First appearing in X-Men #120 in 1979, Alpha Flight was created by John Byrne doing his defining period with the flagship X-title. At first they were nothing more than background characters from Wolverine’s past who come calling to return Logan to his post with the
Canadian Government. By 1983 they began their run of an ongoing series. The series lasted until 1994. Since 1994, Alpha Flight was brought back with two re-launches but nothing was as great or groundbreaking as their first 130 issue run.
1. Ties to Wolverine
One of the most popular comic book heroes of all time is Wolverine. This has transitioned onto the big screen with Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the Canadian powerhouse. Back before all the James Howlett nonsense, Wolverine only had one origin and it tied directly to two of Alpha Flight’s members. James and Heather Hudson (Guardian & Vindicator) were traveling through the Canadian wilderness when they came across a berserk Logan. After shooting him, they nursed him back to health and sanity. From there Logan joined Department H with the Hudson’s and became Wolverine. With what looks to be the inclusion of Wolverine escaping the Weapon X program in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ and with Jackman ready to hang up the claws after ‘Wolverine 3’ it could be a good time to have Wolverine wander the wilderness a bit and make his return in an Alpha Flight movie with a new actor replacing Jackman.
2. Marvel’s First Openly Gay Character
In a time where there is an outcry for studios to include more LGBT characters into their franchises, bringing Northstar into the Fox side of the MCU seems like a no-brainer. Jean-Paul Beaubier was a gold metal winning Olympic skier who, along with his twin sister, was a founding member of Alpha Flight. Loving his fame as an Olympian and super hero, Northstar was always the pompous ass of Alpha Flight who created friction with his team and the readers themselves. What made the matter worse was he used his mutant ability of super speed to become the best skier in the world. After Jean-Paul revealed to the world that he was gay, his mood became lighter as he let go of his anger because he could be himself. Many years later in the pages of Astonishing X-Men, Northstar was the groom in the highly publicized first same sex marriage in the Marvel Universe.
3. Transgender Issues
Back in the late 80’s, Alpha Flight began a story arc with their character Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski) that touched on issues of gender identity. It was presented in such a way that as a reader you could understand the struggle, while also never stripping away the humanity. Of course this was presented in a comic book so it was steeped in fantasy, but it never overshadowed the emotions of a man beginning to identify with the female body he was in. It began when Alpha Flight member, Walter Langkowski gained the power to turn into a Sasquatch type creature, via a gamma experiment similar to that which turned Bruce Banner into The Hulk. However, nobody knew his Sasquatch form was linked to The Realm of Great Beast and was being taken over by an evil entity called Tanaraq. Eventually, Tanaraq gained full control and Snowbird was forced to transform into a white Sasquatch and kill him, leaving Walter’s spirit without a body. Eventually when Snowbird died (in Sasquatch form), Walter took over her body, but when in human form, he was in Snowbird’s female form. He decided to go by Wanda Langkowski, and moved forward with his new life with grace. Eventually, Snowbird returned to life and both characters regained their original anatomy.
4. Introduction of Magic in the Fox MCU
With the Doctor Strange movie coming soon from Marvel, Fox needs to play catch up and Alpha Flight is a good way to start. A lot of the members of Alpha Flight have ties to the magic world, but are so far removed from Doctor Strange that it won’t cause any legal issues. Shaman and his daughter Talisman both wield magic from their Native American heritage. Puck is possessed by an ancient sorcerer called Black Raazer, which has left him as a dwarf but with immortality. Snowbird is an Inuit Goddess. Native American lore played a large part of the Alpha Flight story from villains to heroes and everything in between. It is a treasure trove of interesting and unique ideas that Fox could use in their X-Universe.
5. It’s Canadian, eh.
Now I could be completely wrong as to who owns this property but I would assume it’s Fox since Alpha Flight has always been an off-shoot of the X-men, even though they lack a large mutant roster. Alpha flight has always been one of my favorite comics and one of the titles I was blessed to have a subscription too back in the day. I would love to see this dark little corner of the Marvel Universe explored, but only if it’s from the original series. The later stories didn’t have the same mixture of adult themes, mysticism, and action as the original.
P.S. Puck was my favorite!!