Department H –
Department H was a branch of the Canadian government that sanctioned, supported, and monitored superhuman activity in Canada. It also oversaw the country’s officially endorsed superhuman team, Alpha Flight. When Alpha Flight died in battle against the Collective, Department H officially shut down as well. (Omega Flight, Canada’s subsequently endorsed team, was created as a part of the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service.)
Previously, Department H and Alpha Flight had shared a long, albeit on-again/off-again, history. It was originally conceived by the Canadian Prime Minister as a top secret research and development agency within the Ministry of Defense and headed my James MacDonald Hudson. Inspired by the debut of the Fantastic Four, Hudson led Department H to begin recruiting superhuman agents for training as well as national defense, thereby creating Alpha Flight and its two subordinate teams, Beta Flight and Gamma Flight. Before the teams really got off the ground, Department H lost government funding, although Alpha Flight remained operational as freelance adventurers.
Department H resumed operations thanks primarily to former intelligence agent Gary Cody, but the relationship between the Alphans and the government had become strained, after so many years of operating independently. During one of Alpha Flight ’s adventures in another dimension, Department H created a new team dubbed Gamma Flight to act as their official agents during Alpha Flight’s absence. When Alpha Flight eventually returned to Earth, the two teams initially clashed but soon put aside their differences to oppose the threat of the extradimensional menace of Llan the Sorcerer. Soon, Alpha Flight and Gamma Flight were combined into the one team that were reinstated as Canada’s official government operatives. The restructured team continued to face various threats, but ultimately Department H decided to dissolve Alpha Flight once more, caving to public pressure against superhumans. The team disbanded, with several members, such as James and Heather Hudson, taking special advisory roles as independent operatives. (In their case, however, their personal history drove them apart soon after.)
At some point, the Canadian government tried a new iteration on the same theme: Department K. Its agents, Weapon PRIME, battled Northstar, but have since disbanded.
Department H continued to be involved in many clandestine activities, the majority of which remain a mystery to the public at large. In fact, a man known only as “Director X” seemed to be running a private agenda, its full extent unrevealed. Alpha Flight was eventually reinstated under the administration of General Clarke, their former military liaison at the Department. The new team found itself manipulated by Clarke’s subversive tactics and clandestine missions, including one against the X-Men. Department H’s deception was not laid bare until an encounter with the remaining members of the original Alpha Flight team, including the resurrected James Hudson. The two teams joined forces and regained control of Department H. However, many of the Director’s more enigmatic activities may never be revealed, including Department H’s association with the mysterious Hull House.
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