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!
Things get off to a playful start in Episode Four as the team speculates about the possibility of an Alpha Flight feature film (1:38) and ponder the tricky task of casting before jumping into Alpha Flight #9 (5:05). Discussion of the issue kicks off with the usual dissection of Byrne’s cover art. Adrianna and Liam share their misgivings about Walter Langkowski (but not Sasquatch!) with Doug (10:02), which leads to a lengthy back-and-forth about Byrne’s characterization of Sasquatch in this issue, as well as some of the wonky fake science at play. The conversation then shifts to Byrne’s interior art (18:44) and all three hosts agree that it’s a fairly strong issue on this front. The tragic, emotionally-charged backup story exploring Aurora’s origin story (26:08) is also a big hit with the hosts, though Liam does have some reservations once again about how the issue of mental health is handled throughout the series.
The team then jumps into issue #10 (38:43), a continuation of the Sasquatch story from issue #9. We get another home run from Byrne on the cover art, but the team is more divided on the contents of the issue, especially the development in Guardian’s storyline (45:00) and the fact that the leader of a Canadian superhero team would move to New York to work for Big Oil. The team then shifts focus onto the Sasquatch vs. Super Skull aspect of the story (52:37), in particular the bizarre twist regarding Super Skrull’s health and the introduction of more muddled scientific logic. Doug, Liam and Adrianna all agree that the conclusion to this face-off seems rushed and anticlimactic. The Northstar backup story (1:05:02) gets a much warmer reception, with the team unpacking more coded references to his sexuality as well as James Hudson’s method of recruiting Northstar to the team. There is some debate about the nature of his intentions. All three hosts agree that Northstar and Aurora seem like the most developed, textured characters in the series so far, which makes it easy to invest in their storylines compared to some of the other members of Alpha Flight.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for listening!
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