• Review - X-Men: The Asgardian Wars

    Issue: X Men: The Asgardian Wars collection
    Writer: Chris Claremont
    Artist: Paul Smith (pt. one); Art Adams (pt. two); various inkers
    Date Published: Original stories: 1985; original trade (pictured above) : 1988; current hardcover: 2010
    Alpha Appearance: Whole team crossover.
    Period in Alpha Flight's history: Between v1 #s 19 and 20.

    Scott Summers gets blinded by the light, and crashes his airplane. Rachel Summers gets somewhat slightly upset by this, and attacks Alpha Flight in mistaken retaliation.
    Snowbird, meanwhile, is getting very, very sick.
    Her supernatural senses and the crash lead them to the north where they find a world of wonders; a fantasy city of wealth and taste. Oh, and Scott is alive and well.
    They discover the source of all this wonder, which offers an end to famine, pestilence, war, and anti-mutant prejudice.
    It must be stopped!

    Later, Loki, in retaliation for the events of this issue, kidnaps the New Mutants and offers Storm (who is currently powerless) the powers of Thor. They get separated, and must struggle to rescue Storm and get home - later aided by the X-Men.


    I'm grudging with my stars (in this case, maple leaves) out of ten. I always like to leave room for improvement.
    This one has ten.

    I love the story, I love the fantasy of both halves. It is well-written, by Claremont in his prime. He had a real handle on the Alphans, and did a nice, twisted plot in their 'half'. The other 'half' was a great story, with lasting ramifications. Effusive praise, effusive praise.

    It was difficult to place in Alpha history, as the exact make-up of the team doesn't quite match anything within the main series. (There's a much later issue of... something... where Sasquatch asks what happened in these issues, claiming he wasn't there.)

    I do disagree with some of the characters' reactions to the firefountain: I doubt it would end either war or prejudice. I doubt (spoiler, highlight to view) destroying all imagination, except mutants', would bring that prejudice back; I don't believe society is particularly prejudiced against people with imagination.

    I'm beginning to wonder if our heroes really won. The story, though, nicely adds moral ambiguity: whether they did win or not, should they have? I'm not sure the question is resolved, and I'm not sure it should be.

    This graphic novel contains the single best line-art in my entire collection. Unfortunately, it's not in the 'half' with Alpha Flight in it. The detail of Adams' Asgard is beautiful. I love it to death. The 'tease' that gives me, of not having it on Alpha's section, is what's dragged those two maple leaves off 'For Alpha Flightness'.

    This isn't to detract from Paul Smith's work on the X-Men / Alpha Flight mini; it simply isn't the best artwork evarrr- the second half is, and Smith's suffers by comparisom with Art Adams'. It does contain what I think of as the definitive picture of Heather (p32 of the hardcover, panel four; talking to Wolverine, she sucks the stem of her glasses).

    Special Features
    The original trade had an introduction by Claremont. Good, but nothing to write to the forum about.
    The hardcover reprints the intro, and has several covers of earlier trades reprinted, changes the colouring in places, and has the original pencils for the New Mutants special that's the first half of the second half of the gn.
    Normally, I don't bother with those, but these are great! I love them! Also, read the comments scribbled on the page.

    on its own:

    [TD]For Alpha Flightness:[/TD]
    [TD] [/TD]