Monday, April 18, 2011

X-MEN/ALPHA FLIGHT #2 - June 1998

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot…

Credits: John Cassaday & Ben Raab (writers), John Cassaday (artist), Steve Oliff (colors), Moon Monkey Graphics (letters)

Summary: Professor Xavier trains Alpha Flight in the Danger Room, in preparation for their attack on Hydra. Using Cerebro, the X-Men are tracked to Hydra’s hidden base. Before the battle, Shaman has a vision of Guardian’s death, which he fears is coming true when Guardian is locked in a room with Strucker and his men. The rest of Alpha Flight frees the X-Men, and the teams unite to rescue Guardian. Strucker escapes, but the heroes depart on good terms.

Continuity Notes: Someone noticed last issue’s continuity mistake, as Vindicator is now being called Guardian. The premonition of Guardian’s death comes true, spoiler alert, in Alpha Flight #12.

Review: This is the big action finale, so it’s a much quicker read than the previous issue. The story begins with Alpha Flight inexplicably fighting the original X-Men for several pages, before the audience is informed that it’s merely a Danger Room scenario. This sets the pace for the rest of the comic, as the action barely stops until the final few pages. The big action is also an excuse for Cassaday to let out the giant panels he’s now known for, making this even more of an Astonishing X-Men prototype.

Woven into the violence are a few attempts to humanize the teams, such as Shaman’s premonition of Guardian’s death. This leads to some amount of tension in the climax, even if you have to know it's a red herring, as Sasquatch bangs futilely on the locked doors while Guardian is trapped inside with Strucker. When the teams unite and rescue Guardian, Shaman is grateful the premonition was wrong, but wonders if his vision might come true some other day. If you’re an Alpha Flight fan, you know what’s coming next. Really, this is a two-part tribute to Marvel fans of that era. It’s certainly enjoyable on its own merits, but if you grew up with ‘80s Marvel, it works on a different level. It’s hard not to like any story that opens with the classic Alpha Flight lineup training in the Danger Room against the original X-Men, especially when Cassaday is drawing it.

1 comment:

wwk5d said...

"The premonition of Guardian’s death comes true, spoiler alert, in Alpha Flight #12."

Lool! Ok, that was funny :D

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