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Thread: Who the hell are Alpha Flight?

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  2. #2
    Alpha Flight
    suzene's Avatar
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    Nice article, even if I disagree with most of it. "Most f-ed-up team ever" isn't the point, it's the unique appeal. And that doesn't mean that you can layer on retcons and outright contradictions willy-nilly and use that appeal as an excuse for why readers ought not complain. My issues with the Mantlo run aren't that he made changes, but that the changes he made were in the service of dismantling what made the team unique (for example, getting everyone living in a mansion together a la the Avengers or X-Men), indicated that he hadn't been paying much attention to what had come before (Puck's literal inner demon, Jean-Paul's skiing career), had no follow through (the Beaubier twins are elves! And now they're gone, bye!), or squandered the potential of existing characters (Bochs!!!). Change is not inherently bad -- I liked the inclusion of Kara, despite the creep factor, and I think there's a certain absurd logic to Walter's arc under Mantlo and wish there could have been more exploration of his gender identity as Wanda -- but clunky writing is still clunky writing, whether it's covering new ground or just treading water month to month.

    I think the reason fans (professional and otherwise) keep trying to push the team back in the direction of the Byrne era isn't because of a love for the status quo, but because there's still a sense that there's still a lot of potential in those characters -- that their personalities, backgrounds, and even the changes that they've endured over the last 30 years are fertile ground, creatively speaking. If bringing the team back means sweeping Bendis' nonsense under the rug, so much the better.

  3. #3
    The Eclectic Opinionator Alpha Flight
    Garry/Al-Fan's Avatar
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    I couldn't finish reading that article. Alpha Flight has been underappreciated, and a certain veteran comic creator was allowed to take that to unbelievable extremes. The foundation is tight...but it is tied to a bureuracracy! The self-interest and political back-biting of such an arrangement would give any superteam major problems. Add in that some of these plutocrats have the inclinations of slave-owners and dictators and it would be much better for Alpha Flight to be as independent as possible...which, most notably, the Byrne era did.
    Last edited by Garry/Al-Fan; 05-24-2011 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Mantlo did not deliver what he promised
    The Mostly-New, Mostly-Different AF1

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    Gamma Flight
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    Ugh, what an awful article/post.

    If Alpha Flight was one of the mose "effed up" team in creation, why the heck did I become a fan back in 1983 and still remain a fan 28 years down the road? I don't respond to the FF, Avengers, X-Men etc. like I do Alpha Flight... and what got me into the book was its characterisation, which felt "real" to me, and the way the storylines hinged on how these characters responded to their mission and the situations in which they found themselves.

    Anyway, 28 years down the track, I'm stoked that AF is back and better than ever before!

  5. #5
    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
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    Quote Originally Posted by suzene View Post
    Nice article, even if I disagree with most of it. "Most f-ed-up team ever" isn't the point, it's the unique appeal.
    He seemed to mean that in a good way.

    Quote Originally Posted by suzene View Post
    I think the reason fans (professional and otherwise) keep trying to push the team back in the direction of the Byrne era isn't because of a love for the status quo, but because there's still a sense that there's still a lot of potential in those characters -- that their personalities, backgrounds, and even the changes that they've endured over the last 30 years are fertile ground, creatively speaking.
    That, and it simply hasn't been as good since.

    - Le Messor
    "Goodness speaks in a whisper, evil shouts."
    ~ Tibetan proverb

  6. #6
    Alpha Flight
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
    He seemed to mean that in a good way.
    I agree that he meant it as a compliment, but, as said, I don't think it was the point of the team, but the reason folks stuck around.

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    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
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    Quote Originally Posted by suzene View Post
    I agree that he meant it as a compliment, but, as said, I don't think it was the point of the team, but the reason folks stuck around.
    I knew you got it, but others seemed not to... and yet, it was you I quoted.
    You're right, too - it isn't why we loved the book.
    Well, not entirely.

    - Le Messor
    "Ability has no gender."
    ~ Sara Henderson

  8. #8
    The Eclectic Opinionator Alpha Flight
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    Yeah, this really sounds like the writer was singing praises and sending compliments:

    "Alpha Flight's concept is simple. They're the mos f***ed up-up bunch of misfits ever, trying to pretend to be a team."

    Maybe somebody can explain how the article was a positive view...because it wasn't coming across that way to me.
    The Mostly-New, Mostly-Different AF1

  9. #9
    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry/Al-Fan View Post
    Yeah, this really sounds like the writer was singing praises and sending compliments:
    "Alpha Flight's concept is simple. They're the mos f***ed up-up bunch of misfits ever, trying to pretend to be a team."
    Maybe somebody can explain how the article was a positive view...because it wasn't coming across that way to me.
    "Or to put it another way – a bunch of dudes build a team and bad stuff happens to the team."
    "The X-men are mutants who hate and fear a world that seeks to protect them"
    "From the first, Byrne played with your expectations of the characters."
    "Those first 66 issues are a ride, often a very bleak and horrifying ride."
    "I love what Bill Mantlo did with the book. It totally fits with the mood and tone set by John Byrne. You’re not supposed to know what these characters are. They are supposed to suddenly be revealed to be something they’re not. This is meant to be the most messed-up team in comics. Sadly, this vision was really lost after Bill Mantlo left the book."


    The first line follows immediately from the one you quoted, already making it look less negative. The second (about the X-Men) is quoted to show this guy has a sense of humour, and plays with comics ideas.
    I don't agree with the writer, I don't have his love for Mantlo's stuff (and that love often misses the point) but from the last line especially, I can see that he meant it as a positive thing. When he calls Alpha 'messed up', he's trying to say what makes them different from the run-of-the-mill comics, what makes them a unique team, what, frankly, makes them cool.

    And they always have been, since Byrne's run, people with severe mental problems. Not all, but most.

    So that's how I see this as Andrew Sorohan's attempt to be positive.

    - Le Messor
    "I’d love to, but I’m getting my overalls overhauled."

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