Alpha Flight #14-17 (1984)

Heather is still “in” Alpha Flight, even though her husband exploded and with him went the Guardian suit, which makes for an interesting premise: Here’s a smart woman with no powers in a world of monsters and super-powered villains and, in this case, an underwater threat.

Something has been killing people on the shores of Lake Ontario, and Heather and Puck see it’s monstrous tentacles grab a baby into the lake so Heather dives in to save the infant.  Perhaps most interestingly, the baby is NOT rescued.  A bold move in a Marvel book.

Her legs are injured in the rescue attempt, and Wolverine visits her at the hospital.  There’s not much of a reason for him to be in this comic, but in the end he supports Heather becoming the new leader of Alpha Flight.  A nonpowered, normal human leading a team of heroes.  See?  Very interesting!  Also, Puck and Wolvie meet for the first time.

Of course, this is a water story so Marrina is the focal hero.  John Byrne’s done another very interesting thing with this book: It’s a team book, but the vast majority of the stories really focus on only one or two of the heroes.

We do get some interspliced check-ins with the other characters, particularly Aurora, whose split personality has been yelling at her in the mirror.  Sasquatch, in his Walter Langkowski scientist identity, does some genetic splicing on her that will change her powers, eventually, and break her psychic connection with her brother Northstar.

Also, we meet Shaman’s daughter for the first time who comes to him after a spirit is unearthed from the land near her home.  Of everyone in this book, I find Shaman the least interesting and most stereotypical/one-note/underdeveloped.

Anyway, Marrina’s been chilling with Namor ever since she went feral and nearly killed Puck.  Sub-Mariner has been trying to help her understand what happened to her.  But she leaves his side to go back up to Canada.  Soon after, he follows her—he appears to be a little smitten by her.

As soon as she’s back up in Canada, she goes nuts again, and fights Puck again, until Namor gets there and then they fight until…

The Master of the World shows up and captures all three characters.  Remember him?  He’s the guy from Alpha Flight #2-4, who created Marrina, and he’s got her brother, too, who is much less humanoid than she is.  Eventually, Puck escapes and frees the others and Master and Marrina’s “brother” are killed when the bad-guy submarine explodes.

Marrina, who for some reason isn’t feral anymore, decides she’s an uncontrollable monster and quits Alpha Flight to swim the seas alone.

And look: Namor’s in a tube!

Creator: John Byrne
Grade: B+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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