Appearing in "Wildlife"
- Alpha Flight
- Former Members of Alpha Flight
- Department H
- Epsilon Flight
- Kenyon. Commander of a unit of guards.
- George. Railroad engineer.
- Willy. Train yard worker.
- Adam. Assistant of Dr. Horatio Huxley.
- Two unnamed old women. Friends walking in a city park.
- Jacques Vienneau. Wildlife photographer.
- Gus. Semi-trailer truck.
- Jacqueline Starr (First appearance). Television reporter.
- Jerry. Jacqueline Starr's cameraman.
- Dan Ron. Resident of Coventry.
- Mrs Ron. Wife of Dan Ron, who abandoned him.
- Sasquatch Family (First appearance)
- Walter Langkowski (Mentioned)
- Director X (Mentioned)
- Guardian (Mentioned)
- Madison Jeffries (Mentioned)
- Zodiac (Mentioned)
- Green Goblin (Mentioned)
- Mesmero (Mentioned)
- Alpha Flight Omnijet
- TIE Fighter
- Thunderbird 2
- Flight platform. A piece of Green Goblin's technology acquired by the Prometheus Division.
Synopsis for "Wildlife"
The story opens at the Department H headquarters. Sasquatch has somehow managed to escape his cell and then vanished. General Jeremy Clarke and Puck are investigating the broken remains of the cell to determine what happened. Clarke claims that Department H has no idea how or when did the beast escape. Puck does not believe him, already knowing that every room in this building has an operational camera. Clarke replies that Sasquatch kept destroying the camera in his cell due to its position close to his shackled arm. They reportedly had yet to replace the last camera or approved the paperwork needed to reposition it. Puck seems to be convinced that the Department's bureaucracy caused the failure.
Clarke is apparently lying to Puck, as they are still being observed by the Monitor Division through other cameras. One of the monitors is confused because Clarke chose to lie, when he knows they have the entire escape on tape. Another monitor reminds him that they get their paychecks for watching and spying, not for questioning decisions. The same monitor warns his companion that their own conversation is being monitored by Director X and they are in danger of being reprimanded again.
Clarke keeps insisting that Sasquatch pulled on the restraining blocks to escape and had no outside help. Puck sarcastically remarks about how happy "Walt" was when chained to the wall of a dungeon room. Privately, Puck is suspicious about the Clarke's insistence about the lack of outside help. He uses his short height to closely examine the bottoms of Sasquach's chains. His suspicions seem confirmed when he finds that there are parallel cuts on their surface, suggesting that someone used a tool to weaken the chains. He keeps the information to himself.
Clarke calls Puck's attention to the reinforced metal door of the cell, which is still standing. There are fist-sized depressions on the door, suggesting that Sasquatch pounded on the door with his fists and failed to open it. That must be why he escaped by opening a hole in the wall. Puck finds the idea ridiculous and explains why in detail. Sasquatch was apparently not strong enough to pound though a metal door, but somehow clawed his way through a thick cement wall. The charring marks on the wall suggest that the hole was created by an explosion and actual explosives were used. Finally, the collapse of the wall should cause enough noise to alert the Epsilon Flight guards in the area of the cell. Clarke replies that the guards had already left the area when called away for an emergency. Puck finds this suspicious as well, because a dumb beast like Sasquatch apparently took note of the departure of the guards and chose the right instant to strike out. Clarke dismisses his observations and accuses Puck of being a conspiracy theorist.
Clarke changes the topic of the conversation. Regardless of how he did it, Sasquatch has escaped and could hurt himself or others. If he does cause damage, the Department will be held accountable. Clarke clearly wants to prevent that situation. Puck gets the idea and replies with the hard lesson that "with great power comes great responsibility". He fully expects that the Department will send Alpha Flight to clean up their mess. Clarke reveals that they are not going to send the entire team in this recovery mission, as this would draw too much attention. Only a single Alphan will be send to recover Sasquatch. He expected Puck to volunteer for the job, due to his friendship with Walter Langkowski. Since Puck does not seem interested, they can send the Guardian to do the job.
The words have the intended effect on Puck, who volunteers to search for the beast who used to be his friend Walt. But he finds that sending a lone man to search all of Canada to find a single monster, is an impossible mission. Clarke claims that they can narrow down his search area. They were able to trail Sasquatch through a beacon that they had placed in his uniform. It has stopped working, but Sasquatch's last known location was in Regina, Saskatchewan. Puck is surprised at the distance Sasquatch has managed to cover, but agrees to investigate there. Clarke informs him that they will provide him with special tools for this mission.
The scene shifts to a rail yard in Regina, where Sasquatch is currently searching for a train. According to the narration, he has been traveling quickly by using the rail transport system and switching trains along the way. He has stripped of his clothes completely. The beast stops and crouches down behind a train. He scratches his fur, picks an insect from his own coat of fur, and eats it. He seems to be content. Nearby a train yard worker (called Willy) personally alerts a railroad engineer (called George) that his train must depart immediately, and that the radio system that they typically use for confirmation is down for repairs. The train departs with Sasquatch sitting on the last cart. He growls at the yard worker, who tries and fails to alert the engineer about the stowaway.
The scene back to the Department H headquarters. Diamond Lil recovers from unconsciousness and finds herself strapped to a operating table. Dr. Horatio Huxley and one of his assistants (called Adam) are running medical tests on her. Lil struggles with her bonds, but fails to break them. She asks where is she and where is her husband Madison Jeffries. Huxley tries to calm her down and claims she is in good hands. Huxley informs her that Madison has been adducted by the Zodiac and they have no idea where he is. Then he sedates her and she drifts back into unconsciousness. Huxley tells Lil that they have much in store for her, but that she has nothing to fear.
The scene shifts to the Prometheus Division area. Dr. Myra Haddock demonstrates to Puck his new vehicle, a modified flight platform which was originally used by the Green Goblin. She explains that they have made improvements since acquiring it. Puck is a bit reluctant to use super-villain equipment to fly, though Myra convinces his by pointing that his other option is to walk all the way to Regina. She then explains that it is remote operated by a hand-held device. As long as he keeps the device, nobody can steal the vehicle.
Puck fears that he will be blown off by the wind, as there seems to be nothing resembling a windshield. Myra explains that the platform operates by use of electromagnetic currents. They both propel the craft and deflect surrounding forces such as the wind. Puck then worries that such exposure to electromagnetism could decrease his sexual potency and leave him unable to consummate sexual intercourse. Myra thinks that this chance should not matter for a man of his age. Puck offers to test his potency with her by taking her out on a date.
Suddenly there is an alarm going off in the Prometheus Division and an entire unit of Epsilon Flight guards rush to the Prometheus Pit. Puck notices the situation and a strange glow. He offers to help with whatever is going on, but Myra prevents him from entering the secured area. She claims that she would have to kill him if he did enter the area, and that she would not want to to have him eliminated before their first date. Puck thinks she is joking and compliments her sense of humor. Myra insists that she is dead serious about her threat.
Clarke arrives at the Prometheus Division to give instructions to Puck. As Myra explains that the platform can not do loops, Clarke is more concerned with having Puck keep regular communication with the headquarters and avoid talking to the media. Puck impatiently agrees to follow their instructions and then flies away on the platform. Left alone with Clarke, Myra questions why they are sending a single man on this mission. She thought that the entire Alpja Flight has returned safely from the battle with Mesmero and are available for missions. Clarke tells her that she would understand more of their decisions if she started attending the meetings held by Director X. He then explains that the Department hopes that Puck will fail in this mission. Sasquatch has been a difficult subject to control lately, and they have decided that they are better off without him.
Puck initially enjoys having some time to himself and away from Alpha Flight. He loves the team, but too much of anything can be a problem. He then gets to contemplating some of the words of General Clarke. Something bothers him about them and his flight changes course. The scene shifts to a city park. Two elderly women walk around and discuss recent news. One news item involves a scandal in the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), where a female agent breached their national security and exposed classified information. The other news item is that Department H is back in charge of Alpha Flight. The women are scandalized when they encounter Puck, who has stripped down to his underwear and is frantically looking for something. The women flee, while Puck discovers a small device hidden in his uniform's shorts. Just like they did with Sasquatch, the Department had planted the device to spy on him. A frustrated Puck speaks to the device and tells General Clarke that he will in time willingly contact him, but only when he finds something worth reporting. He then destroys the device.
The scene shifts to Coventry in Alberta, where it is raining. Jacques Vienneau, a wildlife photographer, prepares to take a photo of a small bird. A large foot enters the frame and spools away the bird. Jacques ends up taking pictures of Sasquatch. When the beast seems to look right at him, Jacques gets scared and flees on foot. Sasquatch does not chase him and walks in the opposite direction.
The scene shifts to another area of Coventry. A woman stands outside her house, waiting for a taxi cab in the rain. She is ending her relationship with someone called Dan and abandoning him. The cab arrives and she leaves. Hidden nearby, Sasquatch observes her departure. He decides to seek shelter in the house, and uses his strength to break the closed door. His entry causes some mess in the house and the letter the woman left for Dan gets discarded. Sasquatch is hungry and proceeds to raid the kitchen. He finds some kitchen and starts eating it.
The scene shifts to the train yard in Regina, where Puck has discovered Sasquatch's discarded trunks and the remains of his transmitter. He realizes that now they have a naked monster on the prowl. He interviews Willy, the worker who had seen Sasquatch days before. Willy's recollections are not particularly useful as his imagination has exaggerated his brief sighting into a regular tall tale. He estimates Sasquatch to be 25 feet tall (7.62 meters) and to have four huge fangs covered in blood. He remembers Sasquatch's growl as a vocal threat, claiming that the beast told him to get away from him or he would kill him. Another worker adds to the tall tale by jokingly claiming that Sasquatch ate their foreman. Puck does not fall for the story. He asks where was the train headed and Willy answers that it was heading west. Puck believes him and flies west in search of Sasquatch.
The scene shifts to the coastal waters of New Brunswick at night time. A small trawler full of night fishermen is operating under the light of the moon and stars. The fishermen suddenly notice an unusually bright light in the night sky, and start speculating on its nature. They suddenly realize the light is heading towards their ship and they cover their eyes to escape its blinding brightness. Something falls from the heavens and lands on their ship. The fishermen examine the unconscious form a man who is tangled on their ropes. The man is Northstar and he is wearing his uniform.
The scene shifts to British Columbia, where a train crosses an elevated bridge. Sasquatch jumps from the train and the bridge, falling from a considerable height. He lands on his feet unharmed. However he is standing on the way of a speeding semi-trailer truck and the drivers can not avoid a collision. The collision causes considerable damage to the truck but Sasquatch walks away unharmed. The truck driver (called Gus) and his companion think they have collided with Bigfoot and seem scared. They step out of the damaged truck and look in astonishment. The narration reveals that the collision took place 48 kilometers (29.83 miles) from the nearest city in British Columbia, Quartz Junction. The destination of Sasquatch is not the city, as he is walking towards the opposite direction from it.
The scene shifts to Coventry, Alberta, where Puck has trailed Sasquatch. A television reporter named Jacqueline Starr is covering the story of Bigfoot visiting Coventry for her channel, CNB (Canadian News Broadcasting). She reports that this has been the mythic creature's most public appearance and that it has left behind physical evidence. Scientists are already studying them and constructing new theories based on them. One scientist holding a footprint cast of Sasquatch speaks to the camera. He believes that the Bigfoot species lives primarily in the west of Canada and migrates to the east when its habitat is encroached upon.
Jacqueline next attempts to interview Puck, who she recognizes as a member of Alpha Flight. She has some hard questions for him. She deduces by his presence that this might not be a Bigfoot at all, but Alpha Flight's Sasquatch who has gone amok. She asks him to confirm her theory, and also asks whether Sasquatch is too dangerous to continue serving among Canada's protectors. Puck declines to answer. She proceeds to ask him whether he can not talk to the press due to an ongoing government cover-up of the situation. Trying to derail the interview, Puck publicly hits on Jacqueline and compliments her lovely gams (legs). She cuts the interview short and decides to censor this part of the interview. She is going to use a voice-over to explain that Puck was uncooperative. Puck starts leaving and privately tells Jacqueline that he was following orders. She promises to get him some negative publicity. Her previous assessment of Sasquatch does hit home for Puck. He now realizes that "Walt" is truly dangerous in his new form and too dangerous for the team. He contemplates that usually he thinks of stuff like this for himself, and wonders why the truth never crossed his mind since he rejoined the team.
Not far from the location of the interview, Puck discovers a house with a smashed door. He decides to investigate whether Sasquatch came through this house, and visits it. The owner of the house, Dan Ron, wants to be left alone but changes his tune when he learns that Puck is a government agent. Dan is hunched up in the corner of a wrecked room and drinking alcohol from a bottle. He claims that "Bigfoot" stole his wife. He returned home to find the door knocked in, mud prints of huge feet all over the house, his wife missing, and no note explaining where she went. He figured out what happened. Puck soon discovers Mrs. Ron's lost letter among the wreckage on the floor, but chooses not to inform Dan about it.
Puck continues investigating the wrecked house, as Dan speaks to him. Dan explains that their marriage was not going well and they were constantly fighting. But he is certain that his wife would never leave him without a note explaining why. He is also certain that she did not leave their kitchen in such a messy condition, as she hated it when even a single box was out of place. Now everything is on the floor. With tears in his eyes, Dan states his belief that his wife and "Bigfoot" fought in the house. He fears for her and hopes she was not hurt. He stares at a picture of them as a smiling couple on their wedding day, and proclaims that he hopes Bigfoot will treat his wife nicely. He regrets not treating her nicely himself. He does not know what to do about his situation.
Puck leaves the house and advises Dan to keep an open mind, as there is always more than one explanation for everything and things will look different tomorrow. Puck seems to take Mrs. Ron's letter with him. He heads to a bar of Coventry for a drink. He decides to ask the barman if he knows Dan Ron. The barman states that Dan Ron and his wife regularly come in the bar and cause a big scene with their fighting. Puck delivers Mrs. Ron's letter to the barman and asks him to keep it until Dan is in a condition to read it. The barman agrees to help out a member of Alpha Flight.
Jacques Vienneau is in the bar and overhears that Puck is a member of Alpha Flight. He approaches him and shows him the photo of Sasquatch that he took. He has no idea what this thing is and wants Puck to help identify it. Recognizing his teammate in the photo, Puck tells Jacques that this is not a thing, it is a person. He interrogated Jacques about where was this photo taken and how to get there himself. Puck soon investigates the field where Sasquatch was located and wanders what was "Walt" doing here in the middle of a rainstorm. He only sees weeds and railroad tracks in this place. He suddenly realizes that his teammate was traveling by using the railroad. He flies away and alerts the Department that Sasquatch is not moving in a random direction, he is constantly heading west. He asks for the coordinates of the place in British Columbia where they first picked "Walt" up, because Puck thinks "Walt" is heading to his home.
The scene shifts to the Department H headquarters. Radius is exercising in the gym by lifting some weights. Murmur approaches him and starts giving him a back massage. He exclaims that he has already told Arlette that he can not feel her caresses. He asks her to leave him alone, but she refuses. Jared gets angry and expands his force field to push her away, warning her to back off. She seems distraught at his rejection of her advances and calls him a pig.
Vindicator in uniform comes into the gym and asks them if they have seen Puck. She does not get an answer and realizes that the rookies are quarreling. She asks them to calm down and stop bothering each other. Jared claims to be minding his own business and it it is "the lovesick French chick" who should be told to back off. Arlette is now pissed off. Heather chooses the moment to advise Arlette that intra-team relationships can hurt both the individual involved and the entire team. Arlette rejects her advice, pointing that Heather is in no position to judge her. She has heard that Heather has already dated or married many of her teammates.
The scene shifts to British Columbia, where Puck has already arrived. He reports to the Department headquarters that he is checking out individual train stops and that he will alert them when he finds something. He keeps searching for a while and he gets the impression that he is searching for a needle in a haystack. He then locates the damaged truck of Gus and hears the man being questioned by the local authorities. Gus' companion reports that they collided with "a great big orange ape" who fell from the sky. Puck decides this is a major clue about Sasquatch's location. He decides not to speak to the locals and to scout the area for further clues. He soon locates trampled grass, a tuft of fur on a tree, and a big pile of Sasquatch's feces which he accidentally steps on. He is then attacked by Sasquatch himself.
Sasquatch throws Puck around, as if trying to protect his nest. He is trying to protect something even more important for him, his family. Puck sees besides his teammate, an entire family of Sasquatch creatures, comprising at least five members of various sizes and colors. He just realizes that this Sasquatch is not Walter Langkowski after all. He tries to reason with his former teammate and explain that he thought the beast was someone else. Sasquatch does not understand his words and does not speak English. He sees Puck as a threat to his children and his instincts instruct the beast to kill the threat. He is in the process of doing it when an entire unit of Epsilon Flight guards arrives and stand to protect Puck.
Puck is confused at how they tracked him down. The leading guard explains that there was a tracking beacon in Puck's Flight platform, and General Clarke had ordered this unit to follow it. An enraged Sasquatch attacks the guards. They are not surprised and immobilize him with ropes. They then tranquilize the beast in order to capture it. Puck tries to stop them and explains this is not Walt. The guards tranquilize and capture the uncooperative Puck as well. General Clarke arrives and congratulates the leading guard, Kenyon, for successfully following orders to the letter. He promises to consider Kenyon for a promotion. He orders the Epsilons to keep silent about what else they saw this day. Clarke and the Sasquatch family gaze at each other, but the beasts are too intimidated to attack him. Clarke smirks, having achieved his goals. The story ends.
- The narration reveals that when a memo made the rounds at Department H, it was decided to re-collect as many former members Alpha Flight. They started searching for Walter Langkowski, but could not find him because he was out of the country. His last known location was somewhere northwest of the South Pole. The day after the memo circulated, a local hunter of British Columbia spotted the Sasquatch beast (a real "Bigfoot") and reported the sighting to the authorities. The report made its way to a Department H computer bank and the beast was misidentified as the missing Langkowski. The identification was followed by a decision for his immediate retrieval, and the Department captured the beast to recruit it for Alpha Flight.
- This issue is a spotlight issue for Sasquatch and Puck. Only a few other members of the regular cast appear in the story, but do not get multiple scenes.
- The key revelation of this issue is that this Sasquatch is not Walter Langkowski and not human at all. It also reveals that the real Langkowski has left Canada and is traveling abroad.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which tracks character appearances, has the following information about the characters of the issue:
- This issue's month and year says January 1997, although it is really January 1998.
- When listening to Gus and his unnamed companion's strange story, Puck makes a reference to the television series "Twin Peaks" (1990-1991) which was known for surrealism and general weirdness. The series' co-creator David Lynch is a famous director and screenwriter with an entire career of surrealistic works.