Alpha Flight #2-4
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #2, Alpha Flight #3, Alpha Flight #4
...Marrina goes feral and nearly disembowels Puck.
Puck is taken to the hospital, and Guardian, Sasquatch, Aurora, and Northstar track Marrina via her signal communicator. Shaman stays at the hospital to help Puck, but he invokes the name of the Great Spirit, which causes Snowbird to abandon her desk job as a records officer at an isolated RCMP post to join the rest of the team.
We learn a bit of Marrina's origin. The captain of a small fishing boat was thrown overboard during a storm, and he found a strange glowing egg under the water.
He brought it back to a small island that housed an "inbred community" with "freaks and sports", where Marrina's odd appearance was not so unusual.
Her incredible swimming abilities got her into Gamma Flight.
Meanwhile, Marrina follows a signal that leads her to an armored man who refers to himself as the Master of the World (which has to be the most ambitious name for a super-villain ever).
It turns out that the Master is an ancient caveman (40,000 years old) who was trapped by a UFO that crash-landed in the Arctic.
The UFO's technology scanned him and took him apart, but somehow in the process he managed to take over the ship's computers.
The UFO was also what brought Marrina's egg to Earth. Actually, the UFO was supposed to send out millions of eggs, but something went wrong.
Marrina's species will eventually be identified as the Plodex, but they're not named here.
Alpha Flight arrive soon afterward, but they find themselves attacked by the very walls of the Master's high tech underground Arctic layer.
However, the Sub-Mariner and the Invisible Girl show up to help.
Namor had detected problems in the Arctic water and went to Sue for help in Fantastic Four #260.
Snowbird also arrives separately from the rest of the group, and uses postcognitive powers to determine what happened to her teammates.
Some great character scenes while Alpha Flight fights its way through the Master's lair. Snowbird, in her polar bear form, actually thinks like a bear.
Aurora turns out to have a split-personality. When she's in her Jeanne-Marie form, she's got a heavy French accent and is not at all happy about her alter-ego. She's also not happy about that fact that she's slept with Walter Langkowski.
Guardian isn't very happy about that either.
There's also a funny scene where Namor spends too much time analyzing the UFO's technology and Sue complains, "You're beginning to sound like Reed, Namor. Don't waste energy on explanations."
Eventually the team rescues Marrina (did you know that Snowbird could turn into a swarm of mosquitoes?)...
...and the UFO is destroyed. The Master escapes, with thoughts indicating that everything is actually going according to his plan.
Namor invites Marrina to Atlantis so that she can be, ah, further investigated. Guardian has to inform Marrina's foster brother/boyfriend (and possible "sport") Dan Smallwood that Marrina probably won't be returning.
During the initial training session in issue #2, Shaman is mysteriously possessed by John Byrne, echoing the exact sentiment Byrne expressed in the lettercol in issue #1, that Canada doesn't have anything to vindicate.
Vindicator changes his name to Guardian. Later, when Alpha meet up with the Invisible Girl, she still refers to him as Vindicator until corrected, which is a nice attention to detail.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Namor and the Invisible Girl appear here after Fantastic Four #260.
The back-up stories from issues #2-3 are covered in a separate entry. Issue #4 doesn't have a back-up.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (10): show
The Master in name(and beard) may have been inspired the Dr. Who villain The Master as he looked in 1971-73.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 8:33 PM
Great site! but there should be a way to jump to the next stories of the same super heroes. For instance, if I want to go to Alpha Flight #5 and after
Posted by: sanjuro | October 15, 2012 12:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback. One thing you can do right now is click on a character name or run a search for a particular set of issues, and just use Right Click> Open in New Tab to go through a particular character sequence or series.
For example, you could search for "Alpha Flight" with the "Search issues only" box checked to get a list of all the Alpha Flight issues i've covered and then keep those search results open in one tab and right click to read the entries in another.
I've thought about trying to put the search results into an iframe but since the basic capability exists now i haven't given it a high priority.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 15, 2012 1:23 PM
The Master was originally named the Overlord.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 21, 2013 5:00 PM
Interesting that Byrne includes a specific timeframe: 6 years from the debut of the Fantastic Four to the events of X-Men #109.
It's one thing for Snowbird to transform her body into an animal, quite another to see half her body and half a swarm of mosquitos. That's very jarring to see.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 10, 2015 6:50 PM
As was previously indicated by Mark Drummond, it has been speculated that John Byrne based the Mater of the World on the Doctor Who villain the Master portrayed by Roger Delgado. However, I have also heard it suggested that Byrne based his character on Vincent Price from the 1961 movie Master of the World, which was adapted from a Jules Verne novel. I cannot recall offhand if Byrne ever went on record about whether or not either of these was the case. Anyone have any info?
Posted by: Ben Herman | August 12, 2015 8:37 PM
Ben, Byrne mentioned on his forum -- http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=44377 -- that the Master of the World was inspired by the Jules Verne novels (and the Classics Illustrated adaptations) of Robur the Conquerer and Master of the World.
On that forum page, Byrne adds the early designs he did of the Master reminded him of George Perez's Brother Blood character from The Teen Titans and that the final design was his best effort to get as far away from Perez's design as possible.
Like many readers, I had mistakenly assumed that the inspiration had come from the Master from Doctor Who.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 13, 2015 3:46 AM
Jerome Jaxon turns up as the leader of the villainous Omega Flight a few issues from now for reasons that stem directly from the backup story in AF #4.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 4, 2015 9:13 AM
The Master's real/original name apparently is Eshu.
Posted by: Andrew | October 6, 2016 9:43 PM
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