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From an old issue of Marvel Age about Bill coming on Alpha Flight. - Page 2
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Thread: From an old issue of Marvel Age about Bill coming on Alpha Flight.

  1. #16
    Captain Wow Alpha Flight
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    ^ I feel the same way

  2. #17
    The Eclectic Opinionator Alpha Flight
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    Default Alpha Flight's appeal

    At the point of the Hulk/Alpha Flight crossover, Alpha Flight still had a lot going for it: (1) the characters were still likeable; (2) they had common sense, and; (3) they were capable superheroes, if not perfect ones.

    That all changed with Alpha Flight #29...quickly!

    #29: The Hulk beats Alpha Flight in Roger's lab, then beats them again, in public, in the streets of Vancouver. Jeffries ducks the fight, but Heather doesn't...yet frets about her place in AF be questioned (but doesn't wonder about Michael's disappearance/problem).

    #30: So, discounting the fact that (1) Michael Twoyoungmen is a long-time friend and confidante, (2) ignoring the fact that Michael successfully put Judd back together after "Marrina nearly disembowled him" [in AF# 2, which is part of the 20 issues Mantlo is quoted as having read], and (3) excluding the fact that Michael treated Aurora's "three cracked ribs" in AF# 27, Heather goes in search of LIONEL JEFFRIES...who's only known medical expertise is turning people into monsters. The whole team witnessed Lionel's medical proficiency; Heather experienced it...as did the doctors, nurses, and patients Lionel transformed.

    But no one witnessed Lionel's "restoration to sanity"...not even Madison, because the way it is depicted, Lionel's "healing hands" touched only his helmet, not his head.

    #31 The biggest absurdity comes when Madison invites Lionel to "join Alpha Flight" (Mantlo, pg. 4)...when Madison himself wasn't even an official member of the group, yet. Moreover, Lionel had an epic fail in front of AF, the doctor(s), and other real medical professionals when his "healing hands" don't heal.

    Meanwhile, Snowbird abandons her search for the only person who knows how to help her: Michael...who, alone in the Northwest Territories, finds a cabin that should be in Banff, Alberta.

    #32 "The whole team" does not confront Judd's problem: although Aurora, Northstar, Judd, Roger, and Jeffries do...Heather, Shaman, and Snowbird do not.

    #33 Heather in her Courtney-suit goes off, alone..."leaving the team at home." Wolverine and the X-Men guest-star; the rest of AF barely in their on magazine.

    #34 Heather in her Courtney-suit, Wolverine, and Judd against Lady Deathstrike and her samurai...the rest of AF not a factor in resolving the problem.

    #35 Team can't really help Snowbird without Michael, who successfully completes his spirit tests and (finally) returns.

    John Byrne's successors had a golden opportunity to build upon the solid foundation, to utilize the best elements---the elements that made AF both unique and popular---and make the team stronger. Instead, free from any pretense of consistency or plausibility, the creative team(s) were given carte blanche to do what they wanted, and they didn't waste any time.

    The goal...the vision...the purpose...was to get rid of original Alpha Flight, yet (somehow) capitalize off its popularity. It is the most cynical approach to sequential storytelling I've ever seen.

  3. #18
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    The goal...the vision...the purpose...was to get rid of original Alpha Flight, yet (somehow) capitalize off its popularity. It is the most cynical approach to sequential storytelling I've ever seen.


    Isn't that what happened when Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Hawkeye became the Avengers?
    When Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus became the X-Men?

    It seems like a pretty standard trope in comics, to me.

  4. #19
    The Eclectic Opinionator Alpha Flight
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    Default Apples to apples. oranges to oranges...

    I'm actually glad that you brought this up, because in the old days characters were written out of books while as well as characters written into books...without going for killing off character, in mass, in the most wretched, inane ways possible...while pretending to "love" the very characters that they were destroying.

    Captain America is (was) a living legend. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were reformed villains. They all soon proved themselves to be effective Avengers.

    When Dave Cockrum, Len Wein, and Chris Claremont first started revitalizing The X-Men, they were not the most popular kids on the block.
    The Mostly-New, Mostly-Different AF1

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry/Al-Fan
    It is the most cynical approach to sequential storytelling I've ever seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil
    Isn't that what happened when Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Hawkeye became the Avengers?
    When Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus became the X-Men?
    Just because those worked, doesn't mean they weren't cynical approaches!
    Look at all the Events. Look at all the variant covers and gimmicks. Death of Superman. Breaking the Bat. - cynical marketing tools that sell comics.

    Of course, if replacing the team was a standard approach by the time Mantlo took over AF, it may not have been simply a cynical ploy.

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  6. #21
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    Just because those worked, doesn't mean they weren't cynical approaches!
    Exactly my point! It's not unique to Mantlo or AF.

  7. #22
    The Eclectic Opinionator Alpha Flight
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    Default But, Alpha Flight was supposed to be "a different kind of super-team book."

    But, Alpha Flight was supposed to be "a different kind of super-team book."
    If the killing of characters as the major direction for comic book creative switch in The Avengers, or The X-Men, or any of the other super-groups, then how does this give Alpha Flight "a completely different slant towards telling super hero stories"? If the "first job is going to be to pull the team together...and (o)nce they're held together as a team, they will act as a team. If one of them has a problem, that problem will involve the whole team, instead of specific individual adventures as you've seen in the first two years of ALPHA FLIGHT..."

    Help me out, because in the first 6 months of the crossover, yes they got a (remote) headquarters with one omni-ship and Snowbird gave a brilliant speech in # 29 to galvanize the group, but I'm hard-pressed to see the evidence of them acting as a team. Maybe I missed it.

  8. #23
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    I haven't once said that Mantlo fulfilled a single thing he set out to, or that it was 'completely different' or that they acted as a team.
    I haven't defended his writing or justified what he did to the team.
    I've merely pointed out that his results weren't unique and were equally as cynical as other comics. And certainly far less cynical by today's standards.
    There would be no point Mantlo trying to ape Byrne's writing.
    He took a swing at something different to make his run stand out, and he missed.
    There's no conspiracy or crime, and he certainly didn't owe anyone anything; he just didn't succeed.

    Yet it's still not the worst run/storyline/use of the characters.

  9. #24
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    Yes, I agree with Phil that the difference between what Mantlo said in Marvel Age and the actual comic is probably more a 'swing and a miss!' than anything; sometimes plans change when you get to actually writing stories.

    Though I will say (not as a good thing) they were more of a team under Mantlo than Byrne, because they weren't all solo adventures under Mantlo.

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  10. #25
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    See - my problem was the idea of "Let's kill'em off."

    You cited Avengers #4 and Giant Size X-Men - in both cases, the team disbanded essentially. No one needed to die. Just in case these characters needed to be used later.

  11. #26
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    But all the characters from Byrne's run are currently alive and were used after Mantlo's run...

  12. #27
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    Bill skilled Snowbird; and correct me if I am wrong (as I might be), but he didn't bring her back to life.
    Rather, he used Walter to take over her body. So he resurrected Walter.
    Which is odd, because in that initial interview he says, "Walter is already taken care of" (because he was "dead" at the time).
    Snowbird wasn't resurrected till much later, if I remember correctly? Post Bill?
    So he killed at least one - and didn't bring them back.
    And does anyone think his resurrection of Walter, and how he did it, was a good one?
    Unique, sure, but further made Alpha Flight a joke.

  13. #28
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    As I remember it, the resurrection of Snowbird wasn't 'til after Volume 1.

  14. #29
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    Bill skilled Snowbird; and correct me if I am wrong (as I might be), but he didn't bring her back to life.


    Aha, so when you say "Let's kill'em off." you mean that he killed your favourite character off :P
    Yeah, he did kill Snowbird, and Bochs, but that's not many for a run of his length.
    And I realize Bochs remained dead, so I was wrong when I lumped in 'all the characters'

    However, just to point out that I said 'currently alive' - I didn't claim Mantlo resurrected Snowbird. I was just commenting on the revolving wheel of death in comics, and that even if he had killed off every member they'd have been brought back eventually - as they have been.

  15. #30
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    Ah, yes. For the most part, everyone does eventually get resurrected.

    I was a big fan of... what was it - the most recent come back that they did? I felt like they all had a little edge to them (Marinna, perhaps a little TOO much, but she had reason to - they all did, I mean - they "died" - and she got killed by her own "husband" at the time)


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