Canada's beleaguered super hero team Alpha Flight has faced many threats through the years, and frankly, they haven't done all that well against them. Alpha Flight seemed to be finished after nearly the entire team was killed in the Collective arc of the New Avengers title. Luckily for Canadians living in the Marvel Universe, the all-new Omega Flight has risen from their ashes.
The book opens up with a quick summary of the situation. The registration act that had just been passed in the US has caused an influx of villains to flood into Canada. Though it seems odd that super villains would be the ones fleeing as they usually have other reasons to be arrested already, the fact that Canada is largely defenceless does make it a reasonable target. With the country in chaos, the fictitious female Prime Minister (take that Stephen Harper!) decrees that a new group of Canadian super-heroes should be formed.
Though he was originally believed to be dead, Walter Langkowski is evidently alive and well, attempting to give a short lecture to high school class. Ignoring his lecture, the kids berate him with a series of questions on the history of Alpha Flight and his supposed death. There are an amusingly large number of questions regarding clones which any Alpha Flight fan, or possibly even a Spider-Man fan, would get a kick out of. After an overwhelmed Walter is escorted out of the room by a friend, he's approached by Agent Brown of C.S.I.S (Canadian Secret Intelligence Service)for an offer to head up the new Flight team.
While Walter goes to confer with the Canadian government, the Wrecking Crew slowly makes their way to the Canadian border. After seeing a flame powered villain get pinched, they decide to keep a low profile until they're safely within Canada.
Walter and Agent Brown hold their meeting on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier. Walter is informed that the new Omega Flight is being put together as a joint operation between the Canadian government and S.H.I.E.L.D. Not to be mistaken with the name of Alpha Flight's former enemies, this new Omega Flight will be fighting for the citizens of Canada against the threat brought about by the super powered crime wave. Walter reluctantly agrees to lead Omega Flight and is shown the members of his new team. Agent Brown's comments on how negotiations with Tony Stark involved an emphasis on the stability of the US rather then their actions being the cause of the problem was great and sums up the relationship between both countries quite nicely. But that's all in the spirit of fun, most Canadians are rational enough to know that. Except when it comes to soft wood of course.
Agent Brown then goes on to show Walter the members being supplied by S.H.I.E.L.D. for Omega Flight, the always obnoxious USAgent and the less abrasive Arachne. While the former is an odd decision considering the flag he wears, Arachne seems like a natural choice given her distaste for the registration act and her desire to continue being a super hero while keeping her daughter safe. Agent Brown also suggests Talisman for the team as another Canadian member, however Walter is doubtful she would join. The next member isn't shown visually, though it receives a stern rejection from Walter. It's doubtful that there would be such hard feelings on the next member being Beta Ray Bill, the Civil War: The Initiative one-shot released by Marvel already revealed that this member was probably the new Guardian, Michael Pointer. This is the same Michael Pointer responsible for the death of the original Alpha Flight. Unfortunately for Walter, Agent Brown doesn't consider the line-up a point for debate.
At a first nations festival Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, better known as Talisman, tells her tribe a story of the first Shaman. As she tells the story, accompanied by some beautiful visuals by Scott Kolins, she is confronted by a snow owl telling her of an approaching destiny. She snaps out of her vision in time to find Walter has Sasquatched himself up to pay her a visit. He tells her of the new Omega Flight being formed and that she's one of the Canadians chosen for it. She respectfully declines, wishing to instead care for her tribe. She reasons that since this is an American problem, they should be the ones who deal with it.
After trashing a bar in their civilian clothing, the Wrecking Crew decide it's time to suit up and finally take Canada in full force. At C.S.I.S. headquarters, Walter receives a message that the Wrecking Crew is, well, wrecking things in a Canadian city. Refusing to let them "wreck" his country, Sasquatch arrives on the scene on top of Bulldozer's head. He goes on to fight the Wrecking Crew single-handedly and manages to hold his own for a short while. Unfortunately, with a vision of the death of Alpha Flight filling his head, Sasquatch is quickly overwhelmed by the Wrecking Crew's numbers and the issue ends with them pummelling him into darkness.
Oeming has written an interesting beginning for the new Omega Flight team. The dialogue at times feels uniquely Canadian and attention to smaller details regarding my home country, such as including C.S.I.S., are greatly appreciated. The pacing is a bit on the slow side, but lately it's par for the course when telling the story of a new team being formed. While Scott Kolins' art can be hit or miss, he clearly brings his best efforts to the title. Each page screams of a tremendous amount of effort and detail put into the scenery and characters. Brian Reber's colours also do a lot to help create a rich look for the book that gives it an older feeling. It seems odd to prominently feature the entire team on the cover when the story seems to be focusing on its formation which will culminate in the final issue of the mini-series. However, that's a small complaint in what is a slow, but promising start for the new Omega Flight team.
A great start. I'm hoping the title can build momentum and finally give Canada a super hero team of which it can be proud.