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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!
In Episode 6, Liam, Adrianna and Doug unpack the post-Guardian world of issues #14, 15 and 16 of Alpha Flight. How does Byrne handle this transition? What’s going on with Namor and Marrina? Who will step up to fill Guardian’s formidable role as leader of Alpha Flight? Plus: inker Bob Wiacek’s triumphant Alpha Flight debut!
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please drop us a line at [email protected].
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Great discussion. Just to add some food for thought…
Obviously you make a valid and important point about the inappropriateness of Snowbird being a blonde white lady despite the fact that she’s meant to represent (albeit fictional) indigenous North American mythology. But hear me out: If the magical beasts that spawned her are really as ancient as they’re said to be, maybe they come from the time of Pangea, when Canada was a short drive from what eventually became Scandinavia — the land of white blonde ladies? This is the kind of thing that would earn Marvel nerds a “no-prize” back in the day, so editors could crowd-source correcting their mistakes.
Obviously it would have been better if Snowbird had looked plausibly Native American and shared more connection to some of the mores and sensibilities of actual real-life Native American religion/myth. And, in my view, it was a mistake to give her an alter ego at all, much less one with a demanding day job. It’s like the dumb idea that Thor, by day, is a doctor named Donald Blake. Set aside that Thor never seemed to know much about medicine or human biology in particular. Who would go to a doctor that’s never around (and, when he is around, pounds giant steins of beer)? This is why there was never more than a winking reference to Blake in any of the Thor movies. But I digress. Snowbird was yet another wasted opportunity to create what could have been a much more fascinating character.