Posts Tagged ‘Box (Jeffries)’

Box and Northstar in X-Men: Legacy #247, Age of X Chapter 5

May 23, 2011

X-Men: Legacy #247
Jun 2011

The Age of X alternate reality crossover, which has been so full of awesome, begins its conclusion with Chapter 5. Note that Chapter 4, which was New Mutants #23, was not an Alpha Flight appearance, but Magneto did mention Madison Jeffries in one panel. The issue begins as the army of mutants at Fortress X are standing around for the usual daily assault that strangely does not occur. Box (Madison Jeffries) and Northstar both appear in sporadic panels as members of this large group.

The kicker for this issue is that we finally get to see Madison Jeffries inside the Box armor! He can first be see in a wide panel showing most of the mutant army. Both his left leg (on the far left) and the right half of Northstar (on the far right) can be seen in that panel. These types of “standing around” panels are reminiscent of the Infinity War and Infinity Crusade crossover issues from the 1990s where there would be dozens and dozens of heroes standing around between action sequences, drawn barely large enough to be recognized.

As the mutant army waits, Cannonball and Basilisk (the Age of X version of Cyclops) begin arguing about what is really going on. Box (and boy, oh boy, is it fun to call him that again!) can be seen just to the right of Basilisk, with his head and shoulder visible.

Basilisk draws Box into the conversation, giving him the only speaking line for either Alphan in this issue as he explains his astronomical findings, which suggest that the visible universe ends at the force walls. Madison doesn’t seem put off by being directly addressed as “Box”, as he was when outside the armor in X-Men: Legacy 246 when Magneto addressed him in just the same way. Curiously, Box is shown actually inside of the armor, similar to how we saw him in House of M: Masters of Evil #3, even sporting a flip-up face plate right out of Favreau’s design for the Iron Man armor from the Iron Man movie.

Although it’s possible for him to operate the armor this way, this is not how we’re used to seeing Box, as Madison had been phasing into the armor for about a hundred issues in the first Alpha Flight series, not wearing it as an exoskeleton. Northstar can be seen standing behind Basilisk in that panel as well, identifiable by the red goggles and red wristbands.

Iron Man is not amused.

As the mutant army deserts Cannonball to follow Basilisk into the Fortress to get answers, a very sad sequence drawn from a point of view high above shows Box very tiny in three more panels, walking off the frame. It’s a shame that despite the series being replete with so many battle sequences, the one and only time Madison is shown inside the Box armor, there’s no battle!

Once inside, Northstar (far left with red wristbands) marches into a common room along with the rest of the army as Katherine Pryde phases through a wall nearby. Oddly, Clay Mann decided it would be a great idea to show her butt in the foreground. Apparently, the main difference betweein the Age of X reality and the 616 reality is that the ubiquitous giant round butt that had been following Northstar now belongs to Katherine Pryde instead of Dazzler.

Note: This issue has a “Thor goes to Hollywood” variant, part of a series of variant covers released in April promoting the Thor movie by mashing up Thor with famous movies. This issue’s variant is an homage to the Planet of the Apes, depicting the final scene where Taylor encounters nuked Lady Liberty on the beach, with art by Koi Pham. Note that this issue was published on April 13th and the Thor movie was released on May 6th.

X-Men: Legacy #247 – Thor goes to Hollywood variant

Adorable Alpha Babies

February 8, 2010

Every Monday, Alpha Flight Collector looks at the lighter side, and this week, we get teensy weensy as well! In the 20th (!) weekly installment of FUNday, we look at the cutest little version of Alpha Flight characters you’ll ever see.

X-Babies #4
Mar 2010

Born (get it?) out of the same Mojoworld universe of the adjectiveless X-Babies, the Adorable X-Babies are the cuter, indestructibler versions who replace them in the ratings. Unable to take it any longer, Wolverine sliced up all of the Adorable X-Babies in a berserker rage, only to have their fleshy bits and pieces reborn into an Adorable X-Baby army of unimaginable proportions. Among the countless super-cute super-babies created out of this carnage are Northstar, Aurora, Wild Child and Box, who appear in cameo in a few panels.

During a gigantic climactic battle between the X-Babies (along with their new allies, heroes from the Star Comics line of the 80s) and this army, Adorable X-Babies Northstar and Aurora can be seen flying around Rogue in one panel. You can also see them again later, in a few more panels, flying.

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Wild Child can be seen among a group of clawed Adorable X-Baby mutants with lupine/feline appearances. Unfortunately, he is quickly taken out by Top Dog, a super-smart talking dog from the Star Comics line.

Box (Jeffries) can be seen among a group of mechanized/robot Adorable X-Babies, but he had already been taken out by the real X-Baby version of Kitty Pryde.

After Spiral shows up, all of the Adorable X-Babies are sucked into a teleportation vortex and sent very far away, thus ending the pernicious threat.

There are dozens and dozens of tiny appearances of Adorable X-Baby versions of mutants from all over the Marvel Universe, some of which are quite obscure. Strain your eyes long enough and you’ll find even more X-Baby cameos among the tiny, tiny figures. You have to be quick, otherwise you’ll miss some of the subtle but hilarious jokes in the circus-like atmosphere of this hyperkinetic story.

Writer Greg Schigiel and artist Jacob Chabot clearly had a heck of a lot of fun with this story, especially warmed with nostalgia for characters from the Star Comics line who we haven’t seen for 25 years. Watching the cute little babies get smashed, sliced, bashed, blasted, crushed, burnt, frozen and headbutted (oh, don’t worry, they’re all indestructible) is just what FUNday is all about!

Note: there is a variant cover by Jacob Chabot.

X-Babies #4 -Jacob Chabot variant

Alpha Flight panel in X-Men Forever #15

January 21, 2010

X-Men Forever #15
Mar 2010

Chris Claremont’s reimagining of the X-Men, which continues after X-Men #3 in 1991, takes place in a universe that happened so long ago that readers need a guide to refresh their memories of that era. Luckily, at the end of the main story, there’s an 8pp roundup of what was going on in the Marvel Universe at the time. On the page, “Meanwhile…”, a panel taken from Alpha Flight #101 (Oct 1991) shows the team assembled at Mac’s grave, again, along with accompanying text.

The page following the 8pp roundup is a full page advertisement for trade paperbacks that contain many of the highlighted stories. Notably absent from the advertisement is a trade paperback containing the Alpha Flight series, which, at the time of this post, has not been collected in a tpb past the 8th issue. The advertisement sours the roundup from an interesting educational segment (or a trip down memory lane for us old guys) into a blatant shill for your tpb dollars. The same 8pp could have been a new 2nd story or even a preview of the next story arc instead of re-printing old material as a giant advertisement, but Alpha Flight got into the roundup, so it’s more sweet than sour.

The accompanying text to the right of the panel reads:

Canada’s premier heroes in Alpha Flight had newly reaffirmed ties to their government; they were briefly rejoined by the long-dead Vindicator (James Hudson), only to lose him again during a confrontation with Galactus. Still led by Guardian, the team included Puck, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora, Windshear, Diamond Lil and the mystery man Weapon Omega.

Note that Aurora was listed as a member, but at the time, she had resigned from Alpha Flight (issue #95), reassigned to Gamma Flight as a counselor in the psychiatric unit. In issue #98, she had seemingly been teleported away by Laura Dean (Pathway), which explains why she’s not in the panel above. The Weapon Omega listed above is not Michael Pointer, but Kyle Gibney, a.k.a. Wild Child. He wouldn’t resurface until issue #102, which explains why he’s listed as a member of that era but not in the panel. Finally, Box (Jeffries) appears in the panel, but wasn’t listed as a member for an unknown reason.

To the far right are two other Alpha Flight associates: the bald General Jeremy Clarke and Department H’s Liaison Kerry Patrick, who is very much not bald at all. It isn’t exactly clear why the team showed up to the memorial service in costume. The most puzzling was Walter, who seems to prefer Sasquatch form for funerals.

Al… Alph… Right! Alfalfa Flight!

November 2, 2009

funday

Ah, Monday – the one day of the week where no Alpha Flight members die! FUNDay continues with a new title: What The-?!, a humor magazine which will grace the FUNday posts many times over. So let’s get going for this week!

whatthe1coverWhat The-?! #1
Aug 1988

The Marvel Mag of Mirth and Mayhem! That’s the tag line and the best way to describe this irresistibly silly humor book that lacked all boundaries. Filled with short parody pieces, fake ads, fake letter pages and fake bullpen bulletins, this series relentlessly tore apart anything that wasn’t nailed down while at the same time showcasing the best and most popular creators of the time. Truly a comic book, Alpha Flight makes it right into the 1st issue as Alfalfa Flight, a version of the team based on the freckled, cowlicked Our Gang (The Little Rascals) character.

Alfalfa Flight appears in the third story, “When Titans Bunch”, a ridiculous romp which starts out with the Unnecessary X-Persons and New Pubescents in battle with the Offengers. For a completely unknown reason, the Fantastical Four join in, followed by the Guest Host Offengers, the Ever-Agonizing X-Ipsofacto, the Awesome Alfalfa Flight and eventually The Bulk, Spidey-Man, The Black Panster, Low Gage, and just about every other Marvel hero (along with the Three Stooges, Daffy Duck, Popeye, Bluto, and some intruders from another comic publisher who won’t be mentioned)

whatthe1a

Alfalfa Flight consisted of an androgynous Vindicator, Puck, White Sasquatch, Box and Northstar (not shown in this panel). Note that this issue was concurrent with Alpha Flight #61, and that Puck had been trapped in issue #60.  Similarly, Northstar had been trapped in Asgard since issue #50 but Sasquatch was still in Wanda form at the time.

In the final battle scene, you can see The Bulk bopping Sasquatch in the face and Northstar running face-first into Quicksilver (no parody name) with a BONK.  The writer eventually dies of a heart attack from writing too many characters at once.

whatthe1b

Curiously, in the concurrent issue of Alpha Flight #61, Sasquatch has a strange interaction with a Meg, a barmaid at a local pub (no relation to the fascinating Meg from Alpha Flight #7) who is unable to pronounce “Alpha Flight” on demand fast enough for Wanda, prompting her to sarcastically correct her shaken stammer of “Al…Alph…” as “Right! Alfalfa Flight!”

Note: credits for this story are w-Peter Gillis, p-Jon Bogdanove and i-Al Milgrom.