Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1

Story by
Art by
Reilly Brown, Terry Pallot
Colors by
Val Staples
Letters by
Dave Sharpe
Cover by
Marvel Comics

In the "Chaos War," the gods of multiple pantheons are wiped from existence, the living are in a dying sleep and the dead are returned to life. The concept has been tested quite a bit in comics lately, but the latest occurrences are in the Marvel Universe. Thankfully, Marvel avoids making this a "Blackest Night" rip-off, choosing, instead, to allow the resurrected to follow their true nature. Naturally that seems like a perfect scenario to give Alpha Flight another go.

McCann plays to the strengths of some of the characters more than others. I love the voice and the determination that he gives Snowbird, but Sasquatch gets played early in the issue, comes across as a heartsick sucker, and for the remainder of the story his dedication is called into question by his team members and, subsequently, by the readers. McCann's story has promise, but he needed a little more room to play with all of the members of the team as Marrina, Vindicator, and Guardian don't really get a chance to shine. Snowbird and Shaman shine through though, with Northstar and Aurora right behind. McCann clearly has ideas for this team.

The art is solid, as Brown has a nice grasp on the members of Flight. His Sasquatch is more in line with the vision John Byrne set forth than the way Langkowski has been depicted of late, and the rest of the team follows suit. Brown puts some dynamic panel arrangements into the story, popping characters across panel and setting the pages up with off-grid panel arrangements and diagonal panel frames. Staples fills the pages with classic, heroic-strength coloring, as expected. Alpha Flight is in great hands with this team tackling the visuals.

Canada's favorite team has had some pretty significant ups and downs since John Byrne left the team. I'm hesitant to base my declaration of a team's relevance on a single issue, but this issue feels like how I remember classic "Alpha Flight" comics feeling.

This issue sets up a method to deliver Alpha Flight back into the Marvel Universe proper, complete with a purpose and full, fan-favorite roster. What spins out of the "Chaos War" remains to be seen, but I would love to see more of McCann, Brown, Pallot, and Staples on future adventures of Canada's favorite superhero team.

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