Monday, April 22, 2013

Alpha Flight #6


This issue has been reprinted in a trade paperback called Alpha Flight Classic Vol.1.  Since it's readily available in a nice, glossy book format, I won't be featuring many scans from the issue.  

Let's take a look at "Snowblind", written, penciled and inked by John Byrne.  The Assitant Editor for this issue was Linda Grant.

Corporal Anne McKenzie (better known as Snowbird of Alpha Flight) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is being disciplined by her superior.  She's made a nasty habit of disappearing from her post, since she's often called away when she needs to help Alpha Flight.  When asked to explain her absences, she can't, because she doubts they'll believe her.

The "Beware" of AEM stamp shows up on the splash page.

McKenzie is confined to a cell.

Nearby, oil workers are working on a well.  A worker named Thom says that the land is sacred to his people and drilling there could lead to disaster.  Thom's pleas are ignored.  Their efforts accidentally awaken Kolomaq, the Great Beast of the Snow!  He can control the snow, ice and temperature.

Their efforts accidentally awaken Kolomaq, the Great Beast of the Snow!  He can control the snow, ice and temperature.

Snowbird arrives and attempts to stop Kolomaq.

He creates a blizzard around them, rendering Snowbird...snowblind, as the title would indicate.  Snowbird counters by using her shape-shifting powers to  transform into a white bear.  She attacks Kolomaq, this is what it looks like:

It goes on like this for several pages, as Snowbird changes from white bear to white owl.

Eventually, Snowbird defeats Kolomaq and buries him under rubble.

I want to acknowledge the contributions here from letterer Michal Higgins.  You can almost see the battle due to Higgins' action-packed words in the "blizzard" panels. 

I know some readers didn't like the "blank" panels, but I've always thought they were funny. 

At the end of the issue, we get this "message in a bottle" from Linda Grant.  It's drawn by legendary artist Marie Severin.

Thanks to John Byrne, Michael Higgins, Linda Grant and Marie Severin producing an entertaining AEM issue. 

That's all, for the rest of the story, pick up the aforementioned Alpha Flight tpb. 



Tim Roll-Pickering said...

This wasn't actually the first time such a battle had been drawn. What If vol 1 #34 was an all comedy issue full of tiny little stories including two written & drawn by Tom DeFalco:

"What If the Silver Surfer, White Tiger, Night Rider, Iceman and Moon Knight fought Wendigo in a snowstorm?"
"What If the Black Panther fought the Shroud Master of Darkness in a Coalmine?"

Neither had any lettering but the basic idea was there.

(Alpha Flight star in another story in that issue. "What If Alpha Flight talked like T.V. Canadians?")

Pj Perez said...

Good to see you posting again. I just read Byrne's AEM "Thing" issue (in collected reprint) and ... it definitely lived up to "weird." And "stupid," too. At least this was inventive.

J.A. Morris said...

Tim, yes, I loved that 'What If' issue, read it dozens of times. I remember the Alpha Flight talking like Bob & Doug McKenzie.

And Pj, I'll get to that Thing issue, I especially liked the back-up feature with the creators. I'll get to that issue eventually.

Thanks for stopping by folks!

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

I was a bit confused as the only Bob McKenzie I could think of is the late psephologist and he never talked like that (but was Canadian). I've just googled Bob and Dave and can see where the sketch is coming from now - I previously thought it was a more general dig at the way Canadians are portrayed on US television (we Brits have our own gripes in this area).

J.A. Morris said...

Tim, I strongly recommend that show SCTV, some of the writers & actors on the show were "real" Canadians, the show was produced in Toronto and Edmonton. So it wasn't just Americans making fun of Canadians. I was a big fan (still watch it on dvd), the only drawback is that many of the jokes & parodies rely too much on 70s & 80s pop culture references.

Unrelated to that, I just started checking out your 'Essential Exploits' blog yesterday, I'll check it out more in the future.