Heather removes her skirt!

xmenforever10coverX-Men Forever #10
Dec 2009

In Chris Claremont’s re-imagining of the X-Men (which continues after X-Men #3 in 1991), Wolverine dies in the first issue and is given a proper super-send off here, nine issues later. Logan’s friends from all over this Marvel reality arrive at the Xavier Institute to pay their respects. Four members from Alpha Flight appear at his funeral: Puck, Heather, Walter and Aurora.

Drawn by Paul Smith, the artist well-known among Alpha Flight fans for the X-Men/Alpha Flight LS “The Gift”, the team shown here would be concurrent with (roughly) the team from Alpha Flight #103 or so, which does include those four members, and others. We really wouldn’t expect any of the other members at the time to show up: Wild Child, Windshear, Northstar, Mister Jeffries nor Lil, as none of them really had all that much of a connection with Wolverine, so Claremont really got this one correct, nice job.

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Alpha Flight appears unnamed and in formal dress, and joins the others in solemnic silence in a 2-page splash showing the gathered heroes at the memorial service. I should point out there is a horrible coloring error on Heather’s legs: she was obviously meant to have worn a skirt as well as the grey suit jacket. Luckily, her little blue handbag seems well-positioned to maintain a G-rating for this issue.

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please move your little blue handbag please move your little blue handbag

As Cyclops delivers his eulogy, various of the heroes in attendance appear in close up, with Puck and Heather looking on in silence. One thing to note is that unlike other funerals attended by Alpha Flight members, they are not in costume and Walter is not in Sasquatch form. I am referring to Doctor Strange #1 (Heather shows up in her EM suit, goggles and all), Deadpool #61 (Funeral for a Freak issue where Walter sits in Sasquatch form) and New X-Men: Academy X #13 (where Walter delivers a eulogy for Northstar in Sasquatch form). Claremont got it right again, writing the characters in a more realistic way.

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Walter is chosen to be one of Wolverine’s pallbearers, among an A-list crowd: Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Nick Fury, Rogue and The Thing. Here’s another nice touch: there were literally dozens of other heroes who could have been one of the six pallbearers, but Claremont chose to honor Logan’s Canadian background by choosing an Alpha Flight member. Of course, it really would have been fun to see Puck as a pallbearer, but the poignancy of the moment didn’t afford much for levity. Well, nice job Claremont, you did your homework, made good sense out of it and showed some respect to Department H and Wolverine’s history with Alpha Flight, thanks!

Note: For those of you who keep track of these sorts of things, this story exists in the universe designated Earth-161.

Note: this issue has a variant cover by Sean Chen.

xmenforever10coverzombievariant X-Men Forever #10 – Zombie variant
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4 Responses to “Heather removes her skirt!”

  1. Allan Says:

    Out of curiousity, how does Wolverine die? I mean, we have seen him (and many others with even lesser healing powers than him) survive so many things…so what finally does him in?

    And, if this fine treatment of AF members continues here, I may have to make Earth-161 my new favourite Earth!

    • rplass Says:

      Ah, Wolverine is killed by lightning from Storm (Ororo). Well, evil Storm. Well, sort of not even the real Storm, OK OK, we don’t really know yet what’s up with the character because there’s a second younger Ororo that shows up, but the first evil Storm has the same 616 history as the Storm we know. It’s hard to answer because Claremont hasn’t explained it all to us yet!

  2. Allan Says:

    Oh, and I should really mention this as well – nice to see that they did not over-beautify Heather. She looks nice, but not supermodel-perfect. Good job staying within the bounds of reality!

  3. Chris Says:

    You’re right about Sasquatch. Walter doesn’t need to be in his Sasquatch form unless he’s fighting a villain or needing to lift something heavy. Some writers and artists seem to forgot that.

    It’s great that Paul Smith remembered how to draw Heather correctly. Instead of making Heather look like a Jean Grey clone, Heather looks like Heather.

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