Characters Appearing: Aurora, General Jeremy Clarke, Goblyn, Kane, Manikin, Nemesis II, Northstar, Pathway, Persuasion, Puck, Sasquatch, Talisman, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Wild Child, Windshear, Witchfire, Wyre
Alpha Flight #114-117
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #114, Alpha Flight #115, Alpha Flight #116, Alpha Flight #117
This story starts with Wild Child already on the run, trying to control his feral side and wondering how he got blood on his hands. He's being pursued by someone that we don't see yet.
A separate thread has Guardian acting on the decision to accept the Gamma/Beta characters as full-fledged members of the team. So she's sent them out to deal with the emergence of a new Jackal who has taken hostages. When the team is faced with a difficult police chief, Persuasion simply possesses him.
Persuasion is able to maintain control of the people she possesses from a longer distance, and she finds that she's enjoying doing it.
This is definitely the best development in these issues, and it's something more along the lines of what i'd expect from Simon Furman. Persuasion's powers are definitely more suited to villainy than heroism. It's the same powers as her father, Purple Man, after all. So seeing her struggle with that makes sense.
Jackal manages to slash Manikin's main body, poisoning him.
Pathway manages to get Jackal talking. He claims he's the son of the original (this is his only appearance), and starts to talk about his daddy issues.
But, speaking of characters struggling with a villainous side, Witchfire suddenly freaks out and blasts Jackal in the mouth, frying his brain.
That ends any possibility of getting a cure from him.
Instead of just dying, a cocoon forms around Manikin's body.
The fact that something weird has happened to him gets leaked to the press, and, combined with Northstar's recent announcement that he is gay, fuels a rumor that there is some kind of superhero AIDS going around. Somewhat relatedly, Northstar gets scolded because he was supposed to be on monitor duty while Beta Flight was calling for help, but he's been overwhelmed by the feedback, positive and negative, over coming out, so he was out for a run to clear his head.
We also see some Canadian government officials, including General Clarke and the Prime Minister, discussing a "progressive conservative" politician named Hagon who will use the super-disease to push an anti-super hero bill through parliament.
Back to the Wild Child story. Puck goes to Guardian to tell her that before Weapon Omega left, they had an argument. Puck subsequently looked into Omega's records and found no proof that he'd been cured.
Pat Broderick has been an artist on Marvel books for a long time, and he's generally been fine. But the art here can get pretty wonky. More of the Alpha Flight curse, i guess.
Meanwhile, it turns out that the guy that has been chasing Weapon Omega is this guy, Wyre.
It's initially implied that Wyre is Wild Child's father, but he seems to mean that metaphorically. He's responsible for the program that created Wild Child and brought out his feral side. Now he's hunting down the people created by the project and killing them before they can do any more harm. Wild Child isn't so sure that's a bad thing.
But the rest of Alpha Flight are now looking for him.
I thought maybe i liked Broderick's Sasquatch, but then i changed my mind.
Sasquatch manages to drive Wyre away, and Wild Child is brought home. Wild Child decides that he needs answers, so he decides that he needs to go to Nemesis, who he apparently considers a close friend. We see that Nemesis is currently being held prisoner by a mystery villain that will turn out to be the new villain Rok (this story is his only appearance).
Kane from Weapon X is also getting involved.
Kane thinks to himself that the "central office" doesn't want Department H to know there's a Department K.
Wild Child goes looking for Nemesis where she lives, and he remembers (no flashback) an untold adventure where they fought Rok for the first time, when Rok tried to "take her place as leader -- of the Children of the Night". We don't know anything about this, but it would have happened while Alpha Flight were dimension hopping for half a year, during which time the government formed a new Gamma Flight led by Nemesis (see Alpha Flight #76).
Wild Child is met by these Children of the Night who capture him and put him with Nemesis.
For what it's worth, Nemesis says that the Children were meant to be warriors fighting a divine war but that Rok has turned them into assassins for hire.
Wild Child only vaguely remembers Rok.
Kane shows up to help Wild Child. I mean, that... is Kane, right?
Rok is defeated, but then Wyre returns.
Wyre explains that he was responsible for the program that created Wild Child.
You can guess from the hoods that Wyre was working for the Secret Empire at the time.
Kane has actually been sent to stop Wyre.
Meanwhile, Puck discovers that Sasquatch buried psychological reports that would have kept Wild Child out of the original Gamma Flight program.
According to what Langkowski says, we now have two members of Alpha with multiple personality disorder.
The rest of Alpha make it to Wild Child. Things start off with a Misunderstanding Fight with Kane.
Even Nemesis attacks Kane, because she wants Wild Child and Wyre to settle things between themselves.
Wyre does have doubts about what he's doing. He's really just filled with regret for what he did.
Wild Child tells Wyre that he forgives him, and that ends the arc. Kane is convinced to not kill Wyre. And at least Wild Child gets confirmation that he really did start off human; at one point in this story he was wondering if he was really an evolved animal. The story told to him by Wyre almost calls into question whether or not he was even a mutant, but he is. Which ultimately makes everything else unnecessary. If Wild Child really were a normal man given super-powers by the Secret Empire, that would at least be new information.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Kane has obvious bionic arms and is still thinking about how he hates Cable, so this should take place before Cable #1-2. For what it's worth, it's acknowledged that Shaman was around for Infinity War but that he disappeared again after that.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Kane appears to have equipped his Hulk Hands for this mission.
Posted by: Red Comet | April 27, 2016 1:14 PM
You can guess from the hoods that Wyre was working for the Secret Empire at the time.
A few years later in X-Factor #142 it is confirmed that the Secret Empire were the group who organized the program that created Wild Child. It's also revealed that Val Cooper was involved in it, although at the time she didn't realize she was working for the Secret Empire because they had infiltrated the government. Between that and their interest in mutants, it probably means this is the same incarnation of the Secret Empire that Captain America fought during Steve Englehart's run.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 27, 2016 1:22 PM
This doesn't sound TOO bad. Compared to some of the Hudnall or Nicieza stuff at least. I mean, it's not even remotely close to Byrne, but it's not down there with stuff like Mac's return.
Posted by: AF | April 27, 2016 2:25 PM
Wyre seemed very much in the mold of Cable and very similar to Skinner one of the Lillin appearing in Spirits of Vengeance at the time. I can appreciate what they were trying to do in Alpha Flight in retrospect, but it seems (and seemed) very much trying to be "kewl".
Posted by: Mark Black | April 27, 2016 6:22 PM
The idea that this Jackal was locked away for his entire childhood contradicts the idea that Warren was more-or-less sane until Gwen's death. This Jackal is mostly ignored during the Clone Saga, although its hinted that he's really an evolved jackal created by Warren when he was working with the High Evolutionary.
Posted by: Michael | April 27, 2016 8:22 PM
How i hated those awful maple leaf costume. Pat Broderick was the best artist since Jim Lee left AF. But yes Pat's art was wonky.Plus all the female characters were drawn with huge breast. Even a formerly flat chested teenager Purple Girl.Even this lackluster incarnation of Alpha Fight brings back nostalgic memories.
Posted by: Matt Reston | April 29, 2016 10:12 PM
While I realize Wild Child has just offed a band of ninjas in that one scan, that is nonetheless a camp, Chippendales pose he is striking, reinforced in the later panel by the gratuitous thong shot.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | December 27, 2017 10:18 AM
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