Alpha Flight #128-130
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #128, Alpha Flight #129, Alpha Flight #130
...Alpha Flight fight their way through the Master's Hardliners (love to take the time to establish that some no-name minor goon has daddy issues)...
...and his Omega Flight.
It also turns out that poor Guardian has been dragged out of his grave once again.
Actually Simon Furman has found an interesting similarity between the Master's origin and the notoriously implausible explanation for Guardian's resurrection: both are thousands of years old and were rebuilt as half-men, half-machines by alien technology. The Master has used that commonality to brainwash Guardian (or was he Vindicator at this point?) to become er, Antiguard. I say brainwashed, but the Master talks as if he's genuinely convinced Mac to join him.
Alpha Flight are joined by all of Beta Flight as well as Feedback, the mutant who was the first person arrested under the Registration Act.
But the fight is won not thanks to the unwieldy number of heroes, but to the fact that Heather is able to convince Mac to switch sides.
The Master is seemingly killed. He dies saying that he bequeaths "it all" to (Heather? James?) Hudson.
When it's all over, General Clarke calls all of Alpha (etc.) Flight together to announce that their group has been disbanded. The only character to object to this arrangement is Northstar, because he's got his own mini-series coming up.
We're actually told that the cancellation of Alpha Flight is to "make room for... the Northstar limited series... and other short-term Alpha related projects". That's elaborated on in the lettercol for issue #130:
As for other projects, be on the lookout for Sas-quatch [sic], who may become a new sidekick for the Hulk.
I don't doubt the bit about the Alphans showing up occasionally in X-books, but Sasquatch never did become the Hulk's sidekick (What a weird idea! Was that a joke?!).
This story was actually not that terrible. The art is amateurish, and there are a lot of contrivances due to the fact that this was the final arc (i.e. the sheer number of characters included), but the plot is not terrible and there are a few interesting ideas. I do think that Simon Furman had it in him to allow the series to stagger along and tell a decent story now that all the Infinity crossovers were out of the way. But i don't think he could have turned around the public perception of a comic that had been dire for approximately 100 issues now. At this point the only thing i can say about the series' cancellation is, "It's about #@$#!!@$ time!".
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAurora, Bile, Brain Drain, Diamond Lil, Dream Queen, Feedback, General Jeremy Clarke, Goblyn, Guardian (James Mac Hudson), Madison Jeffries, Master of the World, Miss Mass, Northstar, Pathway, Persuasion, Puck, Reginald Tork, Sasquatch, Shaman, Sinew, Strongarm, Talisman, Tech-Noir, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Wild Child, Windshear, Witchfire, Wyre
It really is kind of amazing how long this comic just sort of....existed. Nothing came close to Byrne's run, and of everything after them the Hudnall issues were probably the only time it had any real sense of purpose.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 18, 2017 6:28 PM
When the Master says "I bequeath it all to you, Hudson", I thought he meant Mac, not Heather- it's ambiguous.
Posted by: Michael | September 19, 2017 12:11 AM
The nightmare is over. Finally.
Posted by: Mortificator | September 19, 2017 4:16 PM
The cover to 130 was pretty badass
Posted by: Brandon | September 20, 2017 7:08 AM
And 23 years later I don't think Goblyn or Pathway have ever appeared again. That's vaguely surprising for a) Marvel characters and b) Marvel mutants.
Posted by: Jeff | September 20, 2017 12:35 PM
Miss Mass's costume makes... no sense. Is it painted on or something..?
Posted by: Piotr Witkowski | September 25, 2017 6:20 PM
Isn't it great that out of all these useless characters, we got BRAIN DRAIN, superstar of the UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL?!?
Posted by: VtCG | September 26, 2017 2:46 PM
Hey, Brain Drain *did* start out as an Invaders villain, and he has that weird-but-cool "brain in a jar" visual, so it's not too surprising that he kept popping up from time to time over the decades, eventually ending up in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 27, 2017 10:55 AM
The dream sequence issue (#128) is actually quite important.
1. It foreshadows Guardian's return
2. It shows the pay-off to the ENTIRE registration storyline running in the book at the time: Master basically getting the Canadian government to register all the super powered beings in Canada so he can brainwash them and create a Fourth Reich style dictatorship with the super powered people enslaving the normal Canadians.
Which led to an ironic bit of Marvel screwing crap up in the 00s with Civil War; when they launched Omega Flight out of Civil War, they acknowledged the Canadian SHRA but rather than admit that it was a conspiracy by a villain to take over a nation, they had Talisman say "we registered our people and didn't have any trouble" since they couldn't give fans the satisfaction of acknowledging how badly registration worked out for the Canadians and how they dodged a major bullet.
Posted by: Jese Baker | June 26, 2018 7:29 PM
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