Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1986 - Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight #30-41
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Mike Mignola/Dave Ross/Gerry Talaoc

On Alpha Flight, Bill Mantlo had this to say (taken from Mantlo – A Life in Comics):

“The team was never a team … What you had was a series of incredibly well-executed vignettes that did tie together into a total package, but you had to read all 28 issues to get it. Alpha Flight is a team book, it should be written as a team book … I [felt] that John laid the foundation; I [tried] to build the house.”
 And from Mike Mignola’s point-of view: 
“I didn’t want to do Alpha Flight at all. I think I said ‘no’ three or four times, but Bill talked me into it. I did three issues and hated almost every second of it. I wasn’t cut out to do superheroes. For a while there, I jauted hated to get out of bed in the morning. It was really awful."

Apparently while he did quit the title after drawing a handful of issues, Mignola had planned a Sub-Mariner graphic novel with Mantlo, but it never went beyond the planning stages.

“We were working on some ideas – a Sub-Mariner graphic novel (that turned into an Alpha Flight graphic novel) based on a story idea of mine. Editor Carl Potts turned that into a Death of the Sub-Mariner graphical novel so that, of course, didn’t get done.”

Canadian artist David Ross came aboard as the new regular penciller with issue #35.

Some of that year’s highlights included:
- a new headquarters on the West Coast of Canada
- the origin of Puck
- insights into the origin of Wolverine
- Heather Hudson donning a version of her husband’s Guardian armor and dubbing herself Vindicator (the original name Mac Hudson had taken)
- a couple of crossovers with the Avengers
- a few early inking assignments by Whilce Portacio


  1. Yeah, Bill Mantlo was right. byrne's issues were vignettes, and it wasn't really a team book as such. Rarely was the full cast seen interacting together. mantlo did some great work making the characters blend better together in the traditional team-book fashion. mantlo also had a great imagination, he produced many off-the-wall psycho dramas for the Hulk and he brought that sensibility to this title. however I feel the characters were weaker in that it was hard to feel any empathy for any of them. All in all, these issues weren't bad and the crossover with the Avengers in #39 and Avengers #272 was a pretty good story.

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  3. Is mantlo the one who ruined Puck and made him not a real dwarf? Awful



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