The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast

The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast Episode 030

The X-cellent Alpha Flight X-travaganza

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Note: We like our language NSFW salty, and there be spoilers here…

A Mari Usque Ad Mare! This is the one you’ve been waiting for since we started this podcast! The Great White North’s greatest defenders… Canada’s premier super-team… Alpha Flight! Illegal Machine and Mister Fixit simply cannot say enough about the Mutants of Manitoba, so Diabolu Frank called in special guest The Irredeemable Shag to lavish all the praise we as a collective could muster! And mail! There’s so much mail! How could we fit this big of a Marvel Mailbag and Canuck Craziness into a single episode? How indeed! This one’s finer than Poutine with a double double for a loonie, eh? Giv’n her!

In the interests of full disclosure, Frank’s disdain for Alpha Flight was sustained through the purchase of no less than 16 issues of the book during it’s original run.

As you can tell, we love a fierce conversation and a pretty picture, so why don’t you socialize with us, either by leaving a comment on this page or…


4 thoughts on “The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast Episode 030”

  1. When I opened up the podcast and saw it was over an hour I paused. Could I actually listen to that much about Alpha Flight? A team I have absolutely no history and knowledge of?

    So I had to laugh when I heard the long pauses when Illegal Machine was asked about the team. I’m with you. I can name some of the members … that’s about it. It was cool to hear Shag and Frank talk about it if only to add some background. Who knew there was a Purple Girl??

    As for Byrne as a writer, I am a bit hit or miss with him. There are some things I have liked a lot and others that I thought were pretty rough. I very much enjoyed his West Coast Avengers run which, unfortunately, was built on slowly destroying Scarlet Witch’s psyche.

    I think I surprise people when I say that I liked his Superman stuff too. As a Superman fan I can say that things were getting pretty stale in his books in the Crisis-era books. So Byrne’s run was a new, fresh, and different. Even a continuity freak like me welcomed a change to bring some excitement back to the super-titles.

    Lastly, I completely completely agree with Frank’s assessment about DC Comics and their slow transition into Kingdom Come. That mini-series was Mark Waid’s way of warning DC about where the largesse of 90s comics would bring the characters. But instead of heading the warning, DC embraced it! Insanity.

    Thanks again for the show!


  2. Actual comments to come. I just wanted to scream out the fact I am NOT a Quebecker. I’m Acadian, which means French Canadian from the Atlantic Provinces. We do not have the same history as Quebeckers, nor the same shitty attitude (sorry Quebec, but you know you you).

    Sorry, got all nationalistic there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Alpha Flight, obviously, but there are few comics to really recommend. Byrne had some good stuff, but he also pulled some cheap tricks to stay on his Shooter-imposed schedule, like the white out issue, a full on recap of the first dozen in issue 13, and the backdoor reprint of Alpha’s X-Men appearance. Partway through, it got saddled with the obnoxious Flexographic coloring process, which was even worse when Mantlo and Mignola took over. Mignola was destroyed by terrible inking, as I recall, but this is the run I’m most curious to rediscover. I was forced to quit reading Alpha when it went to Direct Sales only (no comic book store where I lived) and then picked it up again for a bit after I moved for university. Quit during the terrible arc where they tried to bring back all the original Alphans – the one where Guardian showed up with the back story of the evil robot from the back end of Byrne’s run. Nonsense with terrible art.

    The Van Lente/Eaglesham mini-series from recent years was, i must say, pretty awesome. The best since Byrne and probably better than that. I wish it had gone to series. I’ve never liked Marrina EXCEPT in that series where she’s my favorite. One to check out. And Purple Girl is a bad guy in it, since you profess affection for her.


  4. Okay, the audio in the first couple minutes when Frank talked to Mister Fixit was so bad I was wondering why he kept it in the show. Then when Frank did the faux-Siskoid answering machine message, I worried that the show was overproduced. But by the time he started calling Shag with a rotary phone sound effect, I gotta say I was laughing out loud. Yeah, literally LOL’ing. LLOL.

    Most of my exposure to Alpha Flight was in their occasional appearances in the X-Men books. I enjoyed Steven T. Seagle’s run on UNCANNY X-MEN in the mid/late-’90s, so when I saw he was working on an ALPHA FLIGHT series, that was the closest I ever came to diving into the characters. I didn’t, though, because there always seemed to be something better on my radar.

    To date, I’ve only read the first two issues of the original run by Byrne, and those were within the last year on Marvel Unlimited. A lot of the characters seem interesting, but the story couldn’t grab me. You can put me squarely in the camp that considers John Byrne an extremely overrated writer. His FANTASTIC FOUR was solid, but not fantastic. His NAMOR was good, not great. I haven’t read all of his SUPERMAN work but I found MAN OF STEEL to be simply okay. I have a short stack of SHE-HULK on my desk that I need to get to.

    Good episode! I was sifting through two hours of audio with Shag from our last talk when I listened to this and for a moment forgot what I was listening to.


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