Department H is an agency that features in Marvel Comics.
Department H was a government based agency that operated as part of Canada's government. It operated as the super-secret research and development arm of the Canadian Ministry of Defense. (Alpha Flight v1 #3) During its earliest stages of growth, it operated as a top-secret research and development agency. (Logan: Shadow Society v1 #1) Years ago, Remus along with her brother Romulus were in the company of Creed and Logan where they sought out the Weapon X facility. They sought to make the facility their own when they were confronted by super-powered agents of Department H with this consisting of Electrode, Bayonet, Savage and Black Wolf. Logan slaughtered their foes and volunteered to go forward with Romulus's plan at using Weapon X in creating their own super-soldier as the template for forging their own empire. (Wolverine v2 #313) Hudson devoted his energies into the creation of the Department and was inspired to field a team of superheroes after learning that Reed Richards and his comrades had been transformed into a team of super-heroes. (Alpha Flight v1 #3)
The Department is also known to have connections to an orphanage in Orloo, Ontario called Hull House from which it has recruited superhuman agents in the past.
Beyond its superhuman resources, Department H also makes use of soldiers outfitted with hi-tech arms and armor called Epsilons.
Parliament Hill creates Department H as a research and development program under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense and they select James Hudson to act as the department's administrator. During this time he meets the Canadian secret agent known as Wolverine. When James Hudson sees a newspaper article of the Fantastic Four having been formed in the United States, he decides to form a defensive response team for Canada.
After The Flight became Alpha Flight, Wolverine was among those who joined Alpha Flight.
Department H sends James Hudson in his Weapon Alpha outfit to capture Wolverine and bring him back to Canada. James Hudson finds Wolverine hunting a deer during the X-Men's vacation and tells him that he is still the property of the Canadian government.
Department H later has James Hudson (in the identity of Vindicator) lead Alpha Flight in another attempt to reclaim Wolverine where the X-Jet was forced to land in a snowstorm caused by Shaman. Alpha Flight manages to capture Nightcrawler and Wolverine. Following a fight between the X-Men and Alpha Flight, Wolverine decides to surrender himself to Alpha Flight and Department H. Yet Wolverine managed to escape from Department H and reunite with the X-Men on the X-Jet.
Department H later reviews the footage of Machine Man's fight with Hulk. They mistakenly believe that Machine Man defeated the Hulk and deliberately used his body as a missile to attack Canada. Department H unofficially sends Sasquatch, Aurora, and Northstar to the United States to detain Machine Man. Department H also sends an undercover operative named Agent K to investigate the intelligence that led them to believe Machine Man's complicity in the affair. Following Machine Man's fight with the three Alpha Flight members, Agent K learns that Senator Miles Brickman was responsible for disseminating false intelligence to Department K concerning Machine Man’s motivations. Department K publicly exposes Brickman's involvement, effectively destroying the man’s political ambitions.
Following the X-Men and Alpha Flight's fight with Wendigo, Vindicator is told by the Prime Minister that the Ministry of Defense no longer maintains the budget to continue funding Department H and that Alpha Flight must disband.
At one point, a tourist from New Zealand was visiting the Department H facilities when he was kidnapped by Dr. Horatio Huxley. He had infected the man with a lethal bacteria known as Thetagen-24 that somehow bonded with his system creating a unique hybrid between man and disease. The subject was designated as Weapon X and placed in an environment suit designed to contain the spread of the disease and infection. (Alpha Flight v2 #19) An incident emerged at Moose Jaw where a being known as D'Von Kray who was a time traveller from the far future who was in a mindless rampage attacking everything around him. Department H contacted Wolverine who was dispatched where he managed to render the target unconscious. Kray was then transported to Department H for study where they outfitted him with weapons in an attempt to make him a new recruit for the Alpha Flight program. (Wolverine/Cable: Guts and Glory v1 #1)
Major Arthur Barrington former liaison to the C.I.A. special services later had intelligence about the Russian crime lord Ivan Pushkin and was set to give a testimony to Department H. The gangster who was also known as Ivan the Terrible brainwashed Maverick and sent him to kill Barrington leading to him breaking into the Department H facility at Ontario. Though initially opposed by Alpha Flight, Maverick regained his memories and attempted to stop Ivan's assassins Hammer and Sickle from killing the agency's Director of Foreign Affairs. They managed to save Director Cloche but Barrington was killed despite their best efforts to protect him. (Maverick v1 #3)
When Tundra of the Great Beasts is summoned to Canada by a man named Richard Easton, Alpha Flight's former superiors at Department H end up summoning Alpha Flight back together to combat it.
When Omega Flight was formed, their liaison Agent Jeff Brown told them that Department H was no more.
During the events of Fear Itself, Department H fell under the control of Gary Cody and the Unity Party.
Department H later sent a new incarnation of Omega Flight (consisting of Validator, Boxx, Kingdom, and a Wendigo) to investigate one of the Origin Bomb sites left by Ex Nihilo in Regina, Canada. Validator was changed by the Origin Bomb site while the rest of the Omega Flight members were killed in action by the hostile organisms.
It was a multi-million dollar support system that was composed of Canada's most brilliant scientists. (Alpha Flight v1 #104) The agency was held as the Canadian equivalent of the C.I.A. (Wolverine/Cable: Guts and Glory v1 #1) It was said that they had a good budget for a phantom organization. (Logan: Shadow Society v1 #1)
It operated a number of 'Flight' programs with three being created that consisted of superpowered operatives. Gamma Flight consisted of the first tier unit that served as a training team. As the agents became more skilled, they advanced into a transition team designated Beta Flight where they received further advanced training. The highest tier operated by the Department was Alpha Flight who were the premier team of superpowered heroes. A separate unit was Epsilon Flight that were the armored security force of the agency with its Epsilon Black unit serving as the bodyguards of the director and as 'cleaners' that removed any opposition.
A section within the Department was the Foreign Affairs sub-division. (Maverick v1 #3)
One tool used by the agency was Coldsnap-9 (CS-9) that was a lethal gas that killed those exposed to it and evaporated quickly leaving no trace of its presence.
The Department included failsafes in their nuclear weapons to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Anyone that attempts to trigger them without the proper key resulted in the warheads a chemical compound that created a foamy cement to trap any individuals near it. (Old Man Logan v2 #29)
Within the lowest sub-basement of their headquarters was a section known as the Dungeon that contained a laboratory and holding facility for super-powered experiments. (Alpha Flight v2 #17)
- Director X : the mysterious head of Department H whose origin was unknown and who resided on the 66th floor of their Toronto headquarters complex where he was surrounded by Epsilon Black guards. (Alpha Flight v2 #1)
- Dr. Basil Kilgrew :
- Horatio Huxley :
- Pierre Cloche : a black male who was one Canada's trade commission before resigning five years ago and taking a role as Director of Foreign Affairs in Department H. (Maverick v1 #3)
- Weapon X : a unknown male tourist from New Zealand who during a tour of the Department H facilities was kidnapped by Dr. Horatio Huxley where he was infected with a lethal bacteria called Thetagen-24 and transformed into a biological weapon named Weapon X. (Alpha Flight v2 #19)
- Department H was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne where they made their first appearance in X-Men v1 #109 (February 1978).
In other media
- In X-Men, the agency made an appearance in the animated television series in the episode episode "Repo Man". They were shown in a flashback to had been headed by General Chasen where Vindicator and Heather Hudson recruited Wolverine to be a part of Alpha Flight. He agreed to do so in exchange for them finding out who had bonded adamantium to his skeleton as he had lost all memory of his early life. In the present, Department H deployed Alpha Flight with the goal of capturing Wolverine and bringing him back to Canada. They intended to lure him out and get him to rejoin Alpha Flight where their hidden goal was learning the secrets of the Adamantium-bonding process in order to replicate it. Puck and Snowbird of Alpha Flight managed to spy on Department H where they learnt of their plans and informed the rest of their team mates. This resulted in Alpha Flight battling Department H's security droids in order to free Wolverine.
- In Hulk vs. Wolverine, Department H was briefly referenced in the animated film where they were shown as being a Canadian agency. Wolverine was one of their super-human operatives and he was called in when the Hulk was sighted on the American-Canadian border with him being dispatched to deal with the threat after a town was destroyed.
- X-Men v1:
- Wolverine v1:
- Alpha Flight v1:
- Maverick v1: