Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Closer Look

"Look at me, In the eyes!
You shall see nothing
Hear nothing
Dream of nothing
But Sven Gali... Sven Gali
(Sven Gali, Sven Gali)
Yaaaaa.... that is right, leibchen"

- Sven Gali, Under The Influence

A Closer Look at the Alpha Flight art of Dale Eaglesham:

Note: The following pages have already been released on-line, with word-bubbles now in place. Due to not wanting to spoil anybody's Alpha Flight # 1 experience, i will refrain from showing the pages this way or speaking about what Van Lente and Pak wrote thereupon.

First Page:

First to be noted is the iconic image of an army boot trodding on a newspaper featuring the election of Gary Cody and the Unity party. Gary is making the "V for victory" sign.

Beside that, we have the speeding truck full of Canadians being removed by soldiers. Brings to mind real-life images of people being herded off to concentration camps or something. Are the soldiers saving these people, or are they forcefully removing them? Hard to tell, exactly.The face of the red-haired woman (and the body, too - va-voom!) being held back by the soldier in the back of the truck...although drawn in a simple manner, she is rendered quite beautifully. Her hair and clothing blowing in the breeze, the anguished raising of one hand as it stretches out towards the soldier carrying the red-haired girl that we can only assume is the woman's daughter, her other hand gripping the truck's tailgate for support as it speeds away...even the carefully drawn folds of her shirt and jacket, make this one woman, a background piece in this panel, a most spectacular rendering indeed. The soldier holding back the woman almost seems to be kissing the top of her head, he is leaning in so close to her. The soldier carrying the girl is heavily muscled, like an extra from a Rambo movie, and the newspaper blows behind the truck as it speeds off; is this the same newspaper the soldier had just stepped on earlier? The soldier now carries the young girl to another waiting truck, where an old woman sits, carefully holding onto a carrier cage that likely holds her precious cat (or perhaps a small dog). Another soldier helps the girl over the side and into the back of the truck, and then everyone gazes skyward as a large shadow falls over them all....what could this be? The faces show shock and concern, and the elderly woman has her hand over her mouth.In the final panel of this page, once again that darned newspaper is on the ground, this time being quickly wetted by water; from whence does this water come? The fact that this panel alone shows the paper and the water, seems both significant and ominous...

The Second Page:

A massive two-pager, we see a huge wall of water approaching the city, towering high above it, and Attuma and his army with weapons of mass-destruction coming out of said wall of water to attack. Attuma holds a huge hammer in his hand. A-ha! Now we know why that last panel had the shot of the paper and the water. This is deliciously drawn, the water seems overwhelming as it rises above the city and begins to flood it. The figures stalking out of it seem surreal. The Atlantean siege engines and machines tear into structures. Quite terrifying. You get a real sense of just how dangerous this foe and this attack are!

The Third Page:

Attuma, at the crest of a giant wave, springs out to attack a building with his hammer, punching a destructive hole in it. Seen from a distance, it shows off Attuma as a larger-than-life villain, his cape blowing regally behind him (almost reminds me of old-time Magneto, or Doctor Doom, here). The waters are his to command, and his hammer reigns terrible destruction upon all in his way!

Next, a huge ship, a freighter or some such thing, flows down a main street, threatening the soldier and old lady and young girl. Again, Eaglesham gives a great view of just how large this ship is, showing it basically from the viewpoint of those threatened by it. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, they are saved! Sasquatch launched himself into the ship, halting its progress. Hurray for Sas, shown to be one of the strongest individuals there are, and not the wimp he is too often made out to be!Even as Walter holds back the huge boat, the young girl falls off the back of the army truck, swept away by the waters. You can see that she was hanging onto the sleeve of the soldier, and that the sleeve actually rips in her hands. The soldier looks and reaches back, but it looks like it is too late.

The Fourth Page:

A magical protective bubble keeps the water from washing away the rest of the people in the truck; we see Shaman, floating in a cross-legged position, hands out and keeping the barrier intact. One of the authors pointed out in an interview that they had done away with Shaman's headband, which I had not noticed before; it does indeed add more character to the character, as his long hair can now blow freely. Even with the grey streaking his hair, he comes off as seeming to look younger somehow. Meanwhile, the young girl is washed away, her anguished face just above the waterline, her hands stretched out as she hopes and prays for a rescue. Suddenly, a panel showing red arms and white gloves reaching down and plucking her from the waters, the girl's face showing both surprise and awe equally. Next panel shows a muscular (perhaps too muscular?) Heather/Vindicator, swooping into the sky with the youngster cuddled to her.

The Fifth Page:

Heather hovers in a vertical position, seen from behind, the girl still clutched to her, as she watches Shaman lift the truck and people within the bubble up above the raging water. In the distance, smoke curls up from elsewhere in the city. Vindicator's costume is nicely rendered, her Maple Leaf emblem now being the mirror image of Mac's. Her pony-tailed hair blows in the wind. Her butt is...exquisite. As well as the energy field surrounding her, there is also a large tendril of crackling energy that goes form her feet towards the ground; I am wondering if this has something to do with her geo-thermal powers? As Heather deposits the girl into the floating truck (reaching right through an opened hole in Shaman's bubble to do so, a nice effect), a channel 4 newscaster is viewing this from a news helicopter. I like that Eaglesham included a small Canadian pin on her lapel to remind readers that this is Canada. The newscaster also appears to be Asian or part-Asian, which makes since as this seems to be the Pacific coast of Canada. Then, the nasty Attuma throws his nastier hammer, striking the helicopter and separating the tail from the rest of the copter. Heather is nearest as this happens.

The Sixth Page:

Guardian flies through one door of the copter and out the other, rescuing both the reporter and the pilot. Mac is very stern of face as he does so. Notice the good reporter does not drop her microphone? In the background, the shadowy form of the cameraman can be seen to be falling to his certain death...only to be rescued by the willing Vindicator. Even the cameraman managed to hang on to his equipment; amazing! Next panel, the reporter, still in Mac's one arm high above the city, shoves a mic in his face. Guardian manages to look quite annoyed at this. Nice facial expression by Eaglesham, subtle yet obvious. he deposits the two safely onto the roof of a building, where wait (blue or grey) uniformed and helmeted men with "Dept H" written across their backs. One is speaking into a walkie-talkie. Heather comes in quickly and deposits the cameraman there as well; Heather appears to bump into and knock over the reporter. Mac still looks peeved. As the two heroes take off, they face each other. Mac looks a bit relieved, while Heather's expression appears almost joyfully mischievous. The fuming reporter glares up after them, hands on her hips; I guess she never got her interview!

The Seventh Page:

On this page, we get to see the bad-ass Marrina in action; flowing out of the waters, she lands a hard knee to the face of Attuma, while Guardian looks on. Marrina looks great, although her leg fins (parts of her costume) seem to make her feet disappear in these panels, lol. She looks like she really rocked Attuma, who then causes some sort of whirlpool action in the water, and Guardian swoops in to pluck her away (she looks like she is more interested in fighting than in being rescued, she definitely gives the impression of having lots more confidence!) while Attuma menaces the two by pointing his hammer at them. There is a panel showing what must be some interaction between Mac and Marrina; both look like they do not like each other. Mac and Marrina come back and hit Attuma together, he by air and she in a swirl of water, both side-by-side. In the background, Snowbird approaches, only seen as a shadow for now. Again, Attuma has been rocked.

Snowbird descends from the sky, crashing down to earth as a giant white dinosaur that instantly attacks Attuma by attempting to swallow him whole, but managing only to catch one arm and some cape. Again, love the way the cape swirls and twists! In this panel, that hammer looks HUGE.

The Eighth Page:

Sasquatch grabs an Atlantean war machine by one of its squid-like arms and heaves it bodily into a building, smashing it. Hope there was nobody left in that building! Sas looks good in this panel, and in the next where two Atlanteans emerge from the surf and shoot him; Sas looks to howl in pain. Next panel, the two mermen (great expressions and detail here) suddenly are missing their weapons. An extremely beautiful Aurora hangs upside down in the air in front of Sas, firing the mer-weapons, guns a blazing. She looks hot! And is there anything better than seeing a well-drawn Sas in the same panel as a beautiful Aurora?! Priceless! The last panel shows Aurora and Sasquatch leaving, Sas striding off through the water and Aurora, now gunless, floating after him. The same news reporter is reporting this scene live on the news.

All in all, hard to find ANY fault with Eaglesham's work in these pages. Awesome! Can't wait for it to come out!


Blogger Jon said...

They just released these images on CBR, but this time with dialogue ( You were correct about this attack being on the Pacific Coast: Vancouver, BC.

Other spoilers from the dialogue: Northstar refuses to join the team and Marrina has claimed her inner-alien.

5:20 AM PDT  
Blogger Dredd Sweet said...

I'm aware of the pages with dailogue; just want to avoid showing them here. Isn't it amazing how much of the comic gets released beforehand for free?

7:12 AM PDT  

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