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AlphaFlight.net - Captain Marvel (2016) #1 Review
  • Captain Marvel (2016) #1 Review

    -WARNING: This Review, whilst focusing solely on Alpha Flight's involvement in the issue, does contain mild spoilers-

    CAPTAIN MARVEL #1
    MICHELE FAZEKAS & TARA BUTTERS (W) KRIS ANKA (A) MATT WILSON (C) JOE CARAMAGNA (L)




    Editor Sana Amanat writes in her closing editorial to the issue:
    I'd also like to give a special shout-out to my Alpha Flight fans. You've been asking for Alpha Flight for a while so we've answered the call, but with a slightly different spin. This version of Alpha Flight pays tribute to what's come before while elevating them to a higher status - The International Conglomerate For Inter-Galactic Space-Keeping. Basically, it's a promotion.
    And she's not wrong.

    While Alpha Flight are rooted in Canada and Canadian folklore that doesn't mean that they're only good enough to protect just Canada, and that's something that has caused them to be the butt of fanboy jokes for a long time now.
    This title gives AF an elevated status within the Marvel Prime, and gives new readers a glimpse of a team they had no idea existed. And this promotion doesn't stop them from being able to protect Canada too.

    We've previously seen cameos of the team in Spider-Woman #2 and Ultimates #3 but this issue(/arc) is set before those.



    Writers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have created a storyline that is easily accessible, even to readers unfamiliar with the characters, meaning the title appeals to both Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight fandoms, and isn't confusing for completely new readers, who may come to comics because of the upcoming film. For a major comics debut this is great stuff. There is just the right amount of dialogue throughout, playing up to Kris Anka's strengths throughout the issue.

    Puck shines within this issue, playing up to the roguish charm that Byrne installed in him, and most recently seen in his time in Uncanny X-Force, and the writers' gel with Anka and colourist Matt Wilson from the very start - the expressions of the characters perfectly fit with the dialogue and hit home the humour.
    There's a great scene where he meets Captain Marvel for the first time and just like other major players in the Marvel Universe, such as Captain America was, she's aware of his reputation and respectful of him.


    It's also mentioned later on that Puck has had adventures with Abigail Brand before, which again fits perfectly with his character and having history with a range of characters within the Marvel universe, such as Domino, off-panel.
    They also briefly touch on his dwarfism and the constant pain it keeps him in; all being respectful to Byrne but without being heavy-handed and ruining the flow of the story for newcomers - the nod is there for those that have read the issues.
    Aurora and Sasquatch don't get as much face-time, but are shown competently dealing with space-threats and don't make the mistake of having the characters being all over each other once again. Hopefully that won't happen later.
    And let's not forget; the title isn't Alpha Flight - the characters are supporting characters here. Although this is definitely a big push and set-up for a spin-off title.

    Anka's redesigns for the team are a thing of beauty - a unified space-station costume that features an Alpha Flight insignia, that's prominently shown throughout the issue(and I think this issue features the words 'Alpha Flight' more than all the Marvel books of the past few years combined), and also allows for individualism - Aurora has her starburst design (and pointed ears), and Puck looks great with a jacket and full beard. The issue also continues the running theme of a shirtless Puck that artists have picked up on within AF lore, although Eugene has definitely been working out lately!
    There's only so much you can do with a costume for Sasquatch - he's never been the Hulk-esque 'purple pants' wearing guy and I wouldn't want him to be, so a space-harness(?) to allow a helmet for breathing in space is a sensible touch. Not messing with a classic.

    As mentioned earlier Anka's expressions throughout the issue are immensely good, from Brand's scowl, to Puck's work-out face, to Danvers' frustration, joy and humility. This is definitely the best work of his career so far IMO, and he's a great choice to be on this title.
    His pairing with Matt Wilson's colours works amazingly; Matt too is a great talent whose work just keeps getting better - a book set in space could take a lazy approach and just slap a black space scene with a few duplicated stars throughout but the space scenes are some of the most vibrant pages I've seen in a long time, with hues of red and blue within space and the neon glow of lazers, explosions and spaceship-trail.
    And that's not to say the issue is completely within space - the huge space-station designs by Anka show the scope of just how big and important this operation is within the Marvel Prime and would not be out of place on the big screen, and again Wilson's palette is used to full effect here in the reflections on the floor and the holographic technology used within it, as well as the stark contrast between the man-made architecture and the starkness of space.

    All in all, this is a VERY strong debut from all the team, and a great use of Alpha Flight.
    It may not be an Alpha Flight I expected, but it's definitely one I like and want.

    As Carol herself says - "Alpha Flight... ASSEMBLE."

    Comments 35 Comments
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      I think the team is still Canadian, but the space-station is international.

      It just means that essentially Canada runs the planet!
    1. Mokole's Avatar
      Mokole -
      As a Canadian it doesn't matter to me. They aren't being used as fodder, as idiots, and have personality. Puck notably.
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      I think we all just wanted the team to finally be treated with the respect they deserve. Already in just the first issue im happy with it so far.
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      http://brevoortformspring.tumblr.com...-super-team-in

      So alpha flight was never Canada's super team in the new marvel universe?

      Incorrect!
      http://brevoortformspring.tumblr.com...-alpha-flights

      So, whither Heather Hudson (who was Alpha Flight's leader for much of its existence)?

      Canada?
      (I'm guessing the OP means "So, where is...")
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      Yeah I'm sure there is a team in Canada still. Just going to be a little smaller
    1. Alphan East's Avatar
      Alphan East -
      It seems as if the team, as we've known them, have splintered off into different books.
      Puck, Aurora, & Sasquatch are heading the new version of Alpha Flight.
      Shaman & Talisman are spending time in Dr. Strange's world of magic.
      Northstar & (I presume) Jeffries are still with the X-Men in some capacity.
      If we assume the Mac & Heather are taking some time off to spend as a family (the ending of World War Wendigo would make that plausible).

      We may never again see the team as it was... but hopefully the characters stick around in one form or another.
    1. Canucklehead's Avatar
      Canucklehead -
      Jeffries would be much better off used on the Space Station then in X-Men limbo...

      Quote Originally Posted by Alphan East View Post
      It seems as if the team, as we've known them, have splintered off into different books.
      Any word on Snowbird since the Secret Wars A-Force book?
    1. Alphan East's Avatar
      Alphan East -
      Quote Originally Posted by Canucklehead View Post
      Jeffries would be much better off used on the Space Station then in X-Men limbo...
      I agree 100%.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      I just wrote Marvel to thank them for including Alpha.

      Quote Originally Posted by swh_comicguy View Post
      Finally why is Walter transformed in situations he'd typically be human in. Is he stuck as Sasquatch? That might explain the meditating.
      Yeah, I wondered about that, too.
      Though him meditating is a real deep continuity nod there - I can't remember the last time we saw that.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wildcard View Post
      I really like the idea of the team interacting with other characters they might not normally such as Guardians of the Galaxy.
      After reading the issue, I really wanted to see Puck and Rocket meet (which I assume they now have).

      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      http://brevoortformspring.tumblr.com...-super-team-in
      So alpha flight was never Canada's super team in the new marvel universe?
      Incorrect!
      That's good. Especially when my mind stopped turning that into 'Correct!'.
      Also, has the Secret Wars just rebooted the MU? Or is it continuing from before? Or is it a DC-style 'we don't want our readers confused, so here's a reboot. Only it isn't. Only it is. But it isn't.' reboot?

      ~ Le Messor
      "Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must."
      ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      It's not a reboot.

      It's essentially continuing from before but with certain elements carried over from Doom's Battleworld, thanks to the Molecule Man, and potentially certain things changed.

      The world thinks Reed, Sue and the FF (Future Federation) are dead, but they're essentially now semi-cosmic deities who are using Franklin's powers combined with Reed's new powers (that were Doom's, that were the Beyonders + Molecule Man's) to recreate all the universes that were lost in the Incursions.

      They started recreating our universe first, so what was the 616 is now the Prime Universe, and certain details may be incorrect and certain things won't have happened as it's based on Reed's knowledge and Franklin's imagination.

      It's similar to Heroes Reborn, or when AF were alive again after Chaos War, really.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      It's not a reboot.

      It's essentially continuing from before but with certain elements carried over from Doom's Battleworld
      That's what I thought.

      The rest... Hm. I didn't know about all that specifically.
      That would mean that unless Reed knows all 7 billion people on Earth, most details are incorrect...

      We'll see what happens, I guess.

      ~ Le Messor
      "Even babies like to grab for things just beyond their reach."
      ~ Cynthia Copeland Lewis, Really important stuff my kids have taught me, 1994
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      Quote Originally Posted by swh_comicguy View Post
      Eugene asking for the autograph for his sister ...himself. To me that felt out of character for someone who's been around as long as he has (101 years young). At least he didn't ask for an autograph for his daughter.
      On re-reading, part of me thinks he did that just to annoy Brand.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      I like that interpretation.

      My second-reading interpretation was that they're giving Carol a touch of the Mary Sue. Not enough to be truly obnoxious, but (in her own series, so... okay... kinda) she's being written as the central character of the entire MU and loved and respected by everybody.
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      I'm guessing Editorial are pushing for that to make her the biggest female character in the MU before the film comes out, hence Civil War 2.
    1. sengsterooney's Avatar
      sengsterooney -
      I must admit that I picked up CM#1 because of AF (yes, still a geek-fan after all these decades). And, you know what, the writing team made me fall in love with CM while also really enjoying the appearance of AF -- and particularly Puck! It's brilliant characterisation and still respectful and in-keeping of the character's history. So... I am stoked that part of AF is back as part of the space programme. Good work Marvel!!