On July 1st, which is known north of the 49th parallel as Canada Day, I was sitting at a friend's in Mason, Ohio thumbing through my last two month's worth of comic books when I stumbled across the first couple of issues of Alpha Flight.
Greg Pak, whose work over on Incredible Hulk in recent years has often been outstanding, is the name that gave me the incentive to explore the series for the first time since John Byrne wrote it. I've taken passing glances at other incarnations of the Flight, but I've always come away feeling like somebody was beating me over the head with Canadian stereotypes, and treating some incredibly diverse and rich characters like they were Wolverine's inbred relatives.
The big question was 'Would this time be different?'
I'm very pleased to report that the first two issues were good. Not great, but certainly good enough to necessitate a review of future issues and give Pak and crew an opportunity to fully flesh out the storyline that they have envisioned. I've no doubt that the foundation being laid with the focus on the Canadian National Election will provide us with a politically driven story that draws in past aspects of the title (like the Box armor attacking all of the team at once!)
There are two things about the issues that didn't sit well with me though.
First of all, it just doesn't feel very Canadian. I know the people over at AlphaFlight.net will disagree with me on that point, but that's alright. I could probably write an entire blog about how many little aspects of it just didn't feel right to me, but it would be a pretty boring report....and honestly, who outside of Canada would even care?
Secondly, it's only good. After years of terrible, the book needed a big victory. What it got was a small one. There are enough things wrong that you can nit-pick at it until the general impression of what's been accomplished is diminished, but you should try not to do that. Try and enjoy it for its improvement over past efforts, and for the potential that is laid out in the all to obvious foreshadowing.
I'll give it a 6.5.
Canada Day was a 10 by the way.