The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Premiere Super Heroes
Team Appearances: Alpha Flight (1st series) #30-39, Avengers (1st series) #272, Alpha Flight (1st series) #40, Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #28, Alpha Flight Annual #1, Alpha Flight (1st series) #113, Alpha Flight (1st series) #41-50
- After losing faith in himself and subsequently his power, Shaman trekked into the wilderness, where he was visited by the spirit of his grandfather, who offered him the way to restore his power. Michael undertook all sorts of obstacles, until eventually he was reunited with his daughter, Talisman, still mad at him for failing her, but forced to confront him in her role as the Binder of Spirits. The spirit of Shaman’s grandfather then granted him new power to seek aid from the spirits. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33-36]
- Over a series of weeks, Marrina had shifted to a more savage form and at the same time was pursued by the Atlantean warlord Attuma, wanting to use her as a trap against the Sub-Mariner. Marrina was finally captured by Attuma, who began to torture her. Namor‘s cousin was aware of Marrina’s danger and he managed to find the Sub-Mariner, alerting him and the Avengers to Marrina‘s plight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33-36]
With the government once again funding Alpha Flight, the heroes moved into their new home and headquarters, Tamarind Island, which had been re-fitted with all the modern technology required for a super team to operate, with Heather keeping her husband’s dream alive. Snowbird still spent time with her lover, Doug Thompson, while keeping an eye on the now inactive Shaman. Northstar and Aurora continued to grieve for Sasquatch, while Madison Jeffries continued to hang out with Alpha Flight. This caused Heather to begin an investigation into the mysterious Jeffries in which she learned that he had a brother, Dr. Lionel Jeffries a.k.a. Scramble. However, when Heather went to visit him at the hospital, she was shocked to learn that Lionel was an institutionalized patient and, as she soon discovered, had the mutant power to transmutate flesh, similar to his brother‘s ability to transmutate metal. The disturbed Lionel proceeded to use his power on Heather, severely transmutating her into a hideous creature. Northstar, Aurora, Puck, Box and Jeffries raced to their leader’s rescue and Jeffries was eventually able to defeat his brother, restoring him to sanity. Scramble offered to use his transmutative power to heal Puck, who was having increasingly agonizing pains, though Puck declined the offer. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #30]
Alpha Flight was still at the hospital when they learned of the arrival of a patient who appeared to have simply been “turned off.” Northstar and Aurora grew suspicious and realized that Deadly Ernest was the murderer. Indeed, the villain had been in the morgue when Scramble unleashed his power and, by accident, Ernest had been transmutated back to life. Alpha Flight followed Ernest’s trail of death, unaware that Nemesis was also aware of her foe’s return. They found him in a subway and chaos ensued as Deadly Ernest took Alpha Flight down with ease. Heather was faced with her powerless position as leader and Puck was forced to slay Deadly Ernest with Nemesis’ sword. Nemesis then used her sword to restore the fallen Alphans before she crumbled to dust. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #31]
No longer willing to stand by helplessly, Heather donned her husband’s re-created electro-magnetic battle suit that Jeffries and Box had been working on. This was met with varying degrees of support from her teammates and so she departed to find the one person she knew would help her control her new power. No sooner had Heather, confident with the flight capabilities of the suit, had departed than Puck, overcome by his increasing pain, was returned to his true size, as the demonic Black Razer, the demon trapped inside Judd and the cause of his diminutive form, escaped. Northstar, Aurora and Box did what they could to halt the demon’s rage, before Puck finally accepted his responsibility and used the Black Razer’s blade to once more trap the demon inside him, restoring him to his dwarf form, but leaving him once more in pain. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #32]
Alpha Flight began to worry about the absent Heather, who, unbeknownst to them, arrived at the home of the X-Men in New York and, after a brief misunderstanding, was reunited with Wolverine. However, their reunion did not go to plan, as Wolverine was reluctant to train Heather in the use of her powers. Coincidentally, they were soon attacked by the warrior Lady Deathstrike and her army, seeking vengeance on Wolverine. Deathstrike believed that Wolverine had stolen the adamantium in his skeleton from her father and launched her attack on Wolverine. Aided by Puck, who had anticipated New York being Heather’s destination and traveled there, Wolverine and Heather battled Deathstrike, a fight which in itself ended up becoming a training exercise for Heather, who actually managed to defeat Deathstrike. Following her first success with the armor, Heather gave herself the code-name Vindicator. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33-34]
Continuing to spend time away from Alpha Flight, Snowbird married Doug Thompson. While Narya continued to search for Shaman, she was overcome by agonizing pains, which no mortal medicine could ease. Thompson brought Snowbird to Tamarind Island, announcing that he needed Shaman to help her. Vindicator and Puck returned to Tamarind Island to find that Alpha Flight had to restrain the now-out-of-control Snowbird. As if on cue, Shaman returned to Alpha Flight in time to announce that Snowbird was pregnant and, given her unique physiology, the birth would take place soon. Snowbird’s husband became increasingly agitated by the situation, while Shaman learned that Snowbird’s godly family would not assist in the birth, as Snowbird disobeyed them by laying with a mortal. With the help of Dr. Strange, Shaman and Vindicator located the place of power where Narya could give birth, only for Alpha Flight to be confronted by Doug Thompson, who wanted his wife to give birth in a regular hospital. Ultimately, he was convinced by Alpha Flight, with Shaman promising her safety, and they transported to the Arctic, unaware that of the terrible horror that awaited them. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #33-36]
En route to the Arctic, Alpha Flight was suddenly confronted by Talisman, still mad at her father, but offering assistance in Snowbird’s birth. However, as Snowbird was about to deliver on the place of power, the villainous Pestilence, frozen beneath the ice, took control of the baby’s life-force. Pestilence commanded the forces of death and decay, which Alpha Flight was overwhelmed by. Talisman revealed that it was she who arranged for this place to be the birthplace of Snowbird’s baby, as she wanted her father to fail, while she would take control of the situation. Yet when Pestilence emerged, Talisman became aware that he was not truly dead, so she could not command him. So empowered, Pestilence tore the apparently unmovable tiara from her brow and would have killed her, if not for the intervention of Vindicator.
The purity of Snowbird’s baby son was corrupting Pestilence and he sought a new host. Snowbird transformed into the albino Sasquatch form. Unfortunately, as that was the form of one of the Great Beast, Pestilence was able to control her and, so inspired, he summoned the other Great Beasts as well. As Alpha Flight battled them against hopeless odds, Shaman turned the tide by placing Talisman’s coronet on his brow, becoming the new Talisman. Immediately taking on its powers, he banished the summoned Great Beasts and commanded Snowbird in her Sasquatch form to slay her possessed son. Still, Pestilence escaped back under the ice, ready to return and spread his hate another time. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #37-38]
Returning to Tamarind Island, tension mounted between Snowbird and her husband. Doug was concerned with rescuing their son, but Snowbird had grown cold, wondering if she had made a mistake in lying with a mortal. Doug stormed off to find their son, but the troubles continued as Aurora’s personality switches had stabilized into a third personality - a “heartbreaker with a heart of stone” type. This concerned some of Alpha Flight, as Aurora began to flirt with Roger Bochs. Although he was physically clearly not her type, Aurora claimed she liked brain as much as brawn. Additionally, Alpha Flight soon discovered that Gary Cody had been secretly bugging Tamarind Island and monitoring them and Vindicator promptly reminded Gary of the conditions of Alpha Flight working with the government. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #39]
The team was soon visited by Byrrah, Namor’s cousin, who had come to seek their help as their former teammate Marrina was in grave danger. Alpha Flight knew that invading Atlantis could trigger an international incident, but were concerned for their friend and so departed for Atlantis. They were accompanied by Madison Jeffries, whose mutant power enabled him to create sea pressure suits for Aurora, Northstar, Shaman (now calling himself Talisman) and Puck, while Snowbird, Vindicator and Box had their own means of breathing underwater. The time for battle came sooner than expected when their jet was shot down, and they launched into a fight with some of Attuma’s warriors. This soon brought Alpha Flight alongside the Avengers, who had come to aid their teammate, the Sub-Mariner.
Marrina was freed, but once again fled from Alpha Flight and Namor. Alpha Flight and Namor pursued Marrina, eventually locating her in a transformed state - as if she was about to give birth to a host of Plodex. A debate raged about whether to kill Marrina to prevent the creatures being born, only for Marrina’s mate to appear. Marrina attempted to resist her programming and joined in the battle against her mate. When the creature was destroyed, Marrina’s appearance reverted to normal, her programming over-ridden. She was not actually pregnant. Marrina agreed to remain with Namor and rule over his new civilization, Deluvia, and they were married in front of Alpha Flight. During the battle against the Atlanteans, Roger Bochs had suffered a case of “the bends,” forcing him to remain his Box armor. This greatly upset Aurora, who continued to show affection for him. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #39, Avengers (1st series) #272, Alpha Flight (1st series) #40]
Back in Canada, Northstar’s terrorist past caught up with him when Commander Giles McHeath requested that Alpha Flight investigate the deaths of former members of Cell Combattre, the separatist organization Northstar was previously connected to. Vindicator, Snowbird, Aurora, Puck and Box accompanied Northstar in the investigation - only to learn that it was McHeath himself, in a battle-suit, killing the former terrorists, as revenge for a massacre they caused years ago in which his men were killed. With McHeath captured, Northstar was pardoned for his former association with the terrorists. [Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #28] The past continued to haunt Alpha Flight, as back at Tamarind Island, the soul of Gilded Lily took control of the rebuilt mansion and, in the process, freed her lover Diablo from prison. In an attempt to take over a new body for herself so that she could be with her lover once more, Gilded Lily captured Aurora. However, her plot was foiled by Alpha Flight and Gilded Lily was seemingly destroyed, while Diablo was returned to prison. [Alpha Flight Annual #1]
The next order of business for Alpha Flight was officially inducting Madison Jeffries to the team, as he had proven himself useful on several occasions. However, unrest grew amongst the team, as Shaman grew more distant thanks to becoming the new Talisman, and his daughter, who had returned to Tamarind Island, pondered her place there. Aurora and Box were both anxious for Roger to be freed from the Box armor. Additionally Northstar took some time leave, going to the Banff Springs Hotel, where he embarked on some skiing, something he was renowned for prior to joining Alpha Flight. During the ski competition, Jean-Paul was outed as Northstar and, worse, accused of using his power to give him the edge in the competition. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #41]
It was there that Jean-Paul encountered the Purple Girl, who used her power to control others on him, forcing him to take her to an exotic island. Northstar was returned to Alpha Flight by the Purple Girl at a time when Madison was working on freeing Roger from the armor by phasing into a pressure chamber. Unfortunately, this did not work and Madison found himself under the control of the Purple Girl, who was escaping, as she thought Alpha Flight planned to kill her. Madison and the Purple Girl became involved with the villain called the Auctioneer, before being rescued by Alpha Flight. The Purple Girl returned to Tamarind Island and was able to help Roger back into the Box armor. Afterward, Alpha Flight agreed to keep the Purple Girl on as the first member of a new training squad, Beta Flight. However, Roger was growing increasingly unstable and lashed out at his teammates, forcing Jeffries to attach the Box armor to the floor so that Box could not attack his teammates anymore. Alpha Flight took Roger to Dr. Lionel Jeffries, who had opened the New Life Clinic, where he used his power over flesh to help people. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #41-43]
Soon though, Alpha Flight became aware that Sentinels had invaded Canada while attempting to retrieve the escaped mutant Mesmero. During the battle against the Sentinels, Northstar found it odd that the Sentinels did not detect him as a mutant and soon thereafter broke into a coughing fit. During the battle, Vindicator and Madison Jeffries found themselves working together well, and Puck was seriously injured, while the Purple Girl was the only one who could stop Mesmero. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #43]
There was no rest for Alpha Flight, as Vindicator, Northstar, Aurora, Puck, Jeffries and the Purple Girl returned to Tamarind Island, only to learn that Snowbird and Shaman had located Pestilence and gone after him. Alpha Flight departed, leaving the Purple Girl to await news of Box. Alpha Flight arrived at a small mining town and eventually they located Snowbird’s husband, who had found Pestilence, but soon died from a plague that Pestilence had unleashed. Alpha Flight journeyed into the mines, where Pestilence played all sorts of tricks on them. Northstar was the first to locate Snowbird - who, in her Sasquatch form, was being commanded by Shaman to kill Pestilence - and her baby in the process. Northstar raced down to stop this but he was kissed by Pestilence, who claimed that there was a decay inside of Northstar, which Pestilence had just accelerated – and act which in turn gave Pestilence strength.
The rest of Alpha Flight arrived and Pestilence toyed with Snowbird, for his plan was to have Snowbird slay the baby, whose pure soul was corrupting his, and then take over Snowbird’s Sasquatch form. Vindicator soon realized this and knew that she would have to kill Snowbird to prevent this from happening. Shaman proved unable to assist Heather, as he could not accurately predict the consequences of such actions. Too late, as Snowbird killed her son and, an instant later, Vindicator killed Snowbird, in her Sasquatch form, with a plasma blast. Unfortunately, Pestilence’s spirit was already free. Alpha Flight returned to Tamarind Island and held a private funeral for Snowbird, her husband and son. This became yet another instance which brought the grieving Heather closer to Madison Jeffries, while driving Puck further away. However, Snowbird’s mother, Nelvanna, welcomed her daughter and her family into Paradise with open arms, regretting her earlier decision to abandon her daughter. When Snowbird’s soul rose to the realm of the Arctic Gods, Shaman once again resigned from Alpha Flight, this time because he was unable to assist Vindicator in stopping Pestilence. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #44-45]
On the same day, Roger Bochs returned to Tamarind Island and revealed his new body, with legs created from the fat on his stomach, all designed by Dr. Lionel Jeffries, all greatly pleasing Aurora. While the reunion was going on, no one noticed the tiny Smart Alec creeping about the mansion after leaving Shaman‘s medicine pouch. It was none other than Walter Langkowski’s soul who had found a new home in Smart Alec’s body. Later that night when Heather found him crawling around her room, Walter tried to explain who he was but, before he could do so, Alpha Flight was under attack again. Pestilence’s spirit had taken possession of Snowbird’s Sasquatch form and dug himself out of the grave. As the crazed albino Sasquatch attacked, it was confronted by the Box armor. When Roger claimed not to be operating the armor, Heather realized that Walter Langkowski was the armor’s operator. Alpha Flight attempted to defeat Pestilence, but with no luck until Pestilence attempted to take over the Box armor as his new host body. However, as his soul departed the Sasquatch form, Heather threw Shaman’s medicine pouch, trapping Pestilence inside.
Alpha Flight soon discovered that Smart Alec’s body had been crushed during the battle but almost immediately discovered that Walter had been able to transfer his own soul into the empty Sasquatch form - much to Aurora’s delight but Roger’s annoyance. Thinking he would be able to return to his handsome masculine self, Walter, Aurora and everyone got such a surprise when Walter morphed into a human - a female human! Calling herself “Wanda,” Walter and Alpha Flight arrived at Lionel Jeffries’ New Life Clinic in the hope that he could turn Wanda back into Walter, though Roger was heartbroken to learn that Aurora had only thought of him as a distraction from her loss of Walter.
Unfortunately for “Wanda,” due to the godly physiology of Snowbird’s body, which Walter now inhabited, Lionel was unable to revert Wanda into Walter. Roger grew increasingly unstable and sat in the darkness, picking at his legs which had developed strange blotches, while Aurora’s multiple personality disorder began to re-emerge. Feeling that they had betrayed him, that night Roger phased into the Box armor and attacked Aurora and the rest of Alpha Flight. Roger’s Box seemed unstoppable until he was taken out by Madison, who used his power over metal to force his best friend out of the Box armor and ultimately taking it for himself. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #45-46]
Alpha Flight took Roger back to New Life for Lionel to attempt to heal him. The group’s members were distracted with their own problems at the same time - Aurora’s returning multiple personality disorder, Northstar’s mysterious illness, Puck’s unrequited love for Heather and Sasquatch’s adjustment to being female. They weren’t the only ones dealing with problems, though, as Lionel Jeffries was in fact not cured of his madness and he had been planning to create his own race of new men, called Omega. Madison learned of this and opposed his brother, who attacked him. Lionel then offered Roger a chance to be a part of his new master race. Roger accepted Lionel’s offer and their forms were merged into one fleshy creature. As Omega, they battled Vindicator, Sasquatch, Northstar and Puck. Help soon arrived in the form of Lionel’s intern, Whitman Knapp, whose mutant power to summon past and future versions of himself kicked in. He was able to throw the mutated Jeffries into the Box armor, enabling Jeffries to aid Alpha Flight against the monstrosity Omega. Madison reconfigured the Box armor into a more sleek design, while Roger came to his senses and tried to stop Lionel from within his form. But it was no use, as Lionel proceeded to lobotomize Roger. This enraged Madison, who was forced to destroy his brother and the rest of Omega. However, Alpha Flight was still in danger, as Northstar collapsed after the battle from a mysterious illness, while Aurora - who missed the entire battle as she wandered off earlier - found a room full caged super beings. Eventually, Alpha Flight found her left huddling in the darkness, while the super-beings she found had broken free of their cages. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #48-49]
Looking for a miracle to cure Northstar’s illness and Aurora’s madness, Alpha Flight returned to Ungava Bay, where they and the X-Men had encountered the Fire Fountain only months earlier. Though locating the cavern where the Fire Fountain was, they found no trace of magic remaining. What they did find, however, was a doorway to another part of the cavern - which led them to a black version of the Fire Fountain. Astonishingly, when Puck fell into the fountain, it set the demon Black Razer free , which returned him to his true size. Vindicator, Box and Sasquatch were already busy battling various creatures, while Aurora watched over the ailing Northstar, when Loki appeared and revealed to the twins that they were in fact half-elfin, not mutants. Further, it was their having been away from Asgard for too long that was the reason for both their illnesses. To save her brother, Aurora sacrificed all her light power to recharge Northstar, but this plunged her into darkness. Cured of his sickness, Northstar was able to reunite with Vindicator, Box and Sasquatch and the group escaped from the cavern, sealing it behind them so that the demonic creatures could not invade Earth. However, Aurora and Puck were trapped inside. Loki, still wanting to win favor with the deities he answered to - those who sit above in shadow – decided to send Aurora to a nunnery and Puck to Tibet. Unaware of this, Northstar quickly departed for Asgard. With most of Alpha Flight gone, Heather wondered whether she could keep the dream alive. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #50]
- The now powerless Aurora spent some time at the monastery, her mind no longer fractured. She briefly returned to aid Sasquatch in a time of crisis. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #64]
- Northstar eventually learned the truth in Asgard, namely that Loki lied, as Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie were not half-elven, but mutants, just as they had always believed. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #81-82]
- Even in death, Snowbird continued to aid her friends, as her spirit was able to briefly cross over from the realm of the Arctic Gods. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #64, 67-68]
- Marrina would assist her husband with the Avengers, becoming an honorary member of the team. However her natural programming would soon overtake her and she transformed into a deadly Leviathan, and was eventually slain by Namor. [Avengers (1st series) #282, 290-292] When the Master of the World was resurrected, he learned that Marrina was not in fact deceased and somehow acquired her body, keeping her locked away in a tank for years. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #78, Avengers (3rd series) #47] Eventually, Norman Osborn got hold of Marrina and he used her as a weapon against Namor, who had no choice but to kill her a second time. [Dark Reign: The List - X-Men]
- Despite her apparent demise, death was not permanent for Nemesis, who was later conscripted by the Canadian government to lead their new official team, Gamma Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #76]