hahamanhv's Alpha Flight #0.1 - Alpha Flight review

Alpha Flight 0.1 Review

I've always wanted to read Alpha Flight. It's not that any of the characters were particularly cool or eye-catching, it's not that I love Canada, and it's not that I had heard good things. In fact, none of these applied. I just always enjoyed the idea of diversity in comics. I liked that Marvel didn't forget about other countries and remembered to give our neighbors a team of their own. Only problem is, I'm kind of too young to have gotten any real Alpha Flight comics. Sure, it was around when I was really young and I could go back and read those, but I've always had a bit of an issue reading older comics, with a few exceptions. So when I heard that Alpha Flight would be back with it's original roster, well I just had to jump right on board! With that in mind, let's dive into issue one... Oh, I'm sorry, ZERO POINT ONE of Alpha Flight! 
 
Our story begins with a man being given a ticket (No joke). However, as the meter maid and man argue, the power goes out across the city and Alpha Flight is called to the power station to handle the terrorists responsible. Aurora and Sasquatch are first to respond to the scene, but Vindicator, Shaman, and Marrina arrive shortly to handle Citadel (Said terrorist). Meanwhile Guardian and Northstar deal with a grown up Kara Killgrave as Snowbird joins the scene. But as the issue closes we learn that maybe the terrorists weren't the real threat... 
 

 Somebody forgot their manners at home :(
Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente team to write this Point One issue and do quite a good job. This is the first time I've ever read the work of the duo, having previously only encountered them on their own. That being said, they do a pretty fine job with Alpha Flight. This is really my first full exposure to the team and I quite enjoyed the dynamics established. A few bits in particular really tickled my fancy, such as the banter between Aurora and Sasquatch and Shaman's response to "Hey Indian!" I also like how they touch upon future plot points such as the legal issues of regaining your child after you've died and come back to life. I think that this plot point and the election of the Unity Party are definitely nice little teases for the main series next issue. I kind of wish that this wasn't issue 0.1, but I think that in a lot of ways that serves to give it room to establish things for this re-made team. Now the mini-series can get right into the thick of things without readers feeling lost. 
 
Kids, always remember to vote! 
Art by Ben Oliver is quite nice. I'm a fan of Oliver's work, having come across it both in Ultimate X-Men and Young X-Men. Now I don't recall if he did this with those series, but Oliver never draws a standard panel. Every panel is tilted or shifted or on top of another. I've seen this done before with other artists, mainly Simone Bianchi, but what Oliver retains that Bianchi loses is a sense of clarity. There's never a moment of doubt in this comic and you always know what panels should be read in what order. It doesn't serve much of a purpose though and upon a re-read it's just distracting. In some cases it looks great, like when we see Kara Killgrave, but other time you don't need it, like when Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle are talking. It's takes away from what is otherwise spectacular art. I think he even pulls off the "man made of men" creature that Kara creates. OOH OOH! And Snowbird's transformations! Those are just sick. And a nice tasteful kiss by Northstar and Kyle seals the deal, the man can draw.    

Overall, this is actually the jumping on point that point one issues should be. It tells it's own story, brings readers up to speed, and propels what comes next. For that I give it a four out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read the meat of the story next issue!
1 Comments
Posted by longbowhunter

Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak are brilliant with this kinda stuff. Marvel's C listers shine under they're supervision. Like you I'm not an Alpha Flight fan but, I have been curious. May have to pick this up.
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