Utopia concludes, Alpha Flight is finally honored.

dauxmecoverDark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1
Nov 2009

The sixth and final chapter in Utopia, a crossover between the Dark Avengers and Uncanny X-Men set in the Dark Reign storyline, features the ultimate showdown between the X-Men and Norman Osborn.   Northstar appears as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508 and Madison Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

After he raised Asteroid M to become the floating island Utopia and prepared for the inevitable knockout drag-down battle that results whenever one does such a thing, Cyclops fully reveals his secret plan to defeat Osborn, escape the untenable prospect of residence in the U.S. and provide a safe haven for all mutants.  Just that?  He gets some help along the way from Northstar and Mister Jeffries who appear in battle against Osborn’s teams, who attack Utopia a short time after secession.

As the various groups of X-teams clamor around to gang up on the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men, one battle pits the fashionably named Dark Beast against Northstar and the X-Men Science Team. Unfortunately, Northstar get taken out right away, but the Science Team runs over to finish the job.

You can see Mister Jeffries very tiny running in the lower right of the image.  Madison is able to restrain the Dark Beast by transmutating coiled tentacles out of the metal deck as Northstar lies nearby.  Fellow Science Team member Dr. Nemesis blasts at the Dark Beast as Psylocke simultaneously rams her TK sword right through him, taking him down.

This scene is typical of the battles sketched out in this issue by Matt Fraction, who really went out of his way to show the dozens and dozens of characters in this epic battle using their signature powers to defeat the enemy.  How Dark Beast was able to swipe at Northstar so fast that he was unable to avoid the blow is difficult to understand, but he is quite fast and Northstar isn’t the greatest hand-to-hand combatant out there.  Well, someone had to get hit in the attack, the worst being Cyclops himself, who pretty much got wiped out by Osborn, so he wasn’t the only one to fall.

Man, I've been watching TOO MUCH Inspector Gadget.  It was nice to see Jeffries in battle again, but wouldn’t it have been nicer to see him in the Box armor?  The tentacle thing was pretty good, but he just as easily could have done the Inspector Gadget telescoping arm thing from within the Box armor, or any other clever use of the armor as we’ve seen before in so many issues of Alpha Flight volume 1.  He’s just so much more powerful than this.  I remember the guy being one hell of a powerhouse for the heavy, heavy jobs.  He can become a spaceship or a submarine.  He can turn his arm into an semi-automatic machine gun or a laser cannon.  The guy once used his mind to rip apart a Sentinel and used the debris to make a superharpoon to kill another Sentinel (Alpha Flight #43).  Heck, he once transformed his armor into a frakkin’ Robot Tyrannosaurus Rex and ripped the throat out of a real T-rex (Alpha Flight Annual #2).  In the battle for the very survival of his race, we could have seen a bit more than some coiled tentacles.  Well, they did win and they were following Cyclops’ principle of working as a team to defeat the enemy, as laid out in Uncanny X-Men #514, so it’s not that hard to swallow.

One of the other battles pits Wolverine against Weapon Omega. Wolverine easily takes him down by completely gutting him. As he rams his claws into Weapon Omega’s back so hard and so far that they jam out the front of his belly, Wolverine lashes out with one of the most angry faces you’ll ever see, well… ever, shouting, “You killed a mess o’ my pals up North, Bub. You don’t get to walk away from that.”

Appropriate reaction to the unfortunate events of New Avengers #16.

Appropriate reaction to the unfortunate events of New Avengers #16.

He’s referring to the unfortunate events of New Avengers #16, when Weapon Omega (Michael Pointer) as The Collective seemingly killed Mac, Heather, Shaman, both Pucks and Major Mapleleaf, Jr. Compare this to Brian Michael Bendis’ Wolverine in his bizarre initial reaction in New Avengers #17, which was completely out of character and almost as insulting to Alpha Flight fans as the crappy pre-battle dialogue and off-panel death of the team:

Inappropriate reaction.

Inappropriate reaction.

Matt Fraction’s Wolverine really gets it. He really understands. Just look at those two panels and decide which one you would associate with Wolverine. Alpha Flight gets a singular honor in this issue with that panel, finally, from the one character we expect to give it. Thanks, Logan, and thanks to Matt Fraction for having more class in the tip of his pinky finger than Brian Michael Bendis has in his whole body.

dauxmedAfter the battle, the X-Men assemble to watch Osborn and his defeated teams leave Utopia Island and you can see Jeffries from behind, distinguished grey temples and all.  Cyclops then holds yet another press conference and Northstar just sneaks into 3 of the frames, apparently back on his feet.

This concludes the Utopia storyline, setting up for the Nation X storyline to follow.

Note: this issue has a cover variant and a 2nd printing variant.

dauxmecoverbianchivariant Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 – Simone Bianchi variant
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 – Second printing variant

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9 Responses to “Utopia concludes, Alpha Flight is finally honored.”

  1. Allan Says:

    I’ll comment on this later, when I have more time.

    Just wanted to say that I mentioned this site, here, http://canadas-own-the-flight.blogspot.com/2009/10/news.html , hope that is okay. First thing I have posted over there in a loooong time…

  2. Chris Says:

    Hey when is Jeffries going to build himself another Box armor to phase into? The last continuity appearance I remember seeing him in the Box armor was Alpha Flight 130. It was revealed in AF vol 2 that the Box armor was used to create Manbot (Bernie Lechenay.)

    I know during Weapon X he built some Boxbots at the Neverland camp but I don’t recall if he ever phased into one. And I quit reading Weapon X around issue 18 so I don’t know how the Weapon X storyline finally ended.

    • rplass Says:

      It shouldn’t be too hard for him to build another Box armor. He did it in Alpha Flight #63 at the Air Force base. He just walked into a storage shed that had some metal in it and 2 or 3 pages later, he’s fully armored up. Maybe his powers don’t work that way anymore… since the Weapon X manipulation.

  3. Allan Says:

    Wow – didn’t know that Manbot was made from Box, must have missed that when reading Volume 2.

    I agree, Wolvie’s reaction to AF’s death was a long time coming, and handled much better here. Still…does it really even begin to make up for what has happened since their death? No funerals. No real mention of their deaths until now. No outpouring of sympathy or condolences. It takes this long for Wolvie to react appropriately to the deaths of the woman that he cared deeply for (Heather) and the man he briefly worked for/with and respected a lot (Mac)?

    It was nice to see something happen, finally, that was right in regards to AF. Still, it just emphasizes even more how most of Marvel has completely ignored and forgotten about a super-team that was a Marvel staple for such a long time.

    And that is my little speech on that!

    • rplass Says:

      Ah, you’re forgetting Omega Flight #1: the statue, the commemorative coin, the totem pole? All honorifics for the team. Also, there was quite a bit of regret on the part of crybaby Michael Pointer and many references honoring Alpha Flight’s death during Omega Flight and in the Weapon Omega story in Marvel Comics Presents. Remember Elizabeth’s fiery flaming 100% angry reaction to Pointer in Omega Flight #2? Remember Snowbird’s explosive reaction to Pointer when he tried to recruit her in Incredible Hercules #117? Remember Walter’s reaction to Pointer in Civil War: The Initiative when he transformed into Sasquatch and nearly ripped his head off? The disturbing scene of the corpses in the snow has been shown over and over… I suppose no funeral and no big speeches have been made, but it hasn’t been ignored.

  4. Allan Says:

    Yes, but to be fair, how many non-Alpha Flight fans read Omega Flight? Or even MCP? The point is, the large majority of Marvel fans know little more than that one death panel in Avengers that they saw. If kudos and accolades were popping up in mainstream Marvel books, and tears were being shed, and talk of going to AF’s funeral were being mentioned, then I would have no problem. Heck, when Cap died, EVERYBODY mentioned it, didn’t they? See what I am getting at here…? No respect…

  5. rplass Says:

    Lots of fans read Omega Flight. Sales were fairly good on that, and the 1st issue went back for a 2nd printing. MCP ran for 12 issues and out of that, the Weapon Omega story was collected in TPB, nice! The biggest “reactions” to Pointer were in the Civil War: Initiative book and this comic book, both of which were fairly big mainstream books. But look, Alpha Flight isn’t a mainstream thing, it’s exploding from the pages of the X-Men. It’s never been mainstream except for a few issues when it sold well, so holding out for “mainstream or nothing” is just going to be frustrating. And heck, you can’t compare Cap to anyone, he’s in his own class since the 1940s, anyway, the lack of respect is mainly on BMB, in my opinion and the point of my post is to focus on something respectful that happened to Alpha Flight!

  6. Allan Says:

    sigh…is it Funday yet?

    • Chris Says:

      Please, no Mikey for Monday. Remember, the mailman doesn’t deliver on holidays. Everyone on Monday have a Happy Columbus Day in the USA and a Happy Thanksgiving in Canada!

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