Alpha Flight (Vol. 3) #8

Background

Wax replicas of the Marvel Universe are attacking Major Mapleleaf and Puck! Meanwhile, a pasty, creepy, scientist-looking dude mutters to himself that the "Manimator" will rule all, or something like that...

Story Details

  Alpha Flight (Vol. 3) #8
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 2 of 'Waxing Poetic' (1-2)
Editor: Mike Marts
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Dave Ross
Inker: Mark McKenna

Puck introduces the issue with a verbal recap of what happened in issue #7, followed by Mapleleaf commenting on how she really has that expository dialogue down pat. Sigh. Mapleleaf pilots his flying horse Thunder to the ground to try to protect Puck, but as she notes, it isn't particularly safe there either, eh? Mapleleaf sends Thunder away to get help, as Puck asks if getting the horse to ask for help is the master plan. Mapleleaf informs her that Thunder doesn't talk. Then, they start to rumble with the wax creatins, with Maplelaf easily getting pinned by a Thing replica, while Zuzha takes down a wax Spider- Man with her agility. Before long, they are stuck in a fight they can't win alone, as the statues regenerate after injury. Yukon Jack arrives to help, in all his arrogant brilliance. They assume that someone nearby is controlling the statues.

At Department H HQ, Sasquatch petitions for Nemesis' freedom. The director tells him never to make demands of Department H again. Sasquatch then goes furry and swings him around off the top of the building, so that the director knows who's boss.

Meanwhile, in Montreal, the battle rages on, as the heroes are relying on the Iron Man and Human Torch statues to burn the others.

At some other place called Eden Rock, Centennial, Alpha Flight's own octogenarian superhero, has busted a group of young black thugs who are intent on fighting "the man." In Canada. I think that in itself is intended as a joke. Centennial (Rutherford Princeton) criticizes Malcolm, the leader and Centennial's great-grandson, for wasting time on a political cause that merely wastes his own time. Malcolm falls to the ground after the old man slaps him upside the head, and informs him that his name is Blacque X - Malcolm is the name that the MAN gave him to hold him down. Rutherford keeps knocking some sense into the misguided youth. Thunder arrives, meaning that it's time for Rutherford to jump into action!

The team reunites in Montreal,where the big climactic wax battle occurs (off- panel), and Puck knocks out the so-called "Manimator." Then everyone goes back to Eden Rock and has pancakes with the black supremacist group. Seriously.

General Comments

I guess the idea of a black militia group in Canada in the age we live in is a bit ironic, I'll give Lobdell credit for having fun with that notion where most writers would fear to tread there. I liked how Rutherford beat some sense into his idiot great-grandson for blaming "the man" for all his non-existant problems.

This wasn't a bad issue. The humor remains a tad sterile, but this time there were a few moments of promise.

Overall Rating

Okay, the "Blacque/Malcolm X" thing was pretty damn funny, and enough to warrant a slightly padded rating. Still, this is a bit tired.

Footnote

Next issue visits something called Days of Future Present, Past Participle. Maybe it'll make fun of Canada's extremely liberal immigration policy, or socialized health care! That'd be "witty."