Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Doctor, The Demigod & The Great Beast part 2

The second part of this story starts several thousand years ago, in ancient times, where there was an ongoing battle between the Eskimo Gods of the North and the Mystical Great Beasts for control of the world. In the end, both Gods & Beasts found themselves exiled from the Earthly plane. In order to insure the Earth’s safety though, the Eskimo Gods sought to create a hero to battle the Great Beasts should any of them manage to return.

So with the game plan set, Nelvanna, goddess of the Northern Lights, mated with a human and gave birth to a daughter, Narya. Narya was placed under the care of a Sarcee mystic, Michael Twoyoungmen, as she rapidly aged into the hero and member of Alpha Flight member Snowbird. Twoyoungmen also joined the team under the alias Shaman.

Anyway back to Langkowski, after initially gaining control of his new superpowers to the point of being able to switch back and forth between his human and beastial form at will and maintaining his human personality in both forms, he too joined Alpha Flight taking on the name Sasquatch after the creature of Canadian myth.

Unfortunately, Langkowski’s control over his beastly side would not last long. As time passed, he found it more increasingly difficult to return to his human form, and in his beastial form, he started losing control become more...savage. It turned out that Langkowski’s gamma experiment actually shattered the inter-dimensional barrier keeping the Great Beasts from the Earth and one of them, Taranaq, the embodiment of death & decay, managed to escape and merge with Langkowski causing him to take the great beast’s form instead of some gamma powered hulk. And unbeknownst to Langkowski, Taranaq slowly but surely started taking over his mind.

Eventually Taranaq took full control of Langkowski and his sasquatch form, and Snowbird, doing what she was raised to do, used her powers of shapeshifting to transform into a white sasquatch herself and defeat Taranaq by ripping out his heart (ouch). Fortunately, after the death of his mortal body, Langkowski’s soul managed to “survive” wandering around aimlessly for years in the inter-dimensional void searching for a new host.

During Langkowski’s absence from the team, life moved on for Snowbird and the rest of Alpha Flight. She eventually met, fell in love with and married a police officer named Doug Thompson and they had a child. Unfortunately (here we go again) the pairing of a demigod and a human resulted in a complicated birthing process of their child. While the birth was successful, the magical energies needed for the birth resulted in the release of yet another evil spirit named Pestilence who then attempted to destroy Alpha Flight. In the battle with Pestilence, Snowbird’s husband Doug died along with their son who was tragically killed by Snowbird herself who was possessed by Pestilence in her sasquatch form. In the end, Snowbird had to be killed in order to defeat Pestilence.

Since she was killed in her sasquatch form, her body did not revert back and was buried in that form.... where it lay waiting to be repossessed by Pestilence who apparently was not defeated (you just can’t keep a good ghost down) and he continued his attack on Alpha Flight this time in their own home.

Fortunately, it was also at this moment that Walter Langkowski managed to find a suitable host to return to the mortal plain, the mindless body of an ex Alpha Flight enemy called Smart Alec who was conveniently shrunken down and stashed away in Shaman’s mystical “magical mystery” medicine pouch where Langkowski also wandered about (don’t ask….that’s a whole other story). Anyway, using Smart Alec’s body to return, he then proceeded to transfer his soul into the larger and more battle suitable Box armor (another member of the team...with yet another colorful story for another time) in order to battle Pestilence possesed sasquatch...talk about role reversal. Unfortunately for Alec...after serving out his purpose in the plot...his body is crushed in the ensuing battle.

Anyway in the end, Langkowski managed to defeat Pestilence by overloading the sasquatch body with energy from the Box armor, forcing Pestilence out and into Shaman’s medicine pouch where they successfully imprisoned him. With Pestilence out of the picture, Langkowski finally transferred his soul back into an empty sasquatch body where ideally his story would happily end coming back full circle as Sasquatch again. But of course, this being comics...this wasn’t the case.

Things weren’t quite exactly the same with his new body. Aside from sporting white fur, Langkowski discovered that there was one other major difference from his old body. Since this new sasquatch was actually his fallen comrade Snowbird, when he reverted back into human form….he turned back into a woman.

Sooooooo, under the new identity of Wanda Langkowski, “she” continued to serve as an important member of Alpha Flight through its various incarnations. Eventually though, Wanda would revert back to Walter and his original orange colored Sasquatch through the help of Snowbird who temporarily returned as a spirit to make things right.

And just so you know, things also ultimately worked out for Snowbird as well as she was also resurrected through a combination of science & magic by the terrorist organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) for their own evil purposes. She’s eventually rescued by her teammates and rejoins Alpha Flight.

With that ends the tale of The Doctor, the Demigod and the Great Beast...as twisted, tragic and convoluted as it is, it’s one of my favorites to this day, and one of the reasons why Alpha Flight remains as one of my favorite superhero teams of all time.