Alpha Flight (5th series) #2

Issue Date: 
November 2023
Story Title: 
Divided We Stand, part two

Ed Brisson (writer), Scott Godlewski (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Leonard Kirk & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Nicoletta Baldari (vatiant cover artist), Dan Panosian (after John Byrne & Terry Austin, Alpha Flight #1 Homage Variant cover artists), Drew Baumgartner (assistant editor), Mark Basso (editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

At Krakoa North, Guardian, Northstar and Kyle Beaubier-Jinadu discuss how they move forward to get the 23 mutants being kept safe here to Chandilar now that Department H's new director, Erika Dorion, plans to deploy the Box Sentinels. They are also concerned about how many other mutants may be out there, needing their help. Several young mutants want to go outside, but Aurora tells them that they can't, because it is dangerous, and inside everyone is protected by a magical force-field thanks to Nemesis. Guardian hopes that with the Box Sentinels being outfitted with Orchis tech they may be able to use some of that information to discover where other mutants are, although Northstar is worried that Guardian's cover will be blown if Erika starts to suspect him too much. Shaman examines Laurent Bavota, who reveals that he used to use the name Argent when he thought he wanted to be a hero like Alpha Flight, but now he just wants to be left alone. Fang and Puck meet with Empress Xandra via holo-projector. Xandra wants to know when to expect the mutant refugees, but is informed that they have run into some complications on Earth. In Oregon, Feedback is on the run after being exposed as a mutant. A waitress at a diner recognizes him from media reports, and he realizes he has been spotted. He tries to leave the diner, but police arrive on scene. At Krakoa North, Snowbird informs Nemesis that it is time for her and the others to leave. Nemesis is exhausted, revealing to Snowbird that the Scell drains her energy every time she uses it, and is concerned that when she is needed the most, she won't be available. Snowbird suggests Nemesis talk to Guardian, but Nemesis isn't ready to have that conversation yet. Puck interrupts the women when he informs them that one of their own is under attack in Oregon and they have to go – now. En route to Oregon, Guardian is contacted by Erika, asking him where he is going. Guardian tells her that local authorities have one of Alpha Flight's old teammates cornered, and that he thought it would look good if Alpha Flight took him in, showed that they don't play favourites. Erika is annoyed Guardian didn't think to check in with her first, and informs him that she is already aware of the situation, and that she won't allow Guardian and his teammates to humiliate Department H further – not to mention he is an hour out, while the Box Sentinels are already on scene. The others wait for Guardian to make the call, and he instructs Puck to turn their jet around and head back to Department H. At the diner, Feedback unleashes the full fury of his powers against the Box Sentinels, leaving Roger Bochs, Jr., back at Department H, conflicted about what to do – but before he has to make a decision about dealing with Feedback, Northstar, Aurora, Fang and Nemesis arrive to help Feedback.


Full Summary: 

Krakoa North, in Northern Manitoba, Canada, a secret facility hidden in a valley, built on the edge of a large waterfall. 'We're running out of time' James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian remarks as he walks alongside Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar, and his husband, Kyle Beaubier-Jinadu. They pass several young mutants whom they have rescued, and then pass several other young mutants, who are playing a ball game, improvising a net out of a table turned on its side. Northstar agrees, and asks Guardian what they are to do now that Erika Dorion has moved forward with the Box Sentinel program. Northstar suggests that if Erika freezes Guardian out of her decision-making processes, then perhaps it will be time for them to make their run for Chandilar. They walk past another group of mutants, and Guardian reminds Northstar that they only get one shot at this, and if his inside agent takes a Department H ship from the Alpha Flight space station now, then that's it, they won't get a second chance.

'We need to see how this plays out. See if there are more that we can save before we set sail' Guardian adds, before turning to Kyle and asking him how many there are so far. Kyle checks a report on his tablet and notes that with the rescue of Argent, that makes 23 mutants in the facility. 'Hmmm. It feels like only a drop in the bucket' Guardian remarks, to which Kyle points out that they don't know how many mutants are out there, and without a Cerebro, they can't access any hard data. Several young mutants rush past them, down into another corridor, where one of them is stopped by Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora, who speeds after him. 'Non' she tells the small boy, who protests that he is bored and wants to play outside. Aurora calls him Spencer and explains that it isn't safe outside. 'Why not? It's just grass and trees and -' Spencer begins, but Aurora tells him that it isn't so much what you can see with your eyes, but about those who can see them.

'There are bad guys watching. Bad guys who are looking to bring harm to people like you and me'. Aurora explains that this building protects them, as Nemesis has a force-field around this place, a magical force-field that helps them stay hidden, but that the moment any of them leaves the building, they are no longer protected. 'So we need to stay inside' Aurora smiles, before taking Spencer's hand and suggesting they go find something to alleviate the boredom. 'I think I saw a couple video game consoles with your names on them' Aurora smiles as she leads Spencer away, and the other mutants follow.

Continuing on through the facility, passing a room where four mutants are watching television, Guardian suggests to Northstar and Kyle that if they step back from it for a moment, the Box Sentinel program might be a blessing. Northstar is surprised by this comment, but Guardian points out that until now, they have been relying on public reports on mutant sightings, reports they relay to Northstar and the others in the hopes they get to them first. 'With us taking in those who're known criminals' Guardian adds, explaining that this gives them enough credibility to keep Department H from getting suspicious. 'That will be difficult with Erika's robot dogs keeping an eye on you' Northstar notes. Guardian reminds him that the Box Sentinels are outfitted with Orchis tech that allows them to pinpoint the location of mutants, and if they can access that information, then they can prioritize the targets, with the Box Sentinels taking down those who are legitimate threats, while Alpha Flight saves those who need it. Northstar asks Guardian if Department H will just hand that information over. He adds that he doesn't think the Krakoan Council will be thrilled to leave behind those who humankind has deemed not worthy. 'Krakoa welcomes all' he exclaims. Guardian narrows his eyes and tells Northstar 'That may be so, but Krakoa is no more, and we don't have time to save everyone'

In a medbay, Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman uses a small torch to examine the eyes of the silver-haired mutant called Argent, and apologizes to him if they were too rough on him. 'I was terrified, Shaman' the young mutant responds. 'I understand' Shaman remarks, before telling Argent that he is afraid they didn't have much choice, as Orchis and Department H have to believe that they are on their side. He places the end of a stethoscope on Argent's chest and tells him that, for what it is worth, he put up quite a good fight. 'Alpha Flight could use someone like you on our side, Argent' Shaman adds. 'Please don't call me that. My name is Laurent' the young mutant responds, hanging his head. He reveals that Argent was the name he used when he was younger, when he thought maybe he wanted to be like Alpha Flight – be a hero. 'But I hated the violence. I couldn't stomach it' he explains, adding that he just wants his life to go back to how it was, that's all. Shaman assures Laurent that he understands, and states that what is being done to mutantkind isn't fair or just. He leads Laurent out of the medbay and  assures him that Alpha Flight will do what they can to get him back home, but that until then, he will be safe here. 'I promise'.

Elsewhere within the facility, Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck and Akihiro a.k.a. Fang are speaking with Empress Xandra of the Shi'ar Empire via comunicator. The holographic representation of Xandra apologizes to Fang for being unable to assist him on his own planet, but explains that with the Shi'ar's long history of imperialism, it wouldn't be right for them to interfere in Earth's politics. 'We already have enough to atone for' she adds. Fang assures Xandra that they wouldn't ask, and that all they want is for Xandra to ensure that those who they bring to her will be taken care of until they can safely return them to Earth. 'That, I can promise' Xandra responds, before asking when she should expect them. 'Soon. We've just run into some...complications' Fang responds. Puck thanks the Empress for her help, and tells her that they were worried they would have to dump all of the poor souls on Arakko, in the middle of a civil war. 'A sad state of affairs when placing them in a war zone is a safer option than leaving them in their own homes' Puck adds. Xandra agrees, but assures Puck that the Shi'ar have homes for them. 'Even though they may be temporary, that is no reason for them to not be comfortable and welcoming'.

Meanwhile, in Bend, Oregon, USA, at a busy diner called Lenny's, a waitress holds out a pitcher of cofee and asks Albert Louis a.k.a. Feedback if he wants a warm-up. Albert looks up and thanks the waitress, who asks him if he wants anything else. Albert notices another waitress talking to a man in a shirt and tie, and responds 'Just the cheque, please' Albert responds. But when Albert is nealy out the door, the main the shirt and tie approaches him and tells him that he wanted to check how he enjoyed his meal. Several others gather around, as the man remarks that he has not seen Albert here before and claims that he likes to welcome new diners personally. 'It was great thanks' Albert replies as he explains that he is in a hurry and starts to open the door. The man keeps trying to stall Albert, and tells him that he doesn't want his first visit to be his last, and offers to give him some coupons for his next visit. 'Won't take but a minute, I promise' the man begins, before grabbing Albert by his arm and suggesting he get him a free piece of pie. 'We got the best strawberry and rhubarb pie in...' he starts, but Albert pulls away and steps outside, announcing that he really has to go. But outside, Albert finds several police cars have arrived on scene. The man in the diner tells Albert to give himself over to the police. 'This doesn't have to be -' he begins, before Albert tells him to get out. 'Now. Everyone – GET OUT!' he shouts as energy flares up around him.

Back at Krakoa North: 'It's time for us to leave, Nemesis' the goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird announces as she steps into the stark quarters where the masked woman known as Nemesis sits on a bed. Nemesis looks up at Snowbird and tells her that she will be there to teleport her back to her ship in just a moment. Somewhat hesitantly, Snowbird sits down beside Nemesis and asks her how she is feeling. 'It looks like this fight is taking its toll on you' Snowbird points out. Nemesis holds up her blade, 'The Scell...every time I use it, it drains energy from me. Leaves me exhausted' she admits, adding that teleporting five people across the country is a lot. 'Last time I slept for twelve hours afterward'. Nemesis admits that she is worried that it is taking too much, and that when she needs it the most, she won't have the energy.

Snowbird edges closer to Nemesis and puts a hand on her shoulder as she tells the mystery woman that she doesn't have to do this alone. 'Maybe you could talk to Guardian?' Snowbird suggests, but Nemesis remarks that she is not ready to have that conversation yet. Nemesis notes that without her, there is no way for anyone to get in and out of Krakoa North undetected, and without the sword, they will be found. Nemesis glances at Snowbird and tells her she is sorry, that she shouldn't put this on her. 'I knew what the assignment was when I signed up' Nemesis declares, before asking for a few minutes – but she doesn't get them, as Puck rushes in and reports that there has been a sighting of one of their own under attack in Oregon. 'We need to get back to the!' Puck exclaims. 'Okay. I'm ready' Nemesis announces as she stands up and holds up the Scell.

Above Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Alpha Flight's Omnijet streaks across the moonlit sky, when the voice of Department H's new director, Erika Dorion, can be heard over the communicator, asking Alpha Flight to care to explain why their jey has been detected heading into U.S. airspace. Shaman and Puck are at the controls. Snowbird and Guardian sit behind them, and as Snowbird looks out the window, Guardian informs Erika that the police in Oregon have cornered an old member of their team, so they thought it would look good if Alpha Flight took him in, and show that they don't play favourites. 'You didn't think to check with me first? Just decided that you'd run off to another country and kick off an international incident?' Erika exclaims, to which Guardian tells her that there was no time. 'We thought -' he begins, to which Erika snaps 'Yes, you already told me'. Everyone listens closely as Erika reports that Department H is already aware of the situation in Oregon, and agree that this is a great opportunity to show that they can take care of their own problems.

'Congratulations for finally getting it. This is a great moment for us to step up, to show the world what we're capable of. To prove to them that no one gets preferential treatment because of past affiliation with the team' Erika Dorion announces, adding that, if they are being technical, Albert Louis was only a member of Beta Flight. An assistant leaves Erika's office as Erika tells Alpha Flight that given this is such an imporant moment, they cannot risk messing this up – they need it to go well. 'You have our word' Guardian responds. Scowling, Erika tells Guardian that his word means little at this point. 'You've allowed Northstar, Aurora and Nemesis to humiliate you. To humiliate Department H' she snaps, before reporting that Department H will be going to Oregon and bringing Feedback here to stand trial. 'But you will not be going. If you cross into U.S. airspace, you will be arrested. Turn around. Return home' Erika instructs Alpha Flight, informing them that they will remain here as the face of Alpha Flight, shaking hands and waving at crowds. 'Besides, you're more than an hour out... and the Box Sentinels  are already there'.

At that moment, in Bend, Oregon, U.S.A., over a dozen of the purple and gray Box Sentinels descend on Lenny's Diner.

Back in the Omnijet, 'Well, what do we do, boss?' Puck asks, the jet's controls in his hands. Guardian frowns, before instructing Puck to turn around and head back to Department H. 'But -' Puck begins, while Snowbird looks at Guardian curiously. 'I know. I hate it' Guardian mutters, before pointing out that they are not going to help anyone if they are in prison. 'Head back to Department H. I have to make a call'.

There, at Department H, Roger Bochs Jr, controls the Box Sentinels via the high-tech biometrics that he has developed. 'He's locked himseinf inside the diner...and cleared everyone else out' Roger reports, before announcing that he is bringing the Sentinels in. 'Careful...we can't afford any rogue casualties' Erika Dorion tells Roger via the communications channel she is on with him while she watches the Bochs via her laptop. 'Take him down before he can hurt anyone. Alive is preferable. But dead works if there's no other option' Erika orders.

'Albert Louis a.k.a. Feedback. Come out of the building with your hands over your head. Surrender and no one gets hurt' one of the Box Sentinels announces from outside the diner. 'Just leave me...ALONE!' Feedback shouts as surrounds himself with a flurry of energy, projected as a force field, he bursts through the diner, then slams one of the Box Sentinels into the ground. 'Box-14 is down!' Roger reports, before Feedback turns his attention to another Box Sentinel and smashes it backwards into a nearby police car. 'Dammit, we've lost Box-7!' Roger calls out, while Erika warns him to get it together. 'We cannot lose her' she exclaims.

Roger is able to control one of the Box Sentinels into busting through Feedback's energy field, and slams a fist into Feedback's jaw. The Box Sentinels close in on Feedback, with one of them instructing him to surrender, and reports that they are here to extradite him back to Canada. '#%$& you!' Feedback retorts. 'I did nothing wrong. You came to my threatened me with jail, but I didn't do anything to deserve any of it!' Feedback declares. 'You're a mutant...and you're still here. That is your crime' Roger explains via thev Box Sentinel – when suddenly, 'And your crime...' a voice calls out as the Box Sentinel is sliced open. 'Box-9 is down!' Roger gasps. ' thinking that we'd let you harm one of us!' Fang exclaims as he stands over the fallen Box Sentinel, while Feedback looks up and sees Aurora, Northstar and Nemesis have come to his rescue....


Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Fang VI, Guardian, Nemesis VIII, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)


Kyle Beaubier-Jinadu


Erika Dorion

Roger Bochs Jr./Box V


Argent II, Bubs, Spencer and other mutants at Krakoa North

Empress Xandra Neramani


Box Sentinels


Police officers


Story Notes: 

This issue includes a letter from Argent to his mother. In the letter he notes that he had travelled to several main centers in Canada in an attempt to use the Krakoan gates, but each time he tried he, and other mutants, discovered the gates were closed, and while some of the mutants were arrested, he was able to escape. In the letter he refers to another of the mutants at Krakoa North as Bubs, who was clearly seen with Aurora earlier in the issue.

Xandra and Fang know each other from a mission in which Fang and Aurora accompanied their teammates in the Marauders to the Shi'ar Empire. [Marauders (2n series) #1=5]

This issue includes a news report which asks the public for assistance in locating Albert Louis a.k.a. Lucas Peterson.

Erika Dorion refers to being technical about Feedback's status as a member of Alpha Flight, noting that he was only a member of Beta Flight. In fact, he was a member of the fourth iteration of the Gamma Flight team and never progressed to Beta Flight before the shut down of Department H and Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight (1st series) #130.

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