Alpha Flight #76
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #76
The first thing that happens is that the healing affects applied to Shaman and Puck while in the dream worlds lose their effect, so Alpha Flight has to rush them to the hospital. Shaman is the first to go...
...and while they're realizing that Puck needs help, too, a very inconsiderate lady in the waiting room alerts the team to the fact that there's some sort of problem going on outside of Montreal.
Geez, lady. Our friend is dying here! Can we have a minute?!
But they do leave to respond to the crisis. However, the government has already called in "Canada's Super-Team", Gamma Flight.
The team is lead by Nemesis. We'll later learn that she's a new one, making Wild Child the only pre-existing character in this group. The other members are Witchfire and the siblings Auric and Silver.
Silver has ice powers...
...and Auric seems to have similar fire powers. Witchfire seems to be a mystic of some sort but i'll be damned if she does anything of note in this issue. The threat they've been sent to investigate is an area in the suburbs where everyone has mysteriously died, and they come back as zombies when Gamma Flight arrives.
When Alpha Flight arrive, they are told that they aren't needed...
...but that's obviously not true and Gamma Flight are happy to have Alpha show up to help them with the zombies.
Did i mention they were flying zombies? I guess i should have.
The real battle, though, is between Talisman and a possessed little girl, who is really there to deliver a message from the Sorcerer.
After the battle is over, Nemesis tells Vindicator that they have to arrest them, but they're interrupted by the death of the little girl.
And despite an ending with a lot of unresolved threads (Shaman and Puck's health, Llan the Sorcerer on the loose, Gamma Flight wanting to arrest Alpha), next issue is not a direct continuation, so we'll leave it there.
James Hudnall started off doing a lot of the right things when he came on board, but then indulged in a long alternate universe storyline. I guess he's sort of back on the right track here, but something isn't really working. The introduction of the new Gamma Flight is pretty weak, and what should be an awesome zombie threat feels like a sunny stroll through the suburbs. I suspect some of that is due to the inability to coordinate with artist John Calimee, but whatever the reason, it's a shame.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: It feels like no time at all since last issue for Alpha Flight, but Heather's mom tells her that it's been "three months" since Alpha have been away. The rest of the world thought they were dead, and the government formed Gamma Flight in the meantime. Talisman next appears in her meaningless cameo in Silver Surfer annual #2.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAuric, Diamond Lil, Madison Jeffries, Nemesis II, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Silver, Talisman, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Wild Child, Witchfire
To be fair, the lady has a point- even a slight delay could result in people being killed or maimed by the Sorcerer's conjurings.
Posted by: Michael | October 16, 2014 7:46 PM
It's a stretch to have called a team Alpha Flight to begin with, but makes sense as a code name a top secret semi-military government operation would have used which carried out once the public reveal happened. But to name a team Gamma Flight?
It's hard to understand what Marvel was thinking of this title at the time. I think Marvel just gave up and simply used whatever writer was willing to take it in the hope he could develop for later work elsewhere.
Posted by: Chris | October 16, 2014 10:54 PM
Chris: Gamma Flight was already established by Byrne from the get-go with the Canadians having three levels of teams: Alpha Flight (top-tier), Beta Flight, then Gamma Flight.
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 17, 2014 11:15 AM
Chris means that it doesn't make sense as a public super-hero team name. Alpha Flight barely does, but calling these guys the equivalent of Tertiary Tier Heroes isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 17, 2014 11:47 AM
My guess: if it isn't broke...besides Gamma is probably the only other active group outside Alpha in these comics with how they keep being used.
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 17, 2014 12:22 PM
If the guy is called Auric, shouldn't the girl be called Argent? Call them Gold and Silver, or call them Auric and Argent, right? It's not that hard...
Posted by: Andrew | March 8, 2016 9:18 PM
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