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Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand’ review

A highly competent book that justifies its existence with the sheer creative caliber of its execution. 

Alpha Flight’s always sat on the periphery of the X-books, yet the team has interested me since the early days of Chris Claremont’s run. Having a Canadian superhero team so closely tied to some of the biggest mutants was always intriguing, and while Marvel has relaunched the title many times over the years to varying levels of success, there seems to be a wealth of potential stories for the unit. With Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand by Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski, the team gets folded into the events of Krakoa and the Fall of X, effectively giving them a purpose for being shoehorned into the event, while leaving the door open for promising future explorations. 

Collecting the 2023 miniseries, this book finds Canada’s new authoritarian government reactivating the Alpha Flight team to hunt mutants, mirroring Orchis’s actions by reviving the Box sentinels with Roger Bochs’ son. Guardian, Shaman, Snowbird, and Puck are forced to face off against mutants in their own ranks like Northstar, Aurora, Fang, and Nemesis, while revealing the true nature of the team’s mission. The arc concludes with a hard-fought win, a tragic loss, and an uncertain future that ends on a somber note for the group. 

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Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand

Marvel Comics

Ed has a good sense of pacing, with limited exposition and dialogue, letting Scott Godlewski’s strong line work do a lot of the storytelling. I find teams like this to be some of the most effective in the medium, as their individual contributions to the storytelling strengthen their partner’s work.  I’d be more than happy to see these two creators take on another Alpha Flight book in the aftermath of the current X-line reboot. Based on the plot threads left on the table, I can see some ripe storylines that put Alpha Flight at the center of the post-Orchis reconning human governments and organizations will need to have fallowing the Fall of X. Ed Brisson’s writing treats the aftermath of the 2023 Hellfire Gala with serious urgency (something missing from particular X-titles), maintaining high tension and delivering a melancholy yet believable ending.

Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand

Marvel Comics

We are treated to some full-page variant covers at the tail end of the book, but few other supplementals, which is pretty standard for these Marvel TPBs. Thankfully, this short miniseries doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to justify its existence. I have been critical of Marvel’s recent publishing approach, where a slew of five issue minis have basically replaced monthly books outside of the key staple titles within the X-line. I have found it hard to get invested in these short runs, as they often lack a larger vision and purpose. However, many of them have been competently done, and I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying them. Alpha Flight by Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski is one of those titles. It isn’t groundbreaking in its intentions, but it’s a highly competent book that justifies its existence with the sheer creative caliber of its execution. 

Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand
‘Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand’ review
Alpha Flight: Divided We Stand
I have been critical of Marvel’s recent publishing approach, where a slew of five issue minis have basically replaced monthly books outside of the key staple titles within the X-line. I have found it hard to get invested in these short runs, as they often lack a larger vision and purpose. However, many of them have been competently done, and I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying them. Alpha Flight by Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski is one of those titles. It isn’t groundbreaking in its intentions, but it’s a highly competent book that justifies its existence with the sheer creative caliber of its execution. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski's styles complement each other well, giving this book a brisk and enjoyable feel.
This mini justifies its existence by focusing on its characters and producing a story that connects to the larger X-line without being burdened by it.
Hopefully Marvel will start green lighting more creative teams to do monthly books where they can expand upon the ideas they generate in these short minis.
7
Good
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