Alpha Flight # 93 (December 1990)
Writer – Fabian Nicieza
Artist – Michael Bair
“Playgrounds of the Mind!”
Do you ever look through your comics and ask yourself, “When did I buy these books?” I have been looking in short boxes for new releases I put away for safe keeping when I moved this past June. I came across a box of books and I’m not quite sure where and when I bought them. I think these were books my friends gave me because I wouldn’t have normally bought old issues of Alpha Flight. Could they be cheap dollar bin books? Who knows? When I work in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I either bring a graphic novel or a few comics to read during my breaks. I decided to bring a couple of these newfound books with me to pass some time.
This issue opens up with the villain Headlok triumphant over Alpha Fight and the Fantastic Four. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn the Fantastic Four travelled to Canada and asked Alpha Flight for permission to investigate an increase in psychometric energy in the Yukon. When the two groups investigate Tuktoyatu, they find the province’s inhabitants with little to no brain activity. The heroes find the cause of this troubling situation at a nearby cabin. Headlok, via his telepathic powers, is able to find the heroes’ weaknesses and uses them to his advantage to defeat everyone. This sets up a showdown with the remaining members of Alpha Flight and the Fantastic Four next issue.
90s comics introduced readers to new heroes and villains and a majority of them are largely forgotten. Headlok reminds me of slasher icon Freddy Krueger with a dash of DC’s Scarecrow. All three men use their prey’s fears against them, with their intent to hurt and sometimes kill innocent victims. Headlok is malevolent and the way he defeats Sue Storm, for example, shows just how truly evil he is.
If I was a comic book writer, I would do some research and try to utilize these past characters in the here and now. Could you imagine comic book discussions being held about how Headlok attacked Krakoa and defeated Emma, Jean, and Professor X without breaking a sweat? Speculators would be rushing out trying to look for the first appearance of Headlok (which is West Coast Avengers 10 in case you were wondering). They say everything is cyclical, so why not reintroduce some of these 90s characters today?
Alpha Flight #93 checks all the right boxes – superhero team up, monstrous foe that is nigh unstoppable, and a cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more.
If you could bring back a long dormant comic character, who would it be and who would you have them team up or tussle with?