The Chaos King brings his war to the deities of the North. Meanwhile, the Great Beasts once killed by Snowbird strike a deal with Sasquatch. That deal raises Alpha Flight from the dead, thankfully not as zombies.
I’m not a big fan of messiness amongst teammates and Jim McCann eliminates that chaos. Instead, he favors the display of friendships that united the heroes for the common good. He replicates the feeling the team emanated when Wolverine returned to Canada to heal wounds and fight alongside of Snowbird and Vindicator against the Wendigo. McCann also possesses the wisdom not to bring back the annoying Puck and various substitute Alphas. McCann isolates Alpha Flight to the originals and those are the characters Alpha Flight fans want to see.
McCann pits the team against the Chaos King’s demons. Tension builds from Sasquatch’s deal with the Great Beasts. Snowbird, the Beasts’ natural enemy, wants to kill them, but Alpha Flight must protect the Beasts while they battle the King’s demons. If they fail, the dead of Alpha Flight will return to the nether realms. Subsequently, the Great Beasts grow stronger with each passing second and threaten the world.
McCann’s characterization for the team rings true. These are the same heroes that made me a loyal Alpha Flight fan, and their valorous decisions shape the plot into something smart. Reilly Brown and Terry Pallott impress the team’s camaraderie through hugs, smiles and a general atmosphere of ease. They contrast the team’s friendliness with each other against a fine demonstration in the art of kickass waged on the Chaos King’s minions. Val Staples keeps all vibrant and facilitates an atmosphere of the fantastic. Chaos War could have easily been a dark, angst ridden book. Shadows, however, do not obscure the artwork and the colors make the heroes look bright and shiny.
I tried out each incarnation of Alpha Flight that arose from of the ashes of the old. Chaos War: Alpha Flight is far better than any of the pretenders to the throne and it’s less a lesson in mental instability than Byrne’s original series. I’d call the tone, just right.