For some reason, I was reflecting on X2: X-Men United earlier this week when I had a minor epiphany: Wolverine meets Snowbird at Alkali Lake.
If your eyes just glazed over, perhaps some explanation is necessary.
At the end of X-Men, Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) tells Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) that he may be able to find clues to his past at “an abandoned military compound at Alkali Lake in the Canadian Rockies”, and at the beginning of X2 Wolverine has traveled to Alkali Lake.
Snowbird is a member of the Canadian supergroup, Alpha Flight. The daughter of an Inuit goddess and a mortal man, Snowbird has the power to transform into any animal native to Canada.
Following me so far? Good.
When he arrives at the military compound, Wolverine encounters a wolf.
The wolf doesn’t appear to be bothered by Wolverine’s presence, neither attacking nor running away. Instead, it just lopes calmly into the abandoned compound. Wolverine follows and finds that Alkali Lake does seem to be truly abandoned.
As an aside, Wolverine’s investigation of the Alkali Lake compound bugs me. The compound isn’t actually abandoned; William Stryker has an entire underground base there in which he builds a copy of Xavier’s mutant-detecting device, Cerebro. If Stryker’s people had been moving in and out of the underground base, Wolverine would have detected the scent of people or (more likely) vehicles that had passed through recently. If, however, Stryker only reactivated the facility after Wolverine was at Alkali Lake looking for answers, would he and his people have had time to get everything up and running and then build Cerebro 2? I don’t know.
I seem to have digressed. Let’s recap:
- Wolverine is in Canada.
- He encounters a wolf that behaves in a distinctly un-wolflike fashion.
- Alpha Flight is a group of Canadian superheroes.
- One of the member of Alpha Flight is Snowbird.
- Snowbird can transform into any animal native to Canada (such as a wolf).
Did director Bryan Singer and the writers of X2: X-Men United actually intend to include Snowbird in the movie, or is that just a regular old wolf? I can’t say for sure. Singer doesn’t make any mention of it in the director’s commentary on the X2 DVD. Maybe it is mentioned elsewhere, but I haven’t seen it.
But here is the icing on the cake:
That’s an enlarged portion of the desktop of Lady Deathstrike’s (Kelly Hu) computer, and there’s a folder labeled “Alpha Flight” right in the middle. Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) has broken into Deathstrike’s office in order to find a way to free Magneto (Ian McKellen) when she stumbles across plans for Stryker’s copy of Cerebro. The computer holds a treasure trove of names related to the X-Men and Marvel comic books in general. The folder directly above the one labeled “Alpha Flight” is labeled “Franklin Richards”. Franklin is the son of Reed and Sue Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman, half of the Fantastic Four.
I’m digressing again.
To conclude: Weird wolf + Canada + Alpha Flight folder = Snowbird
At least to me it does.
Man, I love being a geek.