Deconstruction Until It Breaks
I love this cover, its creative and unique, but it sets up a false hype for Thor who's appearance in this issue is, important, but ultimately pretty minimal. I was kind of hoping for a little adventure with Thor, but we come in right at the tail end of it.
Nuno Plati's artwork just keeps getting better. The colors have a better gradual shade to them, and the heads aren't quite so oddly shaped. It still keeps his quirky style, but doesn't go as far into the awkward territory.
Thor's a PERFECT mentor figure for Alpha, and if Alpha continues to have a role in the Marvel Universe, he NEEDS more interaction with Thor. Thor has ages of experience, and I think nobody was as big-headed in their youth as a young Thor was. Thor knows EXACTLY what it's like to have all the power and act like an all-powerful dick, and he knows what it's like to mature from that. His scene was short, but poignant.
I feel like this should be a 6-issue miniseries instead of 5, because there's still A LOT left to wrap up, from the Boss Cohen conspiracy and the immediate danger Alpha's family is in, to the monster he created, to Superior Spider-Man's ulterior motives, and even the potential romance with Soupcan. I kind of hope Alpha gets an ongoing out of this, written by Fialkov of course.
Fialkov's done a great job avoiding and deconstructing tropes in this series, even a nice little one this issue where his mother being attacked by mobsters doesn't go down quite as cliche as it could have, but I'm a little disappointed by the blob monster made of his energy that arose from the mugger he nearly killed. It's a pretty generic origin for that kind of threat, and sticks out alongside all the other trope deconstruction. But speaking of deconstructing tropes, Alpha proves that just because he can hear everything, doesn't mean he knows everything. Last issue he was ecstatic, literally over-the-sky with joy at the revelation that Soupcan likes him. Although you think that at this point he'd be able to call her the name she prefers (Soupcan) considering that he likes her and she gets incredibly irritated when she's called Susan. This issue he's hit with an absolutely crushing rejection, and one he barely has time to register before he's hit with the two biggest and most personal threats he's ever encountered. I've said before that Alpha has a complicated and emotionally fractured life, but all of that is nothing compared to what he must be feeling inside by the end of this issue. He's staring in the face of three massive failures that threaten to destroy everything he's ever truly cared about.
In Conclusion: 5/5
Finally I can give this series a perfect score. This issue had some hiccups, sure, but the overall brilliance of the emotional devastation and 'teen superero' trope deconstruction definitely overshadow that this time around. And the negatives are smaller that previous issues anyways. I'm super excited for the conclusion, and I REALLY look forward to things 'coming up Alpha' in the future.