As you might know, I’m Canadian and a big fan of John Byrne’s Alpha Flight. I followed the title after he left, but the Mantlo-Mignola-Ross run never recaptured that magic. I’m hesitant to get excited about this upcoming miniseries as I’ve been disappointed time and time again with Alpha Flight reboots.
What might make this reboot different? Greg Pak. I really enjoyed his Emperor Hulk run and how he juggled a broad cast of characters. Fred Van Lente. His Incredible Herc run was ... well... incredible. So, for the first time in over two decades, I’m excited again about Alpha Flight.
Here’s the June 2011 solicitation information:
ALPHA FLIGHT #1 (of 8)
Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE
Penciled by DALE EAGLESHAM
Do you fear…your country turning on you? Alpha Flight has long been the protector of an entire nation…but what happens when that nation needs to be protected from itself? New York Times best-selling authors Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, along withred-hot artist Dale Eaglesham, bring back the team you demanded—the original Alpha Flight! Sasquatch, Snowbird, Northstar and Aurora have been joined by their revived allies Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, and Marrina as the paragons and protectors of an entire nation. But as FEAR ITSELF takes over, their own country turns on the Flight and brands them traitors for the shocking actions of one of their closest allies. As the borders close and an entire nation hunts them down, will the newly reunited Alpha Flight survive?
More reasons to be optimistic come from the highlights from the liveblog announcement (http://marvel.com/news/story/15200/alpha_flight_liveblog):
- Old time fans will enjoy seeing things referenced, but you won't have had to read any past Alpha Flight books or Chaos War to pick it up.
- As a result of Fear Itself, there is a change in government, and so Alpha Flight finds themselves as the country's "greatest traitors," and they must go on the run and figure out what is behind the government takeover.
- It was Fred [Van Lente]'s favorite comic growing up, so this is a dream come true for him. He describes himself as a walking encyclopedia of Alpha Flight knowledge, while Greg Pak comes into it with a relatively clean slate, but he loves these characters.
- Fred also wants to emphasize that this is the original team from UNCANNY X-MEN #120, and we've never seen that team really work together before.
- Fred: They're using the clean slate provided by Chaos War to do a ground-level reboot. They're not ignoring everything that's come before, but they're not going to be referring to a character's multiple resurrections or anything like that. They don't want to get bogged down in the continuity.
And, a key statement from Van Lente in an interview with Comic Book Resources:
"Basically, if John Byrne didn't come up with it, we're throwing it out," said Van Lente who noted that through no intentional malice, the team had been subjected to a lot of bad continuity over the years. "I wouldn't say we're ignoring everything that came later, but we're not going to be referring to an individual character's multiple resurrections over the years...this is one of those stories that wants to start with a clean slate,” Pak added.