Alpha Flight #18-29 (1985)
John Byrne, writer and artist
Unfortunately, the series declined from issue #17 as it seemed Byrne couldn’t keep his interest in the title. However, he did persevere up until issue #28 and moved over to The Incredible Hulk. Interestingly, the creative team on The Incredible Hulk, writer Bill Mantlo and artist Mike Mignola, had swapped places with Byrne. Byrne told Jim Salicrup (Comics Interview #25, 1985) why he left the title:
“There has not been half the fun doing Alpha Flight that there has been doing the Fantastic Four. Number two has been the fact that the general response from the fans and the readers is that I set out to do something different with Alpha Flight and they don’t like it . . . When Alpha Flight was announced the reaction was, ‘Oh, Gawd, another group book.’ And I said ‘Okay, we’ll give you something different. This is not going to be a group book, this is going to be individual issues of their own titles.’ And they didn’t want it. The readers didn’t want it. Because of my particular frame of mind on the book, I couldn’t turn it into what they wanted.”
Also, being a Canadian myself, it was nice to see that Byrne was genuinely convincing in his representation of
and Canadian culture. He used just enough Canadiana in his stories to be realistic, and I don’t just mean adding an “eh” to the end of each sentence. He provided accurate depictions of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, touched on the French-English language tensions, and used a broad variety of settings like the Parisian streets of Canada Montreal, ’s Toronto Ontario Place, and the West Edmonton Mall.
Alpha Flight #19 introduced Elizabeth Twoyoungmen (Shaman’s daughter) as Talisman.
Alpha Flight #24 featured the death of Langowski/Sasquatch, and brought in Box as a legitimate member of the team.
Alpha Flight #25 featured the return of Vindicator. And before you sigh and think: “another dead hero back to life…” you have to remember that heroes returning from the dead wasn’t the revolving door that it is now.