I just got done reading the ‘ALPHA FLIGHT: True North’ Marvel Comics one shot and it got me a bit excited about the possibility of an ongoing series. Yeah Alpha Flight has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid in 80’s and after the first John Byrne series it’s never been quite the same, so hearing that a new one shot was coming out made me decide to head up to ‘Cosmic Monkey‘, (Portland Oregon’s best comic book shop), to grab a copy and see for myself. It’s been a few years since I bought new comic books, I quit a while back cold turkey, as their just too damn expensive and many of them don’t grab me like they used to honestly. However, Alpha Flight always gets another chance!
So ‘True North’ was a pretty decent little dive back into the lives of the diverse Canadian superhero team, it features three short stories with various members of the team. The first featuring classic Alphans Talisman & Snowbird as they travel to a remote area of in the Arctic Circle to investigate a supernatural presence. It’s an intriguing little tale that could have really spanned the whole issue. I definitely enjoyed the artwork in this one by Max Dunbar as well.
The next story is a small slice of life featuring everyone’s favorite little person badass ‘Puck’ and the fish woman ‘Marina’ as they walk a lonely beach on a sunny day. Puck shares a story from his past and the two of them spend some time bonding. A neat little short overall but I wasn’t a real big fan of the artists depictions of Puck and Marina, who basically just made them look like a short guy and a green woman devoid of most of her fish like qualities. The last story features Heather Hudson aka ‘Vindicator’ as she hides from the Canadian government for crimes committed while under the mental control of long time Alpha Flight villain ‘The Master of the World’. It’s a pretty interesting short story too and also features her husband James ‘Guardian’ Hudson with plenty of underlying relationship drama bubbling below the surface. Overall this one was nice refresher of just what an Alpha Flight ongoing series could feel like in 2019.
The other members were missed though, classics like Sasquatch & Shaman weren’t even in it at all and Northstar and Aurora only spoke a couple lines. I was hoping for a cool one shot with the whole team showing their current relationship as a team, but regardless it was still a pretty good teaser, even if it was priced at whoppin’ 5 bucks! DAMN!! I’ve always thought the team under the right writer again could be developed into a great modern series. The team’s super diverse cast has a lot of rich history to explore. ‘True North’ strikes some good chords but I’m not sure it was really quite compelling enough to drum up the magic needed to push Alpha Flight into a new ongoing series. I’d like to see Wolverine return to the team and maybe bring some drama into Heather and James’ rocky relationship. It’s always been softly suggested he might have some feelings for Heather. You never know! I’m also still hoping for an Alpha Flight movie as well, I think they’d be an instant hit in the MCU!
So one reason it’s fun to be a blogger is because there’s always that slight chance something you write about could ignite a spark on a certain topic, and one thing I’ve been hoping forever is that we’ll some day get an ‘Alpha Flight’ movie! Some of you all might be asking who the hell is Alpha Flight? Well let me just start off by saying they at one time had much more notoriety in the Marvel universe than The Guardians of the Galaxy! So as far as Marvel movies go anything is possible, I mean I never thought we’d get TWO damn Ant-man movies either! For those who may not know, Alpha Flight is a Canada’s answer to the X-men & The Avengers, who made their first appearance 40 years ago in X-men #120.
Wolverine was originally set to be the team’s leader, which led to them having a heavy presence in the X-universe & throughout the years they’ve had their own Marvel comic book series several times throughout the last 4 decades with varying degrees of success. Well I think now’s the time to tell the team’s story on the big screen & I’m certain if they did it right it’d be next the big thing in the MCU, not convinced? Well here are 6 reasons why Marvel’s gotta jump on the chance sooner than later!!
1. Diversity of the Team
Ok so it’s clear that diversity in comic book movies is a topic that’s endlessly being discussed today. It just so happens that they have always been one of the most naturally diverse in the Marvel universe. From native American characters like Shaman and his daughter Talisman, to Eugene ‘Puck’ Judd being a ‘little’ person, to Marrina being a bizarre race of fish creature and Northstar being a gay man, the team undeniably has a lot of interesting characters within it’s ranks. Half have been made up of women and Heather Hudson also known as ‘Vindicator’ stepped in as the team’s leader for over half of the teams comic book existence. They’d easilytranslate to the big screen in a unique way and I think they’ve got a lot to offer up in a way audiences haven’t seen before on the big screen!
2. First Gay Superhero
This leads me to my second point as recently I’ve seen that Marvel was looking to introduce the first openly gay superhero. Well good thing for Alpha Flight, they had the very first mainstream gay superhero, Jean-Paul Beaubier aka ‘Northstar’. Though it wasn’t openly stated in the team’s first series from 1983 it was clear to see the angle of the character presented there. Nearly ten years later in 1992 Northstar officially came out as gay to the public making mainstream headlines and then in 2012 again when the first gay superhero wedding took place prominently in ‘Astonishing X-men’ #51. His husband being Kyle Jinadu, a black male was also notable in featuring a natural diversity within the now iconic superhero storyline.
The character has broken down barriers time and time again in comic book history and if any gay superhero makes it to the silver screen it surely should be Northstar. With all of his sexual identity to the side, the character has always been an interesting one, with one of the biggest attitudes in Marvel comics ranks he’s also got a twin sister “Aurora” whom he’s incredibly protective of. Their relationship has gone through a lot of intriguing states of turmoil as well, especially when it comes to her choices of people she chooses to date. Northstar in general is just a super badass character, possessing the ability to travel at superhuman speeds, fly, and project photon energy blasts. His twin sister, Aurora also possesses similar abilities. He automatically makes the team that much more interesting without even trying. Continue reading
Alpha Flight number 13’s cover has always been one of my favorites and if you were reading the comic book back in 1983 you know it was a pretty emotional time for the Canadian super team. This was again during a time when it was kinda special when Wolverine would show up on the scene as opposed to when he was featured in every comic book on the shelves. This was also a time when Wolverine was still a weird little 5 foot 3 inch mutant berserker rather than a Hollywood hunk! Anyway this cover was done by one of my all time favorite artists ever, John Byrne and the scene on the cover is actually a piece of a creepy dream sequence in the wake of the death of Alpha Flight’s team leader Guardian.
I totally dig Wolverine’s classic cowboy style here and of course the brilliant tombstones which feature the names of classic comic book artists. Of course Byrne’s name was usually cleverly hidden as part of the background and can also be seen on the tombstone. This is such a classic cover and a cool time to be into Marvel stuff. I’m still amazed they’ve never worked Alpha Flight into any of the Marvel movies as they’re a huge part of Wolverine’s past…
It’s no secret here – I love Alpha Flight! I love John Byrne too who’s the man behind the Canadian supergroup, heck I’d go as far as to say that he’s my favorite comic book artist of all time! So today I’m showcasing his amazing cover from Alpha Flight #5 way back from 1983. This one features a cool solo story with none other than Puck the coolest little superhero of all time and quite possibly hairier than Wolverine!! I’m so bummed that Marvel can’t seem to come up with a good ongoing series for the team. If you want a great run of comics to read check out John Byrnes run on the book (issues 1-28) you get great art an lots of drama and then some. This rad cover proves sometimes simplicity is the best approach!! I love how he’s jumping out of the price box-brilliant!
It’s now the new year YAY! 2015. Everyone has now felt the heavy hangover that comes along with New Years once again. Everyone attended parties and got wild and crazy! So lately I’ve been thinking about my favorite superheroes and if I were throw a party, just which of them I’d invite. It’s an interesting idea figuring out who’d get an invitation and as much as I love The Incredible Hulk he’s the last guy you want at the party. First off Banner would be a total bore, that is unless he got pissed off, then you’d have real trouble on your hands! Plus imagine The Hulk wasted, it’d be nearly impossible to have a conversation with his already limited vocabulary! People like Captain America and Superman can stay home too, drink milk and nibble on cookies because the last thing you need at a party are a coupla’ goody two-shoes!
So just who the hell are the best of the best to party down with? Well use my guide next year and make sure these superhumans are on the A-list! They’re certain to provide plenty of entertainment to any party! So let’s get started!
Number 10. Iron Man
Who the hell doesn’t want a rich playboy at their party? Hell, Tony Stark is one of the most famous alcoholics in comic book history! He also could fund the entire thing himself for you, and bring al of his hot ladyfriends along with him to really liven things up. The only problem could be that Tony may not know when to quit and could end up lingering at your house far into the afternoon of the next day. You’d have to be careful because he’d most likely be the guy who’d have you back partying in the A.M. leaving you with a heavy week long hangover to recover from. Bottom line Stark just don’t know when to quit!
Also just make sure he’s not depressed, he’s known to be quite an annoying drunk when he’s down and out. Invite with caution!
Number 9. The Sandman
What? You didn’t know ol’ Sandy was a party animal? You betcha, though he’s a bit of a rogue he’s a great guy to invite to the party! He’ll come equipped with a bunch of interesting stories and he’s always willing to bring the beer! Little known fact the Sandman is a drinking bud of Ben Grimm and has even visited Grimm in the hospital….with a bunch of beer! Sandman is a good guy to know but a bit of a wild card, he’ll be a lot of fun but you may have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t steal your cash from outta your wallet while you’re taking a leak!
Number 8. The Badger
Yep this guy will most definitely make your party interesting and he’s from my home state of Wisconsin to boot. Badger is quite an interesting character who just so happens to love partying! Being from the land of cheese he’s quite able and willing to down as much beer as you can put in front of him but he also has multiple personalities, lives with a Wizard named “Ham” and has an odd habit of calling everyone “Larry”. He also can speak to animals so if you have any pets you can be rest assured that they’ll have a great time as well! He’s probably the only superhero who’s played tug a war with Spuds MacKenzie for a beer. The only problem is he’s completely bat shit crazy-wait is that a problem?
Number 7. She-Hulk
Hell yeah we need some female energy at the party for sure and why the heck shouldn’t it be She-Hulk? She’s super funny, a total babe and incredibly flirtatious! You know she’s gonna show up to the party dressed to impress too!
Plus she can drink any party bro under the table but watch out cuz she’s been known to hit on guys pretty hard too after drinking a bit too much, just check out how she threw herself on The Thing! Dang this would not fly in 2018!
Being a huge Alpha Flight fan I was somewhat saddened by the news today that Alpha Flight is no longer going to be an ongoing series as recently announced. It seems that all we are going to get right now is the recent limited series which was for the most part a pretty fun solids ride. It was great to have all the original characters back again-and even better that Major Maple Leaf was no where in sight! Still however I think that Alpha Flight could have been and should have been even better this time around.
It seems to me that no one can make it quite as interesting as the original series by John Byrne. Heck we even got Wolverine making a cameo in this last run-yeah yeah I know Wolverine is everywhere these days, but one place he really needs to be is Alpha Flight as he was once a member and has a crazy history with the group. I for one think he needs to quit the Avengers and hell maybe even the X-men and head back to his roots in Canada. How awesome would that be? Become a full fledged member again? At the very very least I think there should be a series, much like the current Captain America & Bucky, that chronicles his past with the team from when Mac and Heather Hudson (his other red headed obsession) found him. How about that Marvel?
Either way I am pretty disappointed Marvel went back on their decision to make Alpha a mainstay monthly. From what I hear in the latest issue though is that two Alpha members are going to make a major impact on the X-universe. My guess is it’s Northstar and Aurora, but they quite honestly have had their chance, Northstar already was a member of the X-men and Aurora part of the Weapon X series….My hope would be for Sasquatch, Puck or Snowbird. Either way I hold hope someday someone will truly do justice to the team as their stories could be right up there with any superhero team around today! Long Live Alpha Flight!!