Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Alpha Flight: What the Puck?

Studiomate and fellow Drawbridger Reilly Brown had a hand last week (alongside writer Jim McCann) in resurrecting the cult-favorite Canadian Marvel superteam Alpha Flight last week, so today we're all honoring this feat by drawing, you guessed it, Alpha Flight. Each member of Alpha Flight has died, oh, about 7 million times before, but I have a feeling this time their return will stick.

I drew Puck, one of the only members of Alpha Flight not to return from the dead in Reilly's one-shot. Ah, Puck... As a Canadian superteam, almost all of the members of Alpha Flight embodied some stereotypical concept of Canada. It was lead by Guardian, a guy in a Maple leaf suit, there was an Eskimo goddess, a Native American Medicine man, a Sasquatch, and so on. And then there was Puck. A dwarf who dressed up as a hockey puck. Because Canadians love hockey.

Oh, Puck. I have a theory that Alpha Flight creator John Byrne had wanted to use Canadian superhero Wolverine in his Alpha Flight book and was denied by Marvels' editors, so he went and created a character who was even shorter, hairier, uglier and Canadianer than Wolverine to take his place. Slap a big "P" on his torso and it's done!

Do yourself a favor and check out Reilly's Alpha Flight one-shot. It's very good, and for better or worse, is 100% Puck free.


  1. Awesome - the P stands for "Phun!"

  2. I like your observations on Canadian culture

  3. I like your observations on John Byrne.

    And I totally thought your were going to do Marrina!

  4. My observations on both Byrne and Canada are incredibly nuanced and subtle.

    I thought of drawing Marrina ripping out Puck's guts from that early issue of Alpha Flight but got too wrapped up in my hatred of his superheroic identity to draw anything but this. Honestly, if Puck was American, would he have called himslef Bowling Ball instead? No dignity.

    Thanks Michael. I think the P stands for "Pho reals? Seriously?"

  5. I totally remember the gut ripping scene! Or was it his chest? I guess for Puck it means both.

    And hold on... Alpha Flight died? AND they're back? I know "Major Maple Leaf" got blown up back in #12, but all of them dead? Oh, you must mean the *concept* of the team died. That shit was D.O.A., son.

    Great drawing, George. When are YOU gonna do a one-shot?

  6. Fiffe--

    According to Wikipedia, Guardian blows up in issue 12, but is instead of dying he is transported to a moon of Jupiter where aliens rebuild him. The first time he comes back it's not him, but an evil robot, then he comes back fo' reals to fight Galactus or something, but blows up again, and this time he goes to an alternate dimension. He returns as a young clone for awhile, then the original older version comes back, then the clone dies, then the whole team gets split into two temporal copies or something(!) and then one of the Alpha Flights goes off into space (where they presumably still are) and the other team gets slaughtered by Brian Michael Bendis somewhere off panel. Then I remembered why I hate superhero comics SO MUCH sometimes, and then Reilly and Jim McCann brought back the dead guys and hopefully nobody will ever reference all the stuff I just typed ever again and just enjoy the team as some nice character designs.

    After the above diatribe, my Alpha Flight one-shot will most likely be coming out on the 32nd of Nevermember, 2012.

  7. George's hate of the Alpha Flight is rivaled only by his hate of the L-Train.