Saturday, May 4, 2013

365 Comics... 123: Alpha Flight #1 (1983)

I've long lamented the under-representation of Canadian superheroes from the Big Two, something I'm sure most international readers of superhero comics feel at one time or another, so it's really surprising to me that I never caught onto Alpha Flight in my 30 years of comics patronage.  I'm fairly certain that I'veint most read less than five stories starring Alpha Flight or its members (Wolverine excluded) over the years, and I guess I always assumed that the book's Canadianness was only token and not a True North representation.

With the Marvel 1 project I finally have cost-free opportunity to see this Canadian super-team for myself and it's not great, but my 12-year-old self would have loved it completely.  Alpha Flight's first issue introduces (or reintroduces) the characters from the pages of the X-Men by way of writer/ artist John Byrne, and also introduces Canada with some well-researched  details and a gleeful naivite:

Vindicator: The Prime Minister didn't even bother to come and bid me adieu.

Heather Hudson: Well I didn't vote for him. 

(If you don't get it, we don't vote directly for PM like Americans do their President, our PM is the leader of the party who has attained the most seats in our House of Commons).

But here's the thing about Canadians, we love it when our neighbours to the south acknowledge our existence, even if it's wrongheaded, misinformed or just to make fun of us.  We kind of get off on it.  AIpha Flight is delightful and quaint in that 80's storytelling way with plenty of melodrama and unintentional goofiness that has an appealing camp value now (eg. Puck's cartwheeling method of mobility is ridiculous and maybe more than a little demeaning to Little People). 

I would read more Alpha Flight for sure... for free.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Storey said...

Oh my gosh, I remember reading this when it first came out in the early 80's. My older brother read comics and I wanted to do everything he did, so I read them to. I remember loving Alpha Flight. I have all his old comics, I should dig around and see if I can find any of these. :)