Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mainly Pumped

I am fairly pumped!

I just received, in the mail (thank you, Canada Post, for not staying on strike any longer!), issues 1 and 2 of "The Northern Guard" from Moonstone publishing. Looking forward to reading about another team of Canadian heroes!

Also received were issues 1 through 3 of Avengers Academy, which i am also looking forward to reading (and eventually sharing with my daugher - at 12 years of age, she is starting to get the comics and superhero bug, and i am hoping to get her reading and collecting Avengers Academy...and maybe eventually Alpha Flight!). This means that i am only now missing issues 4, 5, 6, and 9 of this awesome series so far.

Also got some Danger Girl comics, and some Cavewoman ones as well - should be good clean fun!

Now, if I could only hurry up and receive my copy of Alpha Flight Volume 4 issue 2!

Hurry up and wait...hurry up and wait...hurry up and wait...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Flightpath 07's review of AF Vol4 Issue # 1

Review: Alpha Flight, Volume IV, Issue # 0.1

(Flightpath 07 - that's me!)

First off, let me say that it feels good to be holding this issue in my hands. It has been a long wait.

Let’s start with the art, shall we? This is my first full issue of Dale Eaglesham’s artwork. Over all, I would say that the art is good; perhaps not great, but surely better than average.

My first complaint would be that, other than that huge splash page where Attuma/Nekkrod enters Vancouver, most of the panels tend to be small and cluttered. I hope that in the future, Dale tends to draw larger panels. Now, I do realize some of the smaller panels may be because there is a large story to tell, in only 8 (or 9) issues. But I prefer quality or quantity. I want to see faces and facial features and facial expressions up close, where I can FEEL the emotions going through the characters; this is a large part of what brings them to life.

My second complaint about the art, tends to fall upon the shoulders of the colourist; I count six separate panels, where the colourist makes the mistake of making the skin tone of the person or persons in the panel take on a purplish hue. Since Purple Woman is not in this issue, I have a little bit of a problem with that!

Shaman…I’m not sure that I like how muscular he is. He is a doctor, and a magic-based hero. Yet he looks like he can bench-press Benjamin Grimm!

Although I had already seen her in the preview pages, I really enjoyed how the news reporter looks – making her Asian was a great bonus, as it plays on the large Asian population in the Vancouver area.

Do I need to keep re-touching on how fantastic Vindicator’s butt looks?

Sasquatch looks good in this issue; but he could use a few more smiles. Happy, friendly Walter is the one I like best as Sasquatch; this should show in his facial features as well.

Marrina looks really good; I like the way Dale E. makes her new look work for her.

Aurora looks a little less chesty than I remember her. Or is her black costume just minimizing things?

As far as the plot goes…nice job! Although Vindicator has been bandied around on the message boards as being a possible betrayer, I still didn’t see that coming! Again, this surely must be an issue of a mother doing whatever it takes to get her child back.

Excuse me, FVL and Pak, but I think there is a grievous mistake you have made in this issue. It involves when Mac grabs Nekkrod and they both end up in Newfoundland. Doesn’t the Earth rotate to the East? If Mac stops himself against the Earth’s rotation, wouldn’t the two then end up over Russia?

I think the characterizations in this issue are all done well. Everybody seems to stay true to who they are. Sas and Aurora banter back and forth playfully. Northstar shows concern for his sister, who then blows him off angrily. Mac and Heather work well together as a team (until the end of the issue!). All is good in Alpha-land.

I enjoyed this issue. For whatever reason, I actually enjoyed the 0.1 issue more, although I am not able to put my finger on why. This was a good issue, setting up more of what we can possibly expect in the coming issues.

Writers: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
Pencils: Dale Eaglesham
Inks: Andrew Hennessy
Colours: Sonia Oback
Letterer: Simon Bowland
My issue’s cover by: Phil Jimenez and Frank D’Armata
Editor: Mark Paniccia

My ratings for this issue:
Art: 8.5/10
Story: 10/10
Dialogue: 10/10
Intangibles (or, as some call it, Alpha-Flight-iness): 9.5/10

I’m giving this one 38 Maple Leafs out of 40!

mail and other catastrophies

I was going to blog here a few days ago, about how glad i am that the Canadian Postal Workers have been forced back to work by the government, after having been on strike for a few weeks. See, i was thinking that means that maybe my AF Volume 4 issue 1 would be delivered to me soon!

As it so happens, it arrived today, with my April's batch of comics, via UPS delivery.

But...a funny thing happened on its way to me. Canadian Customs got a hold of it. My batch of ten comics cost me $24.84, plus shipping and handling. Customs decided that my ten comics were actually worth $265.18, and billed me accordingly. Yes, you read that right. It just shows that some people don't know what a comic is really worth!

It seems they charged me a $10 brokerage fee, for each and every comic, and that brought the price up rather steeply. So, for my ten cmics worth under $25, Customs charged me $24.46 - either pay it, or never see my comics again! (anybody else think this is actually extortion by the Canadian government? darn that Unity Party!)

Anyways, looking forward to reading my issue of Alpha Flight Volume 4, # 1, which i shall do shortly. Stay tuned here for a comprehensive review, in the next day or two.

Long live The Flight!