ALPHA FLIGHT #1 (1997)

The last Alpha Flight series started out strong and got weaker and weaker over time.

In the double-sized first issue, Department H is revived and re-funded by the Canadian government and brought back together.

The new lineup is close to where we last found them, and yet quite different.

Guardian, the leader, is now a clone of James Hudson. Heather Hudson, the original Guardian’s wife, is now too old for him because his clone is 19 years old. But she’s still going by Vindicator and on the team with Puck. We are reminded, through his nightmare, that Puck has the hots for Heather.

We also have their version of Hulk, which is Sasquatch–not from the original lineup, though.

This is the “pure beast” version. Not only is he similar to Hulk, but, like Hulk, he’s been separated from his genius scientist aspect.

Madison Jeffries is back with the team. He became a member in volume 1. Murmour is a new character.

As is the ridiculous-looking Manbot.

And rounding it off…A pair of brothers named Radius and Flex.

Siblings! Like Northstar and Aurora! Based on their power sets, they’re basically Unus the Untouchable and Wolverine, respectively.

So it’s a very derivative group, with a very derivative plot: They work for the government but the government is corrupt.

A new Zodiac gang targets the new group, so we have a huge and unwieldy and largely uninteresting group of heroes fighting a huge and unwieldy and largely uninteresting group of villains. The twist is that Zodiac also seems to control Department H.


The nicest thing I can say about this reboot is that it, unlike every other Marvel book out at the time, utilizes the classic “cornerbox” style logo, which I love.

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