Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flightpath07's review of AF Vol 4 Issue # 2

Review: Alpha Flight, Volume IV, Issue # 2

(Flightpath 07 - that's me!)

Once again…It has been a long wait. A LOOOONG wait. But I finally have ownership of this issue, and have read it, and now I will get to my review.

“Forsaken by the country they are sworn to protect, they face unheard of perils and conflicts. They are hunted. They are feared. They are…Alpha Flight.” I do love the first page of this issue. These few sentences do indeed sum up the essence of what this incarnation of the Flight is all about. It is also nice to see the “posters” of each Flight member at the bottom of the page, wherein you can learn the status of each.

The art: no real complaints in the art department. I am getting more and more used to Dale Eaglesham’s way of doing things. I like how baby Hudson (Claire MacNeil Hudson) has Heather’s hair and Mac’s eyes; nice attention to detail, there! I am appreciating Dale’s talents for facial expressions more and more as the series goes on, he does a spot-on job with Mac and Heather in the courtroom scene, and even the judge’s stern countenance is extremely well done.

Although Sasquatch (in furry form) is only briefly seen in this issue, I like his facial fur (does that make sense?) a lot more in this issue than I have in others.

Dale does a really nice job with portraying Aurora, her facial expressions really capture her internal moods well enough that even a casual reader can tell there is a lot going on within her.

Oh, and Vindicator’s butt still looks awesome, even if she IS currently evil!

Puck bouncing across the nursery…wow! That is classic John Byrne Alpha Flight art happening there! I’m looking forward to seeing Eugene in casual clothes in the future as well. He may be a little cuckoo right now, but he is still Eugene Judd, and ya gotta love the little guy.

The story is very tight. The characters seem to stay within themselves, yet also tend to reveal little bits about themselves that are newer twists added by Fred and Greg as well. The agony of the court case. The betrayal and attack of the team by the Box-bots. The evil slyness of Agent Brown makes a lot of sense; after seeing how he was in Omega Flight and Marvel Comics Presents, and how he worked so closely with the American version of Guardian (Mailman Mike the Alpha-killer and power-vampire and life-force-drainer), it isn’t that surprising to see that he has turned against Alpha Flight. Issue # 2, and already Northstar is turning into a hero?! Who would have believed that? Aurora being tempted by having her awful past dangled in front of her. Heather Hudson trying to both trick Mac (with Virtual Reality pods) and convince him that her way is the right way; yet it is a Heather without any compassion…something just isn’t right, but we still don’t know what it is, do we? Citadel and Purple Woman under lock and key in Department H. Northstar’s shock at finding Puck in Department H. The Canadian military rounding up politicians, reporters, and family members of Alpha Flight at gunpoint and taking them away. Mac returning the favour and blasting Heather from behind, as she did to him earlier. Puck’s insane ramblings about those he met in Hell. The Box-bots. And finally, we learn that Aurora is to be indoctrinated into Unity…

The story builds, but still doesn’t give anything away. For everything it reveals, it adds many more shadowy pieces that we still do not understand.

Basically put, the writing and dialogue and plot are OUTSTANDING.

There was a lot to like about this issue of Alpha Flight. Actually, there was nothing worth complaining about at all!

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: 9.5/10
Story: 10/10
Dialogue: 10/10
Intangibles (or, as some call it, Alpha-Flight-iness): 10/10

I’m giving this one 39.5 Maple Leafs out of 40!


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