This week I want to talk about another new book from Marvel, a book I have been looking forward to since I read Captain Marvel during Battleword: Marvel’s Captain Marvel #1, “Rise of the Alpha Flight,” by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters with art by Kris Anka.
It marks Captain Marvel’s triumphant return to the Marvel Universe. In this, her solo book, we see her first days as leader of Alpha Flight (HELLS YES!!!) and commander of A.F.S.S., the Alpha Flight Space Station. This is all stuff that we already knew, or at least did if you have read Ultimates, where she is on the powerhouse team that deals with galactic threats, which is what Carol Danvers’ main job is in this title. This book focuses on Carol as leader of Alpha Flight with Abigail Brand, who was the former head of S.W.O.R.D (now defunct and apparently merged with Alpha Flight) and is now Carol’s assistant.
In the issue we see her first adventure, stopping a bunch of meteors from destroying Earth, and are introduced to the supporting cast of the book. Besides Brand we have Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch, as well as a massive crew of scientists and support staff. We also see a cameo from War Machine and Rocket Raccoon, promising to be a who’s who of B-list characters.
This first installment was interesting. It was well written and it’s exciting to see Captain Marvel headlining her own book since she is such a big character in the Marvel Universe. I love seeing her in a command role with hundreds of people under her, though the hook for the next issue wasn’t very sharp. There are also a handful of pages featuring the logistics of running the station that are also kind of dull. As a fan of Abigail Brand, seeing her shunted to a less powerful role was a bit of a letdown. The art is very good but sometimes the backgrounds are sparse and cartoony while the people in focus are overly detailed, leaving some panels to be kind of confusing and disorienting.
The reason I wanted to talk about this book, and the reason I loved this issue, boils down simply to who Captain Marvel is in command of — I am so excited to see Alpha Flight in anything at all. They are one of my favorite teams of all time. (Oh no is my Canadian showing… again.) Even though this is an odd evolution of Alpha Flight, and as far as we know featuring only Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch, it’s still so exciting and perfect to see them have a place in the new Marvel Universe.
At the same time, I really wish they were still in Canada instead of supporting a space station. I would whole heartedly buy an Alpha Flight book, but they are a small role here and frankly the scenes without them were kind of underwhelming. There is a lot of room to grow here and I would love Alpha Flight to take a bigger role. Puck is seemingly making strides to do such.
This book is 2.5 out of 5. It’s a solid book but at the end of the day I only read it to see what Alpha Flight was up to.