This issue follows up on the previous issue by pitting Guardian against Vindicator – man against wife. With “Fear Itself” slapped on the cover, this issue doesn’t really draw upon that storyline so much as it uses that storyline as a stepping-stone. Last issue the Alphans faced one of the hammer-wielding chosen, but this issue deals more with their betrayal at the hands of one of their own as opposed to a confrontation with any outside foe or force.
I’m sure it’s going to turn into a great big “Of course!” moment, but for now the betrayal seems forced, harsh, and out of character. What it does do, however, is stack the drama up high in this issue, setting it up for a nice tumble in the issues to come. Literally, this team is torn apart and set against each other, husband against wife, brother against – well that would be telling.
Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente are clearly enjoying their investigation of Canada’s premiere super team, and the story benefits from it. While some of Alpha Flight’s rogues have appeared in the previous issue and the ‘Point One’ that preceded that, it simply illuminates the fact that the rogues are a pretty thin collection, and the members of Alpha Flight are their own worst enemies. All the same, Pak and Van Lente do bring back a fan favorite character and put a little bend to that character’s personality. It is a fun bend that promises to solicit some chuckles and some concern from readers.
Dale Eaglesham’s art is solid and serviceable, but it simply isn’t dynamic nor stunning. The Phil Jimenez covers really offer up some gorgeous images of Alpha Flight, with stunning detail, bold action, and magnificent characters, but the interiors just seem to be present and accounted for. Eaglesham tells the story, gives the characters a range of emotions, but doesn’t have the finishing touch that would really make this a “wow” book. I’m hoping that assessment is simply because this issue is largely low-key, but the action sequences that are present in this book seem rigid.
This second issue of “Alpha Flight” contributes a great deal towards setting up the story and the premise for this series, but it does so at the sacrifice of a good story. Taken by itself, this issue is flat, but clearly, this is intended to be the second of eight chapters, so I am certain it is simply a lull in the story before the real action hits. After all, how many times can this team go against the Box robots?