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AlphaFlight.net - Review - Crystar #11
  • Review - Crystar #11

    Crystar #11 coverIssue: Crystar #11
    Writer: Jo Duffy
    Artist: Ricardo Villamonte
    Date Published: February 1985
    Alpha Appearance: Northstar
    Period in Alpha Flight's history: Alpha Flight #s 5 & 6

    OVERVIEW:
    The final battle for the fate of Crystallium, the
    setting for this licensed title. Three Alphans get pulled into
    this world through a bizarre magical accident, to make sure good
    prevails, the planet is saved, and Kirk lives.

    REVIEW:

    Okay, I'm gonna move this issue back to before the JM / JP split. But I used to keep it between #s 16 and 17, so I'm reviewing it now.

    Cover: The art is well done, especially on Moltar, (all the characters are named after some sort of rock, molten or solid), and the layout works, but it loses points for accuracy: the Alphans shown are Shaman, Puck, and Snowbird. The Alphans on the inside are Shaman, Puck, and Northstar.

    Crystar #11Art: Pretty good. It's surprisingly caring and good for a licenced work.

    Writing: Bad. Extremely clumsy. Every time a character speaks, they feel the need to tell their life story for new readers. "Crystar, I served your father before you, and in happier times I served your brother and you, together. I won't turn on you now, just because a usurper sits on the throne. My wife and little ones live here in Galax... I'd worry less if they lived under your rule." is an example. That's really all one speech bubble, so big it pushes out the character - only half his face fits in the panel. While Alfans don't know that, I'm sure Cyrstar does, and there has to be a better way to catch us up. While that's necessary for us AF fans who've picked up this issue for the appearance, it's really badly done. (At least the Alphans don't do the same. So I guess it was for our benefit?)

    Da Juice :

    Crystar #11When the Alphans appear, they're fighting a 'Chaos Creature' from Crystallium. That makes me wonder why Birdie wasn't there; she'd show up, just to fight the mystical threat. I think I'll set this issue during #6, when she's fighting the Great Beast. (Distracting her, and giving JP a reason to be there, it's before his split with JM.) Let's assume Puck recovered from his Marrina injuries after #5 but before this.
    Shaman and Puck generally act in character, though "Grab it or it will be gettin' away!" makes Puck sound Irish.
    In this issue, Puck tells us he's been to Crystallium before, which gives us a bit more insight into the character, and is completely in character.

    Northstar is badly done. "Nom d'nomme! It's trying to bat at me with an uprooted tree..." Besides the bad French, we can -see- that, nobody needs to tell us.
    At one point he calls the other AFers 'friends', which I really don't see JP doing.

    The writer had the courage to kill off a main character, a good guy. Though this was the final issue, it was still a bold move for this sort of comic (licensed from a toy series).

    Overall, not a great issue.

    Goofs: Michael calls JP "Jean-Pierre". (Did I mention that all the characters in this story are named after rocks?)

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    Comments 5 Comments
    1. suzene's Avatar
      suzene -
      Nice review!

      I kind of like the writing in this issue, not so much for the characterization of the Alphans, but because I have a fondness for that long-winded fantasy-world exposition. The hint that Puck's adventures took him beyond the confines of Earth was also a nice touch.

      Also, Northstar's reaction to Crystar makes me that much more certain that the other writers at Marvel knew he was supposed to be gay from the get-go. He's his usually snarky self until the buff, sparkly guy in the chainmail shows up, then he's all "Well...perhaps we can help." See the before and after below.



      Just sayin'...

      On a more shallow note, this is the worst hair Northstar has ever had under any artist. Yes, even worse than the 90's mullet.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Thanks... if only I could be so concise now.

      Oh, the other writers knew - it is written, and in places far older than this. (Okay, not older.)

      - Le Messor
      "I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience."
      ~ alleged job application
    1. BillyTheDragon's Avatar
      BillyTheDragon -
      I LOVED The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior back in the day! And while some of it may not necessarily stand the test of time, I always thought that it was a great read! While I was disappointed by its cancellation, I was absolutely thrilled by the appearance of Alpha Flight in the final issue! (It seemed that it was a time when Alpha Flight appeared in a lot of other titles in the Marvel Universe, including Marvel Team-Up Annual and Rom, Spaceknight...) I am a little surprised that Marvel hasn't released the entire series in some form of collected editions, especially as they own the rights to the characters.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by BillyTheDragon View Post
      (It seemed that it was a time when Alpha Flight appeared in a lot of other titles in the Marvel Universe, including Marvel Team-Up Annual and Rom, Spaceknight...)
      It's a little ironic to me that two of the titles in question (Rom, Spaceknightand Crystar) are licensed works, not MU series.

      There was, of course, Alpha Flight Classics v.1, but #2 never happened. OTOH, I've just found out that Power Pack Classics v.3 exists, the only way I've found out any Power Pack Classics exists - by looking for it on the shelf at the LCS. So maybe the AF one will be released with no fanfare?

      - Le Messor
      "I live on a one-way dead-end street."
      ~ Steve Wright
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Nice job.