- You constantly remember Phoenix, Scott. And Madelyne Pryor. There are all these negative images of women who you thought were me at various times, and all their memories are marching around your mind wearing this outfit. But I'm here with you, I'm standing right in front of you, and I'm tired of their ghosts. I claimed the name "Phoenix" as part of a plan to claim this identity. To empower myself. I'm tired of suppressing my abilities just because I'm afraid that exploring them might upset you.
- -- Jean Grey
Appearing in "North and South"
- Cyclops (Scott Summers)
- Alpha Flight
- Dr. Aubrey Agee
- Professor X (Photo)
- Kurt Wagner (Voice)
- Margaret Stone (Voice)
- Department H (Mentioned)
- Gambit (Mentioned)
- Joseph (Mentioned)
- Madison Jeffries (Mentioned)
- Walter Langkowski (Mentioned)
- Onslaught (Mentioned)
- Phoenix Force (Mentioned)
- Madelyne Pryor (Mentioned)
- James MacDonald Hudson (Mentioned)
- Bastion (Mentioned)
- New York State
- Wolverine's motorcycle.
Synopsis for "North and South"
The issue opens at the Xavier Mansion. A photograph of Professor X is placed next to an answering machine. The machine reports its recorded message every time it receives a call. The message informs each caller that they have reached the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, that the answering machine is new and its record times is brief, and that all messages from callers should be brief.
The first caller of the day is Kurt Wagner. He is calling from Muir Island and does not seem to be interested in leaving a message. He waits for some time to speak to someone live, then resolves to try again later, and hangs up.
The second caller is Margaret Stone. She wants to inform the school that a representative from the Department of Education called Marta Waltz will soon be staying in their facility. The answering machine ends the message before the time of Waltz's imminent arrival is mentioned. As Margaret speaks a mouse climbs unto the answering machine, looks around, and then leaves.
The third caller is Jean Grey and wants to leave a message for Logan. She informs her friend that she and her husband Scott Summers have made it to Anchorage in one piece. Their house is still standing and they managed to make some new friends. But there is some reason for concern. The answering machine ends the message before Jean can explain. Jean then calls again to explain what she means. She and Scott had an emergency landing in Canada and encountered suspicious-looking Department H troops. They seemed strange and definitely "un-Canadian". She thought Logan should know. Jean wants Logan to call her and Scott when he returns, but the answering machine ends her message prematurely again.
The scene shifts to Wolverine riding his motorcycle and transporting a passenger. The passenger is a captive Sauron, completely wrapped in a potato sack and chained. The captive pleads to be led out and complains that this treatment is inhumane. Wolvie casually punches him to shut to him up. He is not in the mood to listen to the captive villain's complains, since Sauron invaded his house (the Xavier Mansion), attacked Wolvie and his people, and tried to get away with murder. He next addresses Sauron as "Lykos", and points that the man has a problem. Every time the X-Men think his Sauron days are over, he comes back for more. He is transporting Lykos to the city, with the intend to deliver the villain to someone willing to keep him under wraps until the Sauron problem can be ended.
An annoyed Wolvie instructs Sauron to quit struggling back there, as it is affecting the balance of the motorcycle. He threatens that if Sauron draws any attention to them, he will live to regret it. The motorcycle keeps going out of balance, though Sauron claims he is not doing anything to affect it. Suddenly, something sweeps past them at high speed. The motorcycle and its passengers are thrown on the ground. A surprised Sauron, who can not see anything with his eyes covered, asks what is going on. Wolvie can see that the thing that dropped them was a low-flying aircraft that is now gaining altitude and speeding away.He lifts Sauron in his arms, claims that the captive is getting lighter (possibly transforming) and attributes the event to one of those X-File things.
The scene shifts to the exterior of a building in south Manhattan. The top of the building is occupied by the Agee Institute for Genetic Studies, a small research facility that has recently come under national scrutiny. Its snowing in New York City, and there is snow on the ground and on the top of the building. A couple of birds are depicted flying around. Inside the building, Dr. Aubrey Agee is seeing a patient for the first time and apologizes for keeping her waiting. He asks for the name of the patient. She is Rogue but uses the alias "Ms. Smith" and refuses to give a first name. Agee realizes that she is not using her real name.
Agee assures Rogue that she really has nothing to fear. The goal of the institute is to unlock genetic mutations, allowing mutants to live normal lives again. He is a medical doctor and interested in helping people, not harming them. Rogue answers that she did not claim to be a mutant herself, she is just looking for information. She is curious about his impossible claims and feels that anyone claiming to be able to cure genetic mutations would be of interest to the government.
Dr. Agee claims to know that mutants are feared by this world, since his sister was a mutant. Picking up on the use of past tense, Rogue asks whether she is now dead. Agee claims that his sister is alive, but cured of her genetic mutation. It was his first success story. He offers to begin work on making Rogue his next success story. He assures her that the government has no presence in his research facility. Dr. Agee then takes a swab and gathers some cells from the inside of Rogue’s cheek.
Rogue privately has doubts about her course of action. Professor X always tough his students that they were special and worthy. But she is losing control of herself. She kissed Gambit, touched Wolvie, and gave Joseph mouth-to-mouth. She knows it is possible to counter-act her powers, because Joseph was able to do so momentarily. But now Joseph has left the team. She and him never had the chance to complete the task.
Dr. Agee informs his patient that his first examination is over and that she is free to go. She can schedule her follow-up exam with his secretary. Rogue is surprised that it all ended so soon. He explains that now he has a sample of her genetic code and he has a long to determine from analyzing it. Her presence is not necessary. He asks, however, what is her mutant power. Fearing about giving up too much information about herself, Rogue rushes out of his office without giving any real answer.
The scene shifts back to Wolverine, his motorcycle, and Sauron. They are back on the road and Wolvie is thinking about picking up Rogue's scent on this back road. Transporting Sauron ended up being the perfect cover in tracking her down without telling the other X-Men. He still does not know why she ran away and why she used a taxicab to do it. He wants to know why her smell was directly on his skin when he returned from unconsciousness. He thinks that Rogue has been acting strange ever since she returned from Antarctica. Whatever happened with Gambit must have brought her a world of hurt, and sorrow can push a person over the edge. If she is acting irrationally, she might land all the X-Men in a heap of trouble.
Wolverine's thoughts are interrupted by Sauron, who whines that he is bleeding. Wolvie mocks him. Sauron asks why Logan is being so cruel to him, and claims that he is now weakened and not fully in his Sauron state. Wolvie answers that he still considers him dangerous. Sauron reminds him of their time in the Savage Land, when they used to be friends. Wolvie points that they had joined forces against a mutual threat, that does not mean that they became friends. And if they were still friends, Sauron would not stab him in the back while he was sleeping. Their partnership took place long time ago, and he was partnered up with the human Karl Lykos and not with Sauron.
Wolvie is surprised when they are stopped by the newest version of Alpha Flight (Flex, Guardian, Manbot, Murmur, Puck, Radius, Sasquatch, and Vindicator). Guardian greets Wolvie as "Weapon X". Sauron has no idea who they are and can not see them, but he can smell their power. In a rather formal way, Guardian announces that under edict of the Canadian Ministry of Defense, Wolverine is ordered to remand himself into their custody for immediate extradition. He then speaks more personally to "Logan", and asks him not to make this situation harder than it has to be. His team is fully prepared and equipped to take Logan in, by force if necessary. Wolvie is putting on a show of defiance, calmly stepping towards Guardian while lighting a cigar. He reaches Guardian and starts examining him. He stares at him from the front and back, then sniffs at him intently, snorts and steps away. Guardian remains silent during Wolvie's examination of him.
Vindicator lands in front of Wolvie and tries to reason with him. He asks her what are they accusing him of. She answers that Department H has shown them surveillance videos, which depict Logan killing their teammate Madison Jeffries. He addresses her as "Heather", and reminds her that they are all friends. Would she believe Department H over him. He approaches closer and privately warns her that she might want to look into Mac (Guardian), who smells funny to him. Mac is himself, and not himself at the same time.
Wolvie steps away from Heather and walks towards the rest of the team. He greets Puck, telling him that its good to see him again. He next addresses Sasquatch, who he mistakes for his old friend Walter Langkowski. He comments that Walt's fur is looking mangy and jokes that Walt might want to get some hair conditioner. Sasquatch growls in response. Wolvie next sees Manbot and mistakes him for Box. Manbot protests and explains his codename designation.
He next turns his attention to Flex and Radius, who he assumes are new recruits. He finds them "awfully young" for government work. He notices the extremely nervous Flex, and jokes that the kid looks about to soil himself. He guesses that Department H briefed them and told them about Wolverine being a berserker. He assures the kid that he is not going to hurt him, unless he gives him a reason to do so. Flex is silent, but Radius is more confident and answers that he is going to give Wolvie a reason. Wolvie unsheaths one of his claws, points it at Radius and asks him if he wants to fight him. Radius replies that he feels like they have already fought. Wolvie jokes that there is no way they have fought, since Radius still has his hair, all of his teeth, and unbroken bones. Radius explains that he has fought a simulator of Wolvie in Combat Central and kicked its butt. Wolverine answers that "Combat Central" sounds like the name of an Ottawa espresso bar. Radius ends the conversation by pointing that Wolvie is pretty funny, for a murdering midget nutcase.
Wolvien finishes smoking, stabs his cigar with a bone claw, throws it on the ground. He next turns his attention to Murmur. He calls her "gorgeous" and claims that he always notices "a pretty face". She thanks him for the compliment. Wolverine starts returning towards his motorcycle and the chained Sauron, turning his back of Alpha Flight. He sarcastically thanks Heather for letting him know that the team is back in such a personal way. He then comments that Department H is as thoughtful as Ever. While on the motorcycle, he addresses Mac again. He tells him that they will speak again when Mac starts sporting a civil tongue and some common sense. Meantime, he has a delivery to make. He instructs Mac not to come knocking on his door with threats again, unless he is willing to follow through on them. He then rides with his bike past the team, who silently stare at him moving away.
The scene shifts to Anchorage. Jean Grey is having an argument with her husband. She is dressed in a green Phoenix costume, flying outside her house, and demonstrates her powers in a flame-like form. She is in tears and asks Scott if this is what he thinks she is, an evil, omnipotent firebird that consumes his thoughts. He answers telepathically that if Jean knows his thoughts, then she knows that he wants her to land on the ground and talk about this with him.
Jean lands on the ground and accuses Scott of yelling at her. He asks her to come back inside the home and worries that many people just witnessed her displaying that "Phoenix effect". She asks him who cares about that, and he answers that they both care. They came to Anchorage to attempt to live normal lives. He asks her to come inside and to not make a scene. He then pleads with her and apologizes for his reaction to her costume. She angrily points that he should be sorry, and that she thought they had come farther in their relationship than that. He screamed at her just because she made a new costume. He points that what she made is actually an old costume and one that he is familiar with.
Scott then attempts to explain why he reacted that way. He saw Jean or the woman he thought was Jean reborn in that costume, he saw her corrupted in that costume, and saw her get killed in that costume. He also recently experienced Professor X turning into Onslaught. Jean is also a telepath and could be undergoing a similar transformation. They do not know the limits and dangers of her powers any more than they did Charles'. He asks her if she is certain that there is no more to this situation than her getting a new costume.
Jean replies that she is certain. This change is not about causing Scott or anyone else pain, it is about ending Jean's own pain. She has seen his thoughts, even the ones that he is not consciously aware of. He constantly remembers the Phoenix Force and Madelyne Pryor. In his mind are negative images of women who Scott thought were Jean. And in these memories, the women are wearing the Phoenix outfit. She is tired of their ghosts. She claimed the name "Phoenix" as part of a plan to claim this identity and to empower herself. She is tired of suppressing her abilities, just because he might be upset.
Touching the shoulders of her husband, Jean continues by saying that she wants to be all that she is capable of being. She also wants to convince him that she can do that without becoming some nightmare woman in the process. A disturbed Scott claims that he does not know if he wants to cope with that. She insists that he is going to have to cope with it. Because that is the only way Jean herself can cope with it. She grabs him and kisses him on the leaps. Then smiles and declares that the Phoenix costume is not symbolic of her corruption. Its a symbol of her rebirth as the only woman he loves. Cyclops stares at her expressionlessly.
The scene shifts back to Wolverine, his motorcycle, and Sauron. He explains to Sauron that they are heading south and that he should not worry about Alpha Flight. He is confident than they got his message. He is suddenly attacked by Guardian who explains that he is following through with his threats. The motorcycle flies off the road, along with its passengers. Sauron lands on the ground painfully and Wolvie lands on top of him. The motorcycle lands ahead of them in the street. Guardian asks "Weapon X" to surrender. Wolvie unsheathes all his bone claws and prepares to attack.
His thoughts are troubled, because he considers Mac and Heather to be his best friends in the world. He has not spend much time with them lately, but he recalls them finding a dying Logan in the wilds and taking him in. He figures most people would have let him die. The last time he encountered his friends was months ago and everything seemed normal. Now he feels that there is something wrong with Guardian, and he blames Department H for it. He attacks anyway and uses his claws on Mac.
Taking advantage of Wolverine's preoccupation with the fight, Sauron runs away. He is still covered in the sack and chained, but his legs are free. He wants to touch someone again, and to absorb their life energy. He suddenly bumps into someone. It is Sasquatch, who is under the influence of Murmur. She fully intends to stop "Monsieur Sack" from escaping. Sasquatch throws Sauron around, while a blackbird closely observes this encounter.
The scene to a flying Rogue. She is happy with the thought that she can be free of her "awful power" and live and love like a normal person. She still, however, has doubts. She has been promised the world before, only to get her heart broken. She needs to find out more information on Dr. Agee. She then thinks what loosing her power would mean for her life as an X-Man. She suddenly observes energy bursts in the air and decides to investigate. The energy is coming from Guardian, and Rogue witness Wolverine in a brawl with Flex, Manbot, Puck, Radius. Vindicator is nearby, Guardian is shooting energy, while Murmur and Sasquatch are watching from a distance. Rogue exchanges a few words with Wolvie on the situation and resolves to bring in reinforcements, though Wolverine brags that he does not need any help. Rogue does not believe him.
Puck fights Wolvie for a while. He points that if these videos of Logan were truthful, Logan is in need of some mental help. Wolvie points that videotapes can be faked and argues that the Flight is being manipulated by someone. He manages to knock out Puck. His next opponent is Flex, who transforms one of his hands into sharp long blades. Wolverine finds the method of attack rather familiar to him. He pretends to be about to slash Flex's face with his claws, then draws them back at the last minute. Flex lands face-first on Wolvie's fist and gets knocked out.
Wolverine is next attacked by Guardian and Vindicator, who use energy to melt the ground. Guardian points that "Weapon X" was always an honorable man, and questions why he is now running from his own actions. Wolvie runs towards a nearby gas station, and instructs them not to use their powers in case the gas pumps explode. Heather tries to reason with him. She points that if he is innocent of the murder, he can come with them willingly and clear his name.
Wolvie unsheathes all his bone claws and claims that he is innocent until proven guilty. Heather takes one look at the bone claws, and seems very surprised that he does not have Adamantium claws. Department H claimed that they were tracking him through his Adamantium. She also explains that the Flight was not only send after him due to the murder. The Department claimed that Logan has signed an agreement which still makes his metal a property of Canada. Wolvie points that the Department is at best out of touch of reality, and at worst lying to them. He jokes that their intelligence information these days seems to be coming from the National Enquirer. He also reminds Heather and Mac that they have already seen him and examined him since the time he lost his metal clothes. He does not get to finish his sentence, since Sasquatch attacks him from behind.
Wolverine fights Sasquatch for a while, with Murmur worried when she sees her teammate getting hit. Wolverine apologizes to the "babe", but battles go how they will, not how people want them to. Their battle is interrupted with the arrival of the X-Men (Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Maggott, Rogue, and Storm). Wolvie asks for their help, and Storm responds and leads the others onwards.
Vindicator confronts Storm and instructs her to keep her team back. She explains that "Wolverine" may have committed crimes for which he must answer to the Canadian government. She then claims that this battle does not concern Storm. Storm points that what concerns one X-Man, concerns them all. And a willful, blindside attack by old allies like Alpha Flight concerns her team greatly. She uses her powers to call on an electrical blast from the sky, which strikes Heather and disrupts her electro-magnetic pulse. Heather is left temporarily paralyzed and taken out of the fight, just as Storm intended.
Rogue sends Maggott to the gas station to make sure that there are no civilians around. He finds Murmur there and uses his slugs to scare her. He instructs the "girls" to circle her until they find out what she can do, but to not snack on her. Murmur seems terrified and screams that the slugs are horrible and wants them away from her. Eany and Meany seem to ignore her and speed into the distance, with a surprised Maggott trying to get them to return.
Rogue discovers Radius facing Wolverine alone, while Guardian, Puck, and Sasquatch are heading towards the gas station. She challenges Radius to a fight, and he agrees to fight the "skunk-head" (as he calls her). As they exchange punches and kicks, she questions whether his mother taught him any manners. He reveals that he never knew his mother. Neither combatant seems to have the upper hand in this fight.
The scene shifts to Cannonball who is blasting towards Flex. He questions why are they fighting Alpha Flight, since they were good guys the last time he heard of them. A scared Flex explains that they still are good guys, pleads with Samuel not to hit him, and points that he is not participating in the fight voluntarily. Cannonball lands without hitting Flex, and asks whether his opponent wants to surrender. Flex explains that he can not surrender, because they would throw him off the team. The team is all he has in this life and his half-brother Radius is on it. But Flex does not want to fight either. Samuel agrees nor to fight, but points that the Flight are the aggressors in this conflict and wants to know why the attacked Wolverine. Flex starts explaining what their bosses in Department H told them about "Weapon X".
Elsewhere the battle continues. Guardian and Puck have teamed up against Wolverine. Wolvie claims that the real Mac would not need backup to take him down, and questions whether this Guardian is the real thing. Storm and Vindicator reluctantly face each other again, with Ororo trying to explain that Heather acts as if she has been brainwashed. Maggott flirts with Murmur, but resists her attempts to touch him. He has figured out what her touch can do. Sasquatch then enters the fight. He uses the bound Sauron as a giant club and brings him on the head of Maggott, who is instantly knocked out. Murmur prepares to touch the unconscious Maggott. What she finds in Maggott’s mind apparently causes her distress and she screams as if in intense pain.
Rogue keeps on fighting Radius, and she is somewhat impressed with his endurance to her hits. He brags about his forcefield, though she already knows about it. Guardian and Puck have failed to knock out Wolverine, but Manbot joins the fight against Wolvie. Storm and Vindicator seem to be wrestling in the air. Then Cannonball calls for everybody's attention and the battle stops. He has learned from Flex that "Wolvy" is wanted for murdering a guy several weeks ago. But at that time, Wolvy and the other X-Men were prisoners of Bastion. Which means that Wolvy could not have performed the murder.
Radius does not believe what he hears and suggests that his team should capture Wolverine anyway. But Vindicator now doubts what Department H told them and stops him. She reveals that the Department was supposedly tracking "Weapon X" by his Adamantium, but that he no longer has the metal. She is also starting to remember things about her personal history with "Logan", and they contradict what the Department has told them about him. She concludes that their bosses at the Department were simply using them. He suggests that they should return to their base and confront them.
Wolverine suddenly discovers Sauron's broken chains and fears that the villain has escaped into the woods. He then turns towards Heather and tells her two things. First, that she should not easily believe whatever she is told. Second, that if she finds a situation in Canada which she can not handle alone, she should let him know and he will come and help her. He has not forgotten his Canadian roots. Storm adds that all the X-Men will come and help. Heather is pleasantly surprised and grateful. The rest of Alpha Flight seem ready to follow her lead, though Murmur is still recovering from the painful experience and holding her head.
The scene shifts back to the Xavie Mansion and its answering machine, which receives new messages. The first caller is from a radio show which offers 25,000 dollars in cash to whoever can answer and say the phrase that pays. He hopes that they did not need the money (which the cash-strapped X-Men clearly do), then hangs up. The second caller is Scott Summers, who is hesitant to tell what is troubling him and quickly hangs up. He then calls again and tells them that there is something about Jean. She overhears him speaking on the phone and asks who is he talking to. He quickly hangs up and lies about speaking to anyone. The story ends.
- This story is told from Alpha Flight's perspective in Alpha Flight Vol 2 #9 (April, 1998).
- At this point in its history, Alpha Flight is controlled by Department H and its de facto leader General Jeremy Clarke. They are being regularly manipulated, brainwashed, and misinformed by their superiors. The Department had developed into a conspirational organization with several ongoing secret agendas.
- The issue includes several clues that this Guardian may not be the real James MacDonald Hudson. The cover story of this Guardian was that he is a de-aged Hudson, who now looks 19-years-old and is no longer a cyborg. He was eventually revealed to be a clone of the original with an imperfect set of his memories. The original was still alive and eventually returned to the team.
- Wolverine is accused in this issue of murdering Madison Jeffries. Actually, Jeffries was abducted in Alpha Flight Vol 2 1 (August, 1997), was still alive, and held by a new version of the Zodiac. He was brainwashed into serving their team as their Gemini and continued doing so until Weapon X Vol 2 1 (November, 2002).
- The Sasquatch featured in this issue is not Walter Langkowski. Department H thought they located a bestial Langkowski and forcibly recruited him into the team, where he was kept under control by Murmur. However it turned out that they accidentally recruited an actual sasquatch. He was a humanoid animal with limited intelligence.
- Wolverine mistakes Manbot for a new incarnation of Box. He is partly correct, since Manbot is the result of bonding a human called Bernie Lachenay with the remains of the Box armor. However Manbot seems to be more robotic than any of his predecessors, and it is unclear whether Lachenay's human identity survived the transformation process.
- The issue points that Radius never knew his mother. Actually this is probably true of several of the new recruits of Alpha Flight. Department H had ties with the Hull House, an orphanage were several super-powered children were raised. Among them were Radius, Flex, Murmur, and Ghost Girl. All were recruited directly from the orphanage.
- Storm suspects that Vindicator has been brainwashed. This is mostly true, with Heather's memories and perceptions constantly altered. Heather was also very reluctant to rejoin Alpha Flight to begin with and was effectively forced to do so, when abducted by Department H.
- Like Vindicator, Puck has been forced to rejoin Alpha Flight and brainwashed. Unlike her, he was having a terrible time without the team. He was sinking into alcoholism and was regularly sleeping in the streets until Department H decided to recruit him.
- Jean Grey apparently calls the Xavier Mansion to inform Wolverine of the events of Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 352 (February, 1998). This likely indicates that little Marvel Time has intervened between the two issues. The events of issues #353-354 (March-April, 1998) take place within a single day. The events of #355 follow directly from the defeat and capture of Sauron in the previous issue.
- Cyclops is evidently disturbed by Jean Grey acting like a returned Phoenix Force and claiming the identity. The main reason seems to be that he fears Jean becoming a new version of Dark Phoenix.
- The issue notes that the last time Wolverine met James MacDonald Hudson and Heather McNeil was in Wolverine Vol 2 92 (August, 1995). This precedes the establishment of this new version of Alpha Flight.
- The information of Department H on Wolverine seems to be outdated, as they still believe he has Adamantium claws and claim ownership of the metal. Wolvie lost his Adamantium back in X-Men Vol 2 25 (October, 1993), when Magneto extracted it from his body. He has since relied on his bone claws. He would next regain his Adamantium bones and claws in Wolverine Vol 2 145 (December, 1999), thanks to a plot by Apocalypse.
- A plot point in this issue is that Wolverine was a captive of Bastion when Madison Jeffries was supposedly murdered. This is a reference to the events of the Operation: Zero Tolerance crossover of 1997, when Bastion held captive Wolverine and several other X-Men.
- When Rogue switches from civilian clothing to her uniform, she uses her purple Shi'ar uniform. She has been using it since Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 342 (March, 1997). She gained it during a space-faring mission of the X-Men.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which covers character appearances, has the following information on the characters of this issue.
- Dr. Aubrey Agee appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 356 (June, 1998).
- Cannonball appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 75 (May, 1998).
- Cyclops appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 356 (June, 1998).
- Eany and Meany appear here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). Their next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 73 (March, 1998).
- Flex appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Guardian appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Maggott appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 73 (March, 1998).
- Manbot appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 7 (February, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Murmur appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- The voice-only appearance of Nightcrawler follows X-Men Unlimited Vol 1 19 (June, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Excalibur Vol 1 120 (May, 1998).
- There are two distinct appearances of Phoenix in this issue.
- Her voice-only appearance at the start of the issue follows Cable and Machine Man Annual Vol 1 1998 (May, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998).
- Her full appearance in this issue follows Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Wolverine Vol 2 125 (June, 1998).
- Puck appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Radius appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Rogue appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 73 (March, 1998).
- Sasquatch appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 7 (February, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Sauron appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 356 (June, 1998).
- The voice-only appearance of Margaret Stone follows Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998).
- Storm appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 73 (March, 1998).
- Vindicator appears here following Alpha Flight Vol 2 8 (March, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Alpha Flight Vol 2 10 (May, 1998).
- Wolverine appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 73 (March, 1998).
- The issue introduces a subplot about the Department of Education sending a representative called Marta Walz to stay in the Xavier Mansion. This follows from previous issues, where the Department still considers the Mansion to be Xavier's School but has placed the institute under suspension, pending further investigation. The subplot was likely among writer Steven T. Seagle's aborted plans for the series, since Marta failed to arrive in subsequent issues.
- There is a minor inconsistency between this issue and Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 356. In this issue, the captive Sauron uses the battle between the X-Men and Alpha Flight to escape into the woods of New York State. In the following issue, Sauron is still a captive of the X-Men. It has been presumed by various online sources that Wolverine and the others went in search of Sauron and managed to recapture him, but these events have never been depicted.
- The crossover between the X-Men and Alpha Flight, both issues of it, was written by Steven T. Seagle. Seagle was at the time the main writer of both Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 and Alpha Flight Vol 2. The probable reason to the crossover was to expose the Alpha Flight title and its characters to the wider audience of the X-Men. Uncanny X-Men was a best-selling title, while Alpha Flight was still a relatively new title which had yet to attract its own audience.
- Despite serving as a new introduction of Alpha Flight to a wider audience, this issue offers relatively little information on the team and its characterization. Radius is featured as an over-confident jerk, whose speaking lines mostly consist of insults and shows of defiance. Flex is featured as a wimp and a coward, who acts as if battles terrify him and still does not want to be kicked of his team. Most of the others get a few battle scenes and less speaking lines.
- In this issue Sauron gets reduced from a threatening villain to a bystander in a major fight. He keeps trying to run away before he gets seriously hurt.
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