Alpha Flight (4th series) #8

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 
Pride of a Nation [Redux]

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Dale Eaglesham (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz & Val Staples (cover artists), Leinil Yu & Val Staples (variant cover artists), Manny Mederos (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: 

As the Master’s vessel rises from beneath Parliament Hill, destroying Canada’s parliament buildings, Prime Minister Gary Cody is killed by a surge of energy released from the vessel. The Master is in possession of Guardian and Vindicator’s daughter, and he reveals to Director Brown that he plans to plunder Canada’s resources and create a new species of warriors to conquer the stars. At Alpha Flight base camp, Guardian and Vindicator are locked in battle, with Vindicator determined to have Alpha Strike free the Purple Woman and destroy Alpha Flight’s anti-Unity machine. Guardian explains to Vindicator that they need the machine to change her back, but Vindicator tells her husband that she embraced Unity by choice, and calls Guardian a fool who failed their daughter. Northstar tries to help Guardian, but he is attacked by Jeanne-Marie. Puck and Marrina do their best to get Kyle Jinadu into the anti-Unity machine, while Shaman (in his astral form) and Vindicator tell their respective teammates to destroy the machine. Wolverine goes head-to-head with his old foe Citadel, while Shaman’s physical body is in danger of being destroyed by Ranark the Ravager - until Tundra, one of the Great Beasts, appears, angry that Ranark is serving the Master. Puck then takes Ranark down, while Vindicator exposes Tundra as Snowbird in disguise and attacks her, even going as far as threatening to kill her once more. Hiding in a tent, Alice Hu and the rest of the Alpha Flight resistance are with the Taskmaster, ready to join the battle when direction is given. An out of control Sasquatch attacks Northstar, while the Aurora and Jeanne-Marie personas argue with each other. Marrina is about to load Kyle into the anti-Unity machine when the Master arrives and fires at her, knocking them back. Vindicator is annoyed that the Master has arrived, and assures him that she has the situation under control. Alpha Flight resistance members attack the Master’s vessel using their Groundhog armor, but that just annoys Vindicator, who informs Guardian that their daughter is still aboard. Vindicator fends off Alice Hu and the others, while Guardian confronts the Master. Aurora and Jeanne-Maries opposing personas make peace with each other, and merge as one, deciding that is true unity. She is then able to soothe Sasquatch, free Northstar, and help Marrina get Kyle into the anti-Unity machine. The Master informs Guardian and Vindicator that he plans to lay waste to the stars and will raise their daughter as his heir - or his mate. This disgusts Vindicator, who joins Guardian in attacking the Master. The anti-Unity machine works on Kyle, and free from the Master’s influence, he apologizes to Northstar, as they reunite. Guardian and Vindicator topple the Master’s ship, and emerge from it, with their daughter. But when Guardian turns to Vindicator for her to take her turn in the anti-Unity machine, she flies away with their daughter. In the aftermath, order is returning to Canada, as the remaining forces who supported the Master are taken into custody, and people all across Canada undergo the anti-Unity process, while the former opposition leader, Scotty Gunderberg is appointed interim Prime Minister. Gunderberg makes a brief speech, while Alpha Flight assist with the clean-up across their nation. However, Vindicator, with her daughter, departs for the unknown.

Full Summary: 

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, where the Master of the World’s base has risen from beneath Canada’s parliament buildings, destroying them. Police officers surround the area, and smoke rises from the debris. ‘Master! What are you doing? There are thousands of people down there! I mean, the Prime Minister himself -’ Jeff Brown, Director of Department H calls out, before the Master of the World interrupts him, ‘Is no longer relevant’ the Master declares. ‘what are you talking about? Without him -’ Brown begins, but the Master points out that if Alpha Flight has found a way to reverse the Unity process, then everything he has planned is at risk. ‘What…what have you planned?’ Jeff asks. Holding the infant Claire McNeil Hudson, daughter of James and Heather Hudson in his arms, the Master tickles the child, who laughs. ‘To plunder your nation’s resources and create a new species of warriors to conquer the stars’ the Master replies. ‘Oh’ Brown utters.

Outside, Prime Minister Gary Cody is standing near the destroyed Parliament buildings, while his security personnel try to pull him to safety. ‘This way, Sir! Come on!’ one of them urges. ‘No! I’m the Prime Minister! Get me a phone! Get me -’ he calls out, before he and his officers are engulfed in a massive flame that is emitted from the Master’s ship as it takes off into the sky, with a massive SHAKOOSH, and Gary Cody screams out as he is overwhelmed by the flames. Gazing out the window, the infant Claire utters ‘Pretty’ as she watches the fire dart about. ‘You like that, eh, baby Claire? Wait until you see…what I have planned for your father’ the Master remarks.

At that moment, at Alpha Flight Base Camp, in the Saint Elias Mountains, deep within the Yukon. James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, leader of Alpha Flight, is knocked back by a burst of electromagnetic energy fired by his wife, Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator, currently the leader of Alpha Strike. ‘Alpha Strike! In the name of the Master - free the Purple Woman - and destroy that machine!’ Heather orders her team of villains as she darts about in the air above Alpha Flight’s camp. Kara Kilgrave a.k.a. the Purple Woman is currently strapped into Alpha Flight’s machine, while Dr Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch lumbers about nearby.

Guardian has composed himself and flies back over to Heather, telling her that Northstar needs that machine to sae Kyle. ‘And I need it to save you!’ he adds. ‘You idiot!’ Heather exclaims, while Mac points out that Unity has changed her, tampered with her mind and body. We’re going to change you back!’ Mac declares, but Heather tells him that he still doesn’t understand. They struggle, hand-to-hand, their electromagnetic battle suits both charged and emitting powerful energy. ‘They’ve just helped me focus!’ Heather tells Mac, while Mac exclaims ‘Dammit, Heather! I know you’re in there! Listen to your heart!’ he urges her. ‘What the hell do you think I’ve been doing? Why do you think I embraced Unity? I got Claire back, Mac!’ Vindicator shouts.

Aboard his ship, the Master is watching Mac and Heather’s conversation via a recorder in Heather’s goggles. ‘Claire. Our daughter. You remember her, don’t you?’ Heather asks Mac. ‘The country you served so blindly took her away from us. But the Master gave her back to me!’ Heather exclaims, while her daughter plays with some dolls and a toy car, oblivious to the plight her parents are involved in. ‘Body and soul’ Heather declares, gritting her teeth. She tells Mac to focus, that this is what she is talking about. ‘I’ve never loved anyone so much. And I’ll never give up the love I feel for her…or come back to the broken fool who failed her so terribly’ Heather announces.

Forlorn, Mac frowns. ‘Heather…’ he utters, heartbroken - but Heather only responds by firing a blast of EM energy at close-range, knocking Mac to the ground once more. ‘Mac, are you -’ Northstar a.k.a. Jean-Paul Beaubier enquires as he swoops down towards Mac. ‘Don’t worry about me, Northstar. You’ve got to get Kyle to that machine before -’ Mac replies, when suddenly, Northstar’s sister Aurora - or in this case, the Jeanne-Marie persona - grabs him. ‘Dammit, Aurora, let me go!’ Jean-Paul exclaims. ‘I’m Jeanne-Marie, brother! And I’ll never let you go, not as long as you keep running back to that life of vice and sin!’ Jeanne-Marie warns her brother.

Peering out from one of the many nearby tents, Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. the diminutive Puck remarks that the crazy lady is still crazy, so it looks like it is up to them. ‘You ready for this, Marrina?’ he asks his friend. ‘Just a second’ the alien member of Alpha Flight replies as she struggles to maintain a hold of Northstar’s boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu. ‘You dirty Alpha Flight traitors! I’ll laugh when the Master catches you! I’ll dance when he burns your bones!’ Kyle shouts as Marrina pulls him from the tent. ‘Nice conversationalist’ Judd mutters. ‘He’s a biter, too’ Marrina reveals. ‘Ah, Unity. Keeping it classy’ Judd jokes as he dodges some debris.

At that moment, the astral form of Dr Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman tells Alpha Flight to protect the machine at all costs. ‘Walter thinks we can use Purple Woman’s pheromones to unlock parts of the brain Unity shut down -’ Shaman explains, while at the same time, Heather tells Alpha Strike that Alpha Flight will use the Purple Woman’s pheromones to warp their minds, and undo the clarity their Master granted them. ‘Alpha Strike! Destroy that machine!’ Heather orders. Shaman’s physical form is still being held prisoner by Ranark the Ravager, who exclaims ‘O Shaman of the Two-Young-Men - thou neglect thy first duty. Which should be to thy weak and mortal flesh separated from spirit’ Ranark declares.

Suddenly, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is slammed against a tree, thanks to Alpha Strike’s Citadel. ‘Go away, little man. Got orders’ Citadel declares. ‘No! Shaman’s astral form exclaims as he tries to reconnect with is body - by Ranark has thrown a force field between the two. The deadly villain laughs and exclaims ‘Divided thou art too weak to pierce the wards and protections of Ranark the Ravager!’ Wolverine rubs his head and Citadel calls him stubborn. ‘Haven’t you figured out by now? There ain’t one place on my adamantium exoskeleton you can pierce with your wee little claws!’ Citadel boasts. ‘That’s right’ Wolverine replies, before he strides over to Citadel and shoves his two outer claws through Citadel’s eye slots. ‘I count two’ Wolverine declares, drawing blood.

All of a sudden, Ranark removes his grasp around Shaman, as the massive Great Beast called Tundra raises from the forest surrounding the camp. ‘Ranark. You insignificant gnat. How dare you swear allegiance to mortal lords? When your first and only allegiance - must be to the Great Beasts!’ Tundra booms. With fear in his eyes, which can just be made out through his skull-mask, Ranark utters ‘Lord Tundra - but their enemies are thine -’, when suddenly, Puck leaps up and kicks Ranark in the face, knocking him back. ‘Also. You smell like road kill’ Puck adds. However, Vindicator swoops down and nudges Tundra with her battle suit’s EM charge. ‘No! Idiots! Am I the only one who sees this is Snowbird?’ Vindicator cries out as she forces the goddess Narya to revert to her default form. ‘You gonna make me kill you twice, witch?’ Heather asks, while Snowbird falls to the ground.

‘RRAHH!’ Citadel cries out as he punches the air, blindly aiming for Wolverine. ‘When my healing factor grows my eyes back, I’m gonna rip you a new -’ Citadel begins, to which Wolverine asks Citadel if he wants his tongue taken out, too. Inside another of the tents, Alice Hu, one of the many members of Alpha Flight’s civilian army, all wearing the “Groundhog” battle suits, turns to the Taskmaster and asks if someone should turn Dr Langkowski’s machine on. The Taskmaster tells Ms Hu to respect the chain of command, reminding her that Hudson was pretty darn specific, and that they cannot reveal themselves until he gives the signal. ‘Gotta assume he knows what he’s doing’ the Taskmaster adds.

Northstar manages to throw Jeanne-Marie away from himself, and tells her that he doesn’t want to hurt her, but that he will not let her ruin his life. As Aurora falls to the ground, the out-of-control Sasquatch lumbers over to Northstar, and slams the speedster into the ground: ‘Pointy ears no hurt pretty lady! Or Squatch smash!’ he exclaims, before Northstar uses his incredible speed to punch and kick Sasquatch repeatedly. ‘Sting all you want, little gnat! You still get squashed!’ Sasquatch shouts. Bruised and bloodied, Northstar is unable to respond as Sasquatch’s fingers wrap around his neck. Suddenly, Jeanne-Marie gets up, ‘Jean-Paul - are you - don’t -’ she begins, seemingly concerned, only for the Aurora persona to take control: ‘Damn it, Jeanne-Marie! This has gone far enough!’ Aurora exclaims as Aurora/Jeanne-Mari darts about as each persona speaks. ‘You’ve got to let me out! You’ve got to let me help you!’ Aurora declares, but Jeanne-Marie tells her to leave her alone. ‘Your hate for me is killing our brother!’ Aurora shouts.

‘Die alien scum!’ Kyle screams as Marrina puts him in a headlock and drags him to the anti-Unity machine. ‘Yoo-hoo! Remember me? Somebody gonna turn this mystery miracle machine on, or what?’ the alien hero calls out. ‘Do I have to do everything around here?’ she shouts, when suddenly, a blast of energy fire from above separates Marrina and Kyle. ‘What are you doing here? I have the situation under control!’ Vindicator shouts as she looks upwards, where the Master’s ship hovers. It’s all right, Heather. I blame myself. One does not send a slave…to do the Master’s duty!’ the villain announces. The Master declares that acting in the shadows has accomplished all it can, and that only in the light of day can he flush out this prey.

‘That’s what we were hoping, you egomaniacal piece of…’ Guardian begins, before turning to one of the tents, and calling out to the Taskmaster, telling him that is the signal he has been waiting for. The Taskmaster turns to Alice and the other allies of Alpha Flight, remarking ‘Floating in that sky is your final. Make this old teacher proud’. An instant later, Alice leads the others from the tent, their Groundhog battle suits propelling them into the air. ‘This is what democracy looks like!’ Alice shouts, as they begin to unleash their suits’ energies on the Master’s vessel. Heather sees this and frowns, telling Mac that he has officially gone too far. ‘That UFO - that’s Department H!’ Heather exclaims. ‘Okay - so?’ Mac replies, before Heather points out that the ship they are trying to bring down has their daughter on board.

Heather flies towards Alice and the others: ‘BACK!’ the experienced combatant shouts, blasting electromagnetic energies all around, warding them away from the ship. ‘Claire…’ Guardian calls out as he flies towards the ship, and using his EM power, bursts into the Master’s vessel, shouting out to his infant daughter once more. ‘Dada!’ Claire utters when she sees Mac approach the Master. ‘Indeed. Welcome, Hudson’ the Master declares as he presses a button on his control panel. Tendrils extend and move around, while Mac declares ‘You’re not going to launch into a “we’re not so different, you and I” speech are you? Because I’ve heard them all before!’ The Master quietly replies that he thinks Guardian will listen to anything he has to say, while one of the tendrils sneaks up behind Claire.

Down below, Wolverine is blasted aside by one of the beams firing from the Master’s vessel, while Jeanne-Marie slumps to the ground. ‘You have to let me in, Jeanne-Marie. I - listen to me. I forgive you’ Aurora tells her. But Jeanne-Marie replies that she failed. ‘I let them - I let them do that to us’. But Aurora replies ‘No. They failed. The minute they took your - our innocence away’. Crying, Jeanne-Marie explains that there was no one around, no one came to her rescue - which is when Aurora was born. ‘There is no me. There is no you. Only us. We saved ourselves’ the Aurora persona tells Jeanne-Marie. Holding each other close, the personas begin to merge together. ‘I forget…which one I am’ Jeanne-Marie utters. ‘You know what that is?’ Aurora asks. ‘True unity’ they both declare as the merge is complete.

‘Walter. That’s enough now’ Aurora declares as she goes over to Sasquatch, who still has his fingers wrapped around Northstar’s neck. ‘Wal…ter? Wal-ter is…Sasquatch?’ Sasquatch asks. Aurora touches Sasquatch on the arm and tells him that he needs to live with his dual identities. ‘Because you cannot live without them’ she points out. ‘Pretty lady all right?’ Sasquatch asks. ‘Oui. Make sure Northstar is too’ Aurora replies. And as she announces that she has to act fast, Aurora’s eyes can be seen - one blue, the other reddish. Aurora then speeds across the camp, calling out to Marrina, she dodges the blasts that are fired from the Master’s ship. Marrina has regained possession of Kyle, and Aurora tells Marrina to hold him in position, as she turns the machine on.

Back aboard the Master’s ship, Mac announces that he wants his daughter back. ‘Obviously’ the Master replies. ‘All you people are is want’ he mutters, before boasting that the Unity process strips away all your unnecessary desires, leaving only those that he finds useful. While Heather sneaks up behind her daughter, who is wrapped in the Master’s tendrils, the Master of the World announces that he will use the bottomless avarice of mankind as a weapon to lay waste to the stars. The Master demands that Guardian turn over his plans to the pheromone device so he can make sure it will never be built again. ‘And what if I don’t?’ Mac enquires. ‘I’m going to kill you. And your wife. And raise your daughter as my heir. Or mate’ the Master announces, adding that he hasn’t yet decided which.

At the same time, Heather and Mac both frown, disgust falls over their face, and Mac shouts ‘Heather, now!’ as he unleashes a blast of electromagnetic energy towards the Master. The Master throws up a force field, and replies ‘Heather? She is mine, now -’, only for Heather to attack him - at very close range, from behind. The shock of the attack causes the Master to release his force field, enabling Mac’s EM power to join Heather’s as they dowse the Master in their power. Claire is knocked backwards during the confrontation.

Outside, Alpha Flight’s mysterious machine is powered up, and Kyle is dowsed in a glow of purple energy. Released from Sasquatch’s hand, Northstar rubs his neck, and calls out to his boyfriend. Kyle looks up - ‘Jean-Paul. I’m so…I’m so…’ he utters, before they run toward each other and embrace. ‘Aaw!’ Marrina exclaims as she sits on a fallen tree and watches them.

With the Master’s Ship fallen to the ground thanks to the work of Alpha Flight’s resistance members, Guardian and Vindicator, carrying her daughter, emerge from the wreckage. ‘They did it, Heather’ Mac calls out. ‘Now it’s our turn’ he tells her, turning back to where Heather is hovering some feet behind him - but in an instant, Vindicator turns and flies away, carrying Claire with her.

Shortly, Alice is still wearing the Groundhog armor, but has already begun reporting. Broadcasting on all channels, she announces that she has the latest on the restoration of Free Canada. Alice explains that at Alpha Flight base camp, scientists have been liberated from the Department H labor camps are studying the alien technology that contributed to their nation’s subjugation. Alice adds that in Toronto, General Hank Edmundson is mopping up resistance from the last cells of Department H forces. She reveals that across the country, police and mounties are reaching out to those suspected of having undergone the so-called “Unity process”. Alice tells everyone that there is a cure, and that if they are asked to remove their shoes, not to resist.

Alice continues, announcing that in Ottawa, following the death of Gary Cody in the disaster precipitated by his ally, the Master of the World, the Governor-General has appointed opposition leader Scott Gunderberg as interim Prime Minister, who has declared a nationwide state of emergency. Cameras at the ruins of Parliament capture what the new Prime Minister has to say: ‘And I call on you, my fellow Canadians, to face this challenge with the clear-eyed reason and humanity that our late oppressors sought to deny us’. He adds that today they reclaim their nation - and their own souls. ‘But as we protect and defend our land - let us say no to fear - turn our backs on hate - and let our best angels take flight’.

At the ruins of Parliament, Sasquatch and Snowbird, who has transformed into a woolly mammoth, are helping to clear rubble, while rescue workers have found a woman trapped beneath the ruins. Shaman tends to her medically, while Aurora prays. Marrina throws a hand into the air in celebration, while Northstar and Kyle stand together. Puck cracks open a can of beer and winks, while Guardian stands solemn, and holds up a tattered Canadian flag. Kyle and Northstar have found a dog. ‘Hey, he kind of looks like you!’ Kyle exclaims. Northstar just laughs as they crouch down and pet the dog. ‘With him, our little family will be complete…’ Kyle remarks, while Guardian overhears them, and frowns.

At that moment, elsewhere within Canada, ‘Dada!’ Claire exclaims as she sees an image of Guardian on a small television screen inside a store. ‘Come on, Claire’ Heather calls out as they prepare to leave the store. ‘Dada busy?’ Claire asks, pointing at the television. Buckling Claire into her car-sear, Heather remarks ‘That’s right. He’s got a job to do’. ‘Momma gotta job?’ Claire asks. ‘Yep’ Heather replies. ‘We’ll let Dada love his country. I’m gonna love you’ she tells her daughter as they drive off to the unknown….

Characters Involved: 

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

Northstar, Puck, Wolverine (all former members of Alpha Flight)

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

Claire McNeil Hudson

Kyle Jinadu

Director Jeff Brown

Alice Hu

Prime Minister Gary Cody

Interim Prime Minister Scotty Gunderberg

Master of the World


Members of Alpha Flight’s resistance



Rescue workers

Security Personnel

Story Notes: 

Custody of Claire McNeil Hudson was given to relatives of Heather’s in a flashback scene in Alpha Flight (4th series) #2. Heather then murdered these relatives in Alpha Flight (4th series) #4.

This isn’t the first time Snowbird has transformed into one of the Great Beasts, her immortal enemies. She transformed into Neooqtoq in Incredible Hercules #119.

Vindicator indeed has killed Snowbird before - the classic Alpha Flight (1st series) #44, Vindicator was forced to kill Snowbird to prevent the deadly villain Pestilence from taking over Snowbird’s body and gaining her power. The fact that Heather killed Snowbird has rarely been mentioned in modern day Alpha Flight stories.

Notably absent from the battle this issue is Wendigo.

The title of this issue, “Pride of a Nation [Redux]” was also used in Alpha Flight (4th series) #1, “Pride of a Nation”.

Sadly, this marks the final issue of Alpha Flight (4th series). This series was launched following Alpha Flight’s return in the “Chaos War”, and to tie into the “Fear Itself” storyline. Billed as an 8-issue mini series with the possibility of becoming an ongoing, much to fans’ delight, part-way through the series, Marvel announced that Alpha Flight (4th series) would continue past the initial #8. Several weeks later, however, Marvel retracted this comment, and returned the series to its initial number.

This issue comes with a bonus 2-page “Departures Gate” with words from writers Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak, and artist Dale Eaglesham. The variant non “Fear-Itself” covers for issues #1-4 are also displayed here.

Issue Information: 
Written By: