Fancast Friday: Alpha Flight
In honour of Canada’s 150th, I decided to do a fancast of a team that’s near and dear to my heart, and of course, Canadian – Alpha Flight! This is my first solo Fancast here at GOC and as a proud Canadian, I am glad it got to be Alpha Flight.
Created by legendary comic writer, John Byrne, the original Alpha Flight premiered in issue #120 of X-men in April 1979. Intended to be simply part of the backstory for Wolverine, the all-Canadian team received their own comic book a few years later in 1983 until 1994.
For the majority of their existence, the Alpha Flight team worked in a secret (fictional) branch of Canada’s Department of National Defence, Department H. The secret branch’s main objective is to deal with and shut down super-powered enemies.
Lyriq Bent as James “Guardian” Hudson
First up we have Alpha Flight’s team leader, James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a Guardian. Born in London, Ontario, Hudson was the leading petrochemical engineer and scientist at Am-Can where he developed a superpower exoskeleton suit. After learning that his work would be sold to the American Military, James takes matters into his own hands and steals the prototype suit he created and destroys the plans. After his girlfriend, Heather MacNeil uses her political connections to have the theft charges waived. Department H is formed and one of the first recruits happens to be James himself. He develops the prototype into a battle suit and inspired by the formation of the Fantastic Four, James created Alpha Flight and becomes Guardian. Lyriq Bent was the first actor that came to mind. In every role I’ve seen him in, including Book of Negroes and Rookie Blue, Bent is formidable and every single thing you’d want a leader to be.
Rachel McAdams as Heather “Vindicator” MacNeil
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Heather MacNeil began as a secretary at the same corporation James was lead engineer. Heather was the one who initially found out that the suit James created was about to be used as a weapon of war and warned him of what was happening before it was too late. Aiding in the creation of Department H, Heather helped James become a superhero but she didn’t initially join the fray herself. When she witnesses James’s apparent death, she is asked by the other team members to lead the team herself and she eventually adopted a copy of Guardian’s battle suit. Rachel McAdams is able to expertly portray the intelligent, smart, jack-of-all-trades but could still kick some serious butt when the time came type. For this reason, she is the perfect Vindicator.
Adam Beach as Dr. Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen
Fellow Calgarian, Michael Twoyoungmen came from a long line of mystics. However, not believing in the magic himself, he refused his grandfather’s wishes to learn the ways of the ancient mystics, opting to become a surgeon instead. When his wife Kathryn become terminally ill, Michael vowed to find a cure. Never able to achieve this accomplishment, his wife died – something his daughter, Elizabeth could not forgive him for and she left. Grief stricken at the loss of both his wife and daughter, Michael became a recluse and spent most of his days wandering the woods. During his time of self-reflection, Michael is visited by the spirt of his late grandfather and he learns the magical arts. When Michael meets James and Heather, the pair invite him to join Alpha Flight where he took the mantle of Shaman, using both his mystic and medical prowess to help the team. Adam Beach would do an amazing job in capturing both Shaman’s stoic and emotional sides with ease.
Sarah Gadon as Anne “Snowbird” McKenzie
Anne McKenzie is a demi-god. Her real name is Narya and she’s the child of the goddess of the Northern Lights, Nelvanna and human, Richard Easton. Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen helped deliver the child in the Northwest Territories and using his power, bound her to Canada which allowed her to take a human form with one caveat: leaving the borders of Canada would weaken her powers. Narya was taken in by Twoyoungmen and she grew and prospered under his care and protection. Eventually, Narya adopted Anne McKenzie as her alias and she worked as a records office for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sarah Gadon not only looks the part, but she’s a great actress to boot. She would most definitely be able to pull off Snowbird’s ethereal vibe.
Kevin Durand as Dr. Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski
Dr. Walter Langkowski is from British Columbia. After studying in the United States of America at Pennsylvania State University on a football scholarship, Langkowski earned a degree in Physics and met Bruce Banner as a while he was a freshman. Although the pair only worked with one another for one semester, Langkowski decided to spend his time on research gamma radiation as well. After playing in the NFL for a number of years, Walter returned to school to do his graduate studies at M.I.T. and after being appointed to the prestigious McGill University in Montreal, he became engrossed with his work on game radiation after finding out that the Hulk was Banner. While on leave from the university, Langkowski decided to experiment on himself, believing he could create a being like the Hulk but with more control. However, the radiation turned Langkowski into a huge, Bigfoot-like creature; the reason he took the codename, Sasquatch. Kevin Durand would rock the hell out of this role, and will always be my first choice for it.
Tatiana Maslany as Jeanne-Marie “Aurora” Beaubier
Jeanne-Marie and her brother, Jean-Paul were separated when they were babies after their parents were killed in a car accident. Being raised at the extremely religious Madame Dupont’s School for Girls in Quebec, Jeanne-Marie was always nervous and extremely introverted to the point of being suicidal until she discovered that she was a mutant. She thought they were a gift from heaven based on her religious upbringing she told Sister Anne what was happening. Believing the exact opposite, Jeanne-Marie was severely disciplined for ‘blasphemy’. This incident would begin the multiple personality disorder she’d struggle with for the remainder of her life. After being helped by Wolverine during a mugging, he suggested that she seek out James Hudson who invited her to join Alpha Flight. Tatiana Maslany would SLAY this role – have you seen her in Orphan Black?! ‘Nuff said.
Jay Baruchel as Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier
Jean-Paul and his sister, Jeanne-Marie were separated in infancy after their parents were killed in a car crash. He was adopted by a family with the last name Martin, but was constantly getting into trouble. When he was a teenager, he tried to steal from Raymond Belmonde who was involved in some some sinister, shady dealings but ultimately helped Jean-Paul come to terms with his mutation. Jean-Paul lived a well-traveled life. He went to France and joined the circus as an acrobat before returning to Quebec to become part of the radical separatist movement known as, Le Front de Liberation du Quebec before leaving the group after they attempted to set off a bomb on a bus filled with people before becoming an Olympic-level skier. Upon seeing his success as an athlete, he was contacted by James Hudson to join Alpha Flight. Jay Baruchel would definitely be able to portray all of Northstar’s quirkiness and being raised in Montreal himself, he’d make a fine addition to the Alpha Flight team.
Kristin Kreuk as Marrina “Marinna” Smallwood
Marrina is part of an alien species called the Plodex. The Plodex are a warrior species, believing in the survival of the fittest and essentially tore apart their own world in an attempt to weed out the weaker species on the planet. When an egg was discovered by fisherman, Tom Smallwood in Newfoundland, he gave it to his wife, Gladys. Successfully hatching the egg, the creature inside imprinted with Gladys’ human DNA. Marrina led a quiet life, despite her unique appearance. Her appearance alerted James Hudson to her presence and she was invited to joint the Alpha Flight team. Kristin Kreuk is very girl-next-door but would definitely pull off the wild streak. She’d look amazing rocking the tattoos, yellow-green skin and streaked hair, don’t you think?
Peter Dinklage as Eugene Milton “Puck” Judd
Eugene Judd was born in 1914 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and became a mercenary seeking the Black Blade of Baghdad. When he finally found it, he was attacked by Black Raazer who had been trapped within the blade. Somehow, Eugene was able to re-trap Raazer using ancient mysticism and and part of his own life force. This caused the seven-foot-tall adventurer to drop down in stature, but gave him immortality. Many details of Eugene’s life still remain unknown but have been hinted at during some of his conversations with other Alpha Flight characters. When Eugene officially joined Alpha Flight, he took on the codename, Puck. Peter Dinklage would make a great Puck. He is a brilliant actor who could capture Puck’s witty, energetic side but still know when the immortal man meant business, pin balling his enemies in the way that only Puck could do.
Ashley Callingbull as Elizabeth “Talisman” Twoyoungmen
Elizabeth is the daughter of Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman. Upon her mother’s death, Elizabeth could not forgive her father and she left their home to move in with the family of Heather MacNeil. When it was time for university, Elizabeth studied archaeology and and while participating in an excavation in Fort Calgary, she uncovered a skull. Allowing curiosity to get the better of her, she touched the skull and was soon seeing a vision only she could see. This brought her father and her back together as she sought him out to see what it could all mean. Believing it was just because of all the blood of the ancient mystics running through her veins, the pair were surprised to learn that Elizabeth was actually a legendary figure, the Talisman. It was then that Elizabeth joined Department H and Alpha Flight. Ashley Callingbull is the first Canadian and first First Nations woman to win the Miss Universe pageant. She’s also an actress, last seen on the series, Blackstone. Having previously worked with Adam Beach before, the pair would have great rapport and chemistry as Father and Daughter.
There have been rumours surrounding 20th Century Fox and what new teams they could add to their Marvel roster, one of them being Alpha Flight. Even though it’s a team that some are unfamiliar with, it has no shortage of cool and relatable characters to choose from. I think f it’s done right, it could be great. Hope you enjoyed the fancast!