Characters Appearing: General Merriwether Locklin, Marrina, Rick Jones, ROM, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Starshine II
Issue(s): ROM #56, ROM #57
It's not clear why SHIELD hasn't kicked him out or sequestered him or something; presumably he has some kind of Avengers security clearance. But that raises the question of why the Avengers aren't getting called in for stuff like this. To be fair, the Avengers will be dealing with the Dire Wraiths in Avengers #244, which would be happening more or less concurrently with these issues, but that plotline is actually kind of tangential to the Wraith scheme; what we have here is much more tangible.
After the opening scene, we have a two-parter with Alpha Flight. The Dire Wraiths are taking advantage of the water pollution in a Canadian coal mining town in Ontario. They mix their sorcery with the pollution to cause salmon eggs to hatch odd monsters.
When Shaman counter-acts the Wraith's sorcery, they initiate phase two, creating a giant tidal wave that destroys the town. Despite *ahem*, ROM and Starshine's attempt to "neutralize" the wave.
I'm glad that didn't work. ROM's Neutralizer power is ambiguous enough but being able to Neutralize a tidal wave would just be silly.
I'm convinced that John Byrne is the only one who can draw Alpha Flight - especially Marrina and Sasquatch. We have two samples to review here; fill-in artist M.D. "Doc" Bright on issue #56, and Sal Buscema's on #57. This is still early in Bright's career, so we shouldn't expect perfection, but his Flighters are pretty bad.
OK, not bad, exactly. But they don't look like the characters are supposed to. Marrina has a chubby baby face, and Sasquatch looks like a teddy bear in the one shot, and way too human or something in the second.
Also, someone may not be clear on Snowbird's powers. Snowbird can turn into any creature of the North. But she's not supposed to be able to turn into hybrids. What we have here looks like an owlbear.
It's extremely cute! I would like one as a pet, if it would promise not to eat me. But it's not something Snowbird should be able to turn into.
Now Sal Buscema.
Marrina's... closer. But still not quite right. And i really love the wizened beard on Sasquatch, but it's not what the character looks like.
He draws a nice polar bear, though:
Although that continues to show a lack of understanding of Snowbird's powers, i think. In Alpha Flight, Snowbird generally sticks with her arctic owl and polar bear forms. But this is a situation where something like a seal or walrus or whale might have been more efficient.
Regardless, let's agree that Sal draws a nice ROM.
I still feel like we're being cheated a bit. We were promised "total war" back in issue #51. I know that happens eventually, but it's taking a long time to get there.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this after Sasquatch's appearance in Fantastic Four #268 but before his appearance in Alpha Flight #9. I don't really like that because in AF #9, Sasquatch references having just witnessing the Invisible Girl's miscarriage before it became public knowledge. So i'd rather have him appear in AF #9 directly after FF #268. There's nothing in these issues or in any surrounding issues of Alpha Flight that dictate placement either way.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Your synopsis describes ROM 56-57 but there doesn't seem to be anything about ROM 58-59. (I don't have those issues, so I was looking forward to a description of them.)
Posted by: Michael | July 17, 2011 8:55 PM
The perils of reading the reviews of the year i'm currently working on! I'm still debating whether those issues - which continue at the scene of the flood, but take place a little after the events of #56-57 - belong in the same entry or a separate one. It'll probably end up being the same since Alpha Flight is still around in the beginning of #58.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 17, 2011 9:09 PM
Actually it turns out that due to the arrival of Rick Jones and a reference to Avengers #244-245, i'm splitting issues #58-59 into a separate entry.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 18, 2011 10:06 PM
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