Thursday, 27 October 2011

UXM #120: "Wanted: Wolverine! Dead Or Alive!"

(Our friends in the North.)


Has it come at last?  After these many years of comics, have we finally arrived at Alpha Flight's first ever humiliating beatdown?

Well, not yet.  It would hardly be a two-parter if the X-Men won the first round, would it (let's forget about those Mandroids from last time, huh?).  This issue is very clearly the set-up for what is liable to be an extended fracas.

We begin back in Japan, where Wolverine is trying to say goodbye to Mariko without scaring her, and Shiro is trying to say goodbye to the X-Men without being a big old dick about it.  Both of them just about manage it, and the team board a jet back to the States.  Scott gets a chance to snuggle up to Colleen Wing (nothing like a kung-fu kicking grand-niece to the Japanese Premier to help you get over your dead crazy girlfriend/cosmic nuclear warhead), but their pass over Calgary becomes rather hazardous when an artificial blizzard strikes.

The Canadians have apparently decided they want Wolverine back again (presumably it took them this long to scrape the Canuck dollars together to give it another try), and as their opening bid in re-signing him is to have Sasquatch throw his plane into a building.  I'd think that slightly too hard of a hard-ball, but maybe he's met Logan before.

Unfortunately for Alpha Flight, Cyclops is one step ahead of them.  Storm saves the day for the thirty-seventh time by turning Shaman's blizzard against them, and the X-Men disappear into Calgary with instructions to meet beneath a tower Scott sees in the distance.

Colossus and Cyclops make it, along with the various other non-mutants from the jet.  Nightcrawler and Wolverine are less lucky, and find themselves captured.  Banshee and Storm, in defiance of all possible logic, decide to go shopping.

I am not even slightly kidding.  On the run shadowy government forces (even if that government is Canadian), and with specific instructions to rendezvous with the team so that they can get their hunted friend out of the country, Storm decides to go shopping for clothes despite having a costume that can change into anything. It might not be so bad if Colleen's "disguise" excuse held water, but beyond Storm's instant costume change ability, the girls are simply far too interested in ensuring Storm is happy with her outfit for that to be remotely convincing.  All that saves them from arrest at the hands of Vindicator is Hudson's amazingly ham-fisted attack.  Smashing through the ceiling of a shopping centre and then looking for the source of the signal does not a stealthy approach make, and Storm punishes him accordingly, with a hurricane to the chops.

Meanwhile, at the tower rendezvous, Cyclops and Colossus are getting completely antsy, what with not knowing Ororo and Sean have taken time off for retail therapy.  Scott promises that Alpha Flight will never take his teammates except over his dead body, and has Misty call in her greatest allies: the lawyers!

To be continued...


This story takes place over the course of several hours. 

Scott refers to the previous attack by "Major Maple Leaf" as taking place "last summer".  Since that happened in UXM #109, that puts the gap between UXM #103 and UXM #104 at around six months.  Further proof, were it needed, that Claremont is re-writing the laws of temporal physics as he goes.  Well, that or the X-Men took half a year off in Ireland, and Magneto was on extended sabbatical whilst, y'know, locked in Moira's box.

The Canadian Prime Minister featured in this issue is either meant to be Pierre Trudeau (the actual holder of the office at that time), or a clear homage.


Sunday 15th of August, 1982.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.56 standard years.

(Storm is 35 years old).

"You spoke once of power.  Little man, you do not know the meaning of the word!"
Contemporary Events

Alex Teorell, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1955 for the discovery of the oxidation enzyme and its effects, passes away, aged 79.

Standout Line

"Mariko-chan, watashi wa Logan desu." - Wolverine.

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