Alpha Flight (Vol. 3) #7

Background

For those of you who haven't read any of the All-New, All-Different Alpha Flight, you aren't missing much. The series which many anticipated as a continuation of the somewhat dysfyunctional Canadian government super-team has actually been revealed an ongoing funnybook, constantly poking fun at Canadians and comics in general, and it seems that the barbs dropped left and right are aimed at X-Men writer Chris Claremont, known for his incessant rambling and expository dialogue that just feels painfully awkward in the post-Silver Age.

Thus far, the series has completed one arc, in which they turned an invasion plot by the evil Plodex aliens into a pro-life debate. You heard me right. The Plodex left thousands of eggs underground, which would begin hatching and enslaving the human race (starting with Canada), but instead of destroying them or getting them off world as Guardian suggested, Major Mapleleaf put up an argument that the Plodex babies deserve the right to decide for themselves, and cannot be harmed. Then the original members of Alpha Flight left Earth, save for Sasquatch, who remains the center of this new team.

Story Details

  Alpha Flight (Vol. 3) #7
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 1 of 'Waxing Poetic' (1-2)
Editor: Mike Marts
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Dave Ross
Inker: Mark McKenna

Alpha Flight decides to consider becoming the new team of Canada's liberty, and they separate to their hometowns to think aboot... about things. Major Mapleleaf and Puck flirt an awful lot, but Mapleleaf (Lou) doesn't get it, or is too shy to admit his crush on Puck (Zuzha). They talk about their fathers for a while. It's supposedly funny how Mapleleaf considers his father, a drunk who apparently had beaten his kids at a young age, a hero. I don't find it funny.

Yukon Jack finds his homeland in some mystical realm in some forest somewhere (it's "funny"), and everyone's happy for no reason. This displeases him. It would appear that a Plodex has inhabited the realm - could it be Marrina?

Later, Nemesis and Sasquatch argue over Nemesis' status on the team, as she wants to be free upon completing the mission, where Walter is obligated by Department H to return her to jail.

Puck and Major Mapleleaf enter "Madame Trudeau's House of Wax" where they find lifelike statues of all of Marvel's superheroes, and Mapleleaf wonders if he'll ever get to meet the real people behind the wax. Then a guy starts muttering behind the scenes, calling himself the "Manimator."

In the end, the wax statues take on the powers of their flesh counterparts, and begin attacking Mapleleaf and Puck.

General Comments

Lobdell needs to move on. At least in this issue he doesn't screw up the Canadian stereotypes (It's spelled GRETZKY, not GRETSKY), but this isn't funny anymore. What started off as a pleasant surprise is old now after only 7 issues. Characters that do things without explanation are given commentary or narration boxes to explain how ludicrous the lack of explanation is, or how they talk too much, and things that generally need to be mentioned only twice to be repetitive. However, I worry that if Lobdell starts to round out the characters more and take the emphasis off humor, the book will go completely flat. I highly doubt Alpha Flight can be in anyone's long-term plans.

Overall Rating

There's a couple of points where I chuckled, but this funnybook Alpha Flight is starting to grate on me. I'm not offended as a Canadian, but the jokes are old, rehashed, and tired. Major Mapleleaf is a really bad imitation of Dudley Do-Right, only slightly creepier. The book needs new material badly.