ALPHA FLIGHT #1 ( of 8 )
Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE
Penciled by DALE EAGLESHAM
Cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
Variant Cover by DALE EAGLESHAM
FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN
The following article is an advanced, no-spoiler review of Alpha Flight (vol.4) #1. The issue will be available in stores on Wednesday June 15th.
As a long time fan, I've been eagerly waiting for this series. Finally seeing the classic Alpha Flight back together in action has had me chomping at the bit. I do also want to try and see this series from the perspective of a reader who may not be the uber-fan I am.
Issue 0.1 gave us a nice introduction into the series, while setting the stage. The political situation in Canada, and some of the challenges Alpha Flight would have to face. This (#1) issue picked up on those themes, fleshing them out some, and giving us a better idea of what Prime Minister Gary Cody and his Unity party was up to.
As expected, seeing the team in action was fantastic, and the action itself was extremely well done! Writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente did a great job of balancing action and battle with narrative and story-line. Dale Eaglesham's story telling skills with his art are quite impressive. There were enough tidbits of history, and inside jokes to satisfy the old-school fans, but I felt a new reader would not have felt lost, rather would be a little intrigued. The characterization was spot on. Great banter from Sasquatch, Northstar's general attitude and concern for his sister were perfect. Marrina's new attitude was actually refreshing, and I think it adds a good new dynamic to the team. It felt to me like we got enough of a sense of each character and some of their relationships for new readers to be interested in them.
In interviews we have been given a sense of just how much the creative and editorial teams care about this book and the characters. Having read Alpha Flight #1, they have now proven their commitment and dedication.
Eaglesham's art is not just good story telling as I mentioned already, but it is also beautiful. The characters are expressive, dynamic and "properly" drawn. He managed to succeed where so many others have failed, in properly capturing Sasquatch's look.
We finally found out who the "betrayer" is in Alpha Flight. Quite an upset, and it left me with a few ideas and strong theories about the reasons for the betrayal.
At the end of the book we are treated with Dale Eaglesham's character sketches done in preparation for the series. There is some nice insight into how he worked with each character and fleshed them out. We also have a bonus printing of and interview with the writers, reviewing Alpha Flight's history. This will be a nice feature for new readers to Alpha Flight, as it will help them understand the team better.
This was a great first issue, it left me eager for the next issue, though distraught at having to wait a month for it! I definitely felt the writers were successful in creating a book that is both accessible to new readers, while giving long time fans exactly what they've been asking for since Alpha Flight volume one was cancelled so many years ago.
I would at this time like to encourage everyone to buy the book, even buy two copies, and give one away to someone who will enjoy it. The as has been established in interviews and other articles, the best way to support this book is in pre-ordering your copies. Should sales support it, this book has a good chance of continuing beyond the 8 issues we are currently promised.