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Alpha Flight #8

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Waxing Poetic, 2 of 2"

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

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Major Mapleleaf sends out his trusty flying steed to contact his teammates, he and the new Puck are left to defend the city of Montreal from a rampaging army of wax figures with the appearance and powers of the heroes of the Marvel Universe. As Thunder's appearance brings the rest of the team running, we see rather than fight a prolonged battle, our heroes locate the villain controlling the wax army, and knock him unconscious.

Comments:
Not the most engaging threat, and the resolution is a bit simplistic, but how can any self-respecting fanboy not admit to being a fan of any story that pits our heroes against an army of Marvel's mightiest heroes, even if they're really inferior wax duplicates. I also enjoyed the simple fact that Alpha Flight is pretty quick to pick up on the solution to this crisis, as it's fun to see these characters are fully aware of the basic elements of a plot like this. The villainous rant that we're treated to when the man behind the curtain is revealed also made for a cute scene, as how can one not love a villain who mirrors the same nationalistic envy that most Canadians suffer from when we compare our little country to our downstairs neighbour. Now there's no real laugh aloud moments in this issue, but Scott Lobdell does offer up several cute little scenes that come close to breaching the fourth wall, as Major Mapleleaf is impressed by Puck's ability to deliver exposition, and I have to applaud the scene where Sasquatch takes a moment to point out that Department H's function has never really been anything but a sinister background element, that Alpha Flight are forever tying their wagon to. Longtime readers like myself are also likely to be intrigued by this issue's final page as there's a couple interesting visuals on that page, that have me looking forward to the next arc. In the end this is a fun series, and I encourage readers looking for a new title give it a chance.

Dave Ross offers up a perfectly passable issue of guest-art, and I have to give it full marks for managing to capturing the overwhelming nature of this issue's threat during that one-page spread where Major Mapleleaf and Puck discover the ground isn't any safer. Now there are a couple moments where the art isn't as clear as it needed to be, as I'd be hard pressed to tell you how the wax Thing was momentarily destroyed, and the idea that the wax attackers were able to instantly repair any physical damage was entirely dependant of the dialogue to tell us that they possessed this ability. The art isn't all that impressive when it comes to filling in the details, as the backgrounds are largely featureless voids, and the characters have a rather limited range of facial expressions. Still the art does have it's moments, as Sasquatch's use of Thor's hammer made me smile, as did Nemesis' battle with Mr. Fantastic.



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