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Alpha Flight #7

Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Waxing Poetic, 1 of 2"

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: Dave Ross (p), Mark McKenna (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As the all new, all different Alpha Flight come to the realization that they might not want to remain together as a team, we see they all head back to their own lives. However, we see the bonds are already forming, as Major Mapleleaf and Puck enjoy a day out together in Montreal, while Nemesis makes an unexpected request of Sasquatch. Meanwhile, Centennial and Yukon Jack each discover you can't go home again.

Comments:
I'm still not convinced this book made the right move in dumping the original cast in favour of these new characters, as one of the reasons I lost interest in the previous bid to relaunch Alpha Flight was that none of its new characters really grabbed my imagination, and by the time the original cast was brought back, the book was mercifully on its way out the door. Still this issue does spend some quality time with the new characters, and for the most part the characters manage to hold their own, as the budding romance between Major Mapleleaf and Puck is a cute clash of conflicting personalities. I also enjoyed the scene where Yukon Jack discovers that the population of his hidden realm is celebrating his absence, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the character is going to do with this new insight. However, less engaging is the scene where Nemesis makes her request of Sasquatch, as the unmasking scene felt downright anticlimactic, and left me openly wondering why it would make the slightest impact on Walter's decision. I'm also a bit wary about the plot twist that looks to carry us into the next issue, as the simple truth of the matter is that the threat of an army of enemies made of wax doesn't exactly convey a overwhelming sense of dread. Still is could be fun to see the new team in action, and they're inexperienced enough that I could see it taking a bit of time to figure out the truth of the situation.

Dave Ross has never been one of my favourite artists, as his work has a rough, unfinished quality to it, but I will concede he is able to deliver the story in a clear manner, with a good eye when it comes to the delivery of the big impact moments of the issue (e.g. the guest-appearance by the various Marvel heroes). The art also manages to offer up a couple solid establishing shots, as Yukon Jack's hidden kingdom made for an impressive visual, and the rundown quality of Centennial's old hometown was nicely conveyed. However, for the most part the flat expressions of the characters, and stiff posing kept me from being overly impressed with this issue's art. I did like the cover visual though, as the effect of the wind is nicely reflected by the art, and it's a wonderfully moody shot of the character.



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