By: Jim McCann (writer), Reilly Brown & Terry Pallot (art), Val Staples (colors) & Dave Sharpe (letters)
The Story: A resurrected Alpha Flight gets summoned into the war with the Chaos King.
What’s Good: This is going to be a “must read” for fans of Alpha Flight because it feels an awful lot like those early 1980’s John Bryne Alpha Flight issues that a lot of comic fans are so nutso about. It isn’t the best comic book story ever, but it hits the appropriate notes, explains who the various characters are and uses the “great beasts” mythology of Alpha Flight in a way that makes sense with Chaos War.
In some ways, it is actually hard to review this comic on its stand-alone merits because McCann leaves the team in a pretty tantalizing place: Marvel could totally bring this team back if they wanted to. Considering the number of “meh” characters/teams that they’ve tried to give ongoing series to, why not just have Fred Van Lente write an Alpha Flight ongoing now that his time with Hercules is wrapping up? I know Agents of Atlas is probably a bad example since it got canceled, but Alpha Flight would have to sell better than Atlas, right?
The art is serviceable and captures all the characters looking as they are supposed to. The only quibble was that in a few panels Guardian looked a little too short and squat, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall, I liked the art.
What’s Not So Good: Not a whole lot. The only downside is that “event tie-in problem”. When you finish this issue, the only thing that really has happened is that Alpha Flight (minus one important team member…) is back and they will have a role to play in the Chaos War. So, if not for the fact that this issue gets by simply by running Alpha Flight out onto stage, this would be a pretty unsatisfying story chunk. But, it is hard to ding this comic too much for that. If you buy an event tie-in one-shot, you pretty much know that you are likely to get a partial story chunk.
Conclusion: Tantalizing. Not a great comic on its own, but Marvel could easily bring Alpha Flight back from this point (especially considering that Puck is featuring in Wolverine’s current story arc). I’m sure Marvel is watching sales on this title, so go pick it up.
– Dean Stell