Alpha Flight #95
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #95
But it also announces a new structure for the team.
Aurora's story deals with the fact that since her time away from the team, she's found a new philosophy in life and doesn't want to use her powers for violence anymore. But being on a super-hero team is all about violence. She seeks guidance from a priest, who advises her to stay with the team but use her powers in non-violent ways. When she leaves the church, she finds herself surrounded by the castaways of society (i have no idea where they are all coming from)...
..and gives them hope and faith with her light power. And she sees in this a way to participate in Alpha Flight.
Windshear, it turns out, was originally from Canada. He is from a black family whose mother married a white diplomat from the UK. When he's transferred back to the UK, his wife and young Windshear (i'm unclear if he was the diplomat's biological son) go with him, separating them from Windshear's grandfather, who doesn't approve of the move ("How will your friends and family deal with an an upper class white married to a middle class Canadian black?"). Windshear never went back to see his grandfather again, and didn't even go to his funeral. He regrets that now and visits his grandfather's grave, and gains a new insight on life that makes him care more about the people around him, illustrated by the fact that he helps a guy in the subway that is getting beat up by a bunch of thugs.
Windshear hasn't been all that developed so far (and/or i haven't cared enough to pay close attention) so this turning point for him feels meaningless to me.
Diamond Lil's story is about how she has a lump under her breast.
Any kudos i might have given the book for tackling an unconventional topic are negated by the bizarrely awful art.
Lil goes in for a mammogram, but the doctors aren't able to do a biopsy due to her diamond hard skin.
At the end, the team is broken into new divisions. Alpha Flight is for the normal super-heroics. Beta Flight is for trainees. And Gamma Flight is for support staff. People can be in multiple divisions.
Aurora is put in Gamma based on her new leper messiah role, and here is the remaining breakdown:
The Alpha Flight book has collected an unwieldy number of characters, so i can see the logic in breaking them into divisions. But since the characters can be in multiple divisions, and because each character of course has unique powers, Fabian Nicieza can really just mix and match as needed anyway. The bigger problem is just how hard it is to care. The art in this book is an immediate turn-off, and even if i could get past that, there's nothing going on storywise, and the character development is at the daytime drama level. It's funny that we went through a lot of effort to bring back the original team members only to have them either sidelined or acting nothing like their classic selves.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAurora, Diamond Lil, Guardian (James Mac Hudson), Madison Jeffries, Northstar, Persuasion, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Talisman, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Windshear, Witchfire
You know, the resurrection of Mac was indefensible, and Bair's art was mostly godawful, but I thought Nicieza's run was an okay attempt to whip AF's moribund status quo into shape. I thought the whole 'leper messiah' thing kind of worked as a middle ground between Jeanne-Marie's piety and Aurora's promiscuity, and Windshear is exactly the kind of lame idea Mantlo would have come up with during his extended burnout, but Nicieza at least imbues him with an engaging self-deprecation. Also, Lil getting cancer was a clever twist on the character. I almost wonder if, given a competent artist and a few more years, he could've actually saved the book...but, then again, the two Marvel titles from my youth which I feel the most nostalgia towards are New Warriors and X-Force, so I might just be a Nicieza fanboy...
Posted by: George Lochinski | July 2, 2016 3:16 PM
As I recall, Nicieza was quoted as leaving Alpha Flight of his own volition, citing he and the characters were not compatible. I, too rather liked his attempt to do as little harm to Alpha Flight. The Mac resurrection, which had he not tried to link back to Byrne's fake out, might have been feasible. Something big was certainly necessary to shake Alpha Flight up by the point Nicieza took it over and his options were limited. That said, it clearly didn't work in the short term.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 2, 2016 6:46 PM
Lol I wonder how surreal it was for fnord yesterday to drop in on the page only to find a shit-ton of random Alpha Flight back issue comments :)
Posted by: George Lochinski | July 3, 2016 5:45 PM
I wonder if July 1st had anything to do with it?
Posted by: Mark Black | July 3, 2016 7:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
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