• Review - Alpha Flight #1 (vol.4) Advanced Review (No Spoilers)

    Alpha Flight  #1 Volume 4 coverALPHA FLIGHT #1 ( of 8 )
    Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE
    Penciled by DALE EAGLESHAM
    Cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
    Variant Cover by DALE EAGLESHAM

    The following article is an advanced, no-spoiler review of Alpha Flight (vol.4) #1. The issue will be available in stores on Wednesday June 15th.

    As a long time fan, I've been eagerly waiting for this series. Finally seeing the classic Alpha Flight back together in action has had me chomping at the bit. I do also want to try and see this series from the perspective of a reader who may not be the uber-fan I am.

    Marrina kicks AtumaIssue 0.1 gave us a nice introduction into the series, while setting the stage. The political situation in Canada, and some of the challenges Alpha Flight would have to face. This (#1) issue picked up on those themes, fleshing them out some, and giving us a better idea of what Prime Minister Gary Cody and his Unity party was up to.

    As expected, seeing the team in action was fantastic, and the action itself was extremely well done! Writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente did a great job of balancing action and battle with narrative and story-line. Dale Eaglesham's story telling skills with his art are quite impressive. There were enough tidbits of history, and inside jokes to satisfy the old-school fans, but I felt a new reader would not have felt lost, rather would be a little intrigued. The characterization was spot on. Great banter from Sasquatch, Northstar's general attitude and concern for his sister were perfect. Marrina's new attitude was actually refreshing, and I think it adds a good new dynamic to the team. It felt to me like we got enough of a sense of each character and some of their relationships for new readers to be interested in them.

    Guardian FlyingIn interviews we have been given a sense of just how much the creative and editorial teams care about this book and the characters. Having read Alpha Flight #1, they have now proven their commitment and dedication.

    Eaglesham's art is not just good story telling as I mentioned already, but it is also beautiful. The characters are expressive, dynamic and "properly" drawn. He managed to succeed where so many others have failed, in properly capturing Sasquatch's look.

    We finally found out who the "betrayer" is in Alpha Flight. Quite an upset, and it left me with a few ideas and strong theories about the reasons for the betrayal.

    At the end of the book we are treated with Dale Eaglesham's character sketches done in preparation for the series. There is some nice insight into how he worked with each character and fleshed them out. We also have a bonus printing of and interview with the writers, reviewing Alpha Flight's history. This will be a nice feature for new readers to Alpha Flight, as it will help them understand the team better.

    Alpha Flight #1 SketchbookThis was a great first issue, it left me eager for the next issue, though distraught at having to wait a month for it! I definitely felt the writers were successful in creating a book that is both accessible to new readers, while giving long time fans exactly what they've been asking for since Alpha Flight volume one was cancelled so many years ago.

    I would at this time like to encourage everyone to buy the book, even buy two copies, and give one away to someone who will enjoy it. The as has been established in interviews and other articles, the best way to support this book is in pre-ordering your copies. Should sales support it, this book has a good chance of continuing beyond the 8 issues we are currently promised.
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. swh_comicguy's Avatar
      swh_comicguy -
      Just picked up my 2 regular and 2 variant copies! It looks sweet! Can hardly wait to finish work and get home to read the rest of the book!
    1. Legerd's Avatar
      Legerd -
      Here's a reviewer at Newsarama who liked the issue a whole lot more than the CBR guy, and he nailed the main reason why I like this book: 'cause it's a good, ol', unapologetic superhero story!
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      Did you guys catch the "FREG" at the end? Awesome
    1. DaVeO's Avatar
      DaVeO -
      Read it this morning first thing I did when I woke. Sublime is all I have to say. I had a smile on my face the entire issue. I love Marrina, cracked me up. 30 days wait! Arrrrgh!

      Ok, I guess I had a little more to say. =D>
    1. Sasquatch17's Avatar
      Sasquatch17 -
      Awesome issue!

      This is the Alpha Flight I have been waiting decades for!

      Guardian acting like a hero.

      Sasquatch and Aurora flirting.

      Snowbird with a personality!

      And Marrina...LOVE her new personality!!!
    1. bigbloo's Avatar
      bigbloo -
      I love this issue!!! Did you see Sas tackle the ocean liner? Which had the force of a tsunami behind it? AWESOME!
    1. Imraith Nimphais's Avatar
      Imraith Nimphais -
      I really enjoyed this first issue. I absolutely loved reading these characters once more and truth to tell, not being entirely familiar with these characters (as far as their more recent histories show) I felt very much like an AF newbie...and I was thouroughly intrigued. The general feeling after reading this first issue was quite similar to how I felt after reading the very first Byrne AF #1 decades ago. My hat's off to FVL and GP.
      However...I do wish Eaglesham was inking his pencils and Ms. Oback's colour palette could be just a tad more vibrant with a greater variety of tones...I know it is unreasonable of me, but artwise, I was hoping for something similar to Eaglesham's Fantastic Four.

      With that said...I cannot wait for for issue #2!
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Well, I haven't read it yet. It's not like I got off the plane after a 20+hour trip after over a month in the USA, then drove immediately clear across town to my LCS to pick up my copies so I could read them and post here again.

      HAH! I kid.
      It's exactly like that.

      I noticed in #1 or #2, Guardian melting his way out of an office building - he did the same thing in v1 #11, to avoid glass on pedestrians. Cool touch, and they didn't draw attention to it!

      Quote Originally Posted by suzene View Post
      Weirdly, it's the remarks about the art with regards to the coloring that annoy me; the reviewer seems to think Eaglesham did the coloring as well as the art, and comes across as dinging the artist for something that wasn't even his job.
      Quote Originally Posted by Imraith Nimphais View Post
      ... Ms. Oback's colour palette could be just a tad more vibrant with a greater variety of tones...
      I understood the CBR article as meaning that the colouring had buried Dale's artwork. One of the reasons I agree with Imraith here. (That and I'd just generally like to see vibrant colours in comics again... please?)

      Some of it did seem to attack the artwork, too, though...

      - Le Messor
      "Mary had a little lamb, You've heard this one before. But did you know she passed her plate, And had a little more?"
      ~ collected by "Uncle Jake" Rhine