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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Reader's Diary #1611- Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente (writers), Dale Eaglesham (artist): Alpha Flight The Complete Series

I'd known about Alpha Flight for some time but admittedly it took some time for me to truly get interested enough to read them. Even now it was out of a pursuit to read the less popular superheroes. While I also knew they were supposedly Canadian, the fact that they were created by an American (John Byrne) dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. Also, they sounded a bit hokey.

If it's all as good as the Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Dale Eaglesham collection, I've been missing out.

First off, it's not as hokey as I thought despite having characters named Puck and Sasquatch. It's filled with Canadian stereotypes, but done lovingly so and once you move beyond that the characters are fully developed and complex in their own rights. There may be some issues with the First Nations and half-Inuk characters as such people have been exploited and misrepresented so often, but I am not in a position to analyze Shaman and Northstar, to weigh in on whether or not their representations are fair or authentic. I will say that as a Newfoundlander, I quite enjoyed the Marrina character, the alien raised by a Newfoundland couple and with many ocean related powers.

This collection details a new governmental party that uses an invasion to capitalize on people's fears and start stripping everyone of their rights and freedoms. Yes, unfortunately applicable in 2012 when this was written and still now in 2017. Perhaps more shocking with the Canadian setting but a good lesson for us not to be so smug and self-assured that it couldn't happen here (a corrupt government that is, not a hostile invasion from Asgardians or cavemen).

Dale Eaglesham (the only real Canadian on the creative team) provides crisp visuals coloured expertly by Sonia Oback.


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