• Review - Alpha Flight (Vol.4) #2 : Phil's Take

    *Contains Light Spoilers, including the ending to #1*

    Issue: Alpha Flight (Vol.4) #2 "Born On The First Of July"
    Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
    Artist: Dale Eaglesham, Drew Hennessy
    Colorist: Sonia OBack
    Lettering: Simon Bowland
    Cover Art: Phil Jimenez & Frank D'Armata / Dale Eaglesham, Drew Hennessy & Sonia OBack
    Cover Date: September 2011

    I'll say right from the start, I wasn't completely sold on #1 of the series.
    I really enjoyed #0.1 as a fresh slate, respectful of the team and long term fans, but felt that while a decent read and a joy for AF fans such as myself #1 didn't quite seem to have enough to grab the casual reader, possibly because of it's tie-in to FI and the way the Attuma fight doesn't play in much with the grand scheme.

    #2 however turns that around.

    We get to see a story still about fear, but in a more realistic way to our world and our lives.
    I'm more likely to have my children taken away from me or the Government turn against me than have a blazing Superhero battle on my doorstep, and Pak & Van Lente play on this.
    It's a very realistic situation in an almost 1984 kind of way, although obviously it involves the colourful world of superheroes that we've come to know and love. I have no doubts that *someone* is behind Gary Cody's rise to power and tyranny of the country when the world is at it's most vulnerable. Though if I'm completely wrong, I'll love it even more. With Freg on board there's always that possibility of a curve ball.

    From the Variant Cover image and the previews we know who's back this issue.
    We don't get to find out much more as to how and why, but I like the way it's left with that sinister sense of not knowing. Puck's definitely not his old self, and whether he turns out to be sane or not I'm still not sure. I'm pretty convinced this is the real him though.

    Something I'm not entirely sure I can say for Heather.
    Her motivations for joining Cody are pretty much summed up by the first few pages and a dialogue with Mac within the issue enforce this. That aspect makes sense.
    However there's one line from her that makes me wonder.
    A line that has nothing to do with her child, or Mac.
    Something that's very... un-Heather-ish.
    I'll be interested to see where it goes.

    Fred & Greg promised us loyal fans a cameo in every issue and this one is one that I've really been looking forward to. Ish.
    I won't say more, but it's a nice touch. Especially with the accompanying dialogue.

    The issue ends with something that I personally saw coming, as opposed to the ending of #1, but it's something that works and makes sense given the history of the character. And it's guaranteed to cause more drama and dysfunctionality within the team. Which is what made me fall in love with the team in the first place.
    And that's gotta be a good sign.

    I don't know where to start on the artwork.
    I genuinely feel that this are the best these characters have looked since their creation.
    Eaglesham's sense of energy flows out everytime Northstar moves at speed or Puck bounces around the page, his Mac crackles with energy as he fights, his Aurora is a troubled and tormented soul hidden in the shadows.
    And that's not counting small, intricate details such as Heather's hair & freckles, Puck's wink and grin
    This man was born to draw the team.

    There was a point where the Omega Flight series was referred to as 'Alpha Flight's final chance.'
    This title blows that tagline to bits.

    A great story for Alpha Flight fans and general comic fans alike, and one that will held up very well in a trade of all 9 issues to be read in one go and to recommend to new readers in the future.