Welcome to The Flight Stuff: a podcast about Canada’s premiere superhero team!
In 1983, comic book writer and artist John Byrne lifted his original team, Alpha Flight, from the pages of Uncanny X-Men and dropped them into their own, eponymous series. Over the course of 11 years, the Canadian super team — Guardian, Sasquatch, Puck, Snowbird, Shaman, Aurora, Northstar, and others along the way — battled foes large and small, with adventures steeped in social commentary and uniquely Canadian issues and themes.
Join comic book enthusiasts Liam, Adrianna and Doug as they make their way through the original series issue by issue, character by character, Byrnism by Byrnism, with occasional detours through Canadian cultural history. So sit back, listen up and get right with the Flight!
HAPPY ALPHA FLIGHT: TRUE NORTH #1 DAY! Unfortunately, this episode was recorded before we could get our hands on a copy, but rest assured, we’ll be covering it in-depth soon enough!
Now, onto Episode 16. This episode is a little heavier than usual, but we open on a light note: action figures! At FanExpo Canada, Hasbro announced a new Alpha Flight 6-pack as part of their Marvel Legends line, and your hosts weigh in with their thoughts.
Our main discussion starts off as any other, with a focus on the art. Liam, Doug and Adrianna give their thoughts on Mignola’s cover for issue #31 and the fact that this issue marks his departure from interior duties. The story itself heralds the return of Deadly Earnest and Nemesis, and most of the issue focuses on the conflict between them and Alpha Flight’s struggle to take him down. Shaman makes an appearance, too. We give our thoughts on the Nemesis/Deadly Earnest relationship, the way violence is depicted in this issue, and the somewhat confused theological underpinnings of Shaman’s story arc.
Then, it’s on to issue #32, which, to put it mildly, was not a hit with your hosts. Though we always try to balance any criticism with something positive, it’s hard to do that with an issue that handles disability so appallingly. Puck is a favorite among all three of this show’s hosts, so we of course have a lot of thoughts about how his backstory is handled here. We discuss the Puck vs. Razer conflict and the ways it diminishes Puck as a character, as well as the idea of disability as punishment or a product of moral failure, a trope that is unfortunately common in fiction and very much present in Mantlo’s handling of Puck.
We also discuss Heather’s characterization across both issues and Liam is once again thirsty, but this time, for SHAMAN!
As always, thanks for listening!
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