Northeast Saskatchewan, near the banks of the Churchill River, has some of the most beautiful woodlands in all of Canada. Ever since their wedding day, four blissful years ago, James and Patricia Matthews have spent their vacations here - enjoying the fishing, the scenery and the serenity. Which, on this chill October morning is all too suddenly shattered. At their campsite, James looks up and points to the sky: ‘Patty! Get a look of that!’ he tells his wife as something streaks through the sky towards them. ‘My goodness, James! What is it?’ Patty asks as she holds a frying pain in her right hand. James replies that he doesn’t know, but points out that it is headed this way.
Indeed, the energy that streaks through the sky is actually Ranark. In times long past, his enemies called him the Ravager. Once, he was the most feared shaman of all - an Indian sorcerer who made obscene pacts with the dark spirits…until he became unto a god himself. Fearing his power, the medicine men of nearby tribes banded together, using mystic spells to imprison his spirit within a sacred urn…until now, that is. The massive Ranark suddenly lands at the campsite, and exclaims ‘Rejoice, mortals! Exult in the privilege of being the first to worship Ranark, the all-powerful!’ he booms.
Patty and James look worried - ‘James, he can’t be real! This can’t be happening!’ Patty exclaims. James tells his wife to take it easy, that there has to be a rational explanation. Ranark leans down and picks up a small radio and remarks that he senses the world has changed greatly during his enforced slumber. ‘I have much to learn!’ he declares, while wondering what power resides within this oddly shaped talisman. Suddenly, the voice of Elvis Costello resonates through the forest, courtesy of the radio. ‘Bah! It is obviously a weapon meant to befuddle the senses of an enemy…but Ranark shall not fall prey to its magic!’ Ranarak booms as he tosses the radio aside.
Looking at a small canoe, he calls out it a dugout and declares that it must also be a thing of sorcerery, He smashes the canoe and declares that it is made of metal and now wood, so surely it would sink without the aid of magic. For long moments, Ranark rages through the Matthews’ camp! Within seconds, the young couple witness their most prized possessions reduced to rubble. ‘He’s destroying everything! James exclaims. Patty rushes towards Ranark and tells him that it is not fair, that her husband and she worked like dogs to buy this equipment. ‘You can’t just take it away!’ she screams at him. ‘Patty, don’t!’ James calls out. But Patricia does not heed her husband’s warning - and is brushed aside with a casual swipe of Ranark’s hand.
‘That tears it, buddy!’ James exclaims as he picks up a shovel. ‘I don’t know who - or what - you think you are…but nobody manhandles my wife!’ James declares. Ranark merely smiles as he increases his size. Men and women have not significantly altered their relationships in the last three hundred years. Yet, this mortal must learn to address his god with the proper humility - and twin beams of concussive force flash from the immortal demon’s eyes. James Matthews is suddenly bathed in a sea of searing agony. Every movement, every thought is laced with excruciating pain! James screams, and is still screaming four hours later, when the local constabulary arrives to remove him from the arms of his hysterical wife.
Meanwhile, over eight hundred and fifty miles away in a middle-class suburb of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Number 138A Laurier Drive, the home of James and Heather Hudson, where at this precise moment, a most unlikely council of war is in progress! Present, gathered in the Hudsons’ living room, are James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator, Dr Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch, Dr Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen, all of Alpha Flight, and Ben Grimm a.k.a. the Fantastic Four’s ever-loving Thing. The topic of conversation is Ranark - and these grim-faced champions know that the survival of Canada - indeed of the very world itself, may hang in the balance.
‘You jokers claim to be half of a super hero team called Alpha Flight, Canada’s answer to the Avengers…but if yer such a bunch of hotshots, how come ya gotta operate outta Hudson’s apartment like some two-bit sideshow?’ the Thing asks. The handsome Walter Langkowski explains that the government discontinued their funding in a budget crunch. ‘But our resources are hardly the issue now’ Walt adds, before suggesting that he review the specifics of the case at hand before they proceed.
Flashback illustrations, narrated by Sasquatch:
Sasquatch explains that he and Shaman had gone on holiday to northwest Alberta, which is when Shaman’s magics began acting up, warning them of incredible danger. The next morning, they discovered a fabled Indian burial ground, rumored to be the repository of ancient power and knowledge. But when Sasquatch returned to their campsite for supplies, he noticed the arrival of an unexpected visitor, and after Shaman’s prophecy of doom, he was not going to take any chances. So he transformed himself into Sasquatch, and moments later, due to a silly misunderstanding, and an unhealthy dose of machismo, he soon found himself in savage combat with the Thing! While Sasquatch and the Thing were making fools of themselves, Shaman had problems of his own - falling victim to a powerful mind spell, he was led to an ancient urn, and forced to free Ranark from his centuries long slumber. Needless to say, the Thing and Sasquatch were quite taken aback by the Ravager’s sudden appearance.
Sasquatch concludes by explaining that common sense prevailed, and he and the Thing joined forces. Walt adds that they quickly found Shaman, and then Grimm flew them here in his Pogo Plane. Mac points out that he knows all of that, and tells Walt that his call from the airport caught him off guard. Mac remarks that Shaman is looking much better now, and asks him what he cant tell them about Ranark. ‘Not much!’ Twoyoungmen replies, explaining that legend describes him as a were-wraith - an unholy synthesis of man and demon. Shaman adds that they must not underestimate him, as he is incredibly ruthless and is supposed to have dominion over the earth, wind and fire.
‘Sheesh! What’re we fighting…a boogy man or a rock band?’ the Thing asks, referencing the music group “Earth, Wind and Fire”. Vindicator tells the Thing that he really wishes he would keep such comments to himself. ‘The gravity of this situation is -’ Mac begins, before being interrupted by the Thing who snaps ‘Bag it, sonny! You clowns may be the best Canada has to offer…but I usually work with a first class team…the Fantastic Four!’ he adds that he is not used to jawing over tea and biscuits while lives are in danger.
The Thing adds that he has things on his mind. ‘Didn’t come up north for my health!’ he exclaims. ‘What was your reason?’ someone asks. ‘I was hoping you’d ask’ the Thing begins, as he reveals that a close friend of his is dying from a rare form of radiation poisoning. ‘He’s called Giant-Man, and the only one who has a chance of saving him is the world’s foremost authority on radiology - Dr Walter Langkowski!’ Walter looks confused, ‘Me? Under normal circumstances, I’d be honoured to help your friend, but now…’ his voice trails off. ‘I kinda figured you’d say something like that…so I’m gonna help ya against Ranark!’ the Thing announces.
At that moment, Vindicator rises and walks towards a filing cabinet against the wall, thinking that he is glad the Thing has decided to join them, as his strength will greatly add to their raw power. James tells himself that he is not anxious to go into action again. ‘This battle suit I designed utilizes a localized control over the Earth’s magnetic fields! I enjoy using it - but I don’t like risking my life as a super hero!’ Mac pulls three files from the cabinet and adds that he never wanted to be leader of Alpha Flight. But he knows that Ranark might be the single greatest threat they have ever faced, so they will need the full team. Looking at the files for Snowbird, Aurora and Northstar, Mac regrets that Snowbird is off on manuevers and cannot be reached, which leaves only Aurora and Northstar.
Elsewhere, at that precise moment, the Canadian Air Force has been launched. ‘Flight leader to Canadian Air Command - we have spotted an unknown intruder in violation of our air space!’ one soldier announces, as several jets fly towards Ranark. The officer announces that the unknown intruder refuses to acknowledge their radio signals, and will not identify itself. The reply tells the flight leader to proceed with caution, as they have been getting some strange civilian sightings today. But, as the flight squadron draws nearer to the mysterious flying object, the leader realizes that it looks like a man.
Ranark is intrigued by what he perceives as oddly-shaped metal birds. He veers towards them, However, his curiosity is misinterpreted as an act of aggression. ‘He’s aiming right for us…on a collision course!’ the flight leader calls out. ‘We have no choice! We must blast him out of the sky!’ he orders. Rockets thunder towards the man-demon, each possessing sufficient payload to level a medium-sized football stadium. But with a murmured incantation, Ranark instantly surrounds himself with a shield of mystic force which easily deflects the exploding missiles.
Angers glazes his eyes as the Ravager uses his supernatural powers to increase his size to incredible proportions…he knows not the why or wherefore of his unexpected attack. He merely knows that his response will be as brutal as it is swift. ‘Oh, no! He’s coming right at me! There’s no way I can avoid him!’ the flight leader calls out - but Ranark crashes through the jet. For three startling seconds, the battle rages - then, it is over as quickly as abruptly as it began. As state-of-the-art technology is reduced to molten slag with ease, as Ranark rips the jets apart. The pilots were skilled professionals, the very best - but they never had a chance, as their limp bodies fall from the wreckage.
Elsewhere, specifically an exclusive estate in Lavalle, Quebec. ‘You can’t be serious!’ Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora exclaims to her twin brother, Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier. Inside, the super fast twins are relaxing at a bar, and Northstar tells his sister to give it a rest, remarking that Hudson and the rest of Alpha Flight can go hang for all he cares. ‘I’ve had enough of these super hero games! I’m not answering this latest summons!’ Northstar declares. Aurora tells her brother that he is acting the obstinate fool, but Jean-Paul declares that he is being realistic. ‘Alpha Flight was ill-conceived from the very start! The government realized that…and tried to disband us!’ he exclaims. Holding his glass to his face, Jean-Paul reminds Aurora that the Ministry of Defense brought them together, that they wanted a team of super powered agents - ‘So they trained us - and used us!’
Leaning against the bar, Northstar remarks that Alpha Flight were puppets, forced to act in the Ministry’s grim scenarios of costumes and death. ‘But then, we became too good at our work…and they began to fear us!’ Aurora throws her arms into the air and reminds her brother that is all in the past. ‘We’ve severed our ties to the government! We’re on our own now!’ Aurora points out. Jean-Paul agrees that the Ministry no longer pulls their strings - ‘James Hudson sees to that chore!’ he declares. ‘That’s not fair’ Aurora tells her brother, adding that James and the others need them, as they may be in danger.
Jeanne-Marie reminds Jean-Paul that they were born with special abilities, that they are different from normal people. ‘We can move and fly at super speeds! When we are in physical contact, we can generate bursts of light! We must have been given these special powers for a purpose - a reason!’ she exclaims. Aurora spins around at super speed, while telling Jean-Paul that he may be able to turn his back on his birthright and his friends, but she cannot. When she stops spinning, Aurora displays her costume, and storms away, telling Northstar that his experiences have left him feeling bitter and betrayed. ‘But I have always loved the thrill and exhilaration of being Aurora!’ Jean-Marie bids her brother goodbye, telling him that she hopes he regrets his decision. ‘You will learn to rue yours…’ Jean-Paul whispers.
The capital of Manitoba, Winnipeg, is the fourth largest city in the dominion of Canada. At this exact instant, it is also a city that faces imminent devastation! Blazing from the heavens, a blurred streak makes its way toward the center of this sprawling metropolis -and then, ‘Greet your new god, mortals!’ Ranark booms as he hovers over the civilians below. ‘Bow before Ranark the Ravager!’ he declares. Ranark stands tall over the fleeing civilians as he watches them run in mindless panic, like fawns seeking to escape the ravenous wolf. Ranark decides that these people seem weak and soft-willed, but that they have achieved much during the years of his slumber. ‘They have buildings which caress the heavens…and machines of incredible power!’ Ranark knows that he will never possess their unswerving loyalty, so if he is to rule them, then he must do so through fear.
Ranark decides that the very sight of him must cause the humans to cringe in absolute terror, so he must display his full power so that they will never seek to rebel against him. Suddenly, he raises his hands above his head, and causes giant fast-growing trees to spring from the streets, which crumble around him. Ranark tells himself that once he has reduced this city to rubble, he will fly to others, forcing them to fall one by one, until at last, the entire planet kneels before him. Suddenly, a blast of pure magnetic force thunders towards the would-be world conqueror, knocking him to the ground. ‘Good work, Vindicator! You caught him by surprise…and managed to stagger him!’ Sasquatch exclaims.
Vindicator thanks Sasquatch as they, Shaman and Thing move towards Ranark, with Vindicator pointing out that a blast like that exhausts his suit for a moment, but that it will recharge in seconds. Shaman warns his friends to be cautious, as Ranark still possess the power of unlimited enchantment. ‘Nuts! I’ve seen three-week old kittens that looked tougher than this clown!’ the Thing declares. The Thing adds that he probably won’t even get a chance to clobber him - when suddenly, Ranark turns around and looks at the heroes. The Thing declares that Ranark was only stunned, and is beginning to revive already. ‘Arrogant mortal fools! You shall learn that Ranark is not so easily defeated!’ the ancient one exclaims. He boasts that, ages ago he learned to bend the Earth, the wind and the fire to his very will. ‘I could crush you with the merest gesture…but I prefer to demonstrate my power in a far more satisfying manner!’ he tells them as he slaps his hand against the concrete under him.
Suddenly, tremors rock the Earth…buildings quiver in fear, and a city screams! Alpha Flight and the Thing are shaken about, as Sasquatch declares ‘Unbelievable! He generated an earthquake by merely slapping the ground!’ Sasquatch points out that they are lucky it seems to be confined to this one city block. ‘Langkowski, ya may look like a far out fuzz ball…but ya still talk like an egghead researcher!’ the Thing remarks, adding that it is not all that lucky for the people who live here. And as rubble from buildings begins to tumble to the streets below, the Thing exclaims that it is downright dangerous.
Vindicator tells Alpha Flight that the Thing is right, and that they must affect rescue operations. As Aurora arrives on scene, Vindicator informs everyone that he and Shaman will follow Ranark, while Sasquatch, Aurora and the Thing are to help where they can. ‘Will do, cutie!’ Aurora exclaims. Up in the air, Ranark tells himself that it is so easy to establish his utter supremacy over these primitives. He adds that before he has finished, no one on Earth will fail to shudder at the mere mention of his name. ‘But, I have more work to do - far, far more!’ he adds.
Sasquatch approaches an apartment building that is teetering, while the Thing remarks that although the tremors have stopped, the earthquake shattered the apartment building’s foundations. ‘It’s coming down!’ he shouts. Sasquatch realizes that it is filled with people, and presses against the base, holding it up, he announces that he has stopped it, but that the strain is unbearable. He asks the Thing to help him, and so together they may be able to hold it upright until everyone can be evacuated. ‘I hear ya talking, fur-face!’ the Thing replies.
Knowing full well that too much pressure will crack the building into a million fragments, the man-brutes slowly, painfully struggle against it. And soon, are holding the building steady. ‘We…did it!’ Sasquatch exclaims. The Thing points out that they still have to get people out before it crumbles all over them, when suddenly, a woman in the apartment building screams as her son slips from a window. ‘He’s falling!’ she screams. However, Aurora flies by, and collects the child. ‘Hold on, child! I’ll get you to safety!’ she tells him. ‘You - you’re flying!’ the boy exclaims. ‘That’s merely one of my talents - and you’re too young to appreciate the others!’ Aurora exclaims as she lands the boy on the ground.
However, the apartment wall begins to give way, and Sasquatch and the Thing struggle to hold it up. The Thing declares that they cannot let it fall, as people may still be inside. Inside the building, Aurora has been zipping from apartment to apartment, looking for stragglers. It seems that everyone is out already, but she must be sure. Seconds later, Aurora flies from the apartment building, with the mother of the boy she rescued. ‘Sasquatch! Thing! The building’s empty!’ Aurora calls out, telling them to get away from the wall, as it cannot take anymore stress. ‘It’s coming down!’ Aurora shouts. Reacting instantly, Sasquatch leaps to safety - but the Thing pauses to insure his comrade’s escape…and that hesitation proves to be his undoing, as he is buried beneath tons of twisted steel and concrete!
Meanwhile, back in the United States, the world-famous sky-scraper headquarters of the Fantastic Four, Bill Foster a.k.a. Giant-Man, fights back a wave of nausea as he struggles to stand. Bill tells himself that he must be weaker than he thought, and realizes that his condition is desecrating rapidly. ‘May as well face facts - I’m going to die’ he tells himself. Walking slowly across the lab, he remarks that he never even had the chance to prove himself as Giant-Man. ‘As Giant-Man, I was a loser from the start’ he thinks to himself, recalling how battling Atom Smasher infected him with the radiation which is now killing him, and things went downhill from there.
Suddenly, Bill begins to keel over, but Reed Richards a.k.a. Mister Fantastic appears, and extends his arms out to hold Bill upwards. Retracting Bill back towards him, Reed tells Bill that he belongs in bed. Reed tells himself that Bill is looking worse, and decides that he will not last the week at his present rate of decline. ‘Small wonder that he’s beginning to lose hope’ Reed thinks to himself as he puts Foster back in bed. Reed offers to call the doctor, but Bill tells him that he doesn’t think the doctor can help, before he asks where his clothes are. Reed holds the Giant-Man costume up, and explains that he was in his costume when the Thing brought him here. Reed gives Bill the costume and tells him not to give into despair. He assures him that Walter Langkowski is a specialist on the effects of radiation on the human body. ‘He can help you - I’m certain of that!’ Reed exclaims, adding that Ben and Dr Langkowski are probably on their way here. ‘Somehow I just can’t believe things will work out…’ Giant-Man whispers.
Back in Winnipeg, Aurora and Sasquatch are searching through the rubble. Aurora points out that there is no trace of the Thing, and suggests he must have been killed instantly. But Sasquatch replies that they cannot stop sifting through the rubble, not while there is a chance he is still alive. Suddenly, Sasquatch detects more tremors. ‘What on Earth?’ one of them calls out, as a large chunk of concrete from the rubble is blasted into the sky. ‘Grimm! You’re a sight for sore eyes!’ Sasquatch calls out as he sees the Thing amongst the rubble. Walter tells Ben to hang on, that they will get him free. ‘The heck you will. I was just resting till ya got here!’ the Thing replies, boasting that spectacular stunts like this are hardly any fun unless you have an audience to appreciate them! Seconds later, the Thing is free of the rubble, and Sasquatch and Aurora gather beside him. ‘We were very worried about you!’ Sasquatch tells the Thing, who replies ‘So was I!’ and remarks that he thinks he sprained his beer-drinking arm.
Meantime, at that exact second, on a nearby freeway, the traffic is at a stand-still, as Ranark hovers in the air above the freeway, with many people getting out of the cars to look up at him. ‘So! The fools seek to escape my wraith by fleeing the city!’ Ranark exclaims. He remarks that since his awakening, he has learned that these people use technology, and not magic, to create their many miracles. ‘Those vehicles are called “cars”…and I find them not to my liking!’ he exclaims. The Ravager sets down amongst the cars and begins swatting them aside with ease, remarking that they sear his ears with their glaring howls, and taint the air with their noxious fumes. ‘He’s going crazy!’ one of the fleeing civilians exclaims.
Up in the air, Vindicator tells himself that it looks like they have arrived just in time, although it was not hard to follow Ranark’s path of destruction. Mac strains as he catches the vehicles Ranark tossed about with his electromagnetic field, and lowers them gently to the ground. Mac recalls that he managed to convince the military not to mount a concentrated assault, until after Alpha Flight took their shot. ‘After all that’s happened, we’re still doing the dirty jobs for the Ministry! I guess we always will!’ Mac tells himself, while wondering what Shaman is up to. Shaman approaches Ranark, who exclaims ‘You! You are the one who set me free!’ Shaman replies that he did, but to his ever-lasting shame.
‘Ha! You seek to repair your mistake…by using your sacred powders to encircle me within a wall of living flame!’ Ranark declares as the flame surrounds him. Ranark boasts that he can assume any size, shape or substance that he desires, and thus, with a casual thought, he transforms his body into a whirlwind, snuffing out both Shaman’s fire and his pretensions to victory. Shaman is battered about, as the wind caused by Ranark’s whirlwind disrupts the air currents, making it impossible for Shaman to coast upon them. Sasquatch tells his teammate to go limp as he catches him. ‘Sasquatch!’ Shaman exclaims. Walter points out that their side does not seem to be scoring many points, and asks Shaman if he has any suggestions. Shaman replies that the ancient medicine men possessed many magicks capable of keeping a man-demon like Ranark in check, but that knowledge has been lost over the centuries. ‘I have but one spell which may defeat him - but I fare not unleash it yet!’ Shaman declares.
At that moment, ‘What manner of creature?’ Ranark asks as the Thing rushes towards him. ‘I ain’t got time to pussyfoot around with you!’ the Thing exclaims, remarking that a friend of his is dying, and he cannot get the help he needs until they stop Ranark. ‘Lights out, sweetie!’ the Thing shouts as he punches Ranark, hard, causing him to fall to the ground. ‘You insolent, orange-skinned gargoyle! You dare lay hands upon a god!’ Ranark declares, warning the Thing that he will pay for this, a thousand fold. Ranark uses his power to cause branches to move towards the Thing and snare him. The Thing asks where they came from, and Ranark boasts that he summoned them. ‘Good! I was hoping you’d say that, ‘cause…that officially makes it clobberin’ time!’ the Thing shouts. Sasquatch watches and reminds himself that this is not even the Thing’s fight, yet he is here, risking his life, along with the rest of Alpha Flight. Walter hopes that he can repay Ben in some small measure by helping his friend when the battle ends - if it ever ends.
Nearby, a reporter, Ted Anesly, has gathered with his camera crew, and begins reporting the situation from the Red River Crossing, at Middlechurch. He announces that the American super hero, the Thing, has joined forces with an as-yet unidentified Canadian task force. ‘Wait one moment…something seems to be happening…yes! According to my sources, the creature known as “Ranark” has apparently conjured a lightning storm…to come to his aid’. Back in Quebec, Northstar is watching the report, as he pours himself another drink. The reporter announces that their science editor and meteorologist will comment on the event after the next commercial break, before pointing out that someone appears to be in trouble. ‘I believe it is the woman who was referred to as “Aurora”!’ the reporter exclaims. Northstar watches intently as Aurora appeared, for a moment, to be in danger of being struck by lightning - but she negotiated her way out of the storm with a skill never before witnessed by the reporter. An instant later, Northstar is gone.
At that moment, Shaman hovers in the air as he explains that this potion, in conjunction with the right incantation, will calm Ranark’s storm clouds. For a moment, at least, Shaman’s medicine seems to work - but then, Ranark again invokes his clouds! This time they spew forth hail - the size of boulders - and they quickly plummet towards the cars below. ‘Ranark has more trick plays than the Dallas Cowboys!’ Sasquatch remarks, before adding that his ploy is working, and while the others pull back to discuss strategy, it is up to him to buy them enough time to cook up a plan to beat their foe. Sasquatch smashes the large pieces of hail up, causing them to break into smaller pieces, as he makes his way towards Ranark.
‘You appear far stronger than the other orange-skinned one!’ Ranark points out. ‘And I’m cuddlier, too!’ Sasquatch jokes. ‘Bah! I am not interested in your pitiful attempts at wit!’ Ranark booms as he lifts a bus over his head. ‘I merely wish to make an example of you!’ he declares as he throws the bus at Sasquatch, ‘By crushing you totally…mercilessly!’ he adds. Sasquatch steps out of the way of the bus and tells Ranark that he was hoping to convince him to go one-on-one with him. ‘Up until now, you;’ve been the only one up on the scoreboard - you’ve been hurting my friends and making a shambles of my country - NO MORE!’ Sasquatch shouts as he smacks Ranark in the face.
‘Maybe you do possess the powers of a god. Maybe you truly are invincible! It doesn’t matter! You have severely underestimated the spirit - the courage - of Canada! We’ll never stop fighting you - never!’ Walter booms as he continues to punch Ranark, who, suddenly, shouts ‘Enough! I shall still your mocking tongue - by willing my own strength to increase until it is far greater than yours!’ he declares as he increases his form, and smacks Sasquatch over.
Nearby, the rest of Alpha Flight and the Thing watch in helpless horror as Sasquatch is rocked by blow after thunderous blow. ‘Langkowski purchased us a few moments respite - but at what cost?’ Shaman asks, adding that Sasquatch’s sacrifice must not be in vain. He tells his comrades that he believes he can destroy Ranark, but that he must be rendered unconscious, if only for an instant. Vindicator tells everyone that they will pull out all stops, that they will put everything into one last concentrated assault, and hit Ranark from ever front imaginable.
But at that moment, ‘Sasquatch!’ Ranark booms. ‘Your hands have soiled my immortal presence!’ Ranark declares, warning Sasquatch that he must suffer, as not man has ever suffered before. Sasquatch watches as two massive earthen hands rise from the ground, which suddenly latch on to Sasquatch. ‘Have you not guessed the reason why?’ Ranark asks as the hands begin to crush Sasquatch down to the earth. ‘Ranark means to bury me alive!’ Sasquatch gasps, and as he is pushed further and further down, he finds that he cannot break free. ‘Feels like the entire planet is tugging against me!’ Walter calls out as he struggles valiantly, heroically - but only in vain, as he is swallowed whole by the hungry earth!
Then, as Ranark laughs in triumphant glee, Vindicator attacks! Mac realizes that the others are not in position yet, that he is jumping the gun, but Sasquatch has not got a chance unless he acts quickly and decisively. Never before has Vindicator unleashed such a concentrated blast of electro-magnetic energy! He hopes and prays that it will stun Ranark - but as he fires at the villain, his power does nothing, as Ranark simply absorbs the energy. Ranark boasts that he will return the energy to Vindicator, magnified by the power of his own body. Mac tells himself that his impulsiveness has jeopardized any chance they had, and realizes that the approaching blast may penetrate his force field.
Vindicator hovers in the air - and suddenly, the second before Ranark’s return fire reaches him, Mac quite literally pops out of existence - only to reappear an instant later on the other side of the globe, hovering over an island. ‘That stunt always takes it out of me!’ Mac thinks to himself, reminding himself that his battle suit can negate the effects of the Earth’s magnetic field, so he comes to a complete stop, while the rest of the planet continues to rotate at an average speed of eighteen and a half miles per second. Mac tells himself to pour on the speed and get back to the others.
Aurora lies on the ground, while Shaman and the Thing look up at Ranark, who declares that he is no longer amused by their efforts to distract him. Shaman tells the others to spread out, as Ranark is going to attack. Suddenly, at Ranark’s silent command, the Earth heaves - and explodes beneath the feet of the heroes, who are left momentarily dazed and helpless. But then before the man-demon can continue his attack, reinforcements arrive! ‘Arise, Alpha Flight - and we shall crush this monster!’ Northstar shouts. ‘Northstar!’ Aurora exclaims, smiling that she knew her brother would not fail them. No man can say whether Jean-Paul has come out of a sense of duty to his country, or concern for his sister’s safety - but his unexpected arrival catches Ranark completely off guard, as Northstar darts around the villain, unleashing a thousand blows upon the Ravager before he even realizes he is under siege.
Suddenly, ‘Something must have distracted Ranark! I’m free!’ Sasquatch shouts as he bursts up through the ground. Thing tells Shaman and Aurora that the ball is in their court now, that they have to make a move before Ranark can get his head together. ‘Aurora, you know what to do’ Shaman tells the young mutant. Aurora streaks upwards and reaches for her brother’s hand. Suddenly, their mutant bodies generate a blinding burst of pure elemental light. So dazzling is the resulting display that even Ranark must avert his eyes. In that instant, the Thing and Sasquatch quickly heft two nearby cars - which are sent hurtling upwards, where they collide amid the cataclysm of exploding gas tanks. This unexpected concussion knocks Ranark from his feet - and for the briefest of moments, the would-be god lies still, unmoving.
Shaman rushes over to the fallen Ranark, knowing that he will revive almost immediately, as he is practically indestructible. Shaman recalls that magic imprisoned Ranark once, and can do so again, but the spell that Shaman has to weave could cost him his own immortal soul. Ignoring the danger to himself, Shaman quickly makes his preparations, and begins to chant in a slow, high-pitched voice. For long moments, nothing happens, and then Ranark’s body begins to lose substance, and shrink, until finally, he vanishes, leaving only his soul in the form of a glowing ball of energy.
‘It…is over!’ Shaman declares, explaining that Ranark’s soul, his very essence, how resides within this mystic cocoon. Shaman informs everyone that he will secret the device in a place far away from the prying eyes of unwary men. The Thing asks Shaman why they went through so much grief if he could have done that spell at any time. Shaman explains that if he attempted the spell while Ranark was conscious, they would have all been destroyed. ‘Oh…’ Thing mutters, before telling Alpha Flight that, for a bunch of amateurs, they really have it together. ‘We’ll take that as a compliment’ Sasquatch replies.
Later, after Vindicator has arrived to rejoin the team. ‘Perhaps someday we can meet the rest of the Fantastic Four!’ Shaman exclaims, while Sasquatch tells everyone that he hates to break the party up, but he and the Thing have to be going. Thing tells Sasquatch to hurry up and change back into his human self, as they have some unfinished business to get out of the way.
Later, at the Baxter Building, the Thing has paced the halls of the Fantastic Four’s home for seven consecutive hours, while Walter examines Bill Foster - performing every test conceivable on the dying super hero. ‘What’s the verdict, Doc?’ Thing asks as Walter approaches he and Susan Storm a.k.a. the Invisible Girl. Walter explains that Foster is suffering from a unique form of radiation poisoning, the like of which he has never seen before. Walter announces that Foster’s body has already been irreparably damaged. ‘I don’t believe there’s any way to save him! I’m sorry…’ Walter tells the Thing, who hangs his head. ‘Yeah…sure…so am I…’ he mutters, before walking solemnly down the corridor, all alone.