Appearing in "Shadows of the Past"
- Alpha Flight
- Gary Cody
- Doug Thompson (First appearance)
- Chief Inspector Hamilton (First appearance)
- Dan Smallwood (Only in flashback)
- Gladys Smallwood (First and Only Appearance)
- Tom Smallwood (First and Only Appearance)
- Angus (Only appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Master of the World (First appearance)
- North Pole
- Master's Plodex Ship
- Alpha Flight Omnijet (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Shadows of the Past"
The members of Alpha Flight gather at an old Canadian military proving ground near the Albany River. Vindicator runs them through a series of combat training exercises in order to hone their skills. Despite a few mishaps, and the inevitable brawl between Puck and Sasquatch, the team enjoys their time together and Mac feels confident that Alpha Flight could one day become as nationally recognized as the Avengers.
Shaman, ever acting the part of Vindicator's conscience, reminds him that while he wears the flag of Canada, perhaps he should also embody the country’s spirit. He compares him to his American counterpart, Captain America.
Suddenly, Puck notices that Marrina is acting strangely. He approaches her out of concern, but Marrina turns feral, lashing out at him with her razor-sharp claws. As Puck falls over, nearly disemboweled, Marrina dives into the river and swims away. Northstar and Aurora attempt to follow her, but she is already too far away.
Vindicator and Shaman rush Puck to the hospital. Shaman uses his Sarcee magic powders to stabilize his condition, but it is his skills as a surgeon that ultimately saves his life.
While Shaman labors to save Puck, Vindicator ruminates over the circumstances that brought Marrina into Alpha Flight's fold.
- Eighteen years ago, fisherman Tom Smallwood fell from the deck of his trawler during a massive rainstorm. Mired down by his fishing nets, he began to sink to the bottom of the sea. However, his attention caught sight of a glowing green egg, and he was able to snatch it up and use it to buoy himself to the water’s surface.
- Taking the egg home with him, he showed it to his wife, Gladys. The egg hatched, bringing forth an infant aquatic life form. Naming her, Marrina, the Smallwoods took the child into their home and raised her as one of their own.
- By age sixteen, Marrina's aquatic super-powers fully developed. The Smallwoods found that she could not only survive indefinitely underwater, but could swim at speeds in excess of 800 knots per hour.
- Within a short time, the administrators of Department H discovered Marrina's existence and James Hudson personally recruited her into the Beta Flight program. Marrina excelled as a member of Beta Flight and within a span of four months was ready to become a full-fledged Alphan.
The rest of Alpha Flight gathers together aboard the Omnijet and begins tracking Marrina's path via the signal device located in her locket. She swims to the North Pole where she arrives at a frozen glacier facility. Rising up out of the water, Marrina finds herself in the presence of a costumed man who calls himself the Master.
Appearing in "Origins of Alpha Flight: In the Beginning..."
- Jerry Jaxon (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Origins of Alpha Flight: In the Beginning..."
James Macdonald Hudson is a young scientist working for the Am-Cam Corporation. He has designed a cybernetic suit of armour for purposes of development, excavation and exploration. However, his project team leader, Jerry Jaxon, comes into his office one day and tells Mac that he is taking the project away from him. Jaxon is handing the cyber-suit over to the American military, one of Am-Cam's largest defense contractors. Hudson is furious that his work is being used for the American war machine and quits his job.
As he storms out of the building, he bumps into Jaxon's secretary, Heather McNeil. McNeil tells Mac that she heard about what had happened, and had tendered her resignation when she discovered how the company had treated him. Although Hudson doesn’t know it yet, Heather and he will be married to one another in less than a year.
Later that evening, Mac schemes against his former employers. He returns to Am-Cam and steals the cyber-suit. He then uses it to break into the company's security vault, so that he can destroy all blueprints relating to the machine's design. He is happy to discover that the blueprints remain in a sealed envelope, so he knows that nobody could have copied them. Using the apparatus’ gauntlets, he incinerates all of the classified documents.
Mac then takes the suit out of the building and parks it on a nearby hill. He recognizes that the armor-suit is technically Am-Cam property, but he designed the cybernetic helmet prior to working for the corporation. The armor will not function without the cybernetic helmet, so Mac takes it with him.
A John Byrne production, in which we get to learn more of the background of Marrina (and it's weird-- how many superheroines have been hatched?). Plus, beginning a regular five page backup feature revealing the full origins of Alpha Flight.
Main Story Notes
- Marrina's origin is revealed in this issue. Earliest chronological appearance of Marrina.
- First appearance of the Alpha Flight Omnijet.
- Final appearance of James MacDonald Hudson as Vindicator. Beginning next issue, he begins referring to himself as Guardian.
- This issue establishes that Marrina is eighteen-years-old.
- Earliest chronological appearance of Dan Smallwood (revealed in flashback). He appeared last in Alpha Flight Vol 1 1.
- First appearance of RCMP Doug Thompson. Thompson becomes a regular recurring character in the series. He appears next in Alpha Flight Vol 1 6.
- Chief Inspector Hamilton appears next in Alpha Flight Vol 1 6.
- It is revealed that Snowbird has a prior arrangement made by a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police administrator, which allows her to keep open hours at the office. This enables Snowbird to maintain a civilian identity, and go on adventures with her colleagues in Alpha Flight.
Origins of Alpha Flight Notes
- This issue begins a series of back-up features entitled, Origins of Alpha Flight. This feature will continue to spotlight the background of each Alphan until Alpha Flight Vol 1 11.
- The Origins of Alpha Flight storyline in this issue takes place ten years prior to events chronicled in Alpha Flight Vol 1 1. This story establishes that James MacDonald Hudson worked for the Am-Cam corporation for four-years prior to the events in this tale.
- Origins of Alpha Flight likewise establishes that James marries Heather McNeil nine years prior to the events in Alpha Flight #1.
- First appearance of Jerry Jaxon. Jaxon's origin and motivations will be revealed in Alpha Flight Vol 1 12.
- The reason why Hudson switched from being called Weapon Alpha to Vindicator is revealed in this issue. In his first appearance as Weapon Alpha (in X-Men Vol 1 109), he recklessly attacked the X-Men, injuring Moira MacTaggert in the process. Now Hudson wishes to vindicate the innocents who have been hurt due to his actions. According to the editorial provided at the end of issue #1, this explanation was provided in order justify what writer John Byrne felt was an awkward super-hero name.
- Sasquatch jokingly tells Northstar that he has a sudden craving for frog's legs in this issue. A frog is also a derogatory term often used to describe someone of French descent.
- The cybernetic armor that James MacDonald Hudson designed for Am-Cam will later be used by the super-hero known as Groundhog.