ALPHA FLIGHT #4 (1983)
Snowbird locates the crashed Alpha Flight Omnijet and with great concern for her teammates, she uses her post-cognitive perception powers to replay the events that led to the landing of the aircraft. After studying the vision, Snowbird changes into a polar bear and begins to cautiously follow Sasquatch’s footprints. Guardian guides Sasquatch to rip through some sort of wall of a possible alien technologically advanced structure. In another section, Northstar and his sister, Aurora finds themselves being attacked by large metal rods protruding from the walls. Northstar gets knocked out cold as Aurora has a breakdown. Guardian and Sasquatch found their way to Jeanne Marie (Aurora), but no sign of Northstar! Meanwhile, Marrina screams in torment, as we learn the origin of her captive, the Master.
Alpha Flight #4 begins with the Sub-Mariner and the Invisible Girl. “Why,” you may ask? Well, refer to Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) #260 and find out! The two Marvel powerhouses scours the frozen North as Namor senses a great “evil” lies within the area and has been poisoning Atlantean waters. Wait for it… as John Byrne is building suspense and then, BAM! He provides an intriguing action without immediate explanation. A laser blasts the ship and it leaves the reader wondering if there were any survivors. Nooooooooo!
Meanwhile, Byrne takes us back into the alien ship where Sasquatch is confused with Aurora’s behavior. It seems as though, Guardian is trying to put off explaining the situation, but Sasquatch pushes on with great concern. After the truth is revealed, Sasquatch questions Aurora’s qualifications and mere capability to be a super hero. This is a great part of the story, however, it is important to note that everyone experiences some form of “disassociation” at some point in our lives. It can be as common as daydreaming or “zoning out” in the middle of doing menial and tedious jobs in which we do not think about or realize what we are doing. The dissociation becomes a disorder when there is a distinct and severe disconnect from the collection of a person’s identity, behavior, memories, actions, and thoughts. Those with Split Personality Disorder, like Aurora / Jeanne-Marie, tend to have fragments of their memories kept from them by their separate personalities and are often unable to fully remember details, facts, and other important information. As such, the person will unlikely be able to recall whatever he or she might have done while under the control and influence of one of the personalities, unaware of the fact that they might be acting in ways that they, the original personality, would never do. Byrne has done his research and has incorporated into his storytelling quite well.
The confused Jeanne-Marie rejects her Alpha friends and takes off into another corridor. Sasquatch feels that he might be able to reach Jeanne-Marie in his human form, so he shape shifts back into the form of Walter Langkowski. I really enjoy observing artists tackle on shape-shifting and Byrne along with Andy Yanchus creates some wonderful eye candy for the reader. And, talk about eye candy, Alpha Flight #4, page eight has Walter a little dressed down, which Jeannie-Marie finds inappropriate. There is a secret that he reveals and somehow he does seem to sooth Jeannie-Marie as she begins to remember. However, she is caught off guard with these types of forbidden thoughts and POW! right in the jaw. Jeanne-Marie is not supposed to remember Aurora’s memories!
The remainder of Alpha Flight #4 surrounds Marrina’s origins as Byrne has the Master narrate a brilliant science fiction story of the ship being part of an alien race that colonized different words only to suck them dry of resources and destroy them. This ship malfunctioned when it landed on Earth but it still wants to fulfill its function. This leads to the explanation of Marrina’s birth and Byrne refers us to Alpha Flight #2 to articulate some clues as he has been building towards the origin story. As all is revealed, Sue Storm turns herself and Namor invisible to listen and observe as the Master takes the stage. It was earlier perceived that these two heroes perished. I did not believe that one bit; however, Byrne never explained how they survived. As the Master completes his complex story, the rest of Alpha Flight joined the scene and the heroes saved Marrina and defeated the evil Master! The conclusion leaves the reader under the impression that the Master did not survive the explosion of the ship. Did he survive? It is very unlikely that the Master died so easy and I hope to see him again in the future.
Byrne’s artwork was almost perfection as he provided his fans with great facial details and character movements that made every emotion feel like the reader is watching this story in a live action series. Coloring by Andy Yanchus only enhanced the story with the absolutely beautiful scenery especially as the Master was telling his story of the alien domination. Yanchus did wonders during the conclusion of Alpha Flight #4!
Best quote of Alpha Flight #4: “Aurora! Do not call me zat name! Take your filthy paws off! I mus' get away! Away from Aurora!” -- Jeanne-Marie Beaubier
ALPHA FLIGHT #4 (1983): Resolutions!
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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