Monday, 6 September 2010

Welcome to Alpha Flight

The best teams need no introduction. The X-Men, made up of Cyclops and Beast and Wolverine and Storm and Rogue, for example. Or The Avengers, made up of Iron Man and Thor and Captain America and… Wonder Man. The Winter Guard, made of Darkstar, Ursa Major, Crimson Dynamo and Red Vanguardian™. But the official Canadian superteam Alpha Flight are kinda tricky to work out. Not only are there a lot of characters, but most of them became famous only once they left the team – Wolverine, Northstar, and several others. Some of the famous ones aren’t even part of Alpha Flight – Diamond Lil, Wild Child and Madison Jeffries all came from Gamma Flight. Yeah, there are three different groups of Flights (four if you include Omega, but nobody does) and they’re all in varying degrees of Limbo. As Jim McCann is bringing the team back for a one-shot called 'Chaos Wars: Alpha Flight', let’s try to get our heads round who goes where, eh?

The Living --

Gamma Flight:

There are three squads. Gamma Flight are the third and most minor of the teams, and their team contained Madison Jeffries, Diamond Lil, Wild Child and Witchfire. None of them are important for McCann’s story, but at least now you won’t send us complaints that we left them out. FYI many of them are currently dead.

Alpha Flight:

Half of Alpha Flight are dead, and half are alive. The ones still alive are:

Northstar – Jean-Paul Beaubier. He has superspeed and now lives on Utopia with the X-Men. His boyfriend is very annoying, but rarely appears anyway so it doesn't matter too much.
Aurora – Jeanne-Marie Beaubier. Who has the same powers. She is Northstar’s sister but has yet to join up with the rest of the X-Men. She is likely in Canada. She runs a snowboarding company!
Sasquatch – Walter Langkowski. He is a big yellow monster dude with enhanced speed and strength. He is in Canada. Nobody cares much about him.
Snowbird – Narya. A Demi-Goddess who can transform into any Canadian animal. She's the one that people like the most. She turns into bears and owls and stuff. It's ace.

The Dead --

Alpha Flight:

Guardian – James MacDonald Hudson, married to Vindicator. He uses a battle suit to give him powers. He was killed by Michael Pointer in an awesome issue of New Avengers.
Vindicator – Heather Hudson, who also wears a battle suit which enables her to fly and do heroic things. She was also killed by Michael Pointer.
Shaman - Michael Twoyoungmen. He was, predictably, a shaman. Killed by Pointer. They all died off-panel.

Beta Flight:

The only two important members of Beta Flight are Marina and Puck. Puck was killed by Michael Pointer. He had a demon possessing him, so when he died it’s likely that his soul went to Hell and is going to imminently meet Wolverine’s.

Marrina – Marrina Smallwood. An amphibian who fell in love with and later married Namor. She was later turned into a giant sea monster, which forced Namor to kill her. He then threw her mutilated giant snake monster body at Norman Osborn and went off in a huff. Oh, Namor!

In McCann’s one shot, we’re going to see Northstar, Aurora, Sasquatch and Snowbird deal with the return of Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman and Marrina. Got it? Hope so!

Chaos War: Alpha Flight comes out in Novermber.


Rodrigo said...

So what issues should i read? i always feel like a bad canadian having never read an issue of Alpha Flight (I do like that animal chick tho.)

Steve Morris said...

Haven't read very much! However! From all accounts, the only run anyone should read is John Byrne's original run. Everything after then uses rubbish new characters, or tells bad stories, or is in some way awful. So we hear. From Wikipedia.

...This site isn't very well researched. You're probably best off starting with this one-shot, and branching backwards from there.