- Alpha Flight
Infobox comics organization
Promotional art by
Northstar, Snowbird, Shaman, Guardian, Aurora
Bottom row: Marrina, Puck
debut="Uncanny X-Men" # 120
fullroster=List of Alpha Flight Members
Alpha Flight is a
fictionalgroup, a Marvel Comics superheroteam noteworthy for being one of the few Canadian superhero teams. Created by John Byrne, the team first appeared in " Uncanny X-Men" #120 (April 1979).
Throughout most of its history, the team has worked for
Department H, a fictitious branch of Canada’s Department of National Defence that deals with super-powered persons. Most team members have distinctly Canadian attributes, such as Inuitor First Nationsheritage.
The team was originally merely a part of the back story of the
X-Men’s Wolverine but, in 1983, Byrne launched an eponymous series featuring the group, which continued until 1994. Three short-lived revivals have been attempted since, the most recent titled " Omega Flight", in April, 2007.
Fictional team biography
Though reluctant to take the job, John Byrne wrote and drew the series for 28 issues before handing it off to another creative team. During that time, the series attracted fans with storylines that dealt with one or two characters at a time, seldom bringing all the members together. This unusual approach contrasted with other Marvel team series like the
X-Men, the Avengers, or the Fantastic Four.
The initial makeup of Alpha Flight was pan-Canadian, including:
* Guardian: Originally Weapon Alpha, then Vindicator, James MacDonald Hudson is a scientist from
Ottawawho wears a suit of battle-armor allowing him to fly and manipulate Earth's magnetic field. Guardian is sometimes the team leader, and wears a stylized maple leaf flag on his costume.
* Vindicator: Heather MacNeil is the wife of James Hudson. After Guardian's apparent death in Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #12, she takes his costume and becomes field leader of the team.
* Marrina: An amphibious woman from Newfoundland, she was a former member of
Beta Flightbefore joining Alpha Flight. She is actually part of an extraterrestrial invading force known as the Plodex.
Northstar: Jean-Paul Beaubier is a mutant with powers of super-speed and light generation. He was the first openly homosexual superhero in the Marvel Universe. He eventually becomes a member of the X-Men.
*Aurora: Jeanne-Marie Beaubier is Northstar's twin sister who also suffers from disassociative identity disorder (multiple personalities). Like her brother, she is also a mutant with powers of super-speed, flight, light generation, and molecular acceleration.
* Puck: Eugene Judd is a dwarf bouncer from
Saskatoonwith enhanced strength and extraordinary acrobatic abilities.
* Sasquatch: Walter Langowski is a scientist from
British Columbiawho can transform into a giant fur-covered beast resembling a Sasquatch. This character originally developed his powers from a Hulk-inspired gamma radiation experiment that was affected by a solar-flare. Eventually it is explained that Sasquatch is actually a mystical monster.
* Shaman: Michael Twoyoungmen is a
First Nations medicine manfrom Calgary. He is both a skilled doctor and sorcerer.
* Snowbird: Also known as Narya, she is an
Inuitdemi-goddess from Yellowknife who can transform into animals of the north.
After Byrne left, the series was written by many others, including
Bill Mantlo, James Hudnall, Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell& Simon Furman. It continued for 130 issues, introduced dozens of characters and villains (the most prominent of which were Talisman, Madison Jeffries, Box, Diamond Lil, Manikin, Persuasion, and Goblyn), and featured cross-overs with other characters in the Marvel universe. The series ended in 1994.
In 1997, Marvel restarted the series as a Volume 2, with largely different characters. The series was written by Steven Seagle, then known mainly for his work for DC Comics' Vertigo line, with art mostly by Scott Clark and
Duncan Rouleau. One issue, #13, featured guest art by Ashley Woodin an unusually conventional style for him, but still very distinctive for a Marvel superherocomic. This series ended in 1999 after only twenty issues and an annual. The new additions to the roster included:
* Flex: Adrian Corbo is a mutant with the ability to transform his limbs into sharp weapons. He is the half-brother to Radius.
Manbot: Bernie Lechenay is a human/Box robot cyborg.
* Murmur: Arlette Truffaut is a young mutant from
Quebec Citywith powers of mind-control and teleportation.
* Radius: Jared Carbo is a mutant with the ability to create a force field.
* General Clarke: Sinister new director of
Department H, responsible for many of the dark plots surrounding the team. Gains some measure of redemption with his sacrifice in issue 12.
Returning members were Vindicator (Heather Hudson, with a new costume and new geothermal powers), a de-aged Guardian (who turned out to be a clone of the original James Hudson, set at age 19), and Puck. Sunfire was also briefly a member while looking for a cure to a crippling illness.
The focus of this series was on Department H's consistently hidden agenda and Alpha Flight's reluctance to comply thereto. One example was their sub-human treatment of Sasquatch, which turned out not to be Walter Langkowski but an actual
bigfoot-type monster. From issues 14 through 20, it took a slightly more conventional tone but was still cancelled due to lagging salesFact|date=February 2007. The series ended with this Alpha Flight working with the original lineup (minus Marrina) on a mission.
Volume 3: "All-New, All-Different" Alpha Flight
In 2004, Marvel started a new volume of Alpha Flight, with the "All-New, All-Different" prefix.
The first six-issue story arc, which shows Sasquatch attempting to construct the new team, is called "You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me."
The new team recruited by Sasquatch includes:
* Centennial: Rutherford B Princeton III is a 97-year-old man whose mutant powers of superhuman strength, invulnerability, flight, and heat vision manifested after being awoken from a coma by Sasquatch.
* Major Mapleleaf: Lou Sadler is the son of a
World War IIsuper-hero of the same name. He is secretly a normal human who rides a superpowered horse.
* Nemesis: Amelia Weatherly is both an adversary and ally of the old Alpha Flight. She has the power of flight and is skilled with a magical blade.
* Puck: Zuzha Yu is the daughter of the original Puck. She has superhuman strength, speed, and agility.
Yukon Jack: Also known as Yukotujakzurjimozoata, he is a mysterious man from a primitive tribe, bought from his father by Sasquatch.
The second six-issue story arc, entitled "Waxing Poetic," saw the return of original team members, including Guardian, Vindicator, Puck, and Shaman.
The series was cancelled with issue #12 due to low sales.
Sasquatch, Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, Major Mapleleaf II, and both Pucks are attacked by a new villain, the Collective (inhabiting the body of U.S. postal worker Michael Pointer), in "New Avengers" #16. Pointer continues on to the United States, leaving their bodies in the Yukon Territory, with Sasquatch the only confirmed survivor.
The "Alpha Flight" title was relaunched as "
Omega Flight" in April, 2007 as a five-issue mini-series. [ [http://classic.newsarama.com/marvelnew/Aprl07/solicitations.html NEWSARAMA.COM: MARVEL COMICS SOLICITATIONS FOR APRIL 2007] ] The new series was written by Michael Avon Oemingand drawn by Scott Kolins. The current roster includes Beta Ray Bill, U.S. Agent, Arachne, Talisman, and Michael Pointer in a suit that resembles Guardian's uniform. Sasquatch appears as the group's recruiter and leader.
Ultimate Alpha Flight
Ultimate Alpha Flight debuted in "
Ultimate X-Men" #94 with Vindicator, Shaman, Jubilee, Sunfire, Sasquatch, Snowbird and Aurora. The team ambushes the X-Men in the middle of a friendly baseballgame. All of its members appear to use godlike powers; they easily managed to take down the X-Men and kidnap Northstar. It is later revealed by Wolverine, who apparently has a history with them, that they used a drug called Banshee to enhance their abilities, making them more powerful than normal mutants. Vindicator claims that Alpha Flight is the first internationally sanctioned mutant team made powerful enough to take on any "considerable" threat such as the Liberators, the Brotherhood, even the Ultimates, for Vindicator sees them only loyal to America. They are defeated by Colossus' X-Men, who were also being powered by Banshee.
In issue 4 of "
Marvel Adventures Iron Man", Tony Stark travels to Nunavut to try and find his father Howard. As he is flying through a series of mountains, he is attacked by Alpha Flight after Northstar and Aurora mistake him for a training robot built by Guardian. After the real drone appears, Sasquatch and Guardian make some hasty apologies before Iron Man continues on his mission. Later in the issue, Alpha Flight aids Iron Man in a battle against the Living Laser.
Alpha Flight has fought many criminals and malevolent entities. Many were unique to them as they were based in Canada. Notable examples include:
*"Alpha Flight Classic Vol. 1", collecting "Alpha Flight" (volume 1) #1-8
*"Alpha Flight Classic Vol. 2", collecting "Alpha Flight" (volume 1) #9-16
*"Alpha Flight Vol. 1: You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me", collecting "Alpha Flight" (volume 3) #1-6
*"Alpha Flight Vol. 2: Waxing Poetic", collecting "Alpha Flight" (volume 3) #7-12
*"Omega Flight Vol. 1" #1-5
*"Weapon Omega Vol. 1 (Collected from Marvel Comics Presents)" #1-12
In other media
X-Men: The Animated Series
Alpha Flight was seen on the X-Men animated episode "Repo Man." Vindicator (Mac Hudson, who had renamed himself Guardian in the comics) and the Canadian Alpha Flight capture Wolverine. The Canadian government demand their project back. Either he joins their team as originally planned or they repossess his indestructible, adamantium skeleton. The story is similar to Guardian's first comics appearance (as Weapon Alpha) in "Uncanny X-Men" #109, though in the comics story, Weapon Alpha went after Wolverine solo.
The Incredible Hulk
Bruce Banner travels to Canada, hoping to find his old friend, Dr. Walter Lankowski. He does manage to find him, and the two of them attempt to rid Banner of the Hulk forever. However, Bruce discovers a horrifying secret about his friend, one which may cost him his life.
*List of Flight Members
* [http://www.alphaflight.net AlphaFlight.net]
* [http://www.comicvine.com/alpha-flight/14616/gallery/ Alpha Flight Issue and Plot Lines]
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