Current Reviews


Alpha Flight #4

Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: Clayton Henry and Mark Morales

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Remember those old Justice League of America issues where the team would split up into smaller groups and each of these groups would tackle a different threat before they were pulled back together to tackle the main threat? Now, I was always rather fond of this format as most times the pairings were different, so I got the opportunity to see my favorite characters interacting with new characters, but as the decades have added more experience to my comic reading skills I've come to realize that these smaller pairs allow the writer to more easily introduce the readers to the character because they don't have to wrap their heads around an entire room full of heroes.

For this reason, I actively encourage all new series to use this format in the early issues and Scott Lobdell wisely heeds this unspoken advice, which in turn results in an issue that gives readers a better grasp on the cast of characters that make up the new team.

This issue also manages to establish a couple interesting moments of interaction, as Major Mapleleaf remains endearingly obtuse when it comes to recognizing his ever cheerful attitude is annoying the heck out of his partner. There's also a cute big brother/kid sister relationship established between Sasquatch and the new Puck, though one is forced to endure one of the most awkwardly unfunny gags that has yet to be offered up in these pages, as the dancing Sasquatch sequence felt downright desperate in its bid to get a laugh.

Still, the book does offer up a somewhat intriguing teaser about Major Mapleleaf's childhood, and I have to admit I did find Mole Man's cameo appearance to be quite amusing.

As for the art, Clayton Henry brings in a highly energetic style that works exceptionally well when there is action playing out of the page, and he also has a pretty solid array of facial expressions, which help to sell some of the visual gags. However, he does have the habit of leaving out the backgrounds, as the characters are moving through featureless voids a little too frequently for my liking.

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