Thursday, February 16, 2012

Title: Flightpath 07’s review of AF Vol. 4 Issue # 4

Review: Alpha Flight, Volume IV, Issue # 4

(Flightpath 07 – that’s me!)

First of all, I got both of the covers for this issue. Let me tell you, the Eaglesham variant cover cost me a pretty penny, too! But, it is MUCH nicer than the regular Phil Jimenez cover, IMHO.

Issue starts off with a page of Langkowksi’s notes; seems he beleives himself to be having memory problems, so he is making a list of things he should try to remember about himself (See! THIS is what happens when you believe the guys at Department H!). It’s a nice touch, I suppose. Different than the splash pages that have updated us readers the previous three issues (four, if you include the Point-One issue).

Next, we see Department H soldiers(?) putting news reporter Alice Hu to work, somewhere in Saskatchewan, after kidnapping her. Hm…mysterious.

The next page is great. Dale’s artwork here displays a ton of emotion on the character’s faces. Mac and Walter talking, Mac throwing his old ripped up Guardian suit over Niagara Falls in a duffel bag, Marrina looking on. Mac refusing to wear the flag any longer, despite wishing to still save the country he loves.

After this, Alpha Flight in a van, trying to avoid the border patrols (who are searching for them, of course – they’re fugitives!) while crossing into America. Shaman disguises them mystically. Nice jest by Puck about running from losers, and worries about not being about to get poutine in the USA. Northstar, meanwhile, has flown to Montreal to pick up his boyfriend, but arrives to find his place trashed and Kyle not there! He…looks angry. Again, nice job with the facial emotions, Mr. Eaglesham!

Northstar grabs a Montreal cop, takes him to a high altitude and drops him. Scaring him for information on Kyle. Who, of course, has been taken by the Unity Party. Seems a lot of the people taken by Unity are going to a work camp in Northern Saskatchewan.

The scenes with Heather confronting the family members who have custody of her and Mac’s daughter, Claire, is frightful in its intensity. It is, however, strange that their faces clearly turn purple as they yell at Vindicator…who then promptly….well, beheads them, and flies off with her daughter. Straight back to Department H, where she opens the holding cells and shows some mysterious shadowed figures (labelled as dangerous animals by Agent Brown) her daughter, saying that they need to see what they are fighting for.

Just south of the border, the van empties as Snowbird writhes in pain; she feels that New York has fallen to The Serpent. Mac (whose Guardian suit is on him, just without the red and white covering shell with the maple leaf) tells Shaman that they must find Wolverine, stop whatever is spreading the fear. Northstar flies up, reminds Mac that even though the fear has broken the people, that Mac (and Alpha Flight) must not give up on them.

After Shaman teleports them all to the work camp (his explanation of why he didn’t teleport them to the USA rings a bit lame, however), they see 12 guards and a bunch of kidnap victims in copies of Mac’s original groundhog suit, strip mining an area. And, there is also a huge alien starship, of course. Yet another silly comment from Puck, and Mac comes up with a plan. As Northstar attacks the guards, Mac rounds up the kidnap victims, convincing them to fight for their freedom. Marrina throws Mac the costume-shell she fished out of Niagara Falls, so he can don his true uniform again, and Alpha Flight leaps into action (with Walter unable to transform into Sasquatch, he more or less just tries to not get killed).

Kyle, meanwhile, has explained to him how he has been remade, rebuilt, his body ripped apart and then reassembled into perfection. Kyle is so thankful…to the Master of the World! And behind him is Alpha Strike, holding baby Claire Hudson.

A very nice final-page reveal!

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.
My other issue’s cover by: Dale Eaglesham and Andrew Hennessy and Sonia Oback
Editor: Mark Paniccia

My ratings for this issue:
Art: 10/10
Story: 9/10
Dialogue: 10/10
Intangibles (or, as some call it, Alpha-Flight-iness): 10/10

I’m giving this one 39 Maple Leafs out of 40!


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