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Alpha Flight #4 Review

4 min read
The latest round of Alpha Flight works pretty well as it's trying to juggle a lot of things and handling it better than I expected.

“Divided We Stand: Part Four”

Creative Staff:
Story: Ed Brisson
Art: Scott Godlewski
Colors: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

What They Say:
NO MUTANT IS SAFE! ALPHA FLIGHT is boxed in by the very BOX SENTINELS they serve with! What secret agenda causes this schism within DEPARTMENT H, and how does it involve the mutants of Krakoa? Find out in the latest installment of the most surprise-packed series in the FALL OF X era!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having loved Alpha Flight from their introduction and that original twelve-issue storyline in the 1980s when they had their first title, I’m always wary about trying to go back again. And I’ve had such a hard relationship with the world of mutants and the complicated X-books that it’s just a mess to me and part of the way a shared continuity is crashing in on itself after so many decades. But a new Alpha Flight book, even just a limited series, will get me to check it out. It helps that I’ve liked a lot of what Ed Brisson has done in the last few years and that the book is fairly accessible. They’re working with Scott Godlewski on the artwork with Matta Milla doing the color work and it comes together well as they capture the look of what to me is classic Alpha Flight but also the more streamlined look of a lot of today’s books.

As we barrel toward the finale, things are moving at a pretty good clip there. The initial issue in focusing on Mac trying to understand what Heather was doing as Nemesis and where Claire is at is handled well given the tension of knowing that they’ll all be discovered soon if they don’t move. Erika and Department H with the Box Sentinels are going to close in soon enough and I do like that Feedback basically agrees that he has to take responsibility for so much of this and give himself up. Or at least the pretense of it because Mac makes it clear that they will be getting him out of this situation. It’s a good bit of chaos to unfold across it, and the way that Erika keeps putting the team on an information blackout because of how untrustworthy they are at this point. She does need them to some extent but she’s also looking forward to when she can be rid of them and just use the Box sentinels.

Events at “Krakoa North” are what will shift the balance of things going into the finale. We’ve seen Laurent looking for a way out since he pretty much ended up there and the fact that it’s just walking out the door is fairly amusing. Of course, the other kids follow suit though they don’t get far, but it’s Laurent that’s the problem as once he’s outside the ping goes off and that sets off all the alarms with Erika. And sets the redirect of the Box Sentinels which everyone thought would be pursuing Northstar and Aurora at first. It’s a fun bit of tension but it also just reminds us how badly set up this refuge was for those that they had rescued. The team is simply spread too thin and the importance of not going outside and staying in the facility wasn’t made as clear as it needed to be.

In Summary:
Everything is being put into place for the finale for this but that’s all in service of the larger storyline going on with the Krakoa material that I’m not reading. Every time I look at the checklist of related titles it reminds me why I don’t read much from Marvel Comics these days, especially for the X-Books, which still saddens me since I was a huge fan during the 80s and early 90s. There’s a lot to enjoy here and I suspect we’ll have a decent ending to the miniseries overall but it is, unfortunately, a cog within the larger work that is the Krakoa and mutant storyline. It reads well and has some strong action sequences and visual designs that make it a fun read which is pretty important.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 15th, 2023
MSRP: $3.99