GROUNDHOG

Real Name: Sean Benard

Identity/Class: Human, Canadian citizen

Occupation: Detective; former adventurer/government agent

Group Membership: Vancouver Police Department; (formerly) The Flight (James MacDonald Hudson, Walter Langkowski, Saint Elmo, Smart Alec, Snowbird, Stitch, Wolverine)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Dieghton, Egghead, Emissaries of Evil (Eel (Stryke), Porcupine, Power Man (Josten), Rhino, Solarr, Swordsman)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Vancouver, Canada

First Appearance: Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1 (June, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Groundhog possessed no abilities beyond being in fit physical condition. Wearing the Weapon Alpha prototype armor, he possessed several abilities, including flight, enhanced strength, and the ability to fire electro-magnetic blasts from the glove units.

History:
(Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Detective Sean Benard learned of fellow members of the Vancouver Police Department trafficking in drugs, and reported them to internal affairs.

(Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1) - While trapped in an alley by the cops he reported, including Dieghton, Benard was rescued by Wolverine, who then took Benard to meet with the Canadian Prime Minister. Benard was informed that he would report to The Flight and work as a member of it, or else he would face charges of murder.

Arriving at the compound housing The Flight members, Benard was annoyed by Smart Alec's sleep-talking, and ran into a wandering nude Snowbird. The next morning, Benard met with the men behind the project, James MacDonald Hudson and Walter Langkowski. They showed him the Weapon Alpha prototype armor, and explained he would be wearing it. A training session with the members of The Flight went disastrously, as the various people did not seem combat-ready. After the training, Benard met the final member of The Flight, Stitch, a young mutant who took a form of affection towards him.

During all of this, Egghead and his Emisarries of Evil had arrived in Canada, with the intention of setting up a nuclear missile near the border, aimed at New York City. The Flight was called in to take care of the problem, and Benard, now using the code name Groundhog, arrived with the team. The battle between the two teams went horribly, until Saint Elmo sacrificed himself to destroy the missile. Upset at being placed on a team with lunatics and untrained fighters, Benard quit The Flight and left. Despite the hostility of his departure, he returned to the Vancouver police, where the murder charges were never brought up. From there, he watched Hudson's team blossom into Alpha Flight, Canada's premiere group of super-heroes.

Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell, Simon Furman, Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson.

This mission is what gave Hudson the idea to split up The Flight into different levels of combat-readiness (thus, Alpha, Beta and Gamma Flight)

Ever since I first posted the entries on the members of the Flight (Groundhog, Saint Elmo, Stitch) I have had several people point out that the group of villains featured are never called the Emissaries of Evil. To be fair, they weren't. However, at one point in the book, Egghead did refer to them as “my employed emissaries.” To further bolster my argument, at the beginning of the book, the two duos of Swordsman and Power Man (partners in and out of the Lethal Legion) and Porcupine and Eel (partners once led by Count Nefaria) arrived in Canada at Egghead's bequest, but apparently, Solarr and Rhino, the two men who actually were members of another line-up of the Emissaries, were already there with Egghead. To me, at least, this is pretty much an unstated way of saying that he was just adding more muscle to his team. Should we get a Thunderbolts Handbook anytime soon, I will personally force Marvel to list the Emissaries of Evil as one of Atlas's former group memberships and make this canon.

Profile by Madison Carter.

CLARIFICATIONS:
GROUNDHOG has no known connection to:

  • GROUNDCHUCK, lieutenant of Lowlife, killed by Bullseye, @Captain America I#372 Incredible Hulk II#136
  • GROUNDHAWK, tunneling device created by Stark Enterprises, used by Avengers West Coast to reach Subterraneans and assist in battle against Brutus, @Avengers West Coast Annual#6


images:
Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1, page 20, panel 1
page 39, panel 1


Alpha Flight Special Edition II#1 (June 1992) - Scott Lobdell & Simon Furman (writers), Pat Broderick (pencils), Bruce D. Patterson (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)


Last updated: 12/26/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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