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1984-08-01 00:04:20
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Beauty and the Beast #1-4
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1984/Box 20/EiC: Jim Shooter
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Amazing Spider-Man #255

Alpha Flight #13

Issue(s): Alpha Flight #13
Published Date: Aug 84
Title: "Nightmare!"
Credits:
John Byrne - Writer
John Byrne - Penciler
John Byrne - Inker

Review/plot:
This issue contains an 11 page dialogue-free nightmare sequence and 2.5 pages recapping last issue, and the remaining pages are full of people sitting around in motel rooms and government offices talking. And yet as a 9 year old boy reading this, my second issue of Alpha Flight, i loved it. So i don't know if that says there was something wrong with me, or if this was just really good. Also, my first issue, #9, was a Sasquatch solo story, with an Aurora origin back-up, and neither of those characters appear in this issue (i don't remember if i connected them to the characters in the dream sequence). But that's how it was with Alpha Flight. You rarely saw the whole team together, so picking up any random issue wasn't going to give you much continuity (in the non-comic book sense of the word).

Heather Hudson is having terrible nightmares, understandable after seeing her husband get shredded in a fiery explosion that was, in a very small way, due to her own accidental interference. With Puck and Shaman, she goes to visit Alpha Flight's former liaison to the government, Gary Cody, and he informs her that in terms of getting a pension or anything, she's out of luck.

I've always loved the expression on Heather's face while he explains it, although a few panels later, she's preventing Puck from "tak[ing] a pound of flesh out of [his] miserable hide as partial compensation", and acknowledging that it's not Cody's fault.

Also, as much as i sympathize with Heather, i don't really get the complaint. Guardian died in a grudge match after leaving Canada for a job offer in the US, and well after Department H was closed down and Alpha Flight officially disbanded. He didn't die "in the service of his country", as Heather puts it.

Regardless, Heather says "Without Mac there is no Alpha Flight. His dream died with him."

We didn't see the aftermath of the fight from issue #12. It's said that Omega Flight has been defeated and turned over to the New York authorities. Jaxon and Ms. Courtney have vanished. And Smart Alec, brain-dead after looking into Shaman's medicine bag last issue, has been shrunken down to the size of an action figure and stuffed into Shaman's bag for safe keeping. Puck says he'd prefer harsher punishment than that; i can't imagine what would be worse.

So, interesting, emotional stuff. Written very intelligently. And let's face it: those nightmare scenes were cool.

Quality Rating: A-

Historical Significance Rating: 1

Chronological Placement Considerations: It's been "a month" since Guardian was killed. The funeral scene depicted in Heather's nightmare obviously didn't happen like that, but it stands to reason there was a similar funeral and that Wolverine attended, so we should make room for him. See Michael's comment below. No need to make room for an appearance by Wolverine yet.

References: N/A

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Characters Appearing: Gary Cody, Puck, Shaman, Smart Alec, Vindicator

Previous:
Beauty and the Beast #1-4
Up:
Main
1984/Box 20/EiC: Jim Shooter
Next:
Amazing Spider-Man #255

Comments

Wolverine doesn't know about Guardian's death at the start of Uncanny X-Men 183- Wolverine first learns of Guardian's death in Kitty Pryde and Wolverine 4, which takes place concurrently with Uncanny X-Men 188.

John Byrne has said that the beginning part of the nightmare sequence did indeed take place as shown...up until the nightmare part, that is. I'm unclear if that means that Wolverine was there or not, though. Possibly not, since Heather expresses surprise at Logan's presence in Canada in AF#16.


 
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