Tags Matching: Alpha Flight

Universal Health Care Mutants

We’ve featured Fastner and Larson art on Comic Noize in the past. But this piece, worth buying for the title alone (“Mutants of Canada – Unite!”), is probably the pulp art-team’s finest moment. Check this mess out. There are so many elements in this thing that would be considered unprofessional today. So many anatomy issues we can’t chalk up to style. And check out that lightning!

My favorite part of this piece is the totem monster fighting Colossus. Certainly, there has never been a better totem monster committed to paper.

That Alpha Flight piece is beautiful. Beautiful because it harkens back to a more innocent time. This makes me want to play Marvel Super Heroes Role Playing and be a real true fan. I’m almost able to separate myself from the idea that Marvel is a massive corporation recently devoured by a more massive corporation. It’s about the fans today, baby. Make mine Marvel! Alpha Flight for life!

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Miracle On Ice

Check it. An original John Byrne Alpha Flight page. My love of the Flight is well-documented, so I won’t go into the finer points of Canadian superheroism here. But I will say that one of my primary motivations for collecting the team from the Great White North was affordability. Full runs of Puck and the gang go for considerably less than trying to complete an equal task with The Avengers or Uncanny X-Men. But the name “Byrne” changes the game on the original art end. Dude asks $6,000 for commissions with multiple X-Men characters, so you gotta figure a page of his with third-tier characters from a book about Canadians is still worth something. In this case, $900.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #45

This isn’t a great comic book. It’s actually pretty bad. But the reason it’s relevant and something to read at some point is the fact it created such a commotion at the time. The listing for the item actually speaks volumes to that as well…

#45 – Alpha Flight 106

“Alpha Flight #106 NORTHSTAR COMES OUT OF CLOSET gay 1st”

Even at the time, I didn’t think it was weird. Or care. Or understand why that would cause such a stigma? Please note, I was not some city bound, quick to the hip 12 year old. I had grown up like many, maybe even further into the depths of the suburban white middle class. So, this is to having great parents who never taught me that sexual preference mattered one way or the other.

Good riddance to Prop 8, y’know what I’m sayin’?
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Top 100 Summer Comics #51

I think you have to love that the premise of every Alpha Flight comic can be the same as a very bad joke.

“So, a Canadian, a Midget, and a Magician walk into a…”

Essentially, you have to suspend belief beyond the point of a man in a costume who can fly. Beyond human genome mutation to the point of super hero powers. You have to believe in the power of the northern lights, that the Canadian government is a corrupted, ruthless threat, and that glorified carnies will serve as humanities’ salvation.

#51 – Alpha Flight #1

Yeah, I’m looking at you, Puck.

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Top 100 Summer Comics… #86

I’m a sucker for Alpha Flight.

They were the weird, twisted bizarre Canadian superhero team. A perfect blend of odd and relatable characters, that whole proto-government team permeated the entire series, and has there been a better blueprint for that than the Alpha / Beta / Gamma Flight teams? Department H was the concept that spawned all sorts of government paranoia / big brother ideas in the Marvel U.

But the series would also get kind of weird.

#86 – Alpha Flight 67

Remember Shaman? Snowbird? Yeah, Canada is mystical as hell. And as such, what better villain to introduce than Dreamqueen, the tortured spawn of Nightmare? What other superhero book could transition from government control overtones to dreamscape villains easier than the ‘Flight? None. This issue stands out – and in no small part due to that cover. Killer.

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We’re Here, We’re Queer… We Demand Better Pencilers!

After the Gay Crusader post, I got the itch to take a closer look at the depiction of homosexuals in comics. Not the Class Comics niche market stuff, but the big publishers.

Marvel got progressive in the 90’s when Alpha Flight mainstay, Northstar, came out. It was cool and overdue, but I’m gonna put it out there that Marvel still managed to insult the gay community with Alpha Flight #106. How? You could make the argument that the contrived AIDS-related story maintained certain stereotypes about homosexuals. But I’m not even tripping on that.

What I see as the real insult here, the true kick in the balls, is the Mark Pacella art in this book. Holy God. This guy suuucks. Remember Stephan Plat and his Todd McFarlane “inspired” style? Well, Mark Pacella takes that winning formula of coattail riding and shoulder standing and elevates it to straight-up dick-riding. Living in the shadow of a great artist is unavoidable. We all have our influences and few of us are outshining those influences. It is what it is. But to literally steal a dude’s shoes out of his mudroom and attempt to fill them is awkward to watch. AND IT’S ESPECIALLY UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN THE ARTIST YOU WERE CLONED FROM SUCKS AS BAD AS ROB LIEFELD. This is awful. This book demands a do-over.

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Our Neighbors to the North

Let’s be real: Alpha Flight is the coolest hero team imaginable. They’ve got mutants; they’ve got freaks of science; they have people living an alternative lifestyle; they’ve got aliens; they’ve got spirit animals; they’ve got robots sort-of; they’ve got tumblers; they’ve got something for everyone. Everyone except the American comic-buying public who repeatedly shun the Flight like it’s Power Pack. Those fools don’t know what they’re missing. This book had real moments of greatness. This shirt emblazoned with Alpha Flight characters has nothing but moments of greatness. It’s great all day. Byrne’s finest hour.

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