Oracle Towers Review #7: It Ain't No Thing...
Writer: John Bryne
Colours: Andy Yanchus
Editor: Jim shooter, Dennis O'Neil
Letters: Michael Higgins (tattoo)
Pencil: John Bryne
Ink: John Bryne
Cover: John Bryne
Here i am yet again. so today i thought i would indulge you classic buffs with a little bit of the good stuff. which i mean the 80's outside of the remnants of the 70's with disco's, afros, and bell bottom pants. The 80's was quite a time to be into comics. it was the most influential in comics in my opinion. So i picked out this issue of Alpha flight by pure randomness, I was going through my Twin brothers hoard which was catalogued by dates and not by issue. So i looked up 1984 and grabbed what cover was the most appealing to me. So lets get on with it and check out the issue.
Right off the bat we are shown a research station somewhere on the highest mountain in canada which apparently was named Mt.Logan. to me im guessing this is where Logan did his mining somewhere around here. One thing i love about Bryne is he is great with detail and describing how characters are feeling and not expecting the picture to show it. i mean when he is in control he is in control. Several scientists along with Dr. Walter Langkowski are monitering cosmic rays over the canadian skies as per orders of the government. Story continues as a signal was being picked up. Langkowski says to try to beam in the transmission and find out what it is since it was showing signs of brain activity. as the figure materialized it shows the figure none other than the Thing from the Fantastic Four. who then collapses immediately.
They scientists tried to move Ben, but unable as he is too heavy. reluctant Walter transforms into the incredible Sasquatch. just a little thing he picked up on his travels. taking ben to the infirmary the physician asks sasquatch if he knows of any prior conditions that the thing might have. While muttering to himself about a possible up coming issue with sasquatch in it with the fantastic four. Sasquatch gets into an arguement with McMurdo as resident douche. they are asked to leave the room as he tried to get some work done.
As the physician finally able to get blood out of ben, realized there is something wrong with the blood. just then dragged to the floor and killed. meanwhile Walter and megan a researcher are in the kitchen talking about the transformation and how every grows in proportion. for some reason im reminded of mallrats. Just when McMurdo comes in and says something is wrong with the Dr.Duncan the physician. they rush to his office and rather than open the door or check to see if its locked well just bust it open. i guess this is why we need football players. RUN FORWARD!
They make speculations on what happened as the doctors body was left fried to a crisp and ben is gone. Langkowski being the genius in radiation also a master detective. deducting that the person was already inside and was invisible. Walter then decides to try to track this person down. upon realizing the powers which were involved he heads back to the station only to see it blow up. coming down the remains he spends one more moment with megan before she dies in his arms. the cries out for the monster show himself. The first part of the issue ends when we learn the identity for the attacker. but of course the super skrull. with the powers all the fantastic four.
The second story we are treated to the origins of Aurora. one of the speedsters. Growing up in a girls school which seems like its from the 19th century in the way it deals with disipline, a depressed Jeanne-Marie jumps off the roof of her school. where her "mutant" powers manifest and she learns she can fly. all depression she had fades away. we also learn more that one of the nuns there is a total bitch. she is constantly punished for the discovery of her "mutant" powers.
As she grows up she starts to develop a second personality which sometimes acts as her wild side. this becomes more evident when she keep restraining her powers and feelings. soon she finds herself next day wearing bar clothes and make up which scares the other girls. and mother superior seems to think the girl has the devil in her, so best way to get it out? of course with a cane. John Brynes writing i like for this story cause you can really feel sympathy for her. though i love the idea of the previous and potential bad ass fight which would go down. but overall character story, the origins here of Jeanne-Marie seem so much more real.
After a few years she comes back to the school for a teaching position where mother bitch-tits still has a smug attitude towards jeanne-marie. she thinks how she finally made it to the top when her alter ego manifests itself when she looks at herself in the mirror. About an hour later we find her at the local disco club in Montreal, Quebec. where she is talking to a man who is a cancer and says that must be painful. While she leaves the club she is being watched by 2 men who are wanting some fun. they grab her and the first guy gets owned in the first hit.
Little did Jeanne-marie know she was watched by a man in a cowboy hat. he goes on to say about pointing is wrong and you should not point back. and brings out a claw. he goes by the name of something...oh what is it... starts with a "W"... something like an animal.....Wolver something. anyways he offers her a chance to go to Ottawa to make a better life for herself. some how she does not see the down side to this.
Great stories for this book. im iffy on some parts but great action potential for Sasquatch and a great character story with Aurora in her origin. with the #10 being the next issue. it will conclude both stories, and possibly something to write up on again some other time. the story i give a 4.5 out of 5.
The Pretty Colours
Yay! 80's art. John Bryne is one of my all time favorites when it comes to penciling. the man is multi talented and has worked on many issues. Superman, X-men, Incredible Hulk. and many others. his work has only gotten better over time as new styles have formed with technology. so in the next two paragraphs im going to talk about each story.
The first story with Sasquatch. The art seemed to focus on making sasquatch do more action than anything as if no one cared he was a doctor of radiation. the background and characters all have the same amount of detail. not one thing was given more attention over the other. on that point the details were not all completely there, but enough was given to convey the points of the actions as well as bring in the emotion. this type of art allows for much more interaction between enviroment and characters.
The second story, was the same as first story where the background and details were even but not heavy on the details. but the art was that much more conveying to the reader when following the story as then you have the visual of the problems that poor Aurora went through. The part with the disco almost made me feel like she was in a club as they kept it dark in the background and gave bright hues on the characters.
Overall the Art is great, but if you find your looking for an Alex ross type art, then you will be dissapointed as this is more story/action centric. the art is good enough to get the point across and keep you reading. so i would give the art 3.5 out of 5.
So i think this is a good to great book. depending on what your looking for. thought the art is not as great as the story, it does help carry the story along and convey the messages it was telling. To me its another great work from the John brynes collection. Even though i read someplace the Alpha Flight series was something he did not want to do. which makes the series now even more interesting to want to read.
Sasquatch is an interesting character much like a canadian version of the incredible hulk where he has a beast within but he still maintains his intellect which is awesome. i always like it when heroes can control their powers. as well with the story of Aurora and how she came into her "mutant" powers. her story was compelling and full of heart. not to sound like a silly but it almost makes you want to cry.
So overall, fans of classic comics and john bryne i would suggest giving this a read over. for anyone who is not a fan i would still say just to find it in a friends house or a discount bin, and just give it a read over. this is one of those books where its a whole other story to itself. its a good read and its not something you will feel as if you wasted your time (O.M.I.T.). and come on its a super skrull, before secret invasion how often do you fight those? so all in all balancing the issue out i gave it a 4 out of 5. its great that anyone can read but adding it to your collection is up for debate. Next week ill come back with part 2 of the Dark Reflections saga for He-man and the masters of the universe. have a good week/weekend everyone and ill talk to you later.