Well, now it’s time to prove ‘em right!’ Mac declares.

Suddenly, Marrina drops down beside Mac and tells him ‘Awesome speech. It’s be even awesomer if you were wearing this’. Mac is confused, as Marrina throws him his costume covering. Marrina smiles as she tells him that he would be a amazed at what people dump into the water. An instant later, the prisoners are using the exo-skeleton armor to battle alongside Alpha Flight, and eventually the robots are taken down. ‘Well that was…infrickingcredible!’ one of the prisoner calls out. Mac turns to Walter and asks him if he has the samples they need. Walt stands with a cart, some metals in it. ‘You bet. Although I think you already know where this stuff came from…’ Walter replies. ‘Makes two of us’ Marrina mutters.

Mac tells everyone that the enemy will have reinforcements on the way, and holding up a remote, announces that he will be controlling their jet boots by the remote. ‘Where - where are we going?’ the leader of the opposition asks, concerned. ‘Underground!’ Mac replies, but the opposition leader tells him that they need to tell Parliament. As the heroes and the prisoners make their way down into the tunnels, Puck, riding on the back of the opposition leader’s armor exclaims ‘Don’t know if you noticed, Mister Leader of the Opposition…but you just joined the revolution!’ ‘Oh dear’ mutters the leader. Northstar calls out to Mac, ‘Wait…we can’t go…not until…’, but Mac tells him not to worry, announcing that they are taking their country back. ‘And that includes finding Kyle…no matter where they’ve got him’.

At that moment, ‘Kyle Jinadu?’ a voice calls out. ‘Uh…yes?’ Northstar’s boyfriend replies as he sits up in some sort of laboratory. ‘How do you feel?’ the voice asks. Kyle looks down and replies that he feels like he never has before. ‘Hard to remember…was there something wrong with -?’ he asks. The voice informs him that he was horribly injured and dying. ‘But Unity rebuilt you’ the voice explains, telling Kyle that his body was stripped of every bone, muscle and organ. ‘Even your brain’. The voice tells Kyle that his body parts were then reassembled into perfect unity with his technology, which thrives throughout the entire complex. ‘I went through the process myself, a long, long time ago - awake. And I swore to spare my fellow earthmen the same agony’ the voice calls out.

Kyle smiles and turns to the sound of the voice, replying ‘I…I don’t know how to thank you. Please, let me do something for you - anything - Mister -’ his voice trails off. ‘I have gone by many names, Kyle’ the voice replies. Kyle sees six figures emerge from the shadows - the ancient Ranark the Ravager, the adamantium-laced Citadel, Kara Kilgrave a.k.a. the Purple Woman, a large Wendigo, holding onto Heather’s baby, and … ‘You may call me the MASTER OF THE WORLD. And now, to show your gratitude…and save your country…you and Alpha Strike will deliver Northstar to me!’ Alpha Flight’s diabolical foe declares….

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, Wendigo (all Alpha Strike)

Kyle Jinadu

Claire McNeil Hudson

David & Yvette McNeil

Director Jeff Brown

Alice Hu

Master of the World

Leader of the opposition

Department H soldiers



Medical staff

Story Notes: 

Marrina’s comment about the “Mystery Machine” refers to the groovy van that the teenage sleuths Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma, as well as their faithful dog Scooby-Doo drive around in and get into all sorts of mystery-solving adventures, as seen in “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You” and practically every incarnation of the series since then.

The Groundhog armor was originally worn by Detective Sean Bernard, as seen in the Alpha Flight: First Flight story. Bernard was unhappy with the Flight programme and quit, leading Mac to redesign the armor and reluctantly wear it himself.

The Master of the World’s origin can be seen in Alpha Flight (1st series) #3.

The Master of the World is one of Alpha Flight’s longest and most deadly enemies, making his debut in Alpha Flight (1st series) #2, and appearing regularly throughout the first series. He later appeared during the “Kang Dynasty”, attempting to ally himself with the Avengers by taking over various cities around the world. He was slain by Warbird in Avengers (3rd series) #47, his last appearance before now.

The variant cover to this issue shows a woman shaded out in black. Whoever she is, is not revealed this issue.

Issue Information: 
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