What’s up out there comic book fans? This is Aaron, from Game Over Comics, with another comic book review. I took a break last week, because we completely sold out our new comic wall by Thursday, so I had no book to review (crazy right?) But this week, due to us having no new #1 book, I’m going to do a review on a reprint. That book would be Alpha Flight #1. Now, this book is somewhat collectible, and I have sold quite a few copies here in the shop. For whatever reason MARVEL felt it was worthy of a full reprint and it released this week. The main reason I’m reviewing it, is because although the original book feels recent, it actually came out 36 years ago. How many people have collected it, but never read it? Maybe you weren’t alive when it came out? The beauty of these reprints is you get to read the full book, ads included, without having to pay the sometimes hefty price tag. So here it is, my 2019 thoughts on a book written in the 80s. Ready? Go!
The Alpha Flight team originally made their appearance in ‘The Uncanny X-Men #120’. Alpha Flight #1 is the beginning of the teams first ongoing series. Our story picks up with the dissolution of the Alpha Flight team. The hero, Vindicator, is contemplating what his next step would be. Technically he’s unemployed, and what does a hero do when he can’t be a hero. Lucky for us, his worry is short lived, as a new enemy appears forcing the team back into action. The rest of the team is contacted and they all make their way to face this enemy. The rest of the original team include Sasquatch, Snowbird, Aurora, Northstar, and Shaman. Two new members join in this issue; the dwarf strongman Puck, and a fish like hero named Marrina. Eventually the whole team meets up, minus Puck, and defeat the villain. They decide together to continue Alpha Flight on their own, not sure what the future will hold.
Well, to start, I had difficulty reading this one. I have trouble reading most comics older than me, so it might just be me. The story in this one wasn’t bad. The hard part was the dialogue. It’s probably a product of its time, but they wrote so much into those little speech bubbles. This causes the story to lack fluidity and makes it feel a little grindy (gamer reference). Overall it got its point across so no complaining to much. My biggest gripe and this is maybe because I’m subconsciously a comic nationalist, the heroes in this one seem awfully weak. If you didn’t know the Alpha Flight team is made up of heroes from Canada. I grew up with The X-men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Justice League, etc., and I’ve never felt that the teams were weak, maybe some members, but not the team. This group though, although they are super powered, their power feels lackluster and quite frankly boring. I can understand that due to the time this book came out, their were already a great deal of heroes and most of the cool super powers were used, but this is the team representing all of Canada! You should go all out and give them some distinct and memorable abilities. Alas, they did get Wolverine and Deadpool, but those heroes made their way to the U.S.A. and only the hardcore fans even remember that they come from Canada. Canadian comic fans swear by this team, so it must be my comic nationalism kicking in. To each his own.
Overall it’s difficult to look at a vintage comic through the lens of our current times. I don’t appreciate some of the jokes as I should and apparently they had a lot to say back then. But, it is always fun to go back and see the classic art work. Read about and witness the very first appearance of certain comic book characters. Alpha Flight is a team all it’s own, with many adventures taking place exclusively in Canada. Their powers may seem weak in my eyes, but due to my unfamiliarity with them, it’s exciting to read their story. Everything feels fresh and new, and that is the feeling you want every time you read a comic book. Come check out all the other reprints we got at Game Over Comics, and as always Support Local Comics! Peace!