Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5

Issue Date: 
October 2016
Story Title: 
untitled (first story)

First Story: Chip Zdarsky (writer), Ramon Perez (artist), Charles Beacham (assistant editor), Wil Moss (editor)

Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Cameron Stewart, Matthew Wilson & Declan Shalvey (cover artists), Ramon Perez (variant cover artist), Tom Breevort (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

First Story:
Aurora, Sasquatch and Puck have been assigned to a mission in Michigan, where they battle Piledriver and his powerless son, Excavator, as they have been told that in three days, Excavator is going to kill Piledriver, and a dozen other people. Afterwards Alpha Flight are summoned to the Canadian Prime Minister's office, where he, Justin Trudeau, talks to them about their recent mission. Aurora, Sasquatch and Puck explain their loyalties to Captain Marvel and the Alpha Flight Space Program, but the Prime Minister reminds his national super heroes that above all else, civil liberties must be protected, and tells them that imprisoning people for crimes they haven't committed is wrong. As the heroes leave Justin Trudeau's office, Aurora is reminded that she was given the freedom of choice, and it is suggested she reflect on that. That night, Trudeau goes to a boxing gym, where he is soon joined by Tony Stark, for their regular boxing game. Justin tells Tony that he is sorry about Rhodey, before they spar. During the game, Tony hints at wanting to know what Justin told Alpha Flight, but Justin isn't going to tell his friend anything. Justin knocks Tony out, and reminds him that there is a middle ground – there always is. Justin helps Tony up and suggests to him thaty they don't fight anymore, and tells Tony that he fights too much – with the wrong opponents. Aurora has been watching them, and cries.

Full Summary: 

First Story:
Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Alpha Flight are on a mission to apprehend predicted criminals Brian “Piledriver” Calusky and his son Ricky Calusky a.k.a. Excavator. 'Stand down, Calusky!' Aurora a.k.a. Jeanne-Marie Beaubier orders as she fires a blast of light towards Piledriver, who punches Dr Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch in the face and announces that he wasn't doing anything. 'This is harassment!' he exclaims. Recovering from the punch, Sasquatch tries to tell Piledriver again that they are not here for him. Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck leaps over Excavator and via his communicator informs Lt Wendy Kawasaki that things are going down south here. 'Leave me alone! I don't even have powers anymore!' Excavator exclaims as he tries to punch Puck. From the Alpha Flight Space Station, Wendy is at some monitors and tells Puck to take it easy on him, that readouts indicate Excavator is currently powerless. 'We don't want to hurt him, just take him in. And go easy on his dad too! He's not the target' Wendy declares, before asking Aurora and Sasquatch if they read her.

'Understood' Sasquatch replies as he holds onto Piledriver, while Aurora uses a calming light power on him. 'I didn't... I didn't do anything...' Piledriver groans, while Sasquatch tells him that they are here for his son. Puck has forced Excavator to the ground and placed some handcuffs on him. 'What? I haven't done anything! Why -' he starts to protest, while Puck tells him that he is sorry, and informs him that in three days time, he will murder his father for his powers. 'But it will turn out that you can't harness that power, and the resulting explosion kills another dozen people' Sasquatch reveals. 'No... he wouldn't... my son wouldn't -' Piledriver stammers.

Later, in the Ottawa office of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, the Prime Minister looks at footage of Alpha Flight fighting the Caluskys. Aurora stands to the left of his desk, while Sasquatch sits on the floor in front of the desk, and Puck sits on an arm chair. 'Alpha Flight. Our country's greatest heroes. So why am I watching you take down a teenager on American soil?' the Prime Minister asks.

'Mr Prime Minister, it's... complicated' Aurora replies. 'Since we've been part of the Alpha Flight Space Program, Colonel Danvers – Captain Marvel – has gained... a means of intelligence...that -' Sasquatch starts to reply, before Puck interrupts him, declaring that they can predict the future, avoid catastrophes, and “keep the peace”. 'That's pretty Canadian if you ask me -' Puck adds. 'I didn't, Eugene' Trudeau points out. He then tells Alpha Flight that they can't predict the future – their “Colonel Danvers” has an Inhuman who can predict the future. He points out that those are very different things, and that it is a dangerous game of psychic telephone. 'And now you've made an enemy of Iron Man and a veritable who's who of super heroes' the Prime Minister informs Alpha Flight, telling them not to be surprised, as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service filled him in.

'Look, everything that Inhuman has told us about has come true! We're saving -' Puck starts to say, but the Prime Minister interrupts him: 'Has it? Did young Ricky Calusky kill his dad?' 'Well, no, because -' Puck begins, to which the Prime Minister asks as to the whereabouts of Ricky now. Sasquatch looks to the floor, before reporting that he is in a SHIELD holding facility. 'Not a prison exactly' Sasquatch adds.

The Prime Minister pauses and puts the tips of his fingers together, before Aurora tells him that she – and Judd and Walt – have strong loyalties to Colonel Danvers. 'She's our leader in the Alpha Flight Space Program, and our international mandate is to defend the planet. We're defending it' Aurora tells him. 'Yes, but not by “any means necessary”' the Prime Minister replies. 'This is why we're here, Sir' Sasquatch adds, pointing out that they believe in what they are doing, the good they are accomplishing. 'And while the program falls under the authority of an intergalactic cooperative, we're -' Sasquatch starts to say, as Puck interrupts him: 'We're Canadian, bub'.

Sasquatch continues, informing the Prime Minister that even though they have the support of Mr Beaulieu on the Alpha Flight Board of Governors, they still wanted to reach out to him about this. Trudeau reminds Alpha Flight that above all else, civil liberties must be protected, and tells them that there are so many holes in their process that even the '84 Leafs could get through them.

The Prime Minister announces that he thinks imprisoning people for crimes they may not have even thought of it wrong, that he thinks these methods are flawed, and that he thinks they have embarked on a dangerous path. The Prime Minister agrees that Pierre Beaulieu may be the Canadian representative, but the three of them, as Alpha Flight, are the ones who have saved this country countless times. Trudeau tells Alpha Flight that he is putting his faith in them and their judgment here. 'This is your call to make. You've earned that level of trust'. He then asks them to leave, reminding them that he has a country run.

Puck and Sasquatch lead the way out of the Prime Minister's office, while Aurora walks behind them. She turns slightly and thanks the Prime Minister. 'We appreciate your input' she adds. 'Ms Beaubier, just remember -' the Prime Minister begins, while Puck quietly mutters to Sasquatch 'Pfft probably has to record a video of himself doing push-ups while a baby panda sits on his back. Ugh I love him'.

The Prime Minister tells Aurora that he gave Alpha Flight the freedom of choice, and suggests she reflect on that in the coming days.

A purple hue covers the night sky, as Justin Trudeau works out in a boxing gym. He pounds away at a boxing bag, before turning to shadow-boxing. 'Standing up a state leader. Unbelievable' the Prime Minister mutters, as a figure can be seen approaching him. 'Shadow-boxing?' a familiar voice calls out. 'Finally, an opponent you can handle' Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man tells the Prime Minister, who turns: 'Tony. I was just about to alert the RCMP to open the gym back up'. 'Didn't think you'd show, considering -' Justin begins, before Tony's face-plate rises up into the armor, and Tony replies 'And miss our weekly sparring session? No chance'. The armor falls away from Tony, and Justin can see some bandages on Tony's face and neck. 'Jesus, Tony. You look -' Justin begins, but Tony interrupts him, announcing that he is fine. 'Let's do this' Tony declares as they put their head-braces on. Justin then tells Tony that he is sorry – he heard about what happened to Rhodey. Tony goes quiet, before thanking Justin and suggesting they box.

The men turn to face each other, and Justin tells Tony that he didn't have to come. 'This situation with Danvers and the... predictive Inhuman -' 'Ulysses' Tony informs Justin. 'Ulysses. You need to take care of yourself. You can't help anyone if you're – dead' Justin points out as he dodges a punch that Tony tries to unleash on him. 'Maybe I'm not just here for you, Justin. Heard you had some visitors...' Tony replies, throwing another punch, which Justin blocks. 'Sorry' Justin remarks as he punches Tony's side, and then again as he strikes Tony in the face. 'Stop – apologizing!' Tony shouts as he knocks Justin back with a punch. The men step back from each other and ready themselves, to which Justin asks 'So that's what this is? You want to know what I told Alpha Flight? What I advised them?'

'They're in the wrong, Justin. You know it' Tony declares. 'How long have we been friends?' Justin asks Tony. 'Friends who punch each other? A while' Tony replies as he strikes Justin, pushing him back against the boxing ring ropes. Tony throws several more punches as he tells Justin that he can order them to stand down. 'They're Canadian! They'd be too polite to say “no”!' Tony exclaims. 'Have you ever talked to Puck?' Justin jokes, ducking a punch that Tony throws. 'Damn it, Trudeau! Even just some intel from them could turn the -' Tony starts to ask, before Justin delivers a forceful punch, knocking Tony to the ground. Justin stands over Tony. 'Sorry' he tells him. 'Cheap shot' Tony mutters. Justin informs Tony that he doesn't think Alpha Flight are in the right here. 'Exactly! Then just -' Tony begins, but Justin interrupts him: 'But neither are you' he declares. Justin extends a hand to help Tony stand up and remarks that there is always a middle ground.

'This isn't some bill to be negotiated and passed on “Canadian Capitol Hill” -' Tony starts to say. 'Parliament' Justin interrupts him. 'Justin, they killed my best friend -' Tony begins. The men hug, and Justin tells Tony that it will be okay. 'I just need to...' Tony utters. 'You'll figure it out. You always do' 'You smell really nice...' Tony remarks to Justin as they start to walk out of the boxing ring. 'No more fighting tonight, Tony. You fight enough. You all fight too much...' Justin remarks, unaware, that outside, Aurora has been hovering near a window watching the men, and tears fall down her face as Justin concludes: '...with the wrong opponents'.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:
Aurora, Puck, Sasquatch (all Alpha Flight)
Lt Wendy Kawasaki
Iron Man


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Story Notes: 

The other stories in this issue are:
Second Story: Colleen Wing
Third Story: Nick Fury in “Post Prologue” part five

First Story:
This is a tie-in to the Civil War II limited series.

The Alpha Flight members in this story have been working with Captain Marvel and the Alpha Flight project.

Excavator has been powerless since Runaways (2nd series) #1 when he broke his magic shovel.

Rhodey a.k.a. War Machine was killed in Civil War II #1.

Written By: