Greg Pak’s Alpha Flight
Eric S Brown
In 2014, the Marvel Universe was embroiled with an event called Fear Itself in which several evil versions of Thor’s hammer fell to Earth. These hammers were wielded by heroes controlled by them as well as by actual villains. The Marvel Earth was being influenced by a radiance of fear. Alpha Flight had just returned to life after a short time of being killed off and had become Canada’s protectors once more. The premiere edition hardcover Alpha Flight Volume 1 collects the first half of the maxi-series dealing with the team during that period. Sadly a second volume was never released as Marvel opted not to release a second vol. in hardcover but rather the entire series in a stand alone, over sized paperback that followed.
The first issue reintroduces the team and brings Alpha Flight back though not without some changes. Greg Pak’s vision of what Alpha Flight should be stays true to the original series and wonderfully builds upon the team’s mythos. Aurora is in therapy and appears sane, Sasquatch is at peace with his powers, Puck is missing, and the team now has both a Vindicator and a Guardian. These two were originally the same character but when Mac Hudson died way back in the original Alpha Flight series, his wife, Heather Hudson, took up his superhero identity at times using both names herself. The team is just as fun and emotionally developed as characters as ever and even Marrina is back among its ranks.
The plot pits Alpha Flight against a secretive group known only as The Unity and sees them betrayed by one of their own most beloved members. The vol. 1 hardcover leaves readers hanging so it’s best just to pick up the later paperback edition which includes the entire arc rather than just the first half of it. The story is well written and the art is simply amazing! If you’re a fan of Alpha Flight, it is perhaps the best story line since John Byrne’s legendary run on the title.