- None of you new vanguard super hero youths have any respect for history or tradition.
- -- Mesmero
Appearing in "Mesmerized (Part 2)"
- Alpha Flight
- Jennifer Tartan / Marla.
- Epsilon Flight
- Guardian (James Hudson) - (Only in flashback)
- Unnamed monster (Only in flashback)
- An Acroyear
- Georges. An elderly driver in Paris.
- Georges' wife. An old woman.
- Madison Jeffries (Mentioned)
- Walter Langkowski (Mentioned)
- Beatrice de la Salle (Mentioned)
- Scorpio (Mentioned)
- Microverse (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Mesmerized (Part 2)"
The story opens at a restaurant just outside Montreal. Mesmero owns the place and has named it "Food for Thought". He currently controls all of its staff members and customers, as well as four members of Alpha Flight (Guardian, Puck, Sasquatch, Vindicator). He is facing the five free members of Alpha Flight (Flex, Manbot, Murmur, Radius, and Sunfire). Mesmero suddenly orders his minions to start a food fight and bursts out laughing. According to the narration this is either the laugh of a mad genius, or the laugh of a genuine mad man. As his opponents get pelted with food, Mesmero feels confident and happy.
Radius is surprised that Murmur was able to free him from Mesmero's control by touching him, since his force field should have prevented her ability to work on him. She smilingly comments that perhaps she has the ability to touch him. Sunfire reminds them that they have to free their enthralled teammates, and Radius states his intention to fight them. Flex tries to get out of the battle, by claiming that Mesmero's influence on his mind has caused him a strong headache. Radius calls him a wuss and claims that heroes do not get headaches. Sunfire tries to claim leadership over Alpha Flight and quickly forms a battle plan. Radius rejects it as too indirect and stars walking ahead on his own. His force field protects him from all the food items thrown at him.
Sunfire thinks that Radius is an idiot, whose defiant actions could cost them the battle and his own life. A worried Murmur calls to Radius to take this battle seriously. She suddenly gets hit with a banana cream pie in the face, and cream covers part of her hair and half her face. Arlette is not seriously harmed, but she acts as if she is wounded and desperately keeps repeating "no". The narration reveals that her face and its safety serves as her chief vulnerability. Beauty may only be skin-deep, but she does value her own beauty.
Radius walks the crowd of hypnotized thralls, until he reaches Mesmero himself. The villain scolds him that he has no respect for history and tradition. In Mesmero's view, a traditional hero would leave the villain alone and fight against his turncoat teammates. This is what the people really want to see. Mesmero tries to hypnotize Radius, but Jared keeps his eyes shut and grubs the villain anyway. Jared intents to beat up the villain, but Mesmero commands the Guardian to come in his defense. An electromagnetic blast from the Guardian is enough to bring Radius to his knees.
As the battle continues, the narration calls attention to the fact than not all of Mesmero's thralls are behaving the same way. Some are taking part in the battle and acting aggressively, others continue eating and ignore their surroundings. He controls each and every one of them, but manages to give individual instructions. According to the narration this demonstrates a spectacular level of skills in using mind control. Mesmero does not even have to concentrate in the fight, as he turns his attention to a staff member and orders a milkshake.
Meanwhile, Sasquatch is chasing Murmur, who pushes through the crowd in an attempt to escape him. She tries to remind Sasquatch that she is on his side. He manages to grab one of her arms and pulls her to the ground hard, causing her considerable pain. He then grabs her body and lifts her up, brings her face close to his, and growls loudly. She manages to keep calm and touches him in an attempt to free him from Mesmero's control. Manbot comes to help her and blasts Sasquatch in the back. Murmur climbs on top of Sasquatch, uses both of her hands to hold onto his throat, and shouts "remember".
The scene shifts to the Department H headquarters. Diamond Lil has arrived at the receptionist's office and asks to see her husband Madison Jeffries. Lil explains that they had a fight during their last meeting, and they parted ways. Jeffries came to this building, while Lil went to take care of some personal stuff. She knows that he rejoined Alpha Flight and confides that this is what they fought over in the first place. The receptionist has no idea who Diamond Lil or "Mr. Jeffries" are, but uses the phone to alert her superiors.
Diamond Lil has failed to notice Lilli banging on the transparent doors of a nearby corridor and trying to call her attention. The girl then approaches and asks for Diamond Lil's help. Lili explains that she wants to leave, but that they told her she can not return to Hull House. Diamond Lil has no idea who the girl is or what she is talking about. Lili is then grabbed by an old man and a member of the Epsilon Flight, who proceed to escort her away. The girl still protests that she wants to leave. Two other members of the Epsilon Guard escort Diamond Lil away, claiming they are leading her to the infirmary to meet her waiting husband. Diamond Lil asks them about Lilli, who she finds looking familiar.
The scene moves back to the restaurant. The narration points that it is unclear whether Murpur's power worked on Sasquatch. Whether he remembers or not, he is still a raging beast. He grabs Murmur and tosses her away with force. She lands on a wooden table, which is smashed. Radius is standing nearby and seems concerned about her. He then asks for her help in freeing the Guardian from Mesmero's control. She is concerned that her powers do not work any more and seems about to give up. He tries to get her to try, but then Guardian attacks and pushes him out of the nearest window.
Guardian takes Radius through a car parked outside, and then lifts him up to attempt to throw him from a height. Meanwhile he verbally insults Jared. He is still under Mesmero's control, but the mind-controller makes use of the feelings Mac has about his teammate. Apparently chief among them are anger and resentment. Jared accuses Mac of being jealous, since he knows that Radius would make a better leader for the team. Guardian mocks him, claiming that he is unfit to even be a member of the team and should be dropped from the roster. Jared points that he is a better fighter than Mac and he has observational skills. He has observed that the major weakness of Guardian's Battle-suit is the limited ways the user has of breathing. Jared covers the face area of the suit with his hand and force field, and Guardian has problems breathing. As the two men struggle, they begin to fall from the sky. Radius maneuvers to make sure that he will land on top of Guardian. Mesmero ceases to monitor this fight, not wanting to experience a harsh fall.
Mesmero turns his attention to the battle between Vindicator and Sunfire. Heather uses the abilities of her geothermal school to keep Sunfire under constant attack and seems to outclass him. She eventually unleashes molten lava, and traps Shiro in rapidly cooling stone. Shiro believes her powers are not natural and attributes them to "science sorcery". While Heather prepares to finish off her opponent, Murmur approaches her from behind and attempts to touch her. Mesmero mentally alerts his thrall. Heather turns around and unleashes a blast of sulfurous gas, sending Arlette flying. Heather sarcastically comments to Arlette that the new sulfurous smell of her beautiful hair can be washed out... in a week or two.
Sunfire uses his flames to escape from the rock and challenges Heather to a rematch. Suddenly a hole opens in the roof the restaurant, and crashing through it come Guardian and Radius. They crash into the floor with force, open another hole in it, and disappear into the ground. Heather feels worried about Mac and turns her attention to him. Shiro uses her distraction to unleash a surprise attack and blasts her.
Meanwhile, Puck unleashes a series of attacks on Flex, while criticizing the weaknesses of the rookie. Among other things, Puck observes that Adrian's arms are deadly, but his legs are weak. He attacks Adrian's lower legs, only for one of the legs to turn into a blade and cut him. Manbot, who is observing the fight, finds this unexpected use of Flex's power to be very interesting and seems to record it. Flex calls for Murmur to help him, but then turns to face his attacker. Puck evades his blades and punches his jaw.
The scene shifts to Sasquatch, who attacks Manbot. Manbot contacts the Department headquarters and asks his superiors for clearance to use lethal force in this fight. His superiors forbid him to kill Sasquatch, and command him to deploy a nerve toxin on his opponent. They also command him to restrict the spray area to ensure that only Sasquatch will be affected. Manbot sprays Sasquatch with the toxin. The beast defiantly grabs the vessel transporting the toxin, but this has no effect. The beast is knocked out on the spot and Manbot reports that his target is neutralized.
The scene shifts to the Prometheus Division area. Department head Dr. Myra Haddock prepares to use the Prometheus Pit, which she believes to be doorway to a sub-atomic Microverse. The experiment last for less than a minute and causes a blackout. Myra then reaches into the pit and lifts a miniature humanoid, an Acroyear. She does not have much time to examine the figure, as General Jeremy Clarke asks for her report. She lies to him, exaggerating the damages caused by the experiment and hiding its success. She promises that they will get the Pit working again and she will personally inform Clarke of the results.
The scene shifts to Murmur back on her feet and approaching a fallen Flex. He has blood on his face and he is crying. She touches him and commands him to feel "courage". Adrian suddenly gets renewed confidence and strength. Arlette herself is surprised at how effective her powers can be. She thinks that perhaps she should use them to run the team her way. Mesmero is frustrated because the girl turns out to be too similar in powers and effectiveness to himself. He also comments that she show her crying just a minute ago and now she seems upbeat. He suspects that she used her powers to make herself feel better. He sends mind-controlled civilians to kill her, but she manages to take out a series of would-be attackers. The two mind-controllers argue during this fight.
Mesmero decides to summon back Guardian. Mac throws Radius out of the hole in the floor and then emerges himself. Puck also chooses this moment to attack Jared, though his attacks can not pass through the force field. Guardian warns Puck that he is about to blast Jared. Jared manages to use Puck as a human shield, and Guardian accidentally blasts his own ally. Jared mockingly advises Mac to stop yelling out his plans, because he is actually warning his opponents. The blast brings Puck back to his senses, and he tries to escape a new attack from the Guardian.
Above the battlefield, Sunfire and Vindicator are engaged in an aerial combat. Manbot suddenly corners Mesmero and informs him that he is going to capture him by any means necessary. Mesmero gets scared and calls to Vindicator for help. She attacks Manbot and seemingly takes him out. But this has left her open to an attack by Sunfire, who blasts her away.
The scene turns to Flex. The courage that Murmur gave him has faded away, and he is trying to escape. He is being followed by Puck. He feels cornered and unable to get away from someone he trusts. The feeling seems familiar to him and he gets a flashback to his childhood days in Hull House. In the flashback, a very young Adrian is holding his teddy bear and calling to Beatrice de la Salle for help. There is a monster with red eyes towering over him. The monster threatens to eat his eyes. The flashback ends and in the present, Flex attacks Puck with anything he has. Puck evades his attacks and gets Adrian to calm down.
Puck gets to explains that he is himself again. Vindicator overhears that and is about to attack and kill him. Murmur then grabs Heather and causes her to remember, releasing her from Mesmero's control. Mesmero is left in control of a single Alpan, Guardian. He improvises. He has the Guardian place a knife at his throat. Mesmero threatens Murmur that she must convince the other Alphans to rejoin his control, or he will command the Guardian to commit suicide. Heather gets a flashback of Mac dying before her eyes, and seems to be afraid that she is about to witness a repeat performance.
Nobody acts to face Mesmero's threat, though the villain comments that the Department has really made a mess of Heather's mind. He is about to have Guardian really commit suicide, when Sasquatch appears and punches the Guardian. The knife falls out of the Guardian's hands, Mac is grabbed by Vindicator and Sunfire, and Murmur uses her powers to free him from Mesmero. Now the entire Alpha Flight is free and ready to face the villain. They warn him that it is over for him.
Mesmero does not seem to be intimidated and has the civilians protect him. He calmly explains to the Alphans that this was not one of his schemes or an actual combat. The restaurant was his playground and he was playing and testing his abilities. He finally begins to understand his own abilities and the play has given him ideas of how to use them. He managed to control these many minds simultaneously. He figures there is no limit to the type or number of minds he can control at once. He can do whatever he wants. He calmly finishes his milkshake and wishes them goodbye. He then seems to vanish into thin air and the civilians are freed from his control. Puck points that invisibility is not among Mesmero's known powers, and he wonders how he managed to escape like that.
The scene shifts to Paris, France. An elderly driver is hopelessly trying to locate the house of his friends, but his wife accuses him of getting them lost in the streets of the city. They begin to argue and Georges stops looking at the road ahead. The wife warns him that they are about to strike a pedestrian, but it is too late for Georges to avoid the collision. The vehicle hits the woman, sending her flying. The elderly couple examine the body of their victim. She is a young woman, still alive and trying to speak. The woman is Virgo and she whispers the name of Scorpio. The story ends.
- The narration reveals that Radius's father was a boxer, and that this is one of the few things Radius knows about his mysterious father. While at Hull House, Jared received a single letter from his father. It provided him with some info but no return address.
- The narration points that Radius is a loner by nature. His personality is a lot like his force field, since it too pushes people away from him.
- The narration hints that beneath Murmur's beauty lies an ugly secret. However what that secret is was not explained.
- When Diamond Lil meets Ghost Girl for the first time, she thinks that the girl looks strangely familiar. This was apparently a hint about Ghost Girl's origin, but it was never really explained. It is unclear if Diamond Lil has met her before, or if she has met someone with a familial resemblance to Ghost Girl. Ghost Girl's family remains a mystery.
- The narration reveals that Manbot's true name is Bernie Lachenay and that the Department H merged him with what they had made of the Box armor. The narration also points that little remains of his human personality, and he may have no sense of humor. A sight that would reportedly cause Bernie to laugh, has no apparent effect on Manbot. He does not even crack a smile.
- The identity of the monster in Adrian Corbo's flashback is unclear, though it is implied that the monster was someone who the child trusted. The form of the monster was not humanoid, though it could speak.
- While Adrian Corbo's monster has very few lines of dialogue, they still form a distinctive pattern: "Help you she can't, young thing! Sure of that I am. Mmmm pretty eyes you have. Eat them I could". This seems to be an inverted syntax, where lines do not follow traditional sentence patterns.
- Former Alpha Flight member Madison Jeffries was last seen abducted by the Zodiac in Alpha Flight Vol 2 1 (August, 1997). The memory of his abduction is a secret suppressed by Department H.
- Virgo is a super-villain who faced Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight Vol 2 1 (August, 1997). She was defeated when Murmur commanded her to teleport to Paris. As seen in this issue, she has spend the intervening period wandering in the city.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which covers character appearances, has the following information about the characters of this issue:
- Diamond Lil appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 1 130 (March, 1994).
- Mesmero appears next in "X-Men ½" (1998) and Weapon X: The Draft - Agent Zero Vol 1 1 (October, 2002).
- Puck's next chronological appearance is in Maverick Vol 2 3 (November, 1997).
- Vindicator's next chronological appearance is in Maverick Vol 2 3 (November, 1997).
- Diamond Lil in this issue wears her old costume, a green bodysuit featuring yellow, diamond-shaped areas, accentuating her breasts, shoulders, and hips. This is the costume she first wore as a member of Omega Flight and continued using for several years. As a member of Alpha Flight herself later in Alpha Flight Vol 1, Lil abandoned this costume and used a couple of different costumes until her retirement from the team.
- Diamond Lil appears to be long and straight in this issue, reaching to her ankles. This is much like her early depictions. During her later appearances in Alpha Flight Vol 1, Lil spend periods with much shorter hair and permed hair.
- There is an inconsistency in this issue about the name of the receptionist who meets with Diamond Lil. The nameplate on her desk gives her name as "Jennifer Tarta" or "Jennifer Tartan". But when the receptionist introduces herself in dialogue, the name is "Marla".
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