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Quote1 You spoke once of power. Little man, you do not know the meaning of the word! Quote2
-- Storm

Appearing in "Wanted: Wolverine! Dead or Alive!"

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Synopsis for "Wanted: Wolverine! Dead or Alive!"

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: the super hero known as Vindicator (formerly Weapon Alpha) meets with the Canadian Prime Minister to review footage of the X-Men’s battle with the Mandroids in Japan. The P.M. demands that Wolverine be captured and forced back into service for the Canadian government. Vindicator promises he won’t let him down as he did after his first failed attempt to capture him. Vindicator sends an alert out to five “very special people”, the members of a new, Canadian-based super-team called Alpha Flight: Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar), Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen (Shaman), RCMP corporal Anne McKenzie (Snowbird), Dr. Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch), and Jean-Paul's twin sister Jeanne-Marier (Aurora).

Meanwhile in Japan, the X-Men bid farewell to their ally Sunfire who is thankful for the groups aid in stopping Moses Magnum. Before leaving, Wolverine says goodbye to Mariko by presenting her with a white chrysanthemum and telling her his real name: Logan.

The X-Men take a private DC-10 plane back to the States with Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, but as it passes by Alaska, the plane run into turbulent weather all along the west coast. The pilot alerts Scott (noticing that he and Colleen have been together for the whole duration of the trip, and that they’ve fallen asleep in each other’s arms). Ororo awakens and senses something wrong about the storm. She tries to use her weather-control ability to rectify it but can’t. She realizes some intelligent force is directing the storm, resisting her. Meanwhile, Wolverine also awakens and becomes aware of the situation. The pilot is forced to set the plane down in Calgary. Those onboard the plane are unaware that its “emergency” landing is anticipated there and a that a special operations team awaits them. They’re surprised to see a man on the runway, awaiting them. It’s Vindicator, demanding to see Wolverine. Cyclops tells the pilot to take off immediately. She wants to comply, but the plane is standing still at full throttle.

By now, the rest of the X-Men are awake and suiting up. Nightcrawler peers out the window and through the heavy snowfall he sees the outline of a large hairy man gripping the hull of the plane, holding it in place! That same hairy creature hoists the plane in the air and hurls it the length of the runway into an empty hangar. Vindicator chews out his teammate Sasquatch, who apologizes and states he doesn’t know his own strength. Vindicator flies toward the plane but finds it has already been abandoned. The blizzard picks up in ferocity and Vindicator questions Shaman. He replies that one of the X-Men must have elemental powers like him.

Under cover of the storm, the X-Men & co. sneak away and blend in with the crowd at the airport. Wolverine reluctantly explains that their main opponent is James-MacDonald Hudson, a.k.a. “Major Maple Leaf”, was in charge of putting together a team of Canadian superheroes and his earliest recruit was Wolverine. He was out in the field while the rest of the team was being assembled and doesn’t know (apart from Hudson) who they are or what their abilities are. Cyclops splits the team up and rendezvous downtown.

In a shopping mall, Banshee, Storm, and Colleen have stopped so that Storm can buy some clothes better suited to a low profile than her X-Man costume. While she’s changing, Vindicator tracks them down. Banshee recognizes him as the man who injured Moira (#109) and attempts to sonic scream at him, only to keel over in pain. Genuinely concerned, Vindicator is about to call a doctor, but Storm instead attacks him. Wary of a combat situation in such close quarters with civilians, he retreats.

Cyclops and Colossus see him speeding away. Cyclops realizes that, since many of Vindicator’s teammates are mutants, then it stands to reason he has technology similar to Cerebro, able to detect and track mutants. That means while the X-Men thought they were giving Alpha Flight the slip by splitting up, they only made themselves more vulnerable targets.

Elsewhere, Wolverine is lost in thought about Mariko and an old flame “Cracklin’ Rosa” when Sasquatch gets the jump on him, knocking him out and carrying him away.

The remaining X-Men regroup. Misty and Colleen have left to get in touch with their lawyer boss Jermyn Hogarth for legal advice. Cyclops tells his team that the X-Men didn’t start the fight, but will finish it…even if it’s over Alpha-Flight’s dead bodies.

This story is continued next issue....

Notes

  • This is the first appearance of the original Alpha-Flight team, although they will not be shown in costume in full until next issue.
  • Wolverine reveals his name is Logan for the first time.
  • Vindicator was referred to by Wolverine and the other X-Men as "Major Maple Leaf" throughout the story, although this is not an official code-name for the character.
  • Vindicator makes a passing reference to someone called "Heather", who will later be revealed to be his wife Heather Hudson.
  • During the trip to the mall, Storm first remarks that she never feels cold despite what the temperature is, and feels smothered in the layers of clothing she tries on.
  • In a future letter column with fan letters concerning this issue, a reader asks if all the members of Alpha Flight are mutants. Editor Roger Stern will respond that Vindicator, Shaman and Sasquatch are not mutants, indicating that at least initially Snowbird was intended to be a mutant.
  • In the backup origin story feature in Alpha Flight, it is revealed that Walter Langkowski became Sasquatch originally just shortly before this adventure, which ties in nicely with his comment here that he is unaware of his own strength.
  • The same origin story feature reveals that Wolverine personally recruited Jean-Marie/Aurora for Department H, despite his insistence here that he doesn't know any of the members of Alpha Flight aside from Hudson.
  • This issue is reprinted in many other comics and books, see references for more info.[1]

Trivia

  • Although the Prime Minister is not actually named, his depiction resembles then-P.M. Pierre Trudeau closely enough to be considered a topical reference subject to the sliding time scale.

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • This begins a two-part storyline that concludes next issue.
  • X-Men #109 - first appearance Vindicator (as Weapon Alpha).

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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