Technically, he did do an in-house ad with Wolverine in the Byrne-designed brown costume but that's not he he appeared in the Alpha Flight book.
Last edited by SasqFan; 09-02-2012 at 04:27 AM.
Another John Byrne AF commission, this time based on the battle in Uncanny X-Men 121. He's announced it's the last time he'll do the "shootout at the stampede" location.
Last edited by Phil; 09-02-2012 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Fixed Link
It doesn't want me to see it; but it sounds kinda cool.
Interesting that he must've got enough requests to ban it now.
- Le Messor
"In New York City, it is a crime to have a deck of playing cards in an apartment located within a mile's radius of an armoury."
~ alleged actual law
Reprinting this question, and JB's answer, here, as it'll be of interest to everybody. Byrne handles this one with class. And yes, this is a brand new answer and up to date, on page two following the unveiling of The Last Stampede art.
It must have been fun for you to bring, not just one, but a group of Canadian heroes into the Marvel universe. Do you have any memories about their creation or the storyline you can share?
I'm not really much of a flag-waver, and when I was living in Canada I was even less so. Canadians tend to practice a much more low key form of patriotism than do Americans!
The idea for a Canadian superhero coming after Wolverine was actually Dave Cockrum's. When he was pencilling and co-plotting X-MEN, he reasoned that the Canadian government would probably be not at all thrilled at an agent they'd spent millions of dollars developing had skipped off to join an American team. Chris and Dave didn't get around to this story during their first tenure, but it was one of the first Chris mentioned to me when I came aboard.
After Guardian made his debut, and proved popular with the fans, it was only natural to start planning a "return engagement", and since Chris had tossed the "Alpha Flight" reference into the first story*, that was the obvious direction in which to go.
Developing the characters to be in that team became my job. Of course I brought back Guardian** and resurrected the name Snowbird, another fan character I'd introduced in a strip I did in my college newspaper. Then it was a case of coming up with some other characters who could go toe-to-toe with the X-Men. Sasquatch was created to counter Colossus, Shaman (originally called "Chinook", and strictly a weather-wizard) for Storm, and the super-fast twins to balance Nightcrawler's teleporting abilities. And I was stuck with both "Alpha Flight" and Chris' name for Guardian, Vindicator. (Easily one of the dumbest superhero names, like, ev-er. What the heck does Canada have to "vindcate"? It wasn't until Alpha got their own book that I was able to explain the name contextually, AND convince Marvel to let me restore his true name.)
To say that that the fan reception to Alpha Flight was positive would be like saying a man in the path of a tidal wave was in danger of becoming "moist". It was a torrent, an earthquake, a major volcanic eruption. In a nutshell, you guys seemed to like 'em. So there was immediate pressure from On High to give the team its own book. Since they were mostly ciphers to me -- Jean-Marie didn't have her MPD yet, Jean-Paul wasn't Gay, Snowbird did not have her mystical history, etc -- I wasn't really interested, but Marvel kept the pressure up, and eventually I caved.
That meant turning these two-dimensional punching bags into three-dimensional characters, and that's how the attributes mentioned above came into play. Marina and Puck were introduced at Shooter's suggestion. Always eager to spend Marvel's money, he told me that if I added some new characters when Alpha got their own title, I would be eligible for the "creator's cut" of the profits (such as it was). So, since the Canadian national motto is a mare usque ad mare ("From sea to sea") I came up with a water-based character, and Puck.... well. . . . . .
(Don Thompson, publisher of THE COMIC BUYER'S GUIDE, would write a review of ALPHA FLIGHT in which he scoffed at Puck. He decried it as a stupid name for a superhero, and said when he first heard it, he had assumed the character would have something to do with "Robin Goodfellow", Puck of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Cuz, you know, that just SCREAMS "Canada".)†
The book was a success, and Marvel's biggest seller in several decades. But I wasn't really entirely happy there. The characters hadn't been created by Stan and Jack and Steve and the rest, so they weren't "real" to me. I did everything I could to boost my excitement and interest, but, alas, the fire never quite caught.
* First time I ever saw the name was when I read the published issue! Didn't like it then, still don't!
**His original name, as a fan character, and would have been his name right from the start but for the fact that Marvel was then publishing the Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was decided giving Mac that name would be "too confusing". The amount of effort put into worrying about what would "confuse" the readers back then was truly staggering. We could us a bit of it these days!
† Among the most amateurish "reviews" are those that take the for of "This is not what I thought it would be, and so it is WRONG!"
btw, that full scan of this piece shows how amazing it really is!
To further muddy the waters of "what is a John Byrne piece and what isn't"...
Apparently, somebody on Twitter, going by the name NOTJB, regularly posts about new John Byrne pieces. The confusion, therefore, comes from the posters name going first in the posts, thus making people think that John Byrne is saying that the John Byrne piece is NOT a John Byrne piece.
Ow. My head hurts.
Thanks for posting the blurb from John Byrne... it was nice to hear a more detailed explanation from him.
To be quite honest, I had a tremendous dislike for him after he gave up Alpha Flight, especially after some of his earlier comments as to his own dislike for the group.
I thought, here is a talented artist, and a Canadian one as well, who had a very successful title, loved by a large group of dedicated and loyal followers (myself included), and suddenly walked away from it, stating how much he hated creating them in the first place. I always considered that as a giant "middle finger" to the Flight's fans, and never really forgave him for it. I started blaming him for having to see my favourite characters being written and drawn by lesser talents, to the point where they were starting to become a joke (ie. Volume 3).
After reading this however, I'm starting to get a new prospective of what he was going through at the time... and why the reasons for creating the team probably weren't the best motivators for wanting to continue.
I guess the old saying is true... just because you're good at something doesn't mean you enjoy doing it.
And so, after more years than I can calculate right now... Mr. Byrne, if you're reading this... I forgive you.
The Flight Forever !
- Le Messor
"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine."
~ Abraham Lincoln
Last edited by Le Messor; 09-02-2012 at 05:26 PM.
I wonder if we can archive all that somewhere? It seems like something we should keep around.
It's interesting to read, but doesn't make me like John Byrne as a person... much as I generally love his creative output.
He just comes across as so bitter and arrogant. That's my job.
- Le Messor
"In my experience, the worst thing you can do to an important problem is discuss it."
~ Simon Gray
Somehow, it is W-A-Y more fun to type all that, rather than just say "oops".
You should fire her.
But not, you know, to her face, 'coz she sounds scary.
- Le Messor
"In nature there are no rewards or punishments; there are just consequences."