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26th June 2011

Beta Flight I was the second level training squad of the Canadian government’s super hero program. Department H had developed a three-tiered training system - where new recruits would usually start at the bottom tier (Gamma Flight), before moving onto additional training (Beta Flight) and finally qualify for active field status (Alpha Flight).

First appearance: none [The group was never shown in action, but mentioned several times by its former members and their allies. Illustrative images depicting the team’s roster can be found in Alpha Flight (1st series) #1 and #51-52]

Last appearance: prior to Alpha Flight (1st series) #1

Membership: Box I, Flashback, Marrina, Puck
Allies: James MacDonald Hudson / Guardian I, Gary Cody

Early History of Department H

James MacDonald Hudson had a dream - a dream of creating Canada’s own national super team like the United States’ Fantastic Four and Avengers. Using a cybernetic exploration suit of his own design, he took his proposal to the Canadian government, which agreed to fund his project, dubbed Department H. Two others instrumental in the formation of Department H and Alpha Flight were Gary Cody and General Jeremy Clarke. Gary Cody was the Flight program’s very first government liaison. Although Gary was supportive of the super-beings found by James Hudson and tried to be their friend, he was bound by his obligations to the government.

The first recruit for the Flight program was Wolverine, whom James and his wife, Heather McNeil Hudson, encountered while on their honeymoon. Soon, other super-beings joined Wolverine, though not all of them proved to be as resourceful and reliable. In fact, the first mission of “The Flight,” as the team was called, turned out to be a disaster as their most powerful member died and another quit. As a result, Hudson and Department H developed the three-tiered training system.


  • Marrina had been recruited by Department H even before the three-tier system had been invented. [Wolverine: First Class #5] Due to her youth and inexperience, she was placed on Gamma Flight, though she mastered her abilities quite quickly and was upgraded to Beta Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #2]
  • In unknown circumstances, brilliant scientist Roger Bochs lost his legs from the knee down and became paraplegic. With his own company, Bochs Enterprises, he created a robot called Box, which he could control cybernetically, enabling him movement. However, when he came to the attention of James Hudson, Roger was mentally unstable and needed to be treated in the Clinic for Maladjusted Super Beings before he could join the Flight program. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #16, 46]
  • Little is known about Flashback’s past, other than that he fathered at least two children and apparently used his powers for his personal gain. [Secret Warriors #24]
  • Eugene Milton Judd was an adventurer who in unrevealed circumstances was imprisoned for murder. James MacDonald Hudson offered him parole, provided he work for the government and never kill again. Judd took on the name code-name Puck and, due to his experience, was immediately place in Beta Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #15]


There are no documented missions of Beta Flight. Apparently, during their time with Department H, Beta Flight’s various members were training both individually and as a team to hone their unique powers. Some of them made good progress and eventually Puck and Marrina were deemed fit enough to move on to Alpha Flight. However, around the same time, the Canadian Prime Minister shut down the entire Flight program because of budget constraints. Alpha Flight had made their public debut only several weeks before but, during their first battles, they had caused damages amounting to several million dollars. As a result, the parliament felt that super heroes were a luxury the government could no longer afford. [X-Men (1st series) #140, Alpha Flight (1st series) #1]


  • Marrina and Puck moved on to Alpha Flight, which decided to stay together and carry on even without governmental funding. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #1] Whereas Marrina eventually quit after learning the truth regarding her alien origin [Alpha Flight (1st series) #2-4, 14-16], Puck remained a mainstay of the team through nearly all its incarnations.
  • Like several members of the Gamma Flight squad, Flashback was contacted by an operative of Roxxon Industries. Equipped with a behavior influencer, that operative managed to fuel their hatred towards Hudson for letting them down, and they formed Omega Flight I in opposition to Alpha Flight. When one of his future selves was killed in battle, though, Flashback retired and went into hiding, reasoning that as long as he didn’t put on his costume he could not be summoned into the past to the moment of his death. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #11-12, 28, Alpha Flight (3rd series) #9]
  • Roger Bochs too was contacted by the operative of Roxxon Industries, but resisted the manipulation. As he was not willing to participate in Omega Flight’s attack against Alpha Flight, Jeremy Jackson, CEO of Roxxon and James Hudson’s former rival, had Bochs kidnapped and remote-controlled the Box robot himself. [Alpha Flight [1st series) #11-12] After he was freed, Roger Bochs modified Box and eventually joined Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight [1st series) #11-12] Eventually, though, his sanity issues resurfaced after Aurora toyed with his emotions and an operation to restore his legs failed.


Box I (Roger Bochs)

First appearance: Alpha Flight (1st series) #11
Last appearance: Alpha Flight (1st series) #49       

All Beta Flight appearances: none

Powers: operates a robot made of "living metal" via cybernetic headset, giving him tremendous strength, reflexes, and an indestructible armored hide

Flashback (Gardner Monroe)

First appearance: Alpha Flight (1st series) #11
All Beta Flight appearances: none

Powers: summon his "future-selves" back in time, imprinting his current consciousness over their future ones to increase his manpower

Marrina (Marrina Smallwood MacKenzie)

First appearance: Alpha Flight (1st series) #1
All Beta Flight appearances: none

Powers: Plodex adapted as an amphibious humanoid, possessing enhanced strength, speed, agility, endurance, and reflexes, breathes underwater, can manipulate any body of water she comes into contact with, and sonar senses; latent capacity for additional metamorphoses

Puck I (Eugene Judd)

First appearance: Alpha Flight (1st series) #1
All Beta Flight appearances: none

Powers: peak human strength, agility, and reflexes, mystically-induced dwarfism comes with an extended lifespan