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Post By
dingomonkey

In Reply To
mjyoung

Subj: Re: Sure
Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:41:50 pm CDT (Viewed 19 times)
Reply Subj: Sure
Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 at 06:50:09 pm CDT (Viewed 194 times)

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    Quote:
    This thread is really a continuation of a conversation Ive been having elsewhere and spawned out of a largely unrelated topic but its so far down the page that it would be unreasonable to think anyone else could contribute to it, so I'm starting a new thread in the hope that I can get other people input on the discussion.


In all honesty, it's also two guys argueing about Alpha Flight. \:\)


    Quote:
    So, as the title says: Will we ever see a successful incarnation of Alpha Flight again? Can we?


Will we? Maybe, but I would guess it's unlikely. Too many factors are against it, and likewise too many things would have to fall into place first.


    Quote:
    I'll leave my own feelings aside for the timebeing because for the moment I'm more interested in the thoughts of others regarding whether they feel the concept can ever be successful again and if so how?
    If not then why not? Is the team high profile enough? Does it bring something to the table that other titles dont? Does the predominantly American audience want to read about a super team in a foriegn country, even a close neighbour like Canada? What appealed about Alpha Flight to make it a success in the first place and can that be replicated now or have times simply changed? Would you buy an Alpha Flight book if it were a choice between Alpha and the other team books currently availible? Are other concepts such as the X-Men, Avengers and Thunderbolts simply 'better' in principle than Alpha or is it the result of other factors that make those books successful whilst Alpha languishes in cancellation? Do Alphas characters (even the dead ones) appeal to a modern audience? Why/why not?


The most important thing for the title is that it has to fit a niche that no other title does. Lobdell tried to make the team a humor book. Seagle tried to make the team a conspiracy/suspense book. I don't know what niche is needed in order to survive, but there is one out there somewhere. Other concepts such as the X-Men, Avengers, and the Thunderbolts are better simply because they are definable. Avengers are the A-list heroes, Thunderbolts reformed villains, the X-Men are mutants, etc. Alpha Flight is just the Avengers in another country, which isn't a good niche/definition. Why would anyone choose to read AF over the Avengers?

One factor that helps success are popular creators. A high profile creative team is also going to be needed, but I don't see why any high profile creator would want to work on the title. No big name seems to talk about their love for Alpha Flight, no classic stories to remember. This seems to be the reason why the first series lasted for so long. It was also really hard for a book to be canceled during that time period because sales were so high for the entire market.

Americans also don't want to read about international teams. What's the most popular American television show taking place in Canada? I can't name any.

I don't think the characters are fundamentally flawed, but some aren't very interesting. Lobdell and Seagle tried to fix this by either drastically changing the characters (savage Sasquatch, robot teen Guardian) or introducing new characters. It would be best to concentrate on a core group of characters, drop some of the uninteresting ones, make some of the uninteresting ones interesting, etc. I always though the idea of Guardian not wanting to be a hero was a good idea, but it's never played up. Membership also seems to be limited to just Canadian characters, which also makes it hard to have interesting characters added to the team. I can't think of any Canadian characters that aren't a part of the team in some capacity.



Alpha Flight had a pretty unique angle in the beginning in that Department H was essentially Canada's superhuman military program. I don't think there was anything really like it in 1983(Project Pegasus maybe? SHIELD?). Unfortunately the military industrial complex angle just kind of faded in and out. Plus writers adding more layers on the whole Weapon X program concept sort of stole the thunder from Department H. I'm not sure where a new paramilitary type of superteam would fit today, but it's a shame they didn't do more with that concept back in the 80's. The team's mission is what made it potentially unique and cool. Not the fact that the characters were Canadian, and that's where I think the series lost it's way. It's also why i think it's a shame that Omega Flight didn't really work out because that series just may have had the perfect tone/formula for a successful Alpha Flight book. Alas, it wasn't to be \:\(


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