Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alpha Flight #1 (of 8)

Alpha Flight is a team that was so messed up by stories that didn't work and assorted character demolitions that the only answer was to kill off the whole team (which took place shortly after House of M), and then bring them all back to life (which happened at the end of the Chaos War).

So the team is back in (more or less) its original version, with Guardian and Vindicator leading the team, Northstar and Aurora returned as bickering brother and sister, Sasquatch is back to his orange fur, Snowbird and Shaman are back to their mystic roots, and Marianna - well, she looks and acts completely different. We're not sure at this point what the deal is with Puck.

The beginning of this mini-series, as written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, the team finds itself in the middle of the world-wide battle unfolding in Fear Itself, as Vancouver is attacked by a transformed Attuma and his hordes of barbarians.

The battle is fast and furious and gives each member a chance to show off his or her powers - it's a good introduction for those who aren't familiar with the team.

The story seems to struggle in places - there's a political backstory developing, there's a mysterious plot against the team and a shock ending that wasn't really set up at all - but the pleasure of seeing the team back in operation makes it difficult to get too upset about all that.

The art by Dale Eaglesham and Andrew Hennessy is quite good - definitely going after the feel (though not the style) of John Byrne's original run. In other words, lots of solid super-heroing going on here.

The problem with the series is the same as always: bringing so many disparate heroes together into a functioning team. So far, they're off to a reasonable start.

Grade: B+


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