Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chronic Review: Alpha Flight 0.1!

Not just bad - passive agressive

Alpha Flight .1
Marvel Comics
Script:      Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente
Pencils:    Ben Oliver/Dan Green
20 pages for $2.99

So can we all just stop pretending that Marvel's "Point One" program is anything other than a spin-heavy excuse to double-ship?  That's all it is, that's all it ever was, and it needs to stop.

Jumping on point?  Whatever.  Since this is the first issue of the 97th Alpha Flight reboot, (or is it the 0th issue, or is it the 0.1th issue?) I think everybody not mentally crippled gets that it's a decent place to start reading.  Kay?

It's an excuse to double ship.  Fine.  You're really clever, OK guys?  Congratulations and all, but stop talking to me about how this is a public service.  It's ludicrous.  The only thing .1 connotes to a human with an ounce of sense is a revision, or an update.  It does not connote "good place to start".  The only thing .1 did was prove once and for all that David Gabriel and the Marvel sales & marketing team are Ass Hats that smell strongly of Massengil.  That's it.

The world does not want, need, or clamor for another Alpha Flight book, by the way.  What was the impetus for that?  Was it the shockingly poor sales on the Omega Flight book that not even Civil War buzz could keep afloat?  Maybe it was the stupefyingly low numbers that Alpha Flight generated during that Chaos War travesty.  I'm not sure which of those two catastrophic failures made Marvel decide to throw yet another turd at the already excrement-packed wall to see if it would stick again.  But they did.  Yeeeee haw!

What's holding y'all up?
In this rendition, fans will be treated to the most incredibly stupid thing I've ever seen in thirty years of comics reading.  No, I'm not kidding.  Of all the aggressively moronic things I've witnessed in my career as a comics reader, this is the worst.  And I was around for Punisher the angel, OK?

So the big threat in the issue is Kara Kilgrave, the Purple Girl.  Like her father she has the ability to make anybody within in range of her pheromone field do whatever she tells them.  Fine.

So she tells a group of Canadian citizens to "be as one", (just to pound the already over-pounded "unity" theme over your head one more time) and so they all start playing grab-ass with each other until they form a giant anthropomorphic creature to stomp around the city.

If you paid for this...I'm sorry.

And listen, I understand that this is a comic book.  Yes, I understand that people bitten by radioactive spiders get infections, not super powers.  I get it.  But inside the fantasy, there must still be internally consistent rules or the reader's ability to invest in the story falls apart.

I can even recognize the story potential of Purple Girl telling people to do impossible things.  If she's in Canada, and tells some guy to run to Texas, that's actually a potentially interesting way to maim or even kill a character, because they simply can't do it.

But you can't make an anthropomorphic creature out of grab-assy Canadians simply by telling them to do it.  They might want to do it, but clumping together just makes for a lot of harassment lawsuits, not a functional giant.  There's no central nervous system to command or synchronize the parts.  Clumped people do not make a functional musculature, and the parts wouldn't be strong enough to hold together any way.

It's beyond stupid, and into passive aggressive abuse.  If Purple Girl could do that, why not tell some guy to shit gold bricks for her, or better yet have him poop out some unseen further episodes of Milch's Deadwood so we could get a proper ending to a truly great series instead of inscrutable John From Cincinnati shows?  That's what I would do. As long as we're going to do the impossible.

As much as I enjoy gay sex in my comics, (and there's plenty of gay action in this one) I just can't endorse something this malicious.  Alpha Flight 0.1 is just a giant middle finger, daring you to call it out, knowing that a good chunk will just buy the next issue for $3.99 next week.  If you want gay sex, as your attorney I advise to go read Daken.

As for me, I'm going to pee on this book.  Big time.

- Ryan


Del said...

An interesting view. One, which as an Alpha fan, I strongly disagree with. Although I do tentatively agree with your issue re the giant people person, I will be taking that under advisement from my lawyer.

rplass said...

I also disagree with your overall take on this issue. It was a solid Alpha Flight story and in context of their 30+ year legacy, was a historic event for a beloved team of characters who are now owned by top notch creators. Also, your ire about the 0.1 issues as a double ship trick is misplaced for an individual issue review and ought to stand on its own as a general rant. That has nothing to do with this individual issue.

Irish Mike said...

The reviewer incorporated his perspective into the piece. Ryan has a unique take on comics and his reviews reflect his thoughts.

I wouldn't change a damn thing