Alpha Flight #45
Issue(s): Alpha Flight #45
During the funeral, Bill Mantlo continues with his new love triangle, with Heather going to Madison Jeffries for support while Puck curses his (mystically induced) dwarfism.
Also, Northstar continues to hack away due to a "pre-existing disease"...
...but then the narration panel weirdly says we're transitioning to a "more somber scene" (because Northstar dying of AIDS is just a joke?), as we see Shaman summon his gods.
Shaman's intent is to petition the gods to forgive their daughter for marrying a mortal and take her home to heaven. But the spirit of Snowbird arises to say that she'd prefer to stay with her husband and baby. It's settled when the gods agree to raise Doug and the baby to godhood as well.
So Snowbird's dead, and Shaman decides to also quit the team because (he says) his new powers aren't compatible with obeying mortals.
To fill the ranks back up, Madison's brother Lionel (aka Scramble) arrives with the cured Roger Bochs. In past issues we've seen Aurora pursuing a romantic interest in Bochs while every other character wondered if she was just toying with him, but it's not until now that we hear from her. And, yep, "just toying with him" it is.
However, Bochs has legs now, thanks to Scramble's powers, which alsos seem to have given him the equivalent of a six year diet and exercise regime (it's said that Bochs' fatty body tissue was used to recreate his legs).
Bochs takes Aurora upstairs for sex...
...Lionel's intern Dr. Knapp develops an instant connection with Purple girl...
...and Tiny Smart Alec is privy to all.
Snowbird was buried in the Sasquatch form she was killed in, and that night, the body wakes up.
At the same time, Heather spots Smart Alec and grabs him. Then Snowsquatch bursts into the room and Heather drops Smart Alec, who bumps into the unoccupied robot body of Box. The next thing you know, Walter Langkowski's spirit is in Box, fighting Snowsquatch.
Snowsquatch, it turns out, is animated by the soul of Pestilence. Smart Alec's tiny mindless body is trampled during the battle. Heather grabs Shaman's old medicine bag and uses it to capture Pestilence's soul. To date, i believe that's the last we'll see of either villain.
Also, Walter's soul somehow gets transferred from Box to Snowsquatch.
But Snowsquatch was really Snowbird's body, so things get interesting when Walter reverts to human form.
Roger Bochs is none too pleased with Aurora's excitement over Langkowski's return (at least before he turns out to be a woman).
Again, Mantlo is doing interesting things plotwise. It's clunky: the convenient timing of Snowbird dying and her body getting possessed by Pestilence at the same time Smart Alec/Langkowski escapes from Shaman's pouch (which, why is that still laying around?), and the body switching itself is a little implausible even within the boundaries of Alpha Flight's mystical themes. But at the same time it's all kind of cool the way it works out. That said, the scripting is just brutally bad, with Puck on just about every page wondering if Heather would love him if he could just be a little taller. Let alone the fact that this isn't the boisterous, confident Puck of John Byrne's run who could easily woo any lady just with his awesome personality. The scripting and the repetition would be horrible even if we accepted Mantlo's interpretation of the character. Same thing with the Aurora/Bochs relationship, and that's before we throw Langkowski into the mix. Regarding him being in Snowbird's body, we shouldn't expect a better treatment of gender identity issues than we do of Puck's dwarfism or whatever we're calling Aurora's problems. Still, it's an interesting premise.
These issues start a sort-of run on art by June Brigman of Power Pack fame. There will be several fill-ins and she's ultimately replaced by Jim Lee. I liked her Power Pack art but it's not the same here. Not a lot of detail or backgrounds and kind of stiff.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
"A funeral for Snowbird, Dough Thompson, and their baby."
Posted by: Michael | April 4, 2014 7:45 PM
So Tiny Smart Alec comes out of the bag, spies on people for a couple issues, and then gets squished without ever doing anything?
Posted by: S | April 4, 2014 10:23 PM
If it wasn't clear, Walter Langowski's soul somehow had wound up in Smart Alec's body and then got transferred to Box when Heather threw him. But basically, yes.
Cleaned up Doug's heritage; thanks Michael.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 4, 2014 10:47 PM
No, Sasquatch's spirit was inside Smart Alec's body.
Posted by: Michael | April 4, 2014 10:49 PM
Michael, are you correcting my comment, either on soul vs. spirit or Walter Langowski vs. Sasquatch, or did our comments just cross each other responding to S?
Posted by: fnord12 | April 4, 2014 10:56 PM
Our comments crossed, fnord, you can delete it if you want.
Posted by: Michael | April 4, 2014 10:59 PM
Just making sure i wasn't missing something!
Posted by: fnord12 | April 4, 2014 11:15 PM
Poor Tiny Smart Alec. Imagine the adventures he could have had, http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgx4tj_tiny-elvis_shortfilms
Posted by: Wanda Lawson | April 5, 2014 12:37 AM
By the way, it's always so weird to see Madison Jeffries presented gere as some "desirable stud" the ladies can lean on. When he becomes a supporting character for the X-boks, he's presented as a socially-maladjusted dork that can only relate well with computers and mechanics.
Also, unless Bochs secretly had a "Kingpin" situation, using his "baby fat" to build a pair of muscular legs really shouldn't work.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 2, 2016 10:52 AM
@Jon- Scramble admits in issue 48 that he deceived Bochs and actually created his new legs using body parts from people he murdered.
Posted by: Michael | July 2, 2016 11:51 AM
@Jon Dubya It's only after Byrne that Jeffries was escalated into "Hero of the Beach" status, kicking sand in Bochs and Judd's faces whilst making off with Heather and then later, Diamond Lil. Jeffries' love life only furthered the (mis)characterization of Heather. Frankly, I think the X-books writers had the right idea to go back to basics.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 2, 2016 1:58 PM
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