So, there have been some recent Alpha Flight sitings in Amazing X-Men.
I am here to talk about the latest entry, Amazing X-Men # 11.
Warning: SPOILERS Ahead.
Written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, and Penciled by Carlo Barberi, issue 11 finds the X-Men and Alpha Flight knee-deep in Wendigos, with the battle taking place within Canada (and a little bit taking place right along the border with the US of A).
Overall, it is a good issue. I mean, there have been some surprises along the way in this story so far, such as Puck and Talisman having a sexual relationship, and Vindicator (Heather Hudson) being back on the Alpha Flight team (with absolutely no mention of how she came back). Plus, issue 10 saw Talisman brutally stabbed by "Wendolverine".
Okay, so, some things of note in this issue: First page, Thor makes some silly comment about the twins being from Alfheim. Although, to the casual reader, one may take his comments to be directed at the Wendigos that he is blasting with lightning at the time, it seems obvious that this is a jab (or, insider's joke) aimed squarely at Alpha Flight's often-murky past. Same page, Aurora calls Captain America an idiot in French, and he says he understands French.
Okay, I just have to ask - since when did Aurora and Northstar switch personalities? When did he become the compassionate one, and she the snarky person full of hatred?
A few pages later, in exhausting battle with Wendigo after Wendigo, somehow Sasquatch finds time to have a conversation with Rachel Grey, whom tells him that her last name is no longer Summers. Really? While fighting? I know this is comics, and we rely on people expounding upon what they are doing while they are doing it in order to move the plot along, but...REALLY?!?! Sorry, I just don' buy this one.
Now we see a conglomeration of Flight and X-Men in the Spirit Realm. Our first real glimpse of Guardian, from behind, has me thinkng the same thing i have been thinking for the last few issues of this comic; why is Guardian's younger clone on Alpha Flight? Does Barberi not realize that Guardian is, like, in his mid-to-late forties? The Guardian he draws looks to be in his early twenties!
Next up, the obligatory hospital scene, where Talisman is struggling to hold onto life. I have a few (minor?) issues here. First up, could somebody not "clean up" Talisman's costume? I appreciate her as a character and all, but she really needs a costume where more of her body (especially her upper body) is covered up properly. That costume is, and has always been, ridiculous. Next, Puck is breaking down - it becomes obvious by what he says, that he has fallen in love with Talisman. Say what?!?! Man, did THAT ever come out of left field! Sorry folks, there is no happy-go-lucky Puck that we all know and love in this issue! Nope, it is lovesick, worried, fearful, crying, morose Puck that appears here - Ugh! And lastly for this this scene, once again Aurora makes the totally inappropriate comments against Puck, ones that we would expect for her twin brother to be making and not her. What is going on with this, exactly?!
...And she goes on making such comments as the story goes on, getting worse instead of better. I don't like this side of Aurora, not at all. I want the flirting-with-Sasquatch-to-make-my-brother-mad Aurora!
Sasquatch smells Wendolverine just before he arrives. Since when does Sasquatch have a super sense of smell?!
And red eyes? Does anybody else remember Sasquatch having red eyes?
The full page spread, showing the Great Beasts plus the members of both teams within the Spirit Realm, is cool. Except, nobody has pupils, except for Storm. Why? And Snowbird could look more haughty and regal, instead of just brain-dead and drooling. And Mac - again, looks more like his clone than he does his own self.
So, that is all I have to say about this issue. As usual for a Marvel comic, we don't get to see character building, just massive fight scenes with a few conversations about different things thrown in. For Alpha Flight, we are left with far more unanswered questions than we did before they appeared in this title. Too many things are mentioned, but not explained, and I fear that as long as Alpha Flight does not have their own title, this will continue to be the way things are for them.
The art for this issue, is fair. Its not bad, it just isn't my style. I still prefer the larger, broader, John Byrne style of art.
Next up, lets' talk about Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy # 2.
This issue is not technically an Alpha Flight issue, but...it does prominently feature one Colin Ashworth Hume, he who used to be called Windshear before being depowered on M-Day. And it takes place in Canada.
So, X-23 gets ticked off by everybody else's reactions to the death of Wolverine, and takes off to Toronto (for the sake of expedience, I will pretend that Toronto is a part of Canada, when really most Canadians know it is a make-believe place), where she goes to some underground rave and a guy tries to buy her for sex. Um...really?! Okay, suspending disbelief and moving on...
Three guys with guns and goofy masks show up to rob the place and kill some young people, they call themselves The Happy Clams. X-23 gets shot, a lot. Then a red and white hero with a cape crashes in and helps her out. He calls himself The Chinook. X-23 makes an inappropriate comment about some guys panties? Te Chinook tells X-23 to come with him, before the police arrive, and he swings (like Spider-Man?) across the city with her on his back. Back at his "secret hideout", he reveals himself to be Colin Ashworth Hume, He tells X-23 these thugs were sent out by Pink Pearl, who has become "a fatter Canadian Kingpin, I suppose. Bit like Rob Ford in a muumu". Hume peals off his mask, he is bald now, from the chemo treatment he has been receiving. Cancer is killing him, he will be dead in a few months. He goes on to say some things that inspire X-23, make her again see Wolverine as a figure of pride to look up to, and they join forces to kick Pearl's big butt.
I really, really, really liked this issue. The reveal of Hume as Chinook was awesome! Only...the fact that he will soon be dead, was crushing. So, once again, Marvel kills off another member (past) of Alpha Flight.
And that is all that I have to say about that. But, nevertheless, if you love Alpha Flight, you have GOT to get this issue!
- Dredd Sweet