Alpha Flight #110-112
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #110, Alpha Flight #111, Alpha Flight #112
We do check in on the characters that are in Infinity War. There are two main points of interest there. The first is when Heather Hudson notes that Shaman suddenly appeared in that series, even though he hasn't been around in this book. This is, i assume, covering for a lack of coordination between titles.
It's nice to see the acknowledgment worked into the story, but it's worth noting that this isn't an official return of Shaman, who will go back to being absent from this book after this.
The second is a meeting between Wolverine and Wild Child. Wild Child's new Weapon Omega identity doesn't keep Wolvie from knowing it's him.
We do occasionally jump back to the Infinity War team and they fight doppelgangers and such. Actually, this seems like it would turn out to be significant too: Weapon Omega fights a doppelganger using his old Wild Child identity, and he's not sure who wins.
Nothing will really come of this, though.
The main story is about the Master of the World. He's learned about the actions of the Magus, and he's got a bizarre and complicated scheme to keep the people of Earth "safe". It involves bringing in a group of killer aliens called the Ska'r (the Master is aware of them thanks to Plodex records on the ship that he was initially imprisoned on) that had been trapped in another dimension because they like parasites that breed "aberration and mania" in their targets and then feed off of the "baser emotions such freedom creates". The theory is that their corruption of humans will somehow stop Magus' plans. I'm not quite clear on how it's meant to work.
The Master is talking to a preserved skeleton as he makes these plans.
In addition to the Ska'r plans, the Master has assembled a new version of Omega Flight. It consists of Brain Drain, who we saw the Master collect in Alpha Flight #108, and a group of new characters.
Top row: Miss Mass, Tech Noir, and Brain Drain. Second row: Sinew and Strongarm.
Additionally, there is Bile.
That's some power.
The idea is that Omega Flight keeps Alpha Flight busy while the Master's plan reaches fruition.
Talisman is attacked by Omega Flight. Meanwhile, Persuasion, Manikin, Goblin, Pathway, and Witchfire are out on the town, testing their powers by fighting regular street crime. This is against the orders of Windshear, who has ordered them grounded after they nearly let the armies of the Dream Queen into our dimension last issue. They run into a super-powered guy named Firebug.
Mad Dog somehow joins the fight too, i guess just drawn out by the Ska'r's corruption.
Talisman is defeated, and Windshear goes to her when she's being taken away by an ambulance. She's not coherent, but tries to warn him about the Ska'r. He then finds the entire city of Toronto rioting thanks to their corruption. While investigating that, he comes across Gamma Flight's fight with Firebug. However, since he scolds them about being active when they're supposed to be grounded, Persuasion possesses him.
Firebug gets away, but then Gamma Flight are attacked by Omega Flight.
Then they fight the Master himself. Note his cryptic comment about Witchfire's father.
Talisman, meanwhile, is woken up thanks to a long distance communication with her father Shaman. Supposedly she was the jailer of the Sk'ar, but because she rejected her training, she didn't know it, so it was possible for them to get out. If i'm understanding things properly, she then makes it so that the Sk'ar turn on the Master.
If you squint, you can see some evidence of rescripting in the panels below.
The story is already confusing, but it may have been muddled further at the last minute. But the Sk'ar are sent back to their dimension and, despite the Master's warning, the Magus doesn't take over the Earth (since the heroes prevail in the main Infinity War series).
At the very end, Windshear apparently has no hard feelings, and Gamma Flighters are promoted to Beta Flight.
I honestly can't keep up with the various configurations of the team anymore.
The story feels like a cluttered mess, but i'll acknowledge that it may be in part due to my lack of interest in the characters. Having one or two of these Beta/Gamma characters in a story along with mostly core Alpha characters is ok for some fresh interactions and such. But having to follow a story with a whole team of what are literally B-listers is too much. On top of that we have to contend with a team of new Omega Flight characters, none of whom have any connection to Alpha Flight or the original Omega Flight, and who barely get a proper introduction mixed in with everything else here. They all get basically one more appearance after this. Then there's Firebug, who i'm clueless about and who never appears again. And then Mad Dog, who appears completely at random. The use of Brain Drain as a member of Omega Flight is pretty weird. You'd expect him to play a mastermind type role, but of course the Master is there for that. Not the best use of a Nazi brain in a jar that i can imagine.
Simon Furman can do better than this.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: I consider this series to be running concurrently with the main Infinity War story, which is why i've listed all the characters that appear in the Infinity War scenes repeated or expanded from the main series. But i'm placing the story based on the epilogue, which takes place after the Alpha Flight team that was in Infinity War returns home.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAdam Warlock, Agatha Harkness, Angel, Aurora, Beast, Bile, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Brain Drain, Captain America, Cyclops, Dr. Druid, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Goblyn, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Jean Grey, Mad Dog (Buzz Baxter), Madison Jeffries, Magus (Evil Adam Warlock), Manikin, Master of the World, Miss Mass, Moondragon, Northstar, Pathway, Persuasion, Professor X, Psylocke, Puck, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, Shaman, She-Hulk, Sinew, Soul Gem, Speedball, Strong Guy, Strongarm, Talisman, Tech-Noir, Thanos, Thing, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Wild Child, Windshear, Witchfire, Wolverine
Is Alpha Flight the longest running comic with the most consistent poor quality?
I mean this question legitimately. The book's been bad since Byrne left in 1985 and we're now up to 1992 with almost two years of drek left.
Posted by: Red Comet | April 11, 2016 7:17 PM
It depends on how you feel about New Titans. They were pretty terrible between 1991 and 1995, at least.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 11, 2016 9:45 PM
Lot of people would say X-Man, but I think Alpha Flight lasted longer.
Avengers has been rotten since 1995 and I'd personally say that decade plus of Claremont on X-Men... in fact, with the exception of maybe Lobdell and Casey, Uncanny X-Men has consistently had dreadful stuff. Although everyone will disagree with that, I think at the very least since Chuck Austen on Uncanny the book has certainly never once had a good creator.
Posted by: AF | April 12, 2016 5:06 AM
I think pre-2000s, Alpha Flight takes the crown as longest running book with shitty content. Certainly since then the field is full of contenders. AF, I would say Avengers at least had the Busiek/Perez run after 1995. It isn't perfect by any stretch but it's miles better than dreck like this.
Posted by: Robert | April 12, 2016 6:26 AM
@AF- X-Man only lasted 6 years. Post Byrne Alpha Flight was over 8 years. So yeah, Alpha Flight was longer.
Posted by: Michael | April 12, 2016 7:52 AM
Avengers has been rotten since 1995
There have been three long and acclaimed runs on Avengers since 1995: Busiek, Bendis, and Hickman. I can understand not liking some of those comics (personally I'm not a fan of Bendis' writing style), but do you seriously feel all of these runs are rotten?
Posted by: Tuomas | April 12, 2016 8:32 AM
Yes that is what I feel and which is why I said it.
Posted by: AF | April 12, 2016 9:46 AM
Personally, I liked Busiek, Bendis, and Hickman. Geoff Johns' brief run was also good. The only writer I didn't like between Heroes Return and Secret Wars II was Chuck Austen's odd little hiccup with Lionheart and the New Invaders.
Posted by: Andrew | April 12, 2016 10:00 PM
Puck goes back to a version of his original costume here, probably because Ron Lin drew him with it in Infinity War. Back in #109 and again since #115 when we next see him in costume he is using the red and white costume.
Firebug may have been meant to hint about Witchfire's origins. The Gamma Flight members sense something "unnatural" about him (beyond the plain fact that he does not burn in his own flames, that is). In the same issue (#110) her eyes are shown blank in a way that reminds one of her father.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 23, 2016 2:16 AM
Did I miss something or is this an inconsistent use of Kara's powers? I thought they were supposed to be like her father's, i.e. pheromone based and triggered by verbal commands. Windshear should have been protected twice over, once by his suit and once by the fact Kara doesn't appear to say anything...
Posted by: Greg T | October 23, 2016 10:29 PM
Current writeups of Kara say that she no longer has the limitation of needing voice commands. Around #120 she notices that her powers can be sustained longer and from a longer distance. So it could be attributed to her power growing without conscious awareness.
I don't think that can explain how it works over a fully sealed armor such as Windshear's, though.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 24, 2016 7:21 AM
Maybe Windshear's armor was damaged and there was a microscopic fracture that let some air in?
Posted by: Michael | October 30, 2016 5:43 PM
I just stumbled over this entry bc it's a Infinity War tie-in and although (I thought) I have a good knowledge of the Marvel Universe I have no idea who most of mentioned characters here are...
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 20, 2017 7:55 AM
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