Alpha Flight was the top level of a three-tiered program codenamed Department H within the Canadian Ministry of Defense. New recruits or those whose powers proved unstable would be assigned to Gamma Flight in order to learn to properly use their powers. Those who could control their abilities but required further training formed the basis of Beta Flight. The active members in the field who where tasked with dealing with any superhuman threats to the nation were in Alpha Flight.
James MacDonald Hudson had the idea to form Alpha Flight after the public emergence of the Fantastic Four and was given oversight of Department H, which was named after him. Hudson had intended that Wolverine be the leader of Alpha Flight. However, this task fell to Hudson himself when Wolverine was recruited by Professor X to become a member of the X-Men.
Originally using the codename Weapon Alpha, Hudson tried to bring Wolverine back to Canada and Alpha Flight by force. This led to a battle between Weapon Alpha and the X-Men. Outnumbered, Weapon Alpha was forced to retreat.
Hudson changed his codename to Vindicator after feeling responsible for injuring Moira MacTaggert in the battle. Several months later, the X-Men were forced to make an emergency landing in Canada due to the magic of Alpha Flight's Shaman. Realizing something strange was happening, they were soon confronted by the full Alpha Flight team who again wished to bring Wolverine into their custody.
This first formation of Alpha Flight consisted of team leader Vindicator, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Aurora and Northstar. Vindicator soon learned that the government was shutting down funding of Alpha Flight.
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