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.
So, as the title says: Will we ever see a successful incarnation of Alpha Flight again? Can we?
To provide some history, Alpha Flight was first launched as a solo series in 1983. The book was piloted by John Byrne and ran for a total of 130 issues until its cancellation in 1994 - pretty good run by anyones standards.
The book was relaunched circa 1997 with a less than successful run of just 20 issues and was relaunched again in 2004 with an even less successful run of just 12 issues.
In 2007 most of the original team were killed in the New Avengers story 'the collective', Marvel then announced the imminent release of a brand new related title 'omega flight'. Originally this title was supposed to be an onging but prior to its release it was cut back to a five issue mini series with no real explanation ever being provided to the fans.
Prior to the launch of Omega flight Marvel had announced that this would be the last opportunity for the forseeable future for the Alpha Flight concept. Thus far they appear to have been good to their word as the team has officially disbanded and there have been no other attempts to revive the concept.
In the 16 years since the end of its first and most successful run the concept has spawned just 37 regular issues with the occasional guest appearence elsewhere.
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?
I would say not. After Captain Britain and MI13's failure as well as the early cancellation of SWORD, and repeated failures to relaunch The Defenders I do not think there is a market at this time for a new team. Perhaps if a big name like Mark Waid or Grant Morrison were involved then there might be. There are people who will buy titles just for the writer alone. In fact, I would say Alpha Flight's initial success was due to John Byrne's popularity at that time.
How the series survived the years immediately after he left, I have no idea. I recall those first stories and they were garbage, and while Mike Mignola has a strong following today I look at his early stuff on AF and it's crap.
Perhaps even a signature name is not enough. Bendis' Spider Woman was a huge flop despite his so-called golden touch. Perhaps if instead of Alpha Flight they called it Northern Avengers, then that might sell.