Real Name: Alyssa Bryon
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: "A FRIEND", Captain America (Steve Rogers), Nick Fury, Albert Jones, Patti (last name unrevealed) (see comments)
Known Relatives: Bill Bryon (formerly Young Avenger) (grandfather)
Aliases: Pug (as called by her grandfather)
Base of Operations: New York
First Appearance: All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1 (August, 2011)
Powers/Abilities: A normal human, Alyssa appeared to have the average strength of a female of her age (33).
A skilled writer by profession, Alyssa had gained some acclaim as a novelist; she owned a laptop computer.
Height: 5' 7" (by
Weight: 110 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Alyssa Bryon is largely unrevealed, but she was born the granddaughter of Bill Bryon, who affectionately called her "Pug". By the time she reached adulthood, Alyssa gained some fame as a novelist, and she acted as her disabled grandfather's caregiver, spending much of her time looking after him at his house in the suburbs. Ever since she had been a little girl, Alyssa wanted to write about her grandfather's life during World War II, although he claimed he had been rejected from military service due to his injured leg.
(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1) - On a rainy day, Alyssa accompanied her grandfather when he made his annual visit to his "cousin" Piotr's grave. When they got back to his home, Bill Bryon decided it was time to reveal his secrets to Alyssa, so he had her follow him to a locked room, where he secretly kept war memorabilia and a collection of old Timely comic books; he gave her a handful of the comics, including a very special one--the first issue of Super Hero Comics, with the first (and only) Captain Flame story. Bill insisted that Alyssa read the old books first, then he would give her the interview she always wanted. As Bill went to bed, Alyssa sat and read the old comics throughout the rainy night--she took a short break and looked out a window, but unknown to her, a shadowy figure was lurking outside (see comments).
The next morning, Alyssa gave her grandfather her opinion of the old books ("Those comics might be the worst thing I ever read.")--she was particularly offended by the character Slow-Motion Jones, whom she considered to be overtly racist. Bill asked her what she thought of the Captain Flame story, and Alyssa told him it was the worst of the lot--she wondered what was so special about it; Bill replied that that particular comic book was the only copy in existence (see comments) because he had stolen it from the presses just before they destroyed the entire print-run, and it was probably worth a few million dollars.
As they walked back to the locked room, Bill admitted the old comic stories were terrible, but they had been helpful in promoting the war-effort and increasing enlistment. He explained to Alyssa that the characters in those books had been based on real people who went away to war and died on foreign soil, and their books went out of print because so many of them didn't make it back home ("No one wanted to read the adventures of a dead person"). Then Bill asked Alyssa if he were to tell her his story, would she promise to write the truth--although she was beginning to get a bit apprehensive because her grandfather's strange behavior was starting to scare her, Alyssa agreed to do so. Bill told her he was about to entrust her with a very big secret--bigger than the biggest story she ever thought of; then Bill opened a cabinet, and showed her his old costume, revealing to the shocked Alyssa that he had once been the Young Avenger.
(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2) - Alyssa started to record her interview with her grandfather as he began to tell her about his war-time experiences as the Young Avenger and his time serving with the "Crazy SUES". While Bill paused and got up to take a bathroom break, Alyssa used her laptop to do some research on Captain Flame; she called to her grandfather and told him she couldn't find any mention of Captain Flame, or the comic book he appeared in, on any websites. Then Alyssa received a cryptic message on her computer from someone who only identified himself as "A FRIEND"--the message simply stated: "OPERATION: FIREFLY. IMPORTANT".
When her grandfather returned and the interview resumed, Bill warned Alyssa that what he was about to tell her about Captain Flame was quite possibly the biggest secret of the war, and perhaps one of the most significant events in the nation's history; then he asked her if she was still willing to keep her promise and write down his recollections exactly as he told them to her, because it was going to change her life. Although a bit taken aback, Alyssa agreed to his request, then she asked her grandfather if it had anything to do with Operation: Firefly; suddenly, Bill Bryon suffered a heart attack and collapsed to the floor. Panicking, Alyssa put a nitrous pill in her grandfather's mouth and tried to telephone for help; but the room was filled with a strange lightning-like display as the Norse god of trickery--Loki--appeared.
(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3) - After intimidating Alyssa, Loki assured her that he was not the cause of her grandfather's heart attack--he blamed that on all the fast food the old man had eaten. Then Loki demanded that Alyssa tell him the identity of the person who sent her the message regarding Operation: Firefly--Loki told her that mortals could not hide from him, yet this particular individual somehow managed that feat. But Alyssa honestly didn't know the person's name, so Loki told her that when she met the person, she should tell her mysterious friend that Loki wanted the information to remain a secret, and he was prepared to do whatever it took to keep it that way. After he warned Alyssa not to press the issue any further, Loki departed in the same manner as he appeared.
After Alyssa contacted emergency services, she rode along with her grandfather in an ambulance as it rushed him to a hospital; shortly afterward, while she tearfully sat by the unconscious Bill Bryon's bedside in a hospital room, Alyssa could only wonder what he had gotten her into. But she was still determined to write his story about Operation: Firefly, because her grandfather thought it was important for people to know about it.
Bill Bryon passed away, and Alyssa was at his funeral service in the cemetery, along with Steve Rogers and "Slow-Motion" Jones. After the service, Alyssa told Steve she was writing her grandfather's memoirs, and she asked him if he knew anything about Operation: Firefly, but Steve denied any knowledge of it. She noticed Jones hobbling out of the cemetery with his walker, and she ran to him and called out as he left, but by the time Alyssa got past the cemetery gate to the sidewalk beyond, she found Jones had mysteriously disappeared, although she had been only a few footsteps behind him.
As Alyssa drove away from the cemetery in her car and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, the voice of "A FRIEND" came over her car's radio; the voice told her that her investigation was on the right path, and she shouldn't let her grandfather's death prevent her from finishing the job, because Operation: Firefly was of the utmost importance and one of the most significant events of the war. The voice mentioned that he knew Alyssa was scared, and he also knew that the Asgardian Loki had visited her; then the voice gave Alyssa the address of Jones' home.
After arriving at Jones' house, Alyssa stood on the front porch and tried to speak with him. She asked him about Operation: Firefly and Captain Flame, but Jones refused to come out and only spoke to her through the closed door; he told her that he was forbidden to disclose any information. Discouraged, Alyssa began to return to her car, and she remarked aloud that she guessed people always got scared eventually; feeling ashamed, Jones opened the door and told her that it was he who had killed Captain Flame...
(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#4) - Jones began to tell Alyssa about his war-time experiences with the Crazy SUES, including how he had discovered that Captain Flame was a homosexual.
(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#5) - Jones continued to tell Alyssa about his war-time experiences--he told her of a time when the Crazy SUES were threatened by a German Panzer; Jones had found Captain Flame cowering in fear, so he threatened to reveal to the other Crazy SUES that Captain Flame was a homosexual unless he snapped out of it and used his power to stop the attack. Captain Flame destroyed the Panzer, but he was greatly traumatized by Jones' betrayal, and Jones blamed himself for Captain Flame's eventual death. As Jones concluded his story, Alyssa told him she still didn't understand, so Jones gave her a scrap of paper and told her to visit "these people," then she'd understand. Alyssa agreed to go, but she asked Jones to promise her that he'd still be there when she got back, and he agreed to her request.
As Alyssa walked out of Jones' home and towards her car, she called Patti on her cell phone and said, "You remember that World War Two thing I told you about? Well, it's on. No, I'm serious." But while her call was in progress, Alyssa was met by two dark suited men who forced her into the back of a limousine, where the incredulous Alyssa found Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Nick Fury seated inside...
Comments: Created by Paul Jenkins (writer) and Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist).
...And unfortunately, that's all there was to it--All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes was supposed to be an 8-issue mini-series, but it was cancelled with the fifth issue due to low sales and the story was never completed, so we never learned if Alyssa ever solved the mystery of Operation: Firefly.
Bill Bryon had been mistaken that he had the only surviving copy of Super Hero Comics#1--unknown to him, at least one other copy was in the possession of the Department of Defense (@ All-Winner Squad: Band of Heroes#5).
In regards to that shadowy figure that was lurking outside the house: At first, I thought it might have been Loki, but then I remembered a fact about the Young Avenger, so see his profile for details.
Exactly what relationship Alyssa had with Patti was unrevealed--I'm guessing Patti was her publisher.
I guess we'll never know who "A FRIEND" really was, but considering he was able to shield his identity from Loki, perhaps he was magically-empowered.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
CLARIFICATIONS: "A FRIEND" has no known connections to:
Alyssa Bryon has no known connections to:
"A FRIEND" has no known connections to:
A mysterious individual, he (I'm only assuming "he" was a male) claimed his life had been saved by Bill Bryon (presumably while in his Young Avenger identity) at some unspecified earlier point in time, so he felt he owed Bryon his life.
He first made his presence known to Alyssa Bryon by hacking onto her laptop while she was searching the Internet for information regarding Captain Flame; he sent a brief message to Alyssa to let her know that Operation: Firefly was somehow tied in with Captain Flame.
Later, following the funeral of Bill Bryon, "A FRIEND" contacted Alyssa over her car's radio; he spoke with her and let her know that she was on the right path to discovering the highly significant mystery of Operation: Firefly--he told Alyssa she could trust him because he owed her grandfather his life. "A FRIEND" mentioned to Alyssa that for reasons that would become clear, he could not tell her directly about the consequences of Operation: Firefly, and he warned her about two men in a sedan who were following her car.
"A FRIEND" told Alyssa he knew she was scared, for he was aware of her visit from the Asgardian Loki and he knew why the god of trickery came; then "A FRIEND" gave Alyssa the address of the home of Albert "Slow-Motion" Jones and told her she'd find answers there.
Before he broke contact, "A FRIEND" asked Alyssa if she would trust him; wearing a scowl on her face, Alyssa merely drove on in silence to Jones' house.
--All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2 (All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2-3
images: (without ads)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1, p22, pan1 (Main Image, shocked Alyssa Bryon learns her grandfather was the Young Avenger)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3, p2, pan1 (Headshot, Alyssa Bryon menaced by Loki)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2, p19, pan2 (Alyssa Bryon sitting at her laptop, unable to find any information on Captain Flame)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#5, p23, pan1 (incredulous Alyssa Bryon sitting in backseat of limousine as she sees Captain America and Nick Fury)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1, p19, pan7 (shadowy figure (left) lurks outside Bill Bryon's home on rainy night as Alyssa Bryon looks out window)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2, p7, pan5 ("A FRIEND" contacts Alyssa on her laptop (Alyssa's reflection on screen))
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3, p19, pan4 ("A FRIEND"'s voice on Alyssa's car radio)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3, p19, pan6 ("A FRIEND"'s voice tells Alyssa why she should trust him)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1-5 (August-December, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), Bill Rosemann & Alejandro Arbona (editors)
Last updated: 06/17/17
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