It’s a bad time to be a mutant in the Marvel Universe, even in the Great White North. But even so, it’s good to have friends in high places. Your Major Spoilers review of Alpha Flight #2 from Marvel Comics awaits!
ALPHA FLIGHT #2
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Mark Basso
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 20, 2023
Previously in Alpha Flight: Northstar, Aurora, Nemesis, and Fang have retreated to Canada to avoid the Fall of X, but things are never that simple. What have these former members of Alpha Flight done to draw the ire of Department H?
And what, exactly, is a Box Sentinel?
RUNNING OUT OF TIME
In the wilds of Northern Saskatchewan, the members of Alpha Flight are hiding out at a now-abandoned Krakoan embassy. They’ve managed to find and rescue almost two dozen Canadian mutants and are now keeping them safe behind a mystical field erected by Nemesis through her blade. Guardian, Snowbird, Shaman, and Puck have joined up with a new anti-mutant Alpha Flight team, but are secretly working with mutant members Aurora and Northstar to gather as many mutants as possible, so that they can extract them to the Shi’ar homeworld with the help of Wolverine’s son, Fang, who is also part of the Imperial Guard. It’s a risky proposition made riskier by another member of Alpha Flight, Roger Bochs, Jr., who has used his dad’s technology and his own genius to assemble new mutant-hunting Box robots incorporating Sentinel technology. When former Alpha Flight associate, Feedback, turns up in Oregon, Guardian sets out to save him, only to have his boss reveal that she doesn’t trust him yet, and sends in her shock troops.
Fortunately, Fang is as resourceful as Guardian ever was.
NOT REALLY AN ALPHA FLIGHT STORY AT ALL
First off, I get that this miniseries is a spinoff of Fall of X, and that the Orchis attacks on mutants have made things difficult for mutants everywhere. That said, I’m bothered by how quickly the Canadian government turns on some of their founding heroes, and how quickly things become a fascist dystopia for mutants. As far as Alpha Flight goes, Brisson’s script makes it clear that Guardian and company are having to make hard choices, which I like, but it also takes the time to make it clear that the head of Department H suspects what they’re up to, which seems like it shoots the whole premise in the foot. Godlewski does a lot of really good things with this issue’s art, but perhaps the best is simplifying a number of costumes to almost iconic status, restoring Shaman and Snowbird to Byrne-like designs. The Box Sentinels, on the other hand, feel very overdesigned, reminding me of the awful Iron Man redesign from Heroes Reborn. Fang (Akihiro, the artist formerly known as Daken) is surprising on both fronts, though, taking his father’s place in the Alpha Flight hierarchy AND getting a sleek costume update.
BOTTOM LINE: HAS ITS MOMENTS
The art is probably the best part of Alpha Flight #2, making good use of storytelling essentials, even as the progression of mutant hate in the provinces feels awkward and rushed, breaking right down the middle to 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. I enjoyed this issue for the well-balanced premise, and there are some really clever bits in these pages, but it feels like Alpha Flight is playing a supporting role in their own comic, and that just feels wrong.
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ALPHA FLIGHT #2
The events of Fall of X have made human/mutant relations worse than ever, and Alpha Flight is caught in the middle, trying to help their mutant members without getting shut down by the government.