With the Fall of X, the X-Men have found themselves beset on all sides, including by their former friends in Alpha Flight. However, even as they break bad, Alpha Flight know just how much the X-Men, and their fans, will hate this twist. Having Alpha Flight call this out explicitly is a great moment of self-awareness, and a signal to the audience that Marvel knows exactly what it’s doing with this book.
In a preview for Alpha Flight #1 by Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski, Alpha Flight’s members acknowledge how much mutants will hate the Canadian team for their betrayal in a great moment doubling as meta commentary. The conversation not only shows that these characters are well-aware of how they look to mutants in-universe, but it’s also a meta reassurance to fans that the creative team know how controversial this choice will be. Hopefully, that means there’s a truly excellent explanation for why Alpha Flight are betraying their former allies in the X-Men, beyond just Orchis successfully spreading its bigotry and genocidal rhetoric.
Alpha Flight Have Turned on the X-Men
First appearing in X-Men vol. 1 #120, Alpha Flight work for Canada’s Department H as the nation’s premier superhero team. Alpha Flight are true heroes, and have worked with the X-Men extensively, even having multiple members in common. However, with anti-Mutant group Orchis having sabotaged human-mutant relations during the 2023 Hellfire Gala, a new incarnation of Alpha Flight will now be fighting against mutantdom as Canada begins to produce its own mutant-hunting sentinels. Alpha Flight’s leader James Hudson, Guardian, was approached by Orchis several years ago in S.W.O.R.D. vol 2 #6, so he’s likely to be the most prominently anti-mutant member of the team. However, having the heroes turn on the already beleaguered X-Men is sure to make some fans’ blood boil, as their personal heroes become part of the problem, rather than the solution.
Alpha Flight’s X-Men Betrayal Has Been Coming for Years
While they’re ostensibly heroes, there’s nothing more ‘Alpha Fight’ than fighting mutants and compromising their own moral codes. Alpha Flight’s very first appearance in X-Men #120 involved the team attacking the X-Men in an attempt to capture Wolverine, who’d left Department H for the X-Men without the Canadian government’s permission. The government oversight of Department H has been a perpetual stumbling block for Alpha Flight, with Department H’s leadership ranging from callous to outright corrupt and nefarious – a trend clearly continuing with new leader Erika Doiron. Alpha Flight often find themselves in a struggle between their own values and their government mandate, and this is a conflict that’s almost certainly going to rear its head once again in this new series.
Alpha Flight’s Members Have Divided Loyalties
Not all of Alpha Flight will be fighting against Mutants in this Alpha Flight volume. The series’ announcement hinted that former Alpha Flight members Aurora, Northstar, and Nemesis – as well as Wolverine’s son Fang – will operate as a counter-force fighting for mutants, a position that will bring them into conflict with Guardians’ more ‘official’ team. As mutants themselves, Aurora and Northstar have been closely tied to Krakoa as part of the newest incarnation of X-Factor Investigations, and it’s good to see that at least some of the original team’s loyalties to their mutant friends run deep. Marvel wants fans to know that it understands how controversial Alpha Flight vs the X-Men will be, while also suggesting the decision wasn’t made lightly – and may not be what it appears.
Alpha Flight #1 is coming August 16 from Marvel Comics.