• WTF Wednesdays #001

    Welcome to 'WTF (What The Flight) Wednesdays', a new occasional column for the site!

    Whilst we're all huge fans of Alpha Flight, there have been some moments in the team's history that we can all agree have been confusing, contradictory, extremely out of character or just quite frankly bizarre.
    Instead of locking these skeletons away in the closet this column revisits those moments that we'd rather forget and see if they were actually that bad and maybe, just maybe, in time we can learn to laugh and love these quirks... or not.

    This week we travel back to the murky depths of 2003, and the pages of Uncanny X-Men. Specifically #432.

    Written by Chuck Austen and drawn by Philip Tan, this last double-page cameo features Vindicator, Sasquatch and Guardian in battle armor ready to square off against Juggernaut, and... who am I kidding; over a decade on and I still can't justify it...
    Thankfully November's #433 was the last we ever saw of it.

    If you have any suggestions for future editions of this column, feel free to PM Phil, e-mail phil@alphaflight.net or tweet us at @alphaflight_net
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      Uuuuuuuh yeah I hated Austen's run. Even his other alpha flight appearance prior to this I loath......actually more then this story.
    1. Mokole's Avatar
      Mokole -
      Yah, I have no idea how Austen ever got a comics writing job.
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      I liked the armor. AF's allowed to be badass for once. I also liked Austen's run because there was so much Northstar in it. I said this once in a private email to a little bird but here it is in public:

      " At the time, I had not really been following the X-Men titles closely, only picking them up to snag the Northstar appearances around that time, so I really didn't understand why everyone was hating Chuck Austen so much. See, I was coming from a completely different direction, that of collecting Alpha Flight appearances, so I was really thrilled with Chuck Austen, maybe I was the only one??!? Here's why.

      Look at New X-Men: Northstar appeared in three of his books from that series, #'s 157,163 and 164. Let's see, he did pretty well... Austen picked up on Xavier's invitation to Northstar in Uncanny #414 to join the X-Men staff in #157, then had Northstar kick some real butt in #163 when he fought Sabretooth and won, then had Northstar join up with the X-Men on an unspecified X-team. He also remembered the correct continuity with Aurora, who was last seen in Weapon X#22, and left Northstar looking for clues to his sister's whereabouts and also remembered to bring up the unpleasant incident earlier in the Weapon X series where Sabretooth attacked Aurora. So overall, Chuck Austen did a great job with Northstar in his X-Men run, got things right factually with Aurora, portrayed Northstar in a very positive light, so I was happy with the guy.

      Look at
      Uncanny X-Men; Austen included Northstar in 15 issues!!! Plus he brought back Earthmover from the pages of Wolverine, put Heather back into Alpha Flight, and restored Alpha Flight as the anti-X-Men team that they were supposed to be when Byrne created them, when they fought the X-Men over Sammy Pare in #422. Now not every line and every page was pro-Alpha Flight in those 15 issues, but they sure got a lot of pages and I was very happy to have so many issues with Alpha Flight. Jeez, that's 18 issues Austen wrote, pretty significant. I rank him fairly high actually when it comes to Alpha Flight."
    1. Sypes's Avatar
      Sypes -
      haha WTF = What The Flight .... nice!

      I kind of like the armors too. Doesn't Batman have a ton of different gear? Doesn't Iron Man too? I've always thought it was weird that Alpha Flight was up in the Artic several times in just their spandex suits. I live in Toronto, which is no where near the Artic, and I'm always freezing. I can't imagine running around in spandex from September to May haha
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      With regards to Austen generally, I didn't mind him as much as most people.
      His (adjective) X-Men run was a lot better than his Uncanny X-Men run so I wonder if there was editorial involvement or if it just took him a while to find his groove.
      Some stuff he wrote was pretty bad but I definitely don't get all the venom and hatred to him.

      I still don't like the armour though. Though I *think* it's more Tan's design of it rather than Austen's concept.
    1. Chris's Avatar
      Chris -
      I had Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor when I was a kid. Would love Marvel to make some Battle Armor Alpha Flight figures. And this little bird remembers that conversation from 2009