STORY: Jim McCann

ART: Reilly Brown, Terry Pallot

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Alpha Males and Females! ‘Tis I, Poptards’ resident Spider-Man scholar and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER with an all-out geekgasm over ALPHA FLIGHT (Chaos War One-Shot). A brand-new ALPHA FLIGHT comic on the shelves? Featuring several original members? YES! FUCK YES! Long have I waited for this moment!

Sorry for the high number of expletives that are sure to be featured in this review, but I can’t help it. I just fucking LOVE Alpha Flight. Ever since I discovered them in 5th grade, I marveled at the adventures of Canada’s #1 super team. Why? Well, I think the relative obscurity has something to do with it. They’re not the Justice League. They’re not the Avengers. They’re not the X-Men, or the Fantastic Four. They’re not a super team of All-Stars. None of the Alpha Flight team members have their own solo series. Unless you’re a true comic geek, you most likely never heard of them. And that’s part of their charm. That makes them feel like MY superheroes. Unlike lots of other titles, I was never handed an Alpha Flight comic by someone saying, “Dude, you’ve GOT to read this!” I had to find them on my own. I never read them to fit, or to keep up with the conversation anywhere. I read them because I discovered them on my own, and I liked the characters. And I also dug the Native American mythology and mysticism involved. It adds a unique flavor to the proceedings.

It sucks hard that they haven’t had their own title in a while. There was an Alpha Flight series a few years back, but it wasn’t REALLY Alpha Flight. It was like, young teenage heroes that used their names, or something. And it was a jokey, tongue-in-cheek kinda thing. So that doesn’t count. Then they popped up briefly in NEW AVENGERS a while back, only to be completely decimated by… that naked glowing guy from space. Who/what was that again? I can’t remember. All I know is that my beloved Alpha Flight was killed off in 2 pages by some flavor of the month villain, and that I was FURIOUS over it. That was Bendis’ WORST crime, in my opinion. He’s a talented guy, I DO like a lot of what he does, but that was a fucking TRAVESTY. You want to show the readers that your new villain is tough? Create some new heroes and kill them off. Leave my Alpha Flight alone, you douche!

I’m not even following CHAOS WAR, really. Wasn’t the least bit interested until AF got pulled into it. But, I saw the cover on the shelf, with all the old gang ready for action (sans Puck, but we’ll get to that in a minute), and I squealed with glee. I was all, “Wait, WHAT?! Alpha Flight is back?! Yes, please!” Seriously, you just have no idea how excited I was. But what of the content behind the cover? Throwing AF on a comic cover got my 4 bucks, but did all of this truly warrant my excitement? Did they EARN that money?

Yes, yes, YES!!!!! OK, not only do AF return, but their old foes, THE GREAT BEASTS make their long-awaited (by no one but me, apparently) comeback, as well!!!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!! THE GREAT FUCKING BEASTS!!!!! SOMON, the Great Artificer! KARIOOQ, the Corruptor! KOLOMAQ, the Beast of the Snows! TOLOMAQ, the Fire Beast! And, my personal favorite, TUNDRA, the Land Beast! Aw, MAN! This is all too much! But, in the best way possible! It’s like they made this comic just for ME. I never thought I’d see these characters again, and it’s so awesome to see them in a brand-new story.

So this CHAOS KING character is tearing through multiple worlds, realms, and dimensions, wreaking a terrible havoc wherever he goes. He destroyed the Dream Dimension, so the living have been placed in a state of eternal sleep. He obliterated the Underworld, freeing the dead to walk the Earth, and making it impossible for the living to die.

SASQUATCH goes to the Great Beasts for help. They fear the Chaos King as much as anyone else. So they strike a deal that resurrects the dead members of Alpha Flight, on the condition that AF joins the Beasts in their fight against the Chaos King. And so soon, Sasquatch and the fallen members of the team (GUARDIAN, VINDICATOR, MARRINA, and SHAMAN) join living members SNOWBIRD, AURORA, and NORTHSTAR in the noble cause of battling this great evil.

But what keeps this from being a FULL reunion? Where’s PUCK in all of this? Take it away, Shaman! SHAMAN: “He slipped away to a place even I dare not follow.” Yup. That’s the explanation we get. Couldn’t it have been just as easy to bring EVERYONE back? Would it have been any less hard to swallow? And, out of everyone, why omit Puck? It seems so random, but surely there must’ve been a conversation about this. What logic was employed in his omission? Was he deemed unpopular, or something? He’s a hairy midget who does cartwheels! When is THAT not popular????

Anywho, Snowbird, sworn enemy of The Great Beasts, isn’t keen on the proposed team-up. There’s much debating, and the heroes decide that, even though this alliance brought them back from the dead, that it’s just not right. So the resurrected members of the team nobly resign themselves to return to being dead. Except that, the Land of the Dead was wiped out, so they can’t go back! Awesome! So that must also mean that the Great Beasts, seemingly killed in battle here, are still alive, as well! Super awesome!

But, of course, all of this may be fleeting. As Shaman points out, “Once he (Chaos King) is defeated, and death is restored, however…” Hm. Man, I really hope they let them stay alive! And, if not, give us a new ongoing title with the surviving members! Come on, Marvel! Gimme what I want!!!!

Oh, and this issue also features an army of Wendigos and a villain riding a flying triceratops. Yeah. Fucking AMAZING.

STORY: A++. GREAT to have these characters back again. Let’s keep them back, please! And The Great Beasts! THE GREAT BEASTS! Man, I STILL can’t get over it. Phenomenal. And Snowbird’s patented overdramatic delivery is done to perfection here.


And THAT is the WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

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(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the writer/director of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD!)

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  1. KidZombie says:

    GREAT REVIEW! I love Alpha Flight, maybe because i’m canadian ha ha.

    The comic was great! So awesome to see my favorite team back. (Minus Marrina, she always bugged me.)
    About Puck: he is in the new wolverine goes to Hell series, that is why he was not there and Shaman says “he’s in a place even I will not go” because hes in Hell with Wolverine at the moment.

  2. Mark Mackner says:

    Hey, thanks for reading! It’s always great to meet another Alpha Flight fan, because there doesn’t seem to be very many of us.

    Puck’s in HELL with Wolverine? Wow, I’m gonna have to check that out! Thanks for the tip!

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