Posted by:
Byron Brewer

What The D'ast? Alpha


  ALPHA (Editor’s note: This is another in a series of twice-weekly columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of He welcomes both raves and opposing views – especially raves!) By Byron Brewer During many of the tales from Marvel’s 1970s and ‘80s era, our heroes and villains would clash and in the background would be a creature evolving towards godhood. As it was with Him (later Adam Warlock), Her (Kismit) and even the High Evolutionary at one stage, so it was with Alpha the Ultimate Mutant. These characters would usually make a grand move or two and then blast off into outer space. This column – and at one time the Stranger’s Lab World – will be littered with these little-known cosmic entities. Here is one more: Following an epic battle with the Avengers, Magneto is imprisoned at the center of the Earth. He manages to escape and propels himself towards the surface. On the way, he finds the underground ruins of a long-lost, technologically-advanced civilization in New Mexico. Using the machinery and books he finds among the ruins, the master of magnetism began bio-engineering “the ultimate mutant.” Professor Charles Xavier, head of a posh school and secret mentor to the X-Men, telepathically detects that Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are active in the area of the Carlsbad Caverns, and he summons the Defenders, of all folk, to launch an attack against them. Magneto and the Brotherhood manage to repel the Defenders for enough time to allow the engineering of Alpha to be completed. Alpha emerges as an oversized humanoid of subhuman intelligence (he was characterized as “neolithic”). Initially he is only capable of creating force fields as a reflex and of blindly following Magneto's orders. However, each time he uses his powers, Alpha's cranium widens, causing an increase to his intellect. Magneto has Alpha teleport him and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to the United Nations in New York. When his demands for world rulership are turned down, Magneto orders Alpha to telekinetically lift the Secretariat Building and suspend it in mid-air. After the Defenders attack the Brotherhood, Alpha was coerced by Magneto to retaliate in various means, including: • Transforming the concrete pavement into autonomous “rock-men” • Transforming the Hulk into a stone statue • Telekinetically spinning the airborne Nighthawk in the air until he lost consciousness • Fusing the feet of Valkyrie to the ground The rampant use of his powers eventually elevate Alpha's awareness to a superhuman level. Persuaded by Professor X, he telepathically probes both the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Defenders in order to discover which team was evil. Understanding that Magneto had fooled him into committing malicious acts, Alpha punishes his erstwhile allies by regressing them to infancy. He also restores the United Nations building complex and erases the event from the minds of all onlookers. Finally, declaring himself too evolved to remain on Earth, Alpha transforms himself into a streak of light and leaves to explore the universe. (The Brotherhood babies were taken to the Muir Island research center of Professor X’s former love, Moira MacTaggert. Later, using advanced Shi’ar tehcnology, they were de-aged by Shi’ar agent Davan Shakari, disguised as Eric the Red. It was this move that allowed Magneto to regain the vigor of his youth and powers much stronger than in previous appearances.) Quasar briefly glimpses Alpha, first on the Stranger's Labworld, and then during his journeys in the cosmos. From what Quasar saw, Alpha seemed to be paired with another highly evolved humanoid, named Futurist. Maybe soon, one of our cosmic scribes (or X-writers) can create an arc for this long-time missing mutant so that he can actually participate in a big way in a storyline. You can tell he has potential!