The Vestrymen have repeatedly made the claim that Marvel’s 0.1 numbering system exists as some sort of Eldritch attempt to undermine our understanding of math, counting, and comic book reading order. At least up till now the point one numbering had some sort of internal logic. The point one books are supposed to be “jumping on points” set between or apart from the regular stories that exist in order to catch readers up with what was happening in their “home books.” That makes a lot of sense for books in the 600s or even a dozen issues in. For books that are just relaunching the concept of a point one looses all meaning. We’ve had #0 books to fill that purpose for quite a while, but they are a little silly too. New series have an obligation to help new readers catch up with any continuity that we need to be caught up on. The whole reason for point ones, I thought, was to simulate number ones for running book. Moral of the story? Marvel hates your ability to count and wants you to cry.
You want an actual review of the comic, you say? You picky, picky readers! Fine, but don’t expect it to be way longer than I originally intended! The comics plot revolves around a Canadian election. A new party, the Unity Party, is set to win in a landslide and ex-members of Beta Flight have decided to out their evil, evil plans using domestic terrorism as their political tool. Beta’s members deliver a lot of “your just servants of the corporate-fascistic technocracy” lines in the book put there to convince me that this is cutting edge political satire, allegory, or direct punditry. Without an actual point is just comes across as sophomoric. I can’t find any other way its trying to engage me either… Greg Pak is no Warren Ellis.
On the plus(?) side this comic does have what might be the finest example of superhero medical malpractice I’ve ever seen and I’ve read books featuring Doctor Strange AND Mister Terrific!
Worst Doctor .... Ever
I believe Shaman when he tells me that his body is capable of doing routine surgery, but I have assume that whatever part of himself he astrally projects holds something. I want to know if I ever need open heart surgery that my surgeon is giving my procedure 100% of his ability, ‘cuz, you know, he is going to break my chest open in order to work on my unprotected, often still beating heart. I really, really, don’t want to believe that there is a chance he is going to be multitasking a brawl at the same time. The book plays this nurse’s nagging as her just being a bitch, but really? She may be the most reasonable person in the whole dam book.
The whole book reads this way. I’m totally down with hard-to-like protagonists, but they need to do at least one thing to make me think they are worth rooting for at least once in every issue/episode/movie. This book has my rooting for Beta Flight and they don’t have a single character moment and only really one character trait shared between two characters. All the members of Alpha Flight have at least one asshole moment in this book and not even one of them has a redeemable moment. Don’t believe me? Upon capturing a protegee, who they say they really like, that has access to such extreme second hand evidence that she has decided that it is so extreme it justifies terrorism against all her recent character development (thank you wikipedia) what do they do? Refuse to make eye contact and tell the police to not make the cuffs chafe too much. Seriously? Would listening to the poor girl tell you what her evidence was really have been so dangerous? If you where worried about her mind control, listen to the other guy who you used to train.
Not convinced? There is a whole section where Northstar refuses to be a superhero, despite having flight and superspeed, and I think, a level of invulnerability because he just wants to make out with his boyfriend. I get that the creative team wanted to deal with the fact that Northstar is gay head on, and I applaud them for that. Treating him like a responsibility ducking horndog likely won’t get that job done. Also that gay kiss looks like it was drawn by a middle aged woman who says she is “down with the gays” but is massively uncomfortable with them.
That was way longer than I intended it to be. Time for the train challenge tst. Does Alpha Flight .001 have new ideas, intersting thought or social comenteary that is not completely derivative? No, sadly it does not. Train 1 Cabel 0