Return Of The Maple Leaf

I would be remiss in my duty as a comics fan and indeed a human being if I failed to celebrate the return of Canada’s premier super-team – Alpha Flight!

What is even more of a pleasure is that it is written by the esteemed Greg Pak, creator of such sagas such as World War Hulk.

Right, that’s the fanboy stuff over. But seriously folks, this first, erm, point one’th (point first?) issue is promising, containing all the hooks that a new reader needs. Even better, all the ingredients for life long readers are present.

When the original Alpha Flight series began, its major strength was always the power of its characterisation. We had the interplay between Heather and Mac before the former ever donned the uniform of Vindicator. The twins Northstar and Aurora; one schizophrenic and the other, well, spoilt would be a polite way to describe it. Puck and Sasquatch, both cursed in their own ways and both making the best of it. Shaman and his daughter, a traditional parent/child love/hate relationship. Snowbird, rebelling against her heritage as a goddess. And Marrina, who didn’t really know what she was.

Having the original crew together again, after all the deaths and resurrections, conflicts and resolutions over the years, both in other titles and in their own less than successful sequel titles, we can see just how much these characters have grown. There is a comfortable dynamic between the characters for new readers, which is only enhanced by knowledge of their history. Greg demonstrates a deep understanding of the Alphans, with quick comments that are weighted heavily if you know their pasts.

Volume One had its heights in the first sixty or so issues, where it started to slowly slide downhill, culminating in the dark days of the Nineties and the era of the Infinity Crusade. In my opinion, there is little about the subsequent series to be discussed, although I am sure that for younger readers, this had been their first introduction to the team.

However, if I can get sixty issues of this quality, exploring what must surely be a new dynamic between the more mature characters, then I will be most happy.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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