022: The Flight

Version 3.00, last updated on February 7, 2008

Wolverine and Wild Child
Rob Liefeld, Marvel Comics Presents #51.

As the Wolverine goes about his solo career, James Hudson is busy building a roster for his Canadian superhero team…

Alpha Flight #8/2 (Mar 1984) – “Genesis”
Creator: John Byrne
At Banff National Park in Canada, Heather and James Hudson visit Heather’s childhood friend, Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen. In his care is a strange-looking young girl named Narya. After a night of mysterious occurrences, Dr Twoyoungmen confesses that Narya is a metamorph capable of changing into any animal of her choosing and that he is a shaman able to use magic spells. James Hudson invites both of them to join Department H, an invitation they accept.

X-Factor #142 (Feb 1998) – “Give Me Shelter”
Writer: Bill Rosemann; Penciler: Leo Fernandez; Inker: Dan Green
According to Valerie Cooper, Department H found Kyle Gibney, badly wounded and psychologically unstable, in the destroyed headquarters of a private genetics firm. Calling him Wild Child, the Department H scientists attempted to calm his animal-nature with hypnotherapy and drugs. There is, however, no indication in his origin story that he is preternaturally old enough to allow for his appearance in World War II as suggested by Jeph Loeb in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #54.

Marvel Comics Presents #51 (1990) – “The Wilding I: Face Off”
Creator: Rob Liefeld
Department H, 1974: The Wolverine trains against a robot warrior designed by James Hudson. Wildchild, as part of the second-tier Gamma Flight, tries to join, but the Wolverine tells him to back off, causing the two to promise to resolve their differences at a later date. Logan believes that Wild Child’s father learned to control his rage, but how he would know who that was is a mystery.

Alpha Flight #127/2 (Dec 1993) – “Blind Fury”
Writer: Simon Furman; Penciler: Keith Pollard; Inker; Mark McKenna
Wolverine remembers a time at Department H when Wildchild badly scars a young girl named Stitch during training. The Wolverine nearly kills Wildchild when James Hudson comes to his rescue, telling the Wolverine that Wildchild deserves another chance. The Wolverine leaves, warning Hudson that Wildchild is a monster who needs to be put down.

Alpha Flight #87 (Aug 1990) – “Building Block Part One: Loyalty”
Writer: Fabian Nicieza; Penciler: Michael Bair; Inker: Mike Manley
Logan remembers spending a lot of time relaxing at Gatineau Park in Ottawa “…to get away from all the talkin’” while at Department H.

Classic X-Men #16 (Dec 1987) – “Home Are the Heroes”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: Kieron Dwyer; Inker: Terry Austin
When preparing to capture Wolverine, James Hudson as Vindicator reminds himself that he wanted the Wolverine as leader of Alpha Flight, a proposed Canadian superhero team because he was the best he was at what he did and he couldn’t be beaten.

X-Men #121 (May 1979)/Classic X-Men #27 (Nov 1988) – “Shoot-Out at the Stampede”
Plotter: Chris Claremont and John Byrne; Scripter: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin

Wolverine reminds James Hudson that he never gave him a choice about joining his superhero team. It is interesting to note that Chris Claremont removed a snippet of dialogue when the story was re-released in Classic X-Men, “You never gave me a choice about bein’ changed or about joinin’ yer tin-pot Yukon Avengers.” It seems Claremont wanted to be extra clear that James Hudson had nothing to do with Logan acquiring his adamantium skeleton and claws.

X-Men #109 (Feb 1978) – “Home Are the Heroes”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin
James Hudson tells Wolverine, “You always were a pain in the butt, Logan. Short and arrogant as your namesake.”

X-Men #121 (May 1979) – “Shoot-Out at the Stampede”
Plotters: Chris Claremont & John Byrne; Scripter: Chris Claremon
Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin

Wolverine exchanges harsh words with a man named Garson who works for James Hudson and Alpha Flight. It is clear they know and dislike each other. As Wolverine points out, “You always had a big mouth, Garson. Keep flappin’ it around me an’ yer wife’ll be a widow before her time.”

Wolverine and the Flight
Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson, Alpha Flight Special #2

Alpha Flight Special (Vol. 2) #1 (Jun 1992) – “First Flight”
Plotter: Scott Lobdell; Scripters: Scott Lobdell, Simon Furman
Penciler: Pat Broderick; Inker Bruce Patterson

On the run from a group corrupt police officers, Detective Sean Bernard of the Vancouver Police Department kills two of his pursuers before running out of bullets. Taking a wound to his leg during the exchange, Bernard finds himself facing the ringleader of the dirty cops, but Logan rescues him by crippling the drug-trafficker with his claws. By 2:00 AM, Logan has gained personal approval from the Canadian Prime Minister to transfer Bernard to a top-secret base near Thunder Bay under the auspices of Department H. By the following morning, Logan has Bernard operating Hudson’s armor with a collection of Canadian superheroes-in-training: Smart Alec with his extraordinary intelligence, Narya with her shapeshifting as Snowbird, and the alleged Northern god St. Elmo with his plasma-energy. Within three weeks, Logan is training the group in an outdoor mock mission. On one particular run, Narya is unable to shift back to her human form, forcing Logan to catch her in mid-air. Logan chews out the team for their inexperience and lack of teamwork, and argues with Hudson about the mental fitness of the last member of “The Flight,” Stitch. Sean Bernard puts away his armor in a warehouse and comes upon the aforementioned Stitch, an extremely shy and quiet young girl with telekinetic abilities who takes an instant liking to Bernard and his armor. The following morning, a super-villain Egghead with a group of super-powered henchmen threatens the United States with a nuclear warhead located in Canada. Before long, Hudson has gathered the team in a military helicopter, and the Wolverine leads them on an attack against Egghead and his henchmen: Rhino with the power of a rhinoceros, Porcupine with an expertise in gas, Swordsman with a mastery of swords, Solarr with the energy of solar radiation, Eel with his electric blasts, and the muscle-bound Power Man. Wolverine starts off by shockingly slicing open Rhino’s midsection and trading punches with Power Man. As a full-fledged battle erupts between “The Flight” and Egghead’s crew, The Wolverine moves on to the Porcupine, crippling him by shredding his gas apparatus. Meanwhile, Smart Alec attempts to defuse the nuclear bomb, but only manages to remove the guidance system. When Egghead triggers the detonation sequence, the Wolverine grabs Egghead and threatens him with his claws, but Egghead refuses to disarm the warhead, taunting the Wolverine. As a berserker rage builds inside, the Wolverine contemplates gutting Egghead on the spot, but Snowbird convinces him otherwise. St. Elmo seizes the nuclear warhead and transforms its immense energy and substance into light that he can absorb. However the extreme level of energy is overwhelming and St. Elmo vaporizes himself, saving the team and Canada. Within days, Sean Bernard quits Department H.

Alpha Flight #9/2 (Apr 1984) – “A Stranger in My Mirror”
Creator: John Byrne
In a less desirable area of Montreal late at night, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier is grabbed by two muggers as Logan watches from a distance. Guided by her mutant abilities, Jeanne-Marie decks one of her assailants with a lightning-fast punch. As the other mugger moves in, Logan grabs him from behind and threatens him with a single adamantium claw. Before long, gendarmes have arrested the criminals, leaving Logan and Jean-Marie to talk. Realizing that she is a mutant, Logan convinces her to travel to Ottawa with him to meet James Hudson as potential member of “The Flight.”

Wolverine #176 (Jul 2002) – “The Logan Files, Epilogue”
Writer: Frank Tieri; Penciler: Sean Chen; Inker: Norm Rapmund
In a near-death experience, Logan remembers seeking a family environment when temporarily in charge of “The Flight.”

…At some point, James Hudson completes the first version of his Vindicator battlesuit…

X-Men #109 (Feb 1978) – “Home Are the Heroes”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin
Wolverine reminds Hudson , “You’re forgettin’ the old days, Jimmie-boy, no matter how hard ya hit me, I’ll keep comin’ back.” This is probably in reference to training against Hudson’s Vindicator battlesuit.

Wolverine fighting Bedlam
Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio, Alpha Flight #53

Alpha Flight #53 (Dec 1987) – “A Blast From the Past”
Scripter: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: Jim Lee; Inker: Whilce Portacio
In a flashback generated by the psionically-powered Bedlam, it is revealed that James Hudson‘s attempt at creating a Canadian superhero from a convict with latent mutant ability backfires horribly. The mutant develops powerful psionic abilities and nearly kills Hudson, who is testing his Vindicator suit. The Wolverine attacks, and Bedlam counters with a psychic blast, but the diversion gives Hudson enough time to defeat Bedlam with a concussive blast from his Vindicator battlesuit.

Alpha Flight # 52 (Nov 1987) – “Specters”
Writer: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: June Brigman; Inker: Whilce Portacio
From a Department H “raider disc” with video data, Gary Cody observes that Logan walks out on James Hudson and “The Flight” after the fiasco with Bedlam. Logan departs telling Hudson, “Call me Wolverine.”

Alpha Flight #53 (Dec 1987) – “A Blast From the Past”
Scripter: Bill Mantlo; Penciler: Jim Lee; Inker: Whilce Portacio
Wolverine explains that he quit working for James Hudson when the Bedlam experiment blew up in his face.

…Perhaps against his will, Logan, as Weapon X, is brought in to test Hudson’s newly repaired battle armor…

Alpha Flight #1 (Volume 2, Aug, 1997) – “Horoscope”
Writer: Steve Seagle; Penciler: Scott Clark; Inker: Chris Carlson
James Hudson, as Weapon Alpha, wears his Vindicator battlesuit and runs a simulated combat with Logan as a costumed Weapon X. Hudson appears to knock a bestial Weapon X unconscious, but the Wolverine counterattacks with a berserker rage and mortally wounds Hudson. Logan is tasered, and taken away while Hudson signs a waiver to receive medical treatment from the Prometheus Division. Hudson undergoes a top-secret procedure to regress his aging to heal his wounds.

Wolverine gutting Vindicator
Scott Clark and Chris Carlson, Alpha Flight (Vol. 2) #1

…This display of reckless aggression and the grievous wounding of Hudson spur a separation. Logan moves over to Canadian Intelligence and Hudson returns to fielding a Canadian superhero team…

Alpha Flight #33 (Apr 1986) – “A Friend in Need”
Writer: Bill Mantlo, Penciler: Sal Buscema, Inker: Gerry Talaoc
In conversation with Heather McDonald, Logan claims that one of the reasons he left to Department H and joined the Canadian Secret Service was because of his strong feelings for Heather Hudson.

X-Men #120 (Apr 1979) – “Wanted: Wolverine! Dead or Alive!”
Plotter: Chris Claremont and John Byrne; Scripter: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne; Inker: Terry Austin

Logan tells the X-Men, “I was operational when Hudson gathered the rest of Alpha Flight.” In other words, when Logan returned to intelligence work, James Hudson continued to recruit for Alpha Flight.

X-Men/Alpha Flight #1 (Dec 1985) – “The Gift”
Writer: Chris Claremont; Artist: Paul Smith & Bob Wiacek
Heather reminds Logan that Mac always intended for the Wolverine to lead Alpha Flight. It is conceivable that James Hudson still held out hope that the Wolverine would return as lead of Alpha Flight.

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Facebook comments:

  1. Alpha Flight #8/2 (Mar 1984) “Genesis”
    Alpha Flight #9/2 (Apr 1984) – “A Stranger in My Mirror”

    Are these actual number? The slash confuses me.

    9 / 2 ? Is it number nine volume 2 ? How should I ask my dealer for it?

  2. It’s Alpha Flight #8 (or #9), but the story referenced is the backup story or second story of the issue.

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